Reykjanes peninsula - South West Iceland
Volcano systems, lava fields, lava tubes, rifts, hot springs and mud pool
Reykjanes peninsula is the southwestern most point of Iceland and also the youngest part of Iceland. The North Atlantic ridge comes ashore there and due to that visible signs of volcanic activity can be seen all over the peninsula. Lava fields, lava tubes, rifts and hot springs can be found in a number of locations.
At Reykjanes Peninsula there are many things to see and do. You can hike through lava fields, check out volcanic craters, see seething hot springs and bubbling mud pools and experience the underground realms of the Reykjanes peninsula. You can also add a detour to the fabulous Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa.
A tour to Reykjanes can either start or end at the Keflavik international airport which is situated at the northern part of the peninsula or you can start the trip in Reykjavik. It is popular to visit the town Grindavik, a typical Icelandic fishing village not far from the airport. The town has one unique characteristic that sets it apart from other similar villages and that is the mixture of farming community and actual town planning. In Grindavik you can visit the Icelandic Salted Cod Museum (Saltfisksetrid) which is dedicated to the history of salted cod or Baccala. It gives its visitors a good overview of how Icelanders worked in processing this valuable product for export through the last two hundred years.
From Grindavik to the west is Reykjanesviti lighthouse and the Reykjanes geothermal power plant. This is a magnificent area with rich bird life in the summer. Eldey Island, just off the point at "lands end", is the home to one of the largest breeding colonies of the magnificent Northern Gannet. Beautiful lava tubes can also be found in the lava fields near by but there lies also the magnificent Reykjanes geothermal power plant nested in the lava field.
Not far from the power plant we find “the Rift” where you can have a unique chance to cross the Eurasian and American continents in just minutes via a walking bridge. For a subtle amount you can get a certificate stating that you did cross the two continents for your proof.
Close to the tiny village of Hafnir, seals can be seen nesting ashore and in august when they shed their fur, they can be seen in great numbers there.
Passing through the photogenic coastal villages of Hafnir, Sandgerdi and Gardur before reaching Vikingworld, Vikingaheimar is the home of the Viking ship Islendingur (Icelander).
Built in 1996, Icelander is an exact replica of the famous Gokstad ship, a remarkable archaeological find of an almost completely intact Viking ship, excavated in Norway in 1882. Vikingaheimar is also a home to the exhibition The North Atlantic Viking Saga, originally shown at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Reykjanesbaer is the largest town of the Reykjanes peninsula and was formerly two municipalities known as Keflavik and Njardvik. Reykjanesbær's primary functions is service to the inhabitants of the town and to its neighboring villages as to the international airport located in the outskirts of the town. Reykjanesbaer also has a rich heritage in sports and is considered by most to be the Mecca of basketball in Iceland.
It is very popular to visit the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, to soak in the mineral rich waters of the lagoon. Others may want to head down to Krisuvik to take a look at the Ogmundarhraun lava field and the geothermal area there with its mud pools and hot springs.