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Valbjarnargjá

Including: Garður, Garður Lighthouse, Sandgerði.

Time: Really depends on how long each to will be. Just the driving is estimated to be:

Short version: 30 minutes

Long version: 1 hour

From Keflavík Airport you take road 45 to fishing village Garður (with 4wd it is also possible to follow old trails to the shore to enjoy rich displays nature provides along the coast).

1) There are old trails that lead to fish racks still used to dry fish. Entering the village, you will notice a monument dedicated to the families of fishermen. It depicts women looking out to sea waiting for their husbands to return with the day's catch.

2) Garður has a beautiful, old church that dates from 1863 and next to it the former pastor's home which is now educational centre for pastors and an information center about the many fascinating churches in Iceland. A trail beside the church leads down to the shore where you are in close touch with sea birds in their natural habitat.

3) Garðskagi: The headland at the tip of the peninsula at Garðskagi is a great place to observe sea birds. There are two lighthouses where you can get great sea views too. White beach and on the summertime you can play volleyball there. A museum has a unique collection of old machinery and a cafeteria with a deck that lets you observe seals and whales that sometimes are play near the coast while you have refreshments. There is a local handicraft for sale in the old lighthouse guard´s home and a tranquil free campsite with toilets and fresh water.

Next to the lighthouse there is Skagagarðurinn, a protective wall that lay between the farms Kirkjuból to Útskálar.

4) Five minutes drive south on the west coast is the busy fishing harbor of Sandgerði which has an Icelandic Nature Centre with a small aquarium and a handicraft store. There is a display about the French explorer and biologist, Jean-Baptiste Charcout, who went down with his ship the Pourquoi Pas? off the coast in 1936. The village has a well equipped campsite. If you are hungry for real local food experience we recommend the resturant Vitinn.

From Sandgerði you can go back to Keflavík on road Sandgerdisvegur (429).

You can also continue you trip on road 45

5) Heading further south, you will pass an eider duck farm. Another bird shares the farm, the small but very aggressive arctic tern which keeps away all trespassers.

6) Here further on, will see an exceptionally beautiful church at Hvalsnes built of carved stone in 1887. The nation´s greatest psalm poet, Hallgrímur Pétursson served as a clergyman here in the mid 17th century. There is also a lighthouse on the rocky coast at Stafnes. This is the region where an important fishing port thrived at Básendar during the 17th and 18th centuries until the town was literally blown away by a violent sea storm in 1799.

7) Básendar - Ruins of small marketing place and fishing harbour.

8) Gálgar - Gallow cliffs or Hanging Rocks

Return to Keflavík

Star tip: In Sandgerði and Gardur there are very good public swimming pools which are ideal for relax after or meanwhile on the trip.

Valbjarnargjá
GPS Points N63° 48' 42.897" W22° 42' 29.969"

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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