Sólfar - Sun Voyager in Reykjavik

  • Solfar is not a Viking ship but a dream machine
  • The sculpture Sun Voyager is now one of Reykjavik's best-known landmarks
Oct 5 2016

Everything about the sculpture Sun Voyager is fascinating.  The Artist Jón Gunnar Árnason was a mechanic who left a successful career as a mechanic in his early career to become an artist.  As an artist, he was a pioneer and a philosopher with a vision. In his life nothing had a higher priority than art. He is considered by many to be one of Iceland's most remarkable sculptor and artists. Jón Gunnar was born in 1931 and passed away in 1989 only 58 years old.

A winner of a 1986 competition for an outdoor sculpture for the district of Vesturbær

In 1986 the city of Reykjavík celebrated its 200th anniversary. To honor the event residents of the Vesturbær district launched a competition for an outdoor sculpture.   Jón Gunnar presented his sculpture The Sun Voyager into the contest and won.  Although initiated by the residents of Vesturbær district the sculpture has never decorated that part of Reykjavík as originally intended in the small field Landakotstún, on the hill by the Catholic church. In August 1990 it was put in its place on Sæbraut after the city had built a small platform in the City Center district. The sculpture is made of steel and took one year to make. It is 17 meters long and weighs 2.6 tons.  Although the artist passed away the year before, he had seen the plan and drawings, and in his humorous way called the platform constructed for the sculpture, Jon's Peninsula.

Solfar is not a Viking ship but a dream machine

The sculpture Sun Voyager has its roots in an almost spiritual experience Jón had in Finland in 1985.  He had a vision where he saw before him a Sun Voyager. He felt that he had been a part of a journey hundreds of years ago traveling from Mongolia to Iceland.  A trip with a promise of an unsettled land.  He believed this was a real story from his prior life on earth, and that indications point to relations between Mongolia and Iceland.  Even that settlers in Iceland came from Mongolia rather than Nordic countries. The journey was for Jón very real although to many it might sound surrealistic. But such is the story behind the artistic concept of the sculpture.

The sculpture Sun Voyager is now one of Reykjavik's best-known landmarks

The sculpture Sun Voyager has a much longer story to tell.  Disputes over the location, various interpretations, enormous arguments over two stacks that suddenly appeared by its side soon after it was put down at Sæbraut and of course why the sculpture was not put up in the district of Vesturbær where it was intended to be from the beginning.  In any sense; human, artistic, spiritual or as a structure, Sun Voyager is a great work of art. It still stands where it was located in August of 1990 at Sæbraut near the conference center Harpa in downtown Reykjavík. 

If you are going to visit the Reykjavik the capital of Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin Reykjavík City Center.

Tours and things to do in Reykjavík Iceland

Find an interesting tour in Reykjavík. A tour in Reykjavík or a day-tour to nearby natural wonders, a scenic drive or an adventure tour if you are ready for action.

Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

With a combination of travel and lectures, Geocamp Iceland and Hit Iceland offer a unique opportunity to get a view of and understand how climate change is affecting our planet in the form of a tour.  The trip takes you through exotic locations of volcanoes, glaciers, ice tongues, canyons, craters, lagoons, deep highland, small fishing towns, and other relevant and interesting places.  Our approach for this tour is based on geology, environmental science, and changes in nature.  We will also visit fishing villages to highlight how changes in the environment and natural resources affect various communities and their economy.

Northern Lights tour in Reykjavik

Iceland is one of the best places on the planet to see the Northern Lights.  This tour will take you to see this spectacular phenomenon near Reykjavík. We bring you away from the city lights to a place where the likelihood of a spotting Aurora Borealis increases even further. The destination varies, of course, depending on cloud cover, clear skies, aurora strength and likelihood of a sighting.  Visitors should be aware that although the tour endeavors to show the northern lights to as many of our guests as possible, seeing them is not guaranteed.  In winter weather always plays a large part in Iceland.

Golden Circle tour with Secret Lagoon

Step away from the crowd, the rush, and speed and enjoy the top sights and attractions in the south-western part of Iceland, without all the traffic. Take a convenient bus tour in a smaller bus and with a smaller group (max 16) at a time when fewer visitors are around. Why chase the crowds when you can enjoy the wonders of Iceland in a more friendly setting?  This peaceful excursion takes place in the afternoon and lasts into the evening and allows plenty of time to explore, view and photograph all the spectacular wonders.  And remember that evening in Iceland is bright during spring, summer and into the autumn. 

Þórsmörk tour

Þórsmörk is one of the most spectacular places in Iceland.  It is one of the most accessible areas in the Highland, a deep valley, and oasis cornered with glaciers on three sides.  It is truly a place of ice and fire as one of the glaciers; Eyjafjallajökull has recently erupted with glowing lava flowing into two parts of Þórsmörk.
2 presons minimum

Snæfellsnes Peninsula day tour from Reykjavík

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the Regions in Iceland that offers an impressive scenic drive, many exciting attractions and natural wonders.  At the end is the Snæfellsjökull glacier towering over the landscape and dominating the view with its mystical power. A power sensed by many locals and visitors alike and inspired literary giants like Jules Verne and our Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxnes. 
3 persons minimum 


Explore one of the most exciting places in the Icelandic highland in a super jeep day tour from Reykjavík.  Experience the magnificent colors of rhyolite mountains,  visit a beautiful waterfall, meet Hekla the active volcano and take a dip in the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland.   

Geysir hot spring in Haukadalur

This tour is operated from Reykjavík and offered to visitors in Reykjavík and the Capital City neighbors towns. The Golden Circle tour is the most popular adventure tour in Iceland and for many good reasons. It is a trip easily doable in a day from Reykjavík the capital of Iceland, a place most of our visitors begin their journey in Iceland, and also because the tour offers a stunning view of fascinating natural wonders. Also a tour of history and geology. History as the first stop is at Iceland’s most valued historical (and almost holy) places and Geology, as you will take a breath-taking look at the various states of earth’s most vital resource, water.  This tour has it all and takes you to lakes, rifts, geysers, waterfalls, rivers and glaciers.