If you’re in the market for a boring drinking game, try this one on for size: have your party guests take a sip every time they mention a European city that offers visitors more adventure opportunities than Reykjavik, Iceland. Then sit back and let the yawning commence. Because when activities like driving the Golden Circle, scuba diving the subaqueous continental divide between Europe and America and dropping into the world’s only explorable volcanic magma chamber become just three in a seemingly endless array of outdoor possibilities, you can be pretty sure you’ve hit the adventure motherload. Ready to get your feet wet? Then strap on the crampons and lets take a quick look at just what kind of unique experiences a visit to the Icelandic capital gives you access to.
Should submerging yourself in geothermal goodness constitute your idea of a day well spent, rest assured you’re in the right place. You could of course opt for a visit to the chalky azure waters of the Blue Lagoon, but if you’d rather trade the fees and crowds for some beautiful hiking and solitude consider making the trek to the far less frequented pools of Reykjadalur’s “Smoky Valley.” On the other side of the aquatic spectrum, Reykjavik provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy its frigid waterways as well (yippee), like April - September’s rafting season on the Hvítá. This particular river is admittedly tame by Icelandic standards, especially considering it’s home to the mighty Gulfoss, but for paddlers in search of a quick day on the water it’s definitely better than nothing. Or you could always slip on the dry suit and head to Thingvellir National Park (preferably not in that order) to experience some once-in-a-lifetime diving at the famed Silfra Crack, with water clean enough to drink and the walls of two tectonic plates guiding you forward.
Which brings us to one of Reykjavik’s most intriguing adventure options. Volcanoes, it’s true, may not be exclusive to Iceland, but you won’t find a city on Earth better suited for exploring them in perhaps the most unique way: from the inside out. Whether you challenge yourself to a hike/crawl through the lava tube caves of Leidarendi or a descent into the massive, beautiful belly of the Thrihnukagigur Volcano, these are the kinds of up close and personal igneous adventures you can only experience here. Not to mention the hikes to the top of volcanic peaks like Eyjafjallajökull and Öræfajökull that are each within a 4 hour drive of the capital. Couple all this with nearby beaches (Nautholsvik), glacier treks (Langjokull) and an endless supply of country-wide adventures for which Reykjavik is almost always the gateway and what do you have? Aside from a fairly boring drinking game, every adventure-filled reason to purchase your next flight to this truly one-of-a-kind city.