Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
Alternative Ways of Getting to Know Reykjavík
It’s all too easy to become just another ‘herded’ tourist, even in Reykjavík. Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson, or Chef Tyffi, offers you various options to see the city and get to know the locals. Whether it is a guided tour on electric bikes, or a gourmet tour with the chef himself, you won’t be disappointed with your alternative experience of Reykjavik.

Getting some Help from God
Nearly everyone living in Reykjavik has a mountain bike. The reason being that sometimes a cycle trip across town feels more like serious exercise than just the daily commute. But if you prefer to see the city in a more relaxed manner, an electric bike might be just right for you.

“It is like God himself/herself/itself is pushing you along!” explains Tyffi. You can either rent a bike and explore the city yourself, or take a guided tour. If you choose to rent a bike, you can even leave it at your hotel where it will be picked up by the rental service.

“We started these guided bicycle tours last spring and our customers have been really happy,” says Tyffi. The tour itself is three hours long and leaves from the Old Harbour at 10:15 am, 13:30 pm and 20:15 pm. There are quite a few stops along the way for sightseeing and some interesting theories on the real story behind the settlement of Iceland are up for discussion. (Hint: it has to do with elephants and the land of Jesus instead of the land of ice.)

Setting out from the Old Harbour, you will cycle along the coast to Arnarhóll, where the story of the first settler, Ingólfur Arnarsson, is told. That story is then put to question, and an alternative history of Reykjavik is posited; a version that has not made it into history books just yet!

You will also visit Perlan with its superb panoramic views across Reykjavík and Öskjuhlið, the wooded hills surrounding it. Then head back downtown for more sightseeing! For longer tours around Reykjavik, a scooter tour is also on offer. Starting at the Old Harbour, this tour is ideal for seeing the suburbs where most of the general population reside. Alternatively, you can also rent a scooter to explore the city on your own.

Learn about the Locals
Another way to experience the less conventional side of Reykjavík is the amazing ‘Reykjavík – Modern Icelanders Food and Saga Tour.’ Tyffi himself will be both your guide and chef during an unforgettable afternoon in Reykjavík. You will be picked up right at your hotel doorstep in a comfortable minibus at 3:00 pm and will tour Reykjavík to learn the history of its development and growth. This is a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of the real Iceland.

While learning about Reykjavík and its inhabitants, you’ll be making several stops along the way to prepare for the ultimate gourmet food experience. There’s a stop at a cheese shop; a gourmet butcher’s shop, where Tyffi will find the perfect steaks for the evening meal; plus a stop at a genuine Icelandic fishmonger, where the catch of the day will have just arrived. A stop at the wine shop is also included, but you’ll have to purchase your own wine!

The tour concludes with an invitation to dine in Chef Tyffi’s own home, in the lively suburb of Kópavogur. Using the groceries bought over the course of the day, Chef Tyffi will prepare a gorgeous meal while entertaining you with stories about how Icelanders lived off the land, developing timeless recipes from ocean delicacies and mountain lamb. Tyffi will offer several samples of traditional Icelandic cuisine and who knows, he might even offer you a shot of the infamous Icelandic Brennivín vodka as an appetizer. After a delightful evening of fine food and lively conversation, Tyffi will then drive you back to your hotel.

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