Founded in 874 by Ingolfur Arnarson Reykjavik is the world's most northerly capital city and one of the world's smallest. Translated as 'smoke bay' he named it after the steam from the geothermal pools, which looked from a distance like smoke from a fire.
It's a colourful, compact city and exploring on foot is a rewarding experience. The old wood-framed houses with red, yellow, blue and green corrugated iron mingle with more modern buildings. The old harbour area is a lively place to explore especially on Friday and Saturday evenings with its trendy bar culture.
Fishing was how the city began to grow in the 17th century; this attracted the Danes and slowly over the years other industries grew up: mills and tanneries, primarily, which attracted many more people. Today 205,000 live in the capital, two thirds of the island's population.
There are open spaces galore to recharge your batteries, many parks offer walks and cycle routes, and not far away is an extensive nature reserve, with its splendid volcanic landscape, woods and spectacular views. On the doorstep you have magnificent natural wonders and fabulous scenery and with 24 hours daylight in the summer months you have even more time to enjoy the city.