The Reykjanes peninsula – the Blue Lagoon

The Reykjanes peninsula is best known for the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik Airport.

The Airport is only 40 minutes away from Reykjavik, so this peninsula is not very big.

There are many interesting places to visit in Reykjanes peninsula and I will tell you more about them in this post.

My brother Peter is a certified Icelandic guide and he gave me access to all his written material and he also gave me advice vile writing this post. Great thanks to him.

Reykjanes peninsula is an open area and that´s why it can be very windy here because there are no big mountains to protect the area from the wind, it can be rainy and during winter it can be snowy and slippery.

Reykjanes is like a large treasure chest. There you will find remarkable geology, various bird life, caves, fishing villages, great history, many museums, old volcanoes, good hiking paths and so much more I will tell you about,

On Reykjanes peninsula are about 6 fish farms that produce Senegal Sole, Sturgeon, Caviar, Turbot and River trout.

These are extremely high-tech fish farms. Their operations are based on years of researches and development that covers the biology, feeding habits and life cycles of the species.

Villages in Reykjanes peninsula are all by the sea because they are all connected to the fishing. Rich fishing grounds are close by and the climate is mild.

Many fishing villages are still urban areas like Grindavik on the South part of the peninsula, Sandgerði and Garður that are both located on the West part of the peninsula. Other villages are younger.

Were warm clothing if you want to enjoy this trip. You can read more about Icelandic Weather here.

If you are stationed in Reykjavik and if you have a rental car you can visit the peninsula on your own terms.

You can also take bus to the Blue Lagoon and spend some time there.

Kleifarvatn

I like to head out to Kleifarvatn. It is a beautiful lake on the Reykjanes peninsula. In wintertime this is an ideal place to see the Northern lights.

From Reykjavik, I head out towards Keflavik airport, and go through the towns Kopavogur, Gardabær and Hafnarfjörður. When you approach the aluminum factory, turn left into road # 42 Krýsuvík and follow it to the lake.

Iceland has 3 aluminum factories and one of them is Straumsvík, which you can see in front of you (long ugly green buildings). You will pass them on your way back.

All three of the factories produce 2% of aluminum in the world. Making Iceland one of the biggest producers of aluminum in the world or about 800.000 tons.

The lake Kleifarvatn is about 10 km². It is the largest lake of Reykjanes peninsula and the third largest of southern Iceland. It is about 97 m deep and one of the deepest lakes in Iceland.

On the south end of the lake is some hot springs and the water from them run into the lake.

Kleifarvatn began to diminish after a big earthquake in 2000; 20% of its surface has since disappeared.

Great place for photographers because of the volcanic surroundings of the lake is unique and beautiful.

You can drive down to the lake and have a walk on the beach.

Krísuvík

Soon after you leave the lake Kleifarvatn you are in the Krísuvík area where you will find Seltún on your right. A hot spring area. Be careful. Stay on the trail and do not burn yourself. If you have kids, hold their hands. This is not a play area for children.

A little further on your left is Grænavatn – Green lake. The color is very special. Enjoy and take photos.

Krísuvíkberg

When you come to the road intersection take a right turn into road # 427 and head to Grindavík.

There is a large lava called Ögmundarhraun that surfaced some 300 years after of settlement in Iceland. The landscape seems like a flat land with classical vegetation. A kind of flat Morse ending by the seashore. But if you take the turn to the left on the rather difficult track to Krísuvíkurberg, you will see dramatic changes.

Krísuvíkurberg is a 6-kilometer wide cliff south on the coastline of Reykjanes peninsula. Although not particularly high, around 50 to 70 meters, it is an impressive sight as it stretches along the coastline. The cliff is a home to tens of thousands of birds and is a spectacular geological phenomenon.

Grindavík

Grindavík is a beautiful Icelandic fishing town on the south coast of the Reykjanes peninsula. Grindavík is one of the few towns on the south cost of Iceland with a harbor.

In the last few years Grindavík has grown significantly as a tourist destination with its local population of about 3300 people, most of who base their livelihood on fishing or fish related industry.

