Nourishing Cities: Iceland Edition

Hello, it’s Haley again! I am an intern at Moonlit Skincare this semester and a student attending the University of Washington. Following the Nourishing Cities: Portland Edition, we are taking it international and exploring Iceland.

Iceland is often overlooked as a place to vacation; however, it is a beautiful place with much to see and explore. Here are a few places to visit that you can’t miss on your next trip to Iceland!

1. Hallgrímskirkja Church

The Hallgrímskirkja Church is located in the city’s capital: Reykjavík. The architecture is the largest church in Iceland, standing at 73 meters (240 feet) high. The interior is not only stunning, but the top of the tower has a beautiful view of the city. 

*Moonlit Tip: Make sure to visit the top of the church to get a breathtaking view of the city for only $6.95 per adult. The entry to the church itself is free so take in the architecture of the church before making your way up.

tall church with blue skies in the background

Picture via Hallgrímskirkja Church

2. Blue Lagoon

A visit to the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to relax and enjoy your vacation. It is a hot spring with a beautiful milky-blue water surrounded by black lava fields. The Blue Lagoon is not only a sight to see, but the water is also rich in minerals such as silica that helps with skin nourishment. 

*Moonlit Tip: The Blue Lagoon offers skin treatments, especially for those who have psoriasis. There are clay masks available in the spring, which paired with the mineral water leaves your skin feeling hydrated and glowing.

people in blue water lagoon water with rocks on the side and steam

Picture via Blue Lagoon

3. Golden Circle

Surrounded by the historical heart of Iceland, the Golden Circle is a natural site of geysers, waterfalls, and hot springs. There are three main attraction sites within the Golden Circle: Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park. Each of these places not only has so much historical significance, but the views are incredible as well.  

*Moonlit Tip: A road trip around the Golden Circle can be accompanied by additional activities such as snorkeling or snowmobiling near the attraction sites. Or if traveling by car is not exciting enough, you can explore the sites by helicopter. 

waterfall with rainbow over the water

Picture via Pinterest

4. Northern Lights

Iceland is located at a high altitude, meaning there is no darkness from mid-April until mid-August. During this time period, you can spot the Northern Lights. The lights are at their peak in September and March due to the September and March equinox. 

*Moonlit Tip: To see the Northern Lights, the skies must be dark. Once darkness falls, you can see the Northern Lights at any time of the day but the optimal time is during 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

colorful green lights in the sky
Picture via Arctic Adventures  

5. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (The City’s Best Hotdog)

Located in central Reykjavík, this tiny red hot dog stand is hard to miss. There is always a line of people waiting to get their hands on the best hot dog in the city. It is an inexpensive treat that is delicious and worth a try!

*Moonlit Tip: The hot dog is served with fried onions, ketchup, and a sweet brown mustard, regular mustard, and remoulade. Iceland is well-known for their sauces so try them out with your hot dog!

red hot dog stand with wooden table in front

Picture via Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

6. Skyr

Skyr is a thick, creamy yogurt that has a different consistency than the typical yogurts we may be used to. It has a similar flavor to Greek yogurt. Skyr has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years.

*Moonlit Tip: This creamy delicacy is often served with cream, jam, or berries, but locals also love eating it by itself. You can find skyr by itself or combined with other breakfast items at local restaurants around the city. 

bowl of skyr and jam with a wooden spoon on the side


Picture via Pinterest