Reykjavik is a beautiful city full of interesting things to see. Here are some of our favorite things to admire along the Reykjavik Marathon course.
1. It‘s a beautiful day
The atmosphere at the start is very festive and energetic with lively music playing. As the gun goes off the song „Beautiful day“ by U2 echoes through the streets of Reykjavik and it surely is a beautiful day.
2. Musical neighbours
The street of Lynghagi turns into a concert hall on the day of the Reykjavik Marathon. Residents come out to the pavements and balconies with pots, pans and musical instruments cheering the runners on with great enthusiasm. It is a great energy boost when you have just shaken off the stress from the start.
3. The Atlantic ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is visible for about three quarters of the course. Iceland is traditionally a fishing nation and we always prefer running by the sea to running anywhere else. Usually Icelandic towns will have their best walking and running paths alongside the ocean.
4. Mt Esja
KM: 7 – 16
Mt. Esja is without a doubt Reykjavik’s favorite mountain and one of the most popular hiking destinations in Iceland. Most of the Icelandic marathon runners will have hiked at least once to the top when preparing for the race.
5. Valdís ice cream shop
Valdís is the most popular ice cream shop in Reykjavík. It‘s easy to spot – just look for the long que outside. You really deserve an ice cream after the race!
6. Harpa Concert Hall
The Harpa Concert Hall will not go unnoticed while in Reykjavik. The concert hall opened in 2011 and the building has received various architectural awards. Harpa hosts all kinds of concerts, everything from operas and symphonies to heavy metal and techno music.
7. The Sun Voyager
Sun Voyager is one of Reykjavik main tourist attraction with its beautiful view over Mt Esja. The sculpture is a dreamboat, an ode to the sun symbolizing light and hope. The perfect place to dream and hope for a personal best!
On your right hand side you will notice a respectable white house called Höfði. The house made the history books in 1986 when Ronald Regan and Michael Gorbachev met there and set the tone for the beginning of the end of the cold war. Let‘s hope that there is no need for such a meeting again.
9. Hallgrímskirkja church
The church can be seen from many places on the route. Its architecture is inspired by the beautiful basalt columns of the Svartifoss waterfall in South Iceland.
10. Laugardalur valley
KM: 21 – 22
Home of the Icelandic national football teams that the country has taken so much pride in recently. And the origin of the viking clap. HUH!
11. The prettiest waterfall in Reykjavik
In Elliðaárdalur valley you will have the river Elliðaá on your left hand side with its small waterfall. Enjoy the view and focus on the smooth sound from the river and the sweet smell of the birch.
12. Nauthólsvík geothermal beach
Our very own Copacabana is very popular during summer with kids playing and people sunbathing whenever the temperature goes above 10 degrees Celsius or 55 on Fahrenheit!
13. Nautholl Cafe
Try to resist the temptation of sitting down and rest at the friendly Nautholl cafe near Nautholsvik. However, it is the perfect spot for friends and relatives to relax and watch runners go past.
14. Geirfuglinn – The Great Auk
A sculpture by the artist Ólöf Nordal, of “The Great Auk” a bird species that used to live by the coast of Iceland but became extinct in 1844 when the last two living birds were hunted in Eldey off the coast of Iceland. The sculpture is located on a boulder in the sea on the south seaside of Reykjavik.
15. The presidential home
KM: 32 -36
Across the water you can see Bessastadir where the president lives. The current one is a keen runner so look around, he might be running next to you. True story – he just overtook us last year in the half marathon!
16. Grotta lighthouse
The Grótta lighthouse is one of the most peaceful and romantic places in the Reykjavik area. The area is very popular for an evening stroll and watch the sunset. When tides are low it is possible to walk up to the lighthouse.