A small town in the Reykjanes region in southwest Iceland, Keflavik merged with Njarðvík and Hafnir to form a municipality called Reykjanesbær in the year 1995. The history of the city dates back to 16th century, when the city was built by the Scottish engineers and entrepreneurs on account of its fishing and fish processing industry. During the Second World War, Keflavik airport was used to hold a significant NATO military base and served as in important pre-jet refueling stop for trans-Atlantic commercial air traffic. During the 1960’s and 70’s a lot of musicians from Keflavik came to limelight earning the city, the title of bítlabærinn or ‘The Beatle Town’. The town serves as home to 14,821 that live here and like most of the cities in Iceland, people of Keflavik speak Icelandic.
Keflavik International Airport is the major airport serving the Reykjanes region and all flights coming to Keflavik land at this airport. It is Iceland’s largest airport and country's main hub for international transportation. Located at distance of 3.1 km from the city center, the airport is currently served by 28 airlines that operate to and from the Keflavik International Airport. The city has subpolar oceanic type of climate which is characterized by cool summers and moderately cold winters. While July I the driest moth of the year, October is the wettest. During winter, the high temperatures average above the freezing mar, with January being the coldest moth of the year. The months from March to November are the best month to visit Keflavik. The Keflavik music festival held in June and Festival Night of Lights every year is the most popular international festival celebrated in Keflavik and draws huge tourist attention.
Duushús Museum and the Reykjanes Heritage Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city famous for showcasing the American influence on the culture of Keflavik. The Evacuated NATO Base is another tourist spot and a perfect place for those who want to know more about the history of the city. The Viking Ship Icelander is a replica of the boat of the renowned sailor Vikings. The replica was built by Gunnar Marel Eggertsson in 1996. Black Cave of the Giantess is a children’s delight as it houses fictional character from the Icelandic author Herdís Egilsdóttir. Blue Lagoon, locally known as Bláa Lónið, is a major natural attraction in the region. The minerals found in the mud of the water are believed to be medicinal and massages and other beauty treatments are available at the site. It is also a popular picnic spot.
Your trip to Keflavik is incomplete without visiting the Þingvellir, a place of great cultural significance to Icelanders. Pingvellir Geological Park is also located here. Pingvallavatna, the largest lake in Iceland is also a part of the Pingvellir Geological Park. The Reykjanes Festival of Culture and Family is a major event and a tourist spectacle in Keflavik. Stekkjarkotis is a fascinating place from tourism point of view. A traditional Icelandic village, it is known for its ethnic houses and traditional ways that have been used to build them. When in Kaflovic, do not miss exploring the seaside by visiting the harbor.
Eating and Shopping
Icelandic cuisine, which is the most common food option inn Keflavik includes extensive use of lamb, dairy, and fish, due to Iceland's proximity to the ocean. A traditional meal includes Þorrablót, rúgbrauð and brennivín. Significant emphasis is laid on the freshness of the ingredients uses and this is what makes the cuisine a feast to remember. Hangikjöt (smoked lamb), kleinur, laufabrauð and bollur are some of the traditional dishes and seabirds and waterfowl (including their eggs), salmon and trout, crowberry, blueberry, rhubarb, Iceland moss, wild mushrooms, wild thyme, lovage, angelica and dried seaweed along with dairy products are mainly used in the cuisine. To enjoy seaside view while enjoying your food, go to the Rain Restaurant which serves food and wine and offers splendid view of the ocean. Café Iðnó serves local as well as international cuisine. The people of Keflavik also eat eccentric foods like Ram’s testicals, boiled sheep head and other. Kaloportid Flea Market, The Roadhouse, Icelandic Fish and Chip, Kex, Dill, Reykjavik Roasters and Slippbarrin at the Marina Hotel are some he best places to eat in Keflavik.
Keflavik cannot be termed as a shopper’s delight as there are not many options available. You can buy small trinkets and locally made souvenirs, but nothing very fancy. Samkaup supermarkets, Netto supermarket in Grindavik and Bonus supermarkets are some of the major shopping destinations in Keflavik. Please note that most of the shops open from 10 am in the morning. Woolens are a major buy here and can be best bought from Rammagerdin Gift Shop at the Loftleidir Hotel. Duty fee shopping is available at the Keflavik International Airport.