For the family
The Reykjanes peninsula is the perfect place for a good family tour. The peninsula is very accessable and adventurous for all ages. Whether it is a nice hike in the mountains or through the lava fields or a visit to the beach, an adventurous ATV tour or a visit to one of the exhibitions. There something to do for everyone.
On the Krýsuvíkurberg and Hafnaberg cliffs, thousands of seabirds nest each summer. The most common are guillemot, razorbill,Brünnich's guillemot, kittiwake, puffin, black guillemot, fulmar and cormorant. Krýsuvíkurberg is 50 metres high, and about 57.000 pairs of seabirds nest on these cliffs. The highest point of Hafnaberg is 43 metres, and its estimated population of seabirds is 6.000 pairs. Fourteen kilometres off the southwest of the peninsula is Eldey island, home to one of the largest gannet colonies in the world.
The gannet is the largest seabird in the north Atlantic ocean, and about 16.000 pairs nest each year on the island, which is only 0.3 km² in area, and up to 77 metres high. Often seen between the mainland
and the island are dolphins or whales blowing. The great skua and arctic skua are common in summer: scavengers snatching their food from other seabirds. By nature the skua is not able to dive for food like other seabirds. Other common birds on the coast are gulls, such as the great and lesser black-backed, glaucous and herring gulls.
The arctic tern is among the most common birds in the peninsula, mostly found in colonies on the tip of Reykjanes, east of Grindavík and between Garður and Sandgerði. Whimbrels which breed in the Suðurnes area spend the winter in Africa, and arctic terns migrate to the Antarctic. The golden plover, oystercatcher and snipe are migratory birds which are common in the area, while the purple sandpiper is one of the few Icelandic waders which does not migrate.
Among passerines, the redwing and snow bunting are common, and the starling remains in Iceland all year round. The largest passerine is the raven. The eider is by far the most common species of duck in Iceland. In the Suðurnes area the eider is economically important, as farmers harvest the valuable down from eider nests. The greylag goose nests in the lowlands, and the whooper swan is the only species of swan which breeds in Iceland.
Bridge between Europe and North America on Reykjanes Peninsula.
The lava-scarred Reykjanes peninsula lies on one of the world's major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. According to the continental drift theory the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are continuously drifting apart with great forces under the gaping rifts. As the plates diverge, linear fractures, known as fissures form due to stresses created by the tension that builds up as the plates move away from each other.
The Bridge between two continents at Sandvík is a small footbridge over a major fissure which provides clear evidence of the presence of a diverging plate margin. The bridge was built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America.
One can cross the continental divide on Leif the Lucky's Bridge and take home a personalised certificate at the Reykjanes information center and Reykjanes Geopark visitor center at Duus Cultural house.
The mud pools and steam vents on the southwest part of Reykjanes.
The area is close to Reykjanes lighthouse and is collectively named Gunnuhver after a female ghost that was laid there. She had caused great disturbance until a priest set a trap for her and she fell into the spring. This happend about 400 years ago.
The mud pools form where steam from boiling geothermal resevoir water emanates and condenses and mixes with surface water. Accompanying gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide make the water acid. This causes alteration of the fresh lava rock to clay.
Steaming of the ground at Reykjanes increased markedly as a consequence of a pressure drawdown in the geothremal reservoir upon the start of production from the reservoir in 2006.
Iceland´s larges mud pool at present prominent, highest up in the Gunnuhver group. It is 20 meters wide across a rim of mud, boiling vigorously.
Two ramps are located at the Gunnuhver group, on close to Gunnuhver itself where you can look down to the spring and hear the vigorous noice, see the boiling water and feel lthe power bursting from the ground and the steam on your face. The other ramp is located on Kísilhól a silica hill. From there you have a good view over Gunnuhver group and suroundings.
Gunnuhver is the heart in a future geopark where the North Atlantic ridge is rising from the ocean, you find 100 different craters and lava, bird cliffs, high geothermal area, sand beach,The Bridge Between Continents, powerplant, lighthouses and exhibitions amongst other things.
A free standing, hyaloclastite mountain north of Grindavik.
It offers great panoramic view over most of the Reykjanes Peninsula on fine days. The northeastern part of the mountain depicts thermal activity an to its north and northeast is an extensive high temperature area. It is split by a fissure called "The Thieves´ Gap" (Thjofagja), occupied by 15 thieves according to the legend. They were eventually overwhelmed and killed by trickery.
Stafnes was a mansion in the past. There were many fishing outfits on the property and many people lived there during the fishing seasons. Royal fishing outfits started operating there around the middle of the 16th century and were abolished in 1769. The inhabitants of the King´s properties in the Southwest were obliged to work on the King´s boats against low pay. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Stafnes was the most populous fishing outfit on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The former trading post Basendar is a short distance to the south. Still further south is the old harbour Thorshofn, which was not much used, because of the proximity of Basendar. Many vessels have run aground on the Stafnes Skerries. In 1928 the trawler President Jon ran aground there, 15 of the crew drowned, but 10 were rescued. This and other similar accidents led to the establishment of The Life Saving Association of Iceland. Considerable seal hunting was practiced at Stafnes in earlier times.
Stafnesviti stands in between the towns Sandgerði and Hafnir at Stafnes and was built in 1925. It stands 8 m. tall built of concrete sement and stands on a concrete stall. It is painted yellow.
Copy right: www.nat.is Used by permission.
Gianta in the mountain moved to Reykjanesbær during the family and cultural festival the Night of Lights in 2008 and is now located in Black Cave at the marina in Gróf. There Gianta has been settling in her nice cave with its superb view over the bay of Keflavík and Faxaflói.
Gianta is originally the creation of author Herdís Egilsdóttir who has written 16 stories about the little girl Sigga and her friend Gianta in the mountain. The last one describes her migration to Reykjanesbær. Gianta is in full size and sits sleeping in a rocking chair in the kitchen.
Open every day from 10:00 -17:00. Free Admission
The Zoological Viking Home is in operation next door to the Vikingworld. These are some calves, lambs and goats as well as chickens and rabbits in a fun environment. All the animals have in common to be of the same kind as the domestic animals brought over the Atlantic Ocean with the first permanent settlers in Iceland over 1100 years ago.
There are swimming pools all over Iceland and in Reykjanes there are six swimming pools that visitors can choose from.
On the Reykjanes peninsula most of the swimming pools are outdoor pools and all of them are heated with geothermal water from the peninsula. Swimming pools are extremely popular activity for the locals and visiting them is
- Hópsheiði 16
- 240 Grindavík
- Víkingabraut 1
- 260 Reykjanesbær