As the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years. In the world, it is a sovereign state and the northernmost of all capitals. According to historians, it was established by Norsemen in 874 AD, with the city officially founded in 1786. It is national center for business and the heart of economic and cultural activities. Once under Danish rule, Iceland eventually became the Kingdom of Iceland, under the Crown of Denmark in 1918. The city is located on the southwest coast of the island.
Travelers come from around the world to experience the rugged, raw natural beauty of Iceland. Most stay in Reykjavik and take day trips to see the unique sights located around the island, such as the mineral baths of the Blue Lagoon or the dazzling Northern Lights. It is small, so traveling is fairly easy, given that even during the winter months the roadways are kept clear of ice and salted.
In addition to its ecological wonders, the city is filled with cultural events, luxurious hotels, engaging night life and cuisine that features the best European delights and Icelandic delicacies. There is much to see and do in the city and its surrounds. There are many luxurious things to enjoy.
Here are a select few of the opportunities:
The Secret Solstice Festival $1 Million USD Ticket
This music festival is regarded as one of the most unique in the world. In 2015, the festival offered the most expensive festival ticket for sale in the world, priced at $200,000. But for 2016, the festival is offering a spectacular $1 million USD ticket, which is designed for six people to experience. The 2016 festival will be held from June 16 to 19.
Ticket holders will have privileged access to an enormous list of luxury festival inclusions:
- Gulfstream G300 private chartered jet return to Iceland for six people from any destination on the planet.
- Two luxury cars, with personal drivers and private security, with 24/7 access for the entirety of the week spent in Iceland
- A luxury villa with six rooms for the seven nights of the Secret Solstice Festival 2016, in the heart of Reykjavik
- Chaperoned access to festival off-limit sites as available, and exclusive Secret Solstice 2016 admittance for six people
- Access to the sold-out world’s first ever concert Inside The Volcano, plus helicopter transfers to get there from Reykjavik
- Helicopter transportation from Reykjavik to Iceland’s oldest geothermal lagoon for the Secret Lagoon party.
- Access to the Midnight Sun Boat Party
- A private concert in a lava field, with helicopter rides to the venue, featuring top Icelandic entertainers
- A private entertainment show for the guest at their residence
- Champagne lunch at a geothermal location as part of a helicopter tour of the best of Iceland’s natural beauty for a half-day
- A memorial ticket made with Icelandic lava rock, engraved and framed, one for each guest
- Personal assistants available 24/7 for the duration of the week
- Private tastings of Icelandic food at the festival, as requested
- A chance to be introduced to the performers at the festival
- Top premium drinks and all food and beverages at the festival
- A private tour to watch whales and dolphins
- A private airplane tour over the south coast of Iceland, for one day
- A midnight sun glacier walk, including helicopter transportation and a glacier snowmobile trek
- Additional private tours time permitting, and ever more…
The Gallery Restaurant is located in the Hotel Holt. The hotel is a 4-star boutique hotel located in the center of Reykjavik. It is small, but its reputation for guest service is renown. Its restaurant opened forty years ago, and is considered to be the best restaurant in Iceland. Its name is inspired by the collection of fine art displayed on its walls. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday through Saturday and closed on Sunday and Monday, reservations are a must because seating is limited.
Friðgeir Ingi Eiríksson is Chef de Cuisine. He, his father and his wife own the Gallery together. He was the Icelandic candidate at the 200- Nordic Commis Competition. He has worked in Luxemburg, and as Head chef at Domaine de Clairfontaine, a Michelin star restaurant. He finished in the 8th place at the world cooking contest, Bocuse d’Or. He resdesigned the kitchen and imported a custom-made French stove. The venue won the Nordic Prize in 2012.
The Gallery is a Fodor’s Choice Restaurant noted for its impeccable service, seafood and game dishes. Recommended to try are the gravlax and reindeer. The wine cellar holds a wide array of excellent vintages from France, and the bar has a selection of whiskey comparable to any available in Europe.
The décor is sumptuous, with elegant gold tablecloths covered with white linen on each of the round tables. The table settings are fine china rimmed with gold. The chairs are upholstered for complete comfort and candles twinkle throughout. The tables are all round, by the proprietor’s choice, so that guests can visit and everyone can equally share the best time together.
Soley Natura Spa
Noted by natives as offering the most exclusive massage and body treatments, this spa is located in the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura. The spa uses Soley Organics for its unique treatments. These are created from blends of the wild herbal ingredients of Iceland. Used with aromatic essential oils within the context of an individualized holistic approach, each person can enjoy absolute luxury. The goal of the spa is to provide the ultimate in comfort and superb results. The facilities have been designed to be soothing, with modern sleek interiors and pristine, clutter free environments.
The Grand Hotel
This 4-star hotel in the center of the city is known for being one of the most expensive and luxurious. There are other 4 star hotels, but this one offers so many amenities in house that it is a prime destination for many travelers, business and leisure alike. The hotel has two Presidential Suites.
