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Stunning places to see

karlinn.jpg
Stunning places to see

The Reykjanes peninsula is located on a drift zone, between two continents, the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. It is a unique site where you can find different elements that exist because of the drift zone; geothermal energy, lava fields and other natural phenomenon. 

Gunnuhver

The mud pools and steam, vents in south-west 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 happened about 400 years ago.

The mud pools take form where steam from boiling geothermal reservoir 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 geothermal reservoir upon the start of production from the reservoir in 2006.

Iceland´s largest 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 noise, see the boiling water and feel the 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 surroundings.

Gunnuhver stands in the heart of the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark where the North Atlantic ridge rises from the ocean, you find 100 different craters and lava fields, bird cliffs, high geothermal areas, black sand beaches, The Bridge Between Continents, geothermal power plants, lighthouses, and exhibitions.

Krýsuvík

Popular recreational destination with many interesing hiking paths.

Columns of steam rise skywards, bubbling mud pools play their rhythmical symphony, and the banks around the hot springs are coloured green, yellow and red. The Grænavatn and Gestastaðavatn lakes and the two small pools on each side of the road further south, Augun (Eyes), are all explosion craters created by volcanic eruptions at various times. Grænavatn lake is the largest, some 46 metres deep, with green water due to thermal algae and crystals which absorb the sun. The main geothermal areas in Krýsuvík are Seltún, Hverahvammur, Hverahlíð, Austurengjar, the southern part of Kleifarvatn and Sveifla beneath Hettutindur.

The Fúlipollur mud spring is east of the main road.Lake Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes peninsula, and the third-largest lake of southern Iceland, 9.1 km². It is also one of the country's deepest lakes, at 97 metres. It varies in size over the year. Since 2000 it has been shrinking, after two major earthquakes probably opened up fissures on the lake bottom. Trout fry were released into the lake in the 1960s, and the fish have thrived quite well. According to legends a monster in the shape of a serpent, as big as a medium-sized whale, lurks in the lake.

Krýsuvík was once a separate parish, with one of the largest estate farms in the country, and many tenants crofts. The church, built in 1857, was restored in 1964 and is part of the National Museum's Historic Buildings Collection. On the hill and around it, traces of the old farmhouse and other buildings can still be seen, although they are somewhat overgrown with grass. It should be kept in mind that the area's magnificent nature is very delicate and must be treated with great care and respect.

Location: By road 42. 1km west of Grænavatn which is 3km south-west of Kleifarvatn

Bridge Between Continents

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.

Brimketill

Brimketill is a small, naturally carved pool, by marine erosion, at the lava shore edge west of the town of Grindavík.

The folklore relates that the pond was regularly occupied by a giantess named Oddný. The viewing platform overlooking Brimketill is just a few steps away from the parking lot starting with a small set of stairs, making the platform inaccessible to wheelchairs. Standing on the platform you risk the possibility of getting soaked as the waves can almost reach the parking lot. Make sure to watch your step while taking in the amazing view and the unrelenting forces of nature. Utmost caution is recommended, especially when travelling with children.

Safety information!

  • There is no safety supervision of the area.
  • Visitors travel at their own risk.
  • The waves can be unpredictable and unexpected.
  • Ocean currents in the area are extremely powerful.
  • Strong blasts of wind can be dangerous and unforeseen.
  • Never leave your child unattended. Hold it at all times on the viewing platform.
  • Entering the sea may be life-threatening.


Travel safely in Iceland. SafeTravel.is



Katlahraun

Katlahraun is lava that flowed about 2,000 years ago and entered the sea. Sudden damming at the shore caused a large, circular lava pond to form. Some lava solidified, but the remaining liquid escaped. The site now contains beutiful and various lava formations.

Katlahraun is a geosite within Reykjanes Uneco Global Geopark.

Kleifarvatn

Lake between Sveifluháls and Vatnshlíð.

The lake Kleifarvatn is about 10 km². It is the largest of Reykjanes peninsula and the third largest of southern Iceland. It is about 97 m deep and one of the deepest lakes in Iceland. Its catchment area is small and it has a very limited discharge on the surface. The lake has diminished since year 2000 because of two major earthquakes, which probably opened up fissures at its bottom. In the sixties char fries from Lake Hlidarvatn were released into the lake and have thrived quite well.

In the southernmost part a hot water from some hot springs runs into the lake but elsewhere the lake is very cold. A small fishing lodge is located by the lake. Great place for photographers because of the volcanic surroundings of the lake are unique and beautiful. The story says that a monster in the shape of a worm and size of a medium sized whale lives in the lake.

Hafnarberg - Sea-cliffs

Hafnaberg is a long line of sheer sea lava cliffs south of the old fishing hamlet of Hafnir.

Hafnaberg is very popular among hikers and bird watchers as various marine birds nest at the cliffs. A parkingplace is located 4 km from Hafnir on road 44 and from there is a marked path from the road to the cliffs.

Hafnaberg is a geosite in Reykjanes Unesco Global Geopark.

Keilir

Keilir is a hyaloclastite mountain.

It was created during subglacial eruptions during the ice age. It´s shape makes it distinctive and according to geologists, it probably is a crater plug. In spite of its steep slopes, it is not too difficult to climb, and the view from its top on a fine day is to be remembered. Keilir is the most distinctive landmark of Reykjanes and a symbol of the Reykjanes peninsula. On top of the mountain is a concrete table with a view direction map on a metal plate.

Location: 4x4 cars can drive on Höskuldarvegi and there is a parking at Oddafell and from there is a trail to Keilir.

From Höskuldarvellir there is only 3 km walk to Keilir.

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