Welcome to Keflavik, Iceland!
Iceland is one of the hottest destinations in the world right now, with its unique geological landscape and overall natural beauty is unlike any other. The country’s geology means that it possesses some of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the world. For most visitors, their Icelandic journey begins at this small town, the modern Keflavik airport serving as the gateway to the land of fire and ice--a mere landing spot and a forgotten place thereafter. Explore this insider’s guide where worldwide locals can explore off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems nestled in this unexplored corner of Iceland.
Visit the Vikings
Immerse yourself in Norse history and visit the Viking World Museum, brimming with impressive historical exhibits dating back centuries. Opened in 2009, the cozy museum holds the Íslendingur, a replica of the 9th-century Gokstad Viking ship, that recently sailed across the Atlantic in 2000. Learn the tales of Viking settlements and their expedition to the unknown land across the Atlantic.
Worldwide Local Tip: On the coast of Reykjanes is a collection of magnificent sea lava cliffs just off the quaint fishing village of Hafnir. The imposing Hafnarborg Cliff is just a short trip from the city and offers breathtaking views of the ocean beating against the black pebble beaches. Enjoy the view while appreciating the Keflavik weather. The black cliffs are popular for hikers and nature enthusiasts and are home to a vast array of wildlife particularly sea birds that nest on the side of the cliffs.
Relax in a Natural Hot Spring
Iceland’s busy geothermal activity means that the island is teeming with hot springs, geysers, and an active volcano. A trip south of Keflavik will take you to the rancid smelling Gunnuhver Hot Springs. Spewing sweltering sulphuric gasses in the air, a distinct smell fills the air surrounding the hot springs. This creates a creepy atmosphere along with dense, cloudy steam rising from the ground. The eerie vibe is supported by the local folklore tales of a witch called Gunna, that supposedly created Gunnuhver Hot Springs and fables suggest that the place is haunted.
Worldwide Local Tip: Catch a glimpse of one of Iceland’s geysers that spits hydrogen sulfide in every direction. Kleifarvatn is one of Iceland’s largest and deepest lakes, with a walking trail that takes you through a tranquil landscape with vistas of the rocky hills.
Step into the 1800s
Head to Stekkjarkot to see a quaint fisherman’s cottage that dates back to the 1800s. A traditional home that was previously abandoned, it has since been refurbished for the public to visit for free. A stone and timber house provides a compelling insight into a common household and what it previously looked like. Its most distinct feature is arguably the lawn roof making it seamlessly blend into its surroundings from a distance.
Worldwide Local Tip: Iceland is one of the more expensive places to visit in the world. To save money on your accommodation, stay at the Hotel Berg located conveniently near the airport and the town of Keflavik. Equipped with simple yet functional designs, it has a quintessential Nordic style without the high cost of a five-star hotel. Keflavik has a stunning backdrop of the surrounding ocean, and this hotel has a seaside vibe, with views of the bay along with traditional boathouses, making it a perfectly tranquil stay in town.
Enjoy Your Stay!
With an ever-growing tourism industry, Iceland is becoming a go-to destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The tourist paths can get crowded, but Iceland has a diverse landscape that still retains a serene scenery that is left relatively undiscovered. Explore Keflavik as a worldwide local, and take a lesser explored trail across the magnificent geological landscapes of Iceland.