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Hopsnes

The spit on which you are standing is named Hópsnes on the west side and Þórkötlustaðanes on the east side. The spit is 2 km long and 1 km wide and was formed 2,800 years ago when lava flowed into the sea.

Hópsnes/Þórkötlustaðanes was formed during an eruption from a row of craters named Sundhnúkur located just north of the village of Grindavík. Port conditions in Grindavík are excellent due to this lava flow and the lagoon (Hópið) that formed beside the spit when the sea began to erode the lava and move loose materials. If the spit were not there, the village of Grindavík would probably never have been built. The fact is that it is one of six communities on the Reykjanes peninsula that owes its existence to an eruptive fissure in a volcanic system that is still active. Eruptions could occur in this area at any time.

From its earliest days, Grindavík has been one of the main fishing centres in Iceland. Sundhnúkur, from where the lava that formed the spit flowed, has navigation signals showing the route through the gap into the harbour. Travelling around the spit, one can see a number of shipwrecks that have run aground here and in the neighbourhood in the course of the 20th century. There are information signs by some of the wrecks.

Both the village and fishing-vessel operations flourished in the early 20th century. Numerous rowing boats and later motor boats were operated from Þórkötlustaðanes. There are a good number of remains of the settlement that is no more, such as entrance cairns, fish-storage huts, ice storages, fish-processing houses, liver-processing and salt huts. The fishing operation moved to the location that is now Grindavík harbour in 1939, when a group of energetic Grindavík residents took it upon themselves to dig a channel through the reef that had hitherto prevented boats from entering the Hópið lagoon. The Hópsnes lighthouse was built in 1928.

Today the area is a popular recreational area with a hiking and biking trail.

Hopsnes
GPS Points N63° 49' 54.182" W22° 24' 59.887"

Travel directory for Hopsnes

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Blue View bed and breakfast
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  • Syðri-Steinsmýri
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Jónbjörn Breiðfjörð Edduson
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Grindavík Golf club
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SaltyTours
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The Reykjanes Peninsula

Towns & Villages

Visitors to Iceland who arrive via Keflavik International Airport on the Reykjanes Peninsula may be somewhat surprised by the landscape that greets their eyes as they touch down in Iceland for the very first time. A seemingly endless, green-grey moss-topped lava field blankets the peninsula for as far as the eye can see, and it is this strange and rather other-worldly sight that is your first glimpse of the land of fire and ice. 

Map Garður Sandgerði Reykjanesbær Vogar Grindavík