Grindavík alone provides more than 40% of Iceland’s salt fish production with one of the most active harbors in the country.

In Grindavík you will find the House of Culture and Natural Resources.

There are three ongoings exibitions, the Saltfish Exhibition, Earth Energy and Guðbergur’s Exhibition.

The Saltfish Exhibition, in addition to offering the history of dried salted cod processing, also includes the story of seafarming and the development of fishing ships, fishing and fish.

The Earth Energy exhibition is an exhibition on Geology, Geothermal heat and the Harnessing of Energy from the earth.

Guðbergur’s exhibition is a collection and exhibition honoring Guðbergur Bergsson, author and honorary citizen of Grindavík, one of Iceland’s most distinguished writers. Guðbergur was born in Grindavík in 1932 and grew up here. In the museum we also have a Cod land, a network of companies which specialize in total utilization of fish products.

Now you are at a crossroad. You can follow the sign from Grindavík to Reykjavik road # 47 and visit Svartsengi Geothermal Power station and the Blue Lagoon or you can take a left turn into road # 427 and drive further vest to the end of the Reykjanes peninsula.

You can also decide to visit the Blue Lagoon and then decide to go back further west.

Let’s say you decided to visit the Blue Lagoon first.

On you left on road # 47 is the Mt. Thorbjorn

Mt. Thorbjorn is a 243 m high, hyaloclastite mountain from the last ice-age.

It offers great panoramic view over most of the Reykjanes Peninsula on fine days.

The north-eastern part of the mountain depicts thermal activity and to its north and northeast is an extensive high temperature area.

During World War II, the US Air force had a radar station on the top of the mountain, called Camp Vail, named after Raymond T. Vail, the first Private who lost his life in Iceland.

It began operating in April 1942 and the area was chosen, because it was most suitable to surveillance low-altitude flights in the Faxaflói area.

This area has had great earthquake activity since February 2020, and it is still ongoing. The land has risen for almost 8 cm and there might be volcano activity there before we know it.

People are warned not to go into caves in the area because of gas poisoning.

On the other side (North) of Mt. Thorbjörn is the famous Blue Lagoon and the Geothermal Power Station Svertsengi.

Svartsengi – The Blue Lagoon

Svartsengi is a name given to this vast geothermal area in the lava. The district heating has built this power plant that gives us both electricity and heat. It was in the year 1971 when they first drilled for hot water in Svartsengi. The hot water is used for heating the fresh water that is pumped to the villages of the region. The wastewater is then used to form the Blue lagoon.

At first the Blue Lagoon was just a tiny pool but has been spreading out over the last decades.

Today it is a vast Spa with hotel and restaurant. It is the most popular tourist attraction of Iceland attracting around 90% of all foreign tourists. It is known all over the world for its beauty, astoundingly blue, spreading out in the black lava by Svartsengi.

Blue Lagoon ‘s reputation is not least originated from the healing water which is rich in minerals with great healing properties for improving skin diseases.

In 1981 a young man from Keflavik, Valur Margeirsson, used to bathe in the wastewater with a permission from the district heating. He wanted to see whether the water would heal his condition of psoriasis. It got much better but it did not cure him. In an interview with a journalist Valur nicknamed the pool the Blue Lagoon which has been the name used ever since.

The geothermal water has a unique composition, featuring three active ingredients – Silica, Algae & Minerals.

The blue color comes from the silica and the way it reflects sunlight. During summer there can also be a hint of green in the water. This is the result of the algae, which multiplies quickly when exposed to direct sunlight.

However, and this might come as a surprise to you, the water is white. If you pour it into a transparent cup, it will always have a milky white color. The sun simply makes it look blue!

The geothermal water has many benefits.

After a visit to the Blue Lagoon you need to go back until you see road # 427 on your right.

Húsatóftir – Golf course

In the outskirt of Grindavík is an 18-hole Golf course. The golf course is rather easy to walk even though it is beautifully built into the hilly landscape with a breath-taking view.

Húsatóftir golf course offers memorable experience for all high handicap and low handicap golfers in relaxing surroundings. I love to play there, and I visit this golf course sereval times a year.

