Sustainable And Eco-Friendly Reykjavík
Your Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Itinerary For Reykjavík
Here is your sustainable and eco-friendly travel guide to Reykjavik. The beautiful images of Iceland are not just glamorised Instagram moments. There is something truly unique and beautiful about nature in Iceland. The air feels clearer and fresher. And the water tastes better - straight from the trap!
It's the land of renewable energy. Iceland strives to be a global leader in sustainability and wants to maintain a stance on responsible tourism. Join the movement and travel green here while enjoying sustainable tourism. The capital city of Reykjavík is trailblazing, prioritising green industry, low-carbon transportation, using sustainable energy and fostering eco-friendly tourism.
Let us be your tour guide - read on for a Reykjavík travel itinerary geared towards eco-friendly tourism and green travellers! Trust that there are many green things to do in Reykjavík – take a look and see!
In Reykjavík, you will be inspired by eco-friendly tourism that's good for the planet and you!
Elding is the original whale tour operator in Reykjavík and offers Iceland's most talked-about sea adventure tours. With two decades of experience, we operate sea adventures from Reykjavík and Akureyri year-round. Their expertise and knowledge allow Elding to offer a truly unique experience. Elding follows IceWhale's code of conduct for responsible whale watching and our stricter guidelines. Elding works diligently to implement an environmental policy to make it as efficient as possible.
Eldhestar has offered the widest variety of horse-riding tours in Iceland since 1986. The tours range from half-day excursions to full-day tours and options for combo tours to multi-day tours ranging from 2-8 days with accommodation and meals at their cosy countryside hotel. Eldhestar is just 30 minutes drive from the Reykjavík Capital area and offer tour guides from around the world who speak English. All riding guides have been trained before we entrust them with guiding tours, so you can be sure you are in good hands. Eldhestar boasts 350 amazing horses and promises to find a horse that suits your riding skills and makes you happy!
The City Walk tours offer a classic "free" tour of Reykjavik, which has been featured on many online blogs and comes highly rates (number 1 on TripAdvisor in Iceland!). It's also the sort of tourism experience guaranteed to leave a very tiny carbon footprint as you walk all over Reykjavík hearing about its rich history. In addition to their free tours, there are paid options for VIP tours with smaller intimate groups and exclusive tours tailored to your needs and preferences. Before diving further into the year-round Green Reykjavik itinerary, it's worth mentioning one of Reykjavík's most popular and sustainable pastimes is swimming! There are 18 municipal swimming pools in Reykjavík, all heated by Iceland's legendary geothermal energy! So come and take a dip in a naturally heated pool and savour living like a local for a few hours!
Wake up refreshed after a restful night in one of Reykjavík's eco-friendly accommodations in Laugardalur. If you are a nature lover and want to spend the night under a starry sky with other adventurous travellers, check out the Reykjavík ECO Campsite. The campsite is spacious, spread over three fields, and offers amenities to make urban camping hassle-free. After you've secured your site, you can barbecue, use a well-equipped kitchen area, access free showers, and rent bicycles for cruising city streets. Another option, right next door, is Reykjavík Dalur Hostel. Dalur Hostel is an Eco Certified Hostel that is run according to Nordic Sustainability Label's standards. At Dalur Hostel, you can rent a private room or a bunk bed in a backpacker's dorm. There's an easy-going vibe here that is both family-friendly and eco-friendly! You can grab a bite to eat at the Dalur Coffee House or make your own grub in self-catering kitchens that provide all the culinary essentials you need to make your own food.
If you are looking for modern and sleek accommodations that meet the demands of green jet-setters, book a five-star room at Hilton Reykjavík Nordica. This lux establishment has earned international recognition as an award-winning, environmentally conscious hotel. When you stay at Hilton Reykjavík Nordica, you will experience the friendliness and luxury that Hilton is known for worldwide while travelling green in Iceland. Hilton Reykjavík Nordica is dedicated to being eco-friendly while continuing to be innovative in its environmental protection and hospitality approach. After you've put your bags down, pop into the VOX Brasserie and Bar. Here, you can taste local specialities that highlight contemporary Icelandic and Scandinavian cuisine crafted with seasonal and local produce. Last but not least, if you've arrived on an afternoon flight, Welcome! You're just in time for Happy Hour!
