So you’re going to Iceland Airwaves? Maybe Sónar? Or Secret Solstice? Sounds amazing, but what else are you going to do while you’re here? The showcases normally start around 8 pm and go on until late. Waking up early to head out for a whole-day tour probably isn’t a very appealing prospect but there are plenty of tours and activities that don’t require you to wake up at the break of dawn and won’t take up all your day either. We’ve got a few suggestions for what to do during a music festival in Iceland.
Iceland’s geothermal heat means that we have plenty of energy and plenty of natural hot water. The whole country is basically one giant spa! Relaxing in a hot tub is the perfect way to clean off last night’s grime, fend off a hangover, and get ready for the night ahead.
- If you’re looking for a nice afternoon of relaxation, look no further than the Blue Lagoon. Not only will the waters wash away all evidence of last night’s partying, your skin is also going to feel baby smooth. Just remember to book in advance!
- The Blue lagoon is not the only option for a warm bath in the magnificent Icelandic nature. If you want to avoid the crowds check out the Laugavatn Fontana Spa or the Secret Lagoon!
- If you don’t have the time or the energy, soaking in a hot tub of one of Reykjavík’s many thermal pools is the perfect alternative.
See the Sights
Iceland’s nature is beautiful and sometimes a calm day of driving between one natural wonder and the next is just what the doctor ordered to get you energised for another night of great music. Here are a few tours you can do in the space of an afternoon.
- The most popular day tour in Iceland is the Golden circle. It’s actually the perfect tour for a music festival visitor as you can head out after lunch, see a beautiful waterfall, a geyser and a rift in the earth between two tectonic plates, and still be back in time for dinner before the shows start.
- The Reykjavík Erupts tour takes you to a geothermally active area in the vicinity of Reykjavík where you will learn all about the awe-inspiring forces of the fires underneath this volcanic island.
- If you’re feeling luxurious, the best way to see a lot of Iceland’s most beautiful natural wonders in a short period of time is to take a helicopter tour! It’s a constant stream of amazing views and incredible places. Some places on the tours are usually only reachable by several hours’ worth of hiking!
Go to some of Reykjavík’s many museums! There are no set departure times and you can take as long (or as short) as you like. Perfect for whiling away the hours until the next show starts.
- The National Museum is always a treat. Their permanent exhibition is titled the Making of a Nation and, as the name suggests, shows the evolution of the Icelandic nation from the Viking age through the centuries under Danish rule towards independence and a fledgeling nation’s first steps.
- Iceland has more than 30 active volcanoes and a volcanic eruption every 4-5 years, statistically speaking. If you want to know more, the Volcano House shows a documentary on volcanic eruptions in Iceland every hour and has an exhibition of semi-precious stones, minerals, ash and pumice.
- Just around the corner is the Aurora museum where you can learn all about the magic of the Northern Lights.
- If it’s art you’re interested in, check out the city’s art museum! It’s in three locations, one with a focus on contemporary art, one that focuses on sculptures, and another that deals with paintings.
Have an Adventure
If your hangover can handle it, you can go out, have an adventure, and still be back before the shows start again!
- The Icelandic horse is one of a kind, having been bred in isolation since Viking times. Riding one through lava fields and across rivers is probably the best way of all to experience Iceland in all its glory.
- Another option is to immerse yourself in Iceland’s nature… quite literally. Going caving in the long halls and tight tunnels, previously occupied by a mass of molten lava is a magnificent experience.
- How does snowmobiling on a glacier sound? This is Iceland after all!
- Silfra is a fissure situated at Þingvellir, the rift between two tectonic plates. It’s filled with crystal clear water and is perfect for snorkeling. Don’t worry, after pulling on that drysuit, you won’t feel the cold!
- Going on a whale watching cruise? The waters around Iceland are heavily populated with these gentle giants.
- If you prefer to stay in the city, how does a beer tour of a microbrewery sound to get the evening started?
Reykjavík is a beautiful city and taking the time to enjoy it (in the daylight) is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
- Take a walk downtown and check out Icelandic design on the main shopping streets, Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur, maybe get a little shopping done.
- Visit Hallgrímskirkja church (you can go up the tower for a great view)!
- Stroll along the pond (Tjörnin) for the perfect dose of Reykjavík’s small city charm.
- If you’d prefer a guided tour, there are bus tours available and a free walking tour as well.