The golf course is full of contrasts, the first holes are a typical links course, stretching along the coastline following a grown land and at last with the third part slithering into the lava which surrounds the fairways and greens.

After you pass the golf course be on the lookout for a sign Brimaketill on your left.

Brimketill

Is one of Reykjanes region’s most popular natural attractions. Shaped like a pool. It is formed by the endless surf breaking on the lava rock coast.

Once it was regularly occupied by a woman-troll named Oddný and was called Oddnýjarlaug. Please keep caution as the rocks can be very rough.

This is quite a bird heaven, as you’ve most likely noticed. To us the spring begins, when all the migrating birds flock home. The singing of the Golden Plover marks the start and spring is here, when The Arctic Tern arrives, as the name implies, all the way from the Arctic. This is one of the longest flights of any migratory bird in the world.

As for all the driftwood you will see on our beaches it is carried to the southern part of Iceland by the Gulf Stream, which also keeps us much warmer than our latitude suggests.

If you go to the north of the country, the driftwood comes from the Siberian and the far North Scandinavian forests by the North Pole Stream. Just out to sea where we are now these two merges and the upstream in the ocean is the main reason for the great fishing around The Reykjanes peninsula.

Gunnuhver

We are now coming to Gunnuhver. A hot mud spring named after a ghost that terrorized the area.

This boiling mud is a part of the high temperature area on Reykjanes. This hot spring area is one of many at Reykjanes and all of them are of course here cause of the Atlantic ridge.

The area is dangerous, and we need to be very careful when we approached the hot springs.

Gunnuhver has changed its location, and you can see that at Gunnuhver that a newly builde platform was a victim off á resent change. When the former platform was built it was of course at a save distant but as you will see it is now in the middle of the hot spring.

This is what may be expected, but when on the other hand one never knows when it does.

The ghost Gunna, a female ghost was according to folk-tales terrorizing the area. As often done here in Iceland when ghost’s or trolls where to trouble, the locals asked the priest to solve the problem. The priest lured her to gather á string of wool that led to her falling into the spring. But was that the end of her? The locals believe not and blame all those changes in the area too her.

By Michal Klajban – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68356491

Reykjanesviti

Reykjanesviti is Iceland’s oldest lighthouse and serves as a landfall light for Reykjavík and Keflavik. The original structure was built in 1878 on top of the cliff, called Valahnúkur, but fragments of the cliff kept falling off, so they built a new one close by. The current tower, 31 meters (102 ft) tall, was built 1908. There are 11 lighthouses on Reykjanes alone, most of them still active. As you have noticed, the landscape here on the tip of the peninsula is very barren and it is very windy. Before, the light keeper was the only person who lived here.

By Dagur Brynjólfsson from Hafnarfjordur, Iceland – Eldey, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13262892

Eldey

Looking west over too America we see a Island. This one is called Eldey. The island is 77 m high basalt hyaloclastites is only 0,3 km2 in area the inner most of a chain of reeves on submerged ridge. The name of the chain is Eldeyjarsker. Another visible Island was Geirfuglasker but that one disappeared in an under see eruption 1830.

On Eldey is the largest population of the seabird the Northern Gannet the queen of the Atlantic. About 31000 birds and the biggest see bird in Iceland. This bird is especially majestic when see dives for small fish under the sea surface. The come in a high dive with wings spread and as they approach the surface the wings fall in at the body, so the bird looks like an arrow. The Icelandic name of the bird is Sula.

This Island was also the home off a bird called Geirfugl (Pingunius impennis) Great Auk. That bird is now extinct, As the last pare was killed on the Island in 1844. The Geirfugl was big, had a lot of meat on it, clumsy on land and easy to hunt. Our history also states that there was a lot of this bird in Reykjavik and along the coastline when the Vikings came to Iceland. Massive hunting over the years led to its extermination in 1844. Today we still have a lot of the Nordic see birds, but we are seeing that they are slowly losing their numbers and some species seem to be losing their numbers and moving further north from Iceland.

After visiting Reykjanesviti the lighthouse you need to turn back and take a left turn and follow road #425 and at Hafnir the road number changes to road #44.