Berjaya Reykjavik Marina Hotel
This cosy and subtly iconic hotel is situated right by the old harbour downtown. It has a magnificent view over the bay and Mount Esja in the north. On the ground floor, there is the bustling restaurant Slippbarinn, which has an excellent selection of dishes, a great drink menu, and a terrific food menu that includes options for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. The Reykjavik Marina is a certified green hotel, actively minimising how its operations negatively affect the environment; and ensuring that the hotel complies with laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements.
Eyja Guldsmeden is a hotel that puts considerable emphasis on offering local and organic food products and being environmentally responsible. It's a small yet unique hotel in Reykjavík with very personal service and an intimate space offering a laid-back atmosphere. Sustainability is the hotels guiding principle. The utmost importance to Eyja Guldsmeden is ensuring their guests have a pleasant and memorable stay. Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel has a Green Globe Certification that is a testament to their dedication to the eco-conscious and eco-friendly spirit and action.
You have options for getting around that leave a minimal carbon footprint. There are numerous options for electric scooters. Companies like Hopp, Zolo and Wind have popped up in recent years, with easy access by way of Smartphone apps, so chances are you'll never be stranded. If the weather gets nasty (as it often does!), you can use Reykjavíks bus system, Strætó, to get around. And also, of course, you can always get around on foot!
Innovative Solutions For A Green Future
Many forward-thinking companies and individuals in Iceland are doing fantastic things to secure a greener future and a healthier planet for us all. Carbfix is one of many innovative Iceland-based companies working tirelessly on solutions to secure a greener future. Carbfix is an academic-industrial partnership that's developed an innovative approach to capturing and storing CO₂ by its capture in water and injection into subsurface basalts. Carbfix states that it can, through its processes, turn CO₂ into stone underground in less than two years. They currently have multiple operations in various stages of development in and around the Reykjanes peninsula and South West of Iceland (Including around Hellisheiði Geothermal Exhibition- around 30 minutes drive from Reykjavík).
Experiencing Sustainability in Reykjavík
What better place to begin a green holiday in Reykjavík than Laugardalur! Laugardalur offers tourists and locals alike a pastoral setting to soak in the ambience of vivacious Reykjavík. Enjoy the Family Park and zoo, the Botanical Gardens, lovely scenery, and a delightful breakfast in Cafe Flora. This idyllic cafe is nestled in a charming greenhouse. It offers diners wholesome meals that use local ingredients – some grown in the gardens surrounding you! If you're lucky enough to be around on the weekend, tuck into a delicious brunch!
After you've enjoyed the greenery of Laugardalur and filled your belly with nourishing food, head to Laugardalslaug to soak in the warmth of Reykjavík. This is Reykjavík's largest pool. Laugardalslaug is an expansive complex of geothermal goodness. It offers visitors an Olympic-sized pool for lap swims, several hot pots for soaking, a steam room, a water slide, and a popular sea bath locally sourced from the nearby bay. The sea bath is extolled for its mineral-rich health benefits that nurture your skin and ease the ache of tired muscles.
A short walk from Laugardalslaug is the Skarfagarðar harbour, where you can catch the ferry to Viðey Island. Elding Adventure at Sea operates a ferry that takes daily trips to Viðey Island during the summer (only on weekends during winter). Viðey is a beautiful place to enjoy nature, and bird life, take a picturesque walk, or cycle around the island enjoying the fresh air! There is a small playground, well-maintained WC, and picnic and barbecue facilities. As if this weren't enough, there is also a lovely cafe housed in one of Reykjavík's historical landmarks. Here, you can order lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up. We recommend a carafe of strong-brewed coffee and a decadent piece of chocolate cake to savour in this truly unique atmosphere.