Presidential Suite Útgarður is located on the 13th floor with balconies to view spectacular Mount Esja. The bedroom includes a king bed, a bath with a separate shower and Jacuzzi. It is possible to set up an additional bedroom within the suite. Some nicer amenities include breakfast in bed and complimentary access to the gym and spa.
Presidential suite Ásgarður is high on the 13th floor, offering panoramic city viewing. Located in the hotel tower, this suite has all the amenities of the Útgarður, including balconies to view the cityscape. Both suites have dining and living rooms.
The hotel embraces Nordic mythology with its modern furnishings and high glass ceiling of its reception area named for the home of humans, “middle earth” protected by Thor and his Hammer. They call the reception area Miðgarður, for that is the name of one of the nine worlds of Norse cosmology. The hotel features the glass art of Icelandic artist Leifu Breiðfjörð and poetry from the Havamal, the “sayings of the high one”.
Though many take tours to see the Northern Lights away from the city, it is possible to see them at times from the city. The sheer height of this hotel makes it a possible sighting spot for the famous lights, though it offers a tour package to travel out to see them, too.
Private North of the Wall, Game of Thrones Locations Tour
For the absolute Game of Thrones fan, this may be the ultimate day adventure. Reykyavik is a city with many of them, due to the incredible amount of raw beauty that exists around it. Once there, travelers come to realize that Iceland is actually a small island, and it is possible to visit other spots quite easily. To truly experience Iceland, is to take a day tour and there are so many that Reykyavik visitors often choose several. This one takes adventurers to the second city of Iceland, Akureyri, which is nicknamed the Capital of the North.
For the producers of Game of Thrones, the remote and rugged landscapes of Iceland became the homeland of the Wildlings and White Walkers.
This private tour offers enticing highlights of North of the Wall filming locations:
- Explore the white walker’s lava field film site near Kálfaströnd, and see the ruined glory of Castle Black
- Peer into the steamy interior of the Grjótagjá Rift; the inspiration for Ygrette and Jon Snow’s key love scene
- Stop to stroll in the beguiling Höfði forest
- Top off the day with a deep, mineral water soak at the therapeutic Mývatn Nature Baths
This is a private, full-day tour in a customized SUV which is able to reach areas that the usual vehicles don’t easily access. A private guide leads the way. This tour offers pick up and return drop off at your hotel in Akureyri. Visitors should adjust their itineraries accordingly to take advantage of the private Super Jeep tour. There is another tour available, via coach, which picks up and leaves from Reykjavic.
Private Icelandic Horse Riding Tour
This is the ultimate horseback riding experience for horse lovers. Discovering the Icelandic horse is a central part of this adventure. Because it is completely private, the prices vary based on the duration of the ride, additional experiences and destinations chosen. But the basics are offered as a guideline for discussion with Islenski Hesturinn:
- Available every day, year round based on request
- Ride duration based on agreement
- No age limit for riders
- Licensed local guides included
- Special languages available on special request for tours include Danish, French, Swedish, Faroese, Norwegian and Icelandic
- Pick up from guesthouses and hotels with downtown Reykjavik and close neighborhoods
- Morning and afternoon tours available with varied destinations and experiences
Reykjavik Helicopters Private Luxury Tour
The company offers private tours to anyplace you wish in Iceland. Here are a few of the “You are the Boss” luxury tour ideas:
- Private yacht, then helicopter; or helicopter, then private yacht
- Have lunch on the top of a glacier in Iceland
- Go heli-skiing, heli-hiking, heli-fishing
- Do your own photography or filming at exciting locations
- Make your proposal on Iceland’s highest peak
- Design your own tour
Handknitting Association of Iceland
Devoted shoppers will appreciate being able to purchase the finest quality Icelandic sweaters available. This association offers a wide selection of exquisite hand made products with wool unique to Icelandic sheep. There are several shops and open times available throughout Reykjavic, and purchases support the Icelanders who knit the items themselves. Some of the most expensive sweaters ever are available, as are some very useful every-day items. The shops also sell wool, knitting needles and books that teach knitters how to create some beautiful traditional Icelandic patterns and contemporary projects as well.
Back To Island Luxury Limos
Back to Island is the number one rated luxury limo service in Reykjavic. Having a private driver is the best way to see all the city sights. The service offers private airport transfers, day tours, and tours for cruise ship passengers. In addition to a wide selection of popular tour itineraries, the service will provide customized itineraries and pick up and drop off points. Riding in luxury with a private driver is the easiest way to visit all the top attractions without the tourist crowd.
Inside the Volcano
A visit to Iceland would not be complete without seeing the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano. Taking a private tour is one way to escape the crowds and see the inside with a private tour guide. The necessary safety gear and a traditional Icelandic meat soup or vegetarian lunch are included. Tours require some hiking, walking and climbing through specially prepared areas and generally take 5 to 6 hours. Tours are led by experienced mountaineers. Some are Icelandic Rescue Squad members and one is licensed to perform wedding ceremonies inside the volcano.
Written by Garrett Parker
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