By Jóhann Heiðar Árnason – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4256259

Reykjanesvirkjun

Reykjanesvirkjun is a geothermal power plant, one of the most ambitious geothermal power plant project ever launched. The company has drilled deep holes into the ground, twelve to be exact, about 2700 meters deep.

Warm water is fetched and brought to surface. Steam is run through massive turbines and electricity is generated. This water is up to 320° and this is the first time that water of such high temperature has been used for electrical generation.

Excess water and electricity are used for fish farming nearby. The fish is called Senegalese sole. On your left you can see Stampahraun lava field creating majestic and interesting landscapes.

Stampahraun was created in the twelfth century and has a five km long series of craters. On your left side is Sandvík. It is a small bay with a beach and sand hills. The movie Flags of our fathers by Clint Eastwood was filmed here in 2005.

By Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=892776

The Bridge between the continents

But before you get to Hafnir you can make a stop at the Bridge between the continents, the bridge between Europe and North America on Reykjanes Peninsula.

According to the continental drift theory, the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates shift and drift apart in an endless clash of awe-inspiring forces under the gaping rifts and chasms at the tip of the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland and elsewhere in the drift zone or the Icelandic Graben.

It is the continuation of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The Bridge between two continents. This is a fifteen meter long bridge that has been built on top of one of these fissures.

The fissure is deep, and the scenery is breath-taking. But bear in mind to be careful in the area. The lava fields are unsafe to walk in, so it is safest to stay on marked paths.

One can cross the continental divide on Leif the Lucky’s Bridge and take home a personalized certificate at the Reykjanes information center and Reykjanes Geo park visitor center at Duus Cultural house in Keflavík.

Soon after you pass the village Hafnir you can turn left onto road #45 and drive by the coastline all the way to Sandgerði. Now you are just south of Keflavik Airport and you might see the airplane land or take off.

By Milan Nykodym from Kutna Hora, Czech Republic – Hvalneskirkja, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36601800

Hvalneskirkja

If you take road#45 you will see Hvalneskirkja church. There has been a church there through the centuries. The church is built from stones collected and shaped locally.

Hallgrímur Pétursson, one of our best-known poets, was a priest here in the 1600s for 7 years. The church owns many valuable artifacts. One of them is a gravestone from the grave of Hallgrímur´s daughter Steinunn. A stone that Hallgrimur himself placed a marking on. The stone was lost for a while but during renovation of a path around 1950, the stone was found again.

The church at Hvalsnes was built in 1887. Ketill Ketilsson farmer and ship owner at Kotvogur, who then owned the land at Hvalsnes financed the building of the church. The church is preserved, and all the wood was collected from the shores nearby. Extensive repairs were made to the church in 1945 under the supervision of the architect of the state.

Kirkjuvogur

You will find an area called Kirkjuvogur. The area had a settlement farm from 690 to 900 that was excavated and throughout time the area has always been densely populated. Kotvogur in Kirkjuvogur was one of the biggest farms in Iceland in the nineteenth century.

Behind Kirkjuvogur church is an old anchor on display from the American steam vessel Jamestown stranded 1881.

Ásbrú

If you don’t take the left turn into road # 45 but keep on road #44 it will take you right back to civilization to the town of Reykjanesbær.

The old NATO base is now called Ásbrú and now offers academic programs at Keilir and is the largest university campus in Iceland, one of the largest business incubators in Iceland, as well as many other projects such as an Iceland’s first international Data center. The Aviation training center is located there.

Ásbrú is located within the municipality of Reykjavnesbær.

If you did not turn into road #45 you are heading towards eykjavnesbær. When you arrive at Reykjanesbær you still have not visited Sandgerði and Garður, but both of those towns are part of the Reykjanesbær community

Sandgerði

The town began to form in the late 19th century and now it is called Sandgerðisbær and it covers all the western part and all the way to Garðskaga.

Like, many small towns and villages by the coastline in Iceland, Sandgerði owes its existences to rich fishing grounds just off the coast.

Most of those towns are new, in a historical sense, and rarely trace their history farther back than to the late nineteenth century.