Now that you've soaked in Reykjavík's nature, you are probably ready to stroll down Laugavegur to shop and enjoy the local nightlife. Aurum by Guðbörg offers shoppers a wide array of gorgeous jewellery that is locally made using ethical and environmentally friendly practices. The precious metals are all recycled or re-refined, and the diamonds are cruelty-free lab-grown gems. Aurum by Guðbörg is the 2020 winner of the prestigious Eluxe Awards. This accolade is only given to companies that sustainably craft luxury. Aurum by Guðbörg offers tax-free shopping, so go ahead and splurge and take home something uniquely and beautifully Icelandic! Another place to find locally made handcraft is Feldur Verkstæði. Shop here to support a workshop that uses traditional methods to create beautiful clothing and furnishing that are harmonised with nature.
The Handknitting Association of Iceland (Handprjónasambandið) is an arts and crafts store specialising in Icelandic wool and wool products. Located both right downtowns on Skólavörðustígur 19, in 101 Reykjavík and in Borgartún 31, close to the Höfði House. Suppose you're looking for a one-of-a-kind item to remember Iceland with. In that case, there's no substitute for a traditional Icelandic sweater made from Icelandic materials by hand in Iceland. This is not necessarily the case everywhere, with some stores selling mass-produced knock-offs made in factories abroad. That is not the case at Handprjónasambandið, where you get genuine and super-cute articles.
The EKO-House (EKO-Húsið) is a shop specialising in children's products, clothing, shoes, skincare and make-up. All the products are unique in that they are made in a way that has no adverse effects on the planet and made with methods from materials that are good for you, the consumer. You can shop from brands such as Kavat (eco-friendly shoes), Grimms (children's toys made from sustainably harvested trees in Europe), Bambaw (sustainable alternatives to single-use products) and Zao (organic and vegan make-up) in their excellent shop at Síðumúli 11, Reykjavík.
An essential aspect of the circular economy is a thriving second-hand shopping community. As luck would have it, no shortage of fantastic shops that offer options to purchase wonderful items second-hand, that can save you money, are often very close to brand new or have stood the test of time because they are rich in character and durable. The options are many and just a few worth mentioning when it comes to second-hand clothing stores are Spúútnik (a veteran second-hand clothing store of downtown Reykjavik), Verzlanahöllin (a relative newcomer concerned with responsible shopping) and several Red Cross stores (with a few downtown locations on Laugavegur 12, again on Laugavegur 116 and Skólavörðustígur 12). Click here to see our second hand shop slider
By now, you must be hungry again! If you want to explore all of Reykjavík's good eats, check out Happy Cow's website to discover what's on offer for eco-conscious, vegan, and vegetarian diners. Or take our recommendation and enjoy a delicious meal at restaurants like Gló. Gló is a well-known eatery that dishes-up healthy, raw, organic, vegan, and vegetarian food. But they also serve dishes with meat, so there is something for everyone here! There is a kid-friendly and extensive menu for health-conscious peeps and eco-friendly eaters. Kaffi Lækur is a cosy restaurant in the Laugardalur neighbourhood. Their menu offers healthy and tasty food made from fresh ingredients sourced directly from local producers as much as possible. The coffee comes from the area micro-roasters Kaffi Kvörn.
Chickpea might have the best falafel in all of Iceland! It's a takeaway, street food-styled vegan and vegetarian restaurant in downtown Reykjavik that offers nutritious and authentic food made from scratch every day.
Veganism is on the rise in Reykjavík - in the past few years, many new options and delicious restaurants and take-out places have been popping up recently. Every supermarket has a section dedicated to vegan products, and most, if not every restaurant, has at least one vegan option. You can even find a few places that only offer vegan meals or products. For those who are enthusiastic about veganism, there is an app called Vegan Iceland available to explore the options further. Here's our extensive list of vegan options for diners!