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Highlights

Basendar

An ancient fishing outfit and a trading post just south of Stafnes.

It was one of the harbours of the Danish Trade Monopoly posts comprising Hafnir, Stafnes and Midnes. During the night of January 9th 1799 a catastrophic tidal flood devastated Batsendar. It swept most of the houses away and some of the people barely escaped. Only one old woman drowned. This was the most devastating, tidal flood in the history of the country.

How to get there: Road from Sandgerði to Stafnesi. There is a parking and walk from there until you see ruins of the place and old wall made from rocks.

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.

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.

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.

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

Magma, House of Culture and Natural Resources

Here are two very attractive and interesting exhibitions:

The Saltfish Museum:The exhibition Saltfisksetrið brings to light our seafaring history. The exhibition is very intriguing for foreign tourists, and it is interesting for local students, who can study the most important
profession of the country, and enjoyable for every Icelander passing through on a weekend trip.

The people of Grindavík have long been among the most prolific in the production of dried salted cod. The exhibition about Iceland's history in the processing and sales of dried salted cod and it's significance to Iceland's economy is therefore well placed in Grindavík.

The Saltfisksetrið exhibition opened in the year 2002. The exhibition offers large pictures, a text detailing the history of dried salted cod processing along with some historical objects from characteristic harbor towns of old.

The self-guided walking tour has a marked beginning and end, and is therefore outlined in chronological order. The floor is made of gravel, and there are stage sets of buildings from different periods on show throughout the exhibit.

Great care was taken to recreate the history of dried salted cod processing, and the exhibit has attracted much attention.

The Township of Grindavík was a leading force in the construction of this site, in collaboration with its founders and other donors from GrEarth Energy:
In Iceland there are unique possibilities to see and investigate most of earth's dynamic processes, such as volcanism and geothermal heat, which is the result of the young age of the island. It might be said that Iceland is a window into the past as well as into the future. By reading the history of the different
geological strata it is possible to forecast geological events that are likely to happen again.

The larges glaciers and the mightiest glacial rivers in Europe are here in Iceland and here are to be found the largest high- and low-temperature geothermal areas, unusually high volcanic and tectonic activity and magnificent and rough nature.

EARTH ENERGY has 18 boxes showing:

1 Ísland - a land in the shaping
2 The battle between sea and fire
3 The birth of Iceland
4 The earth can be compared to an egg
5 The boundaries of the plates on earth's crust
6 A Seismic model
7 The active volcanic belt
8 Earthquakes in Iceland
9 Volcanic eruptions are frequent on the
Reykjanes peninsula
10 Fissure eruptions are common in Iceland
11 The age of the earth
12 A glacier covers Scandinavia
13 Iceland was a subtropical paradise
14 Research and science
15 Energy from the bowles of the earth
16 Drilling for hot water
17 The power plant at Svartsengi
18 The Blue Lagoon

EARTH ENERGY - In cooperation with HS Orka
indavík.

Mt Thorbjorn

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.

Northern lights - Aurora Borealis

Auroras are associated with the solar wind, a flow of ions continuously flowing outward from the sun. The Earth´s magnetic field traps these particles, many of which travel toward the poles where they are accelerated toward Earth.
Collisions between these ions and atmospheric atoms and molecules causes energy releases in the form of auroras appearing in large circles around the poles. Auroras are more frequent and brighter during the intense phase of the solar cycle when coronal mass ejections increase the intensity of the solar wind. Seen from space, these fiery curtains form a thin ring in the shape of a monk´s tonsure.
The Northern Lights occur high above the surface of the earth where the atmosphere has become extremely thin, in an altitude of 100-250km

In the past theories have been proposed to explain the phenomenon. These theories are now obsolete.

Benjamin Franklin theorized that the mystery of the Northern Lights was caused by a concentration of electrical charges in the polar regions intensified by the snow and other moisture.

The first Old Norse account of norðrljós is found in the Norwegian chronicle Konungs Skuggsjá from AD 1230. The chronicler has heard about this phenomenon from compatriots returning from Greenland and he gives tree possible explanations: that the ocean was surrounded by vast fires, that the sun flares could reach around the world to its night side, or the glaciers could store energy so that they eventually became fluorescent.

Usually from late September until the beginning of April, the Northern Lights can be seen in Iceland in most places. In dark areas away from city lights these are best seen. Important one chooses the right evening with clear skies.


Selatangar

Selatangar was a big fishing outfit between Grindavik and Krysuvik.

It was abolished after 1880. Extended ruins of the abodes and other houses are still very prominent in the landscape. They have been declared inviolate. During the latter part of the 19th century ghosts started haunting the settlement. Driftwood was in abundance at Selatangar in the past, but less nowadays. The surroundings are grandious, low mountains and lava fields.

How to get there: A track for 4wd-vehicles lies down to the ruins on the coast from the road to Isolfsskali.

Sveifluhals

A lava flow formed in an eruption in the year 1151 AD.

In that year a 25 km long fissure opened obliquely across the Reykjanes peninsula. The lava field is located in south of ridge Nupshlidarhals(Vesturhals) and craters in the northern part are part of crater row in the north of Ridge Nupshlidarhals. Ogmundur is a male name in Iceland.

Located West of Lake Kleifarvatn. Drive road 427 and turn left on road 42 then park at Seltún and walk Preststígur. Walk estimated 2-3 hours up and down.

The Zoological Viking Home

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.

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