Up until that time, Iceland was mostly an agricultural society, and towns like Sandgerði consisted of a cluster of fishing farms that formed a fishing post by the seaside.

Today Sandgerði has a fairly good position in the fishing industry. The town survived the fishing quota system, created by the Icelandic government in 1986. The harbor is still the center of the town’s economy, and the town has many small boats and larger fishing vessels.

The town of Sandgerði has about 1700 inhabitants – not a small number if one bears in mind Iceland’s small population. The community was established around the end of the 19th century, about the time fishery was revolutionized by technology. Often, it is the harbor that gives fishing towns in Iceland their character. Sandgerði is no exception; and improved harbor facilities have been built there in recent years. Walking around the harbor, watching the ocean and imbibing the smell of the sea life is a good way to enjoy nature.

Culture Centre in Sandgerði

The center offers three exciting exhibitions. They include a nature gallery where you can look at and touch various stuffed animals from the Icelandic wildlife and see live sea creatures. There is also a collection of shells and whale bones in addition to the only stuffed walrus in Iceland.

In the historical gallery you can visit the magnificent exhibition Attraction of the Poles on the life of the French medical doctor and polar scientist Jean-Baptiste Charcot.

A model of his research ship, Pourquoi-Pas?, that perished off the coast of Iceland in 1936 is part of the exhibition. You can experience the life and times of French explorer Charcot, whose ship foundered close to Borgarnes as he was returning to France in 1936, with the loss of all but one man.

His research is now carried on by a team from the Suðurnes University at the center. Parties of excited schoolchildren also learn about sea life. This is worth a visit!

In the art gallery you will find the art and educational exhibition Hidden World of the Seaweed Fairies. The exhibition weaves scientific knowledge about the ocean into the magical world of the seaweed fairies.

From Sandgerdi whale watching, deep sea angling and pleasure cruises to the rocky island Eldey are on offer.

Ný-Vídd is an art workshop where aspiring artists of all ages produce works of art in clay, glass, paint, wood and other materials.

Close by, Gallery Listatorg in Vitaborg has a display of works produced with local materials and a shop where local items can be purchase.

Just outside town, the pond is a perfect spot to watch some bird life as hundreds of migratory birds gather there every spring.

Garðskagaviti, lighthouse.

There are two lighthouses. Older lighthouse, built just before 1900, is 11 m high. The top of the light house is missing, but it is now serving as a lighthouse on an island in Breiðafjörður. The lighthouse was in service until 1944 when the new lighthouse was built and is 29 m high. It was built because the old lighthouse was considered too low and the sea began to approach it. Also, had traffic of ships, passing the peninsula increased?

On the coast is abundant bird life the year around. The location of the peninsula makes it one of the best birds watching spot and is Garðskagi known among bird watchers around the world. The coast in Garður with three ponds, attract bird life throughout the year, but the ponds generally freeze in the winter.

At Garðskagi is a local folk museum. It is a farm and a maritime museum. The artwork Seaman Wife is located outside the museum.

The church at Útskálar is on the left. It is believed that a church has been there from the beginning of Christianity in Iceland. The church that that is here now was built in the late 19th century. It must have been good to serve there, since one pastor sat there for nearly 50 years.

Garður

In Garður live around 1500 people and there are 60 companies in various industries. Here is a diverse activity in processing, industries and services. The Largest sector is fish processing and fisheries where about 400 people work. Powerful industrial companies are in Garður with 50-60 people at work.

Nesfiskur is the biggest employer with about 320 employees in various sectors and the fish processing and Gardur is second largest with about 100 employees.

Four winds represent the cardinal directions and that the winds blow from all directions. And it may be well-known at the golf course in Leira.

There is never calm, say some. Locals talk about Leirulognið (the calm in Leira) when players can hardly stand on the golf course.

On Garðskagi Peninsula, are diverse bird life, dolphins and whales near the shore, untouched nature and an interesting Regional Museum with an extraordinary collection of engines, Folk and Maritime Museum.

Guests can camp on Garðskagi in the magnificent nature. The facility on the campsite includes bathrooms, running water and electricity and is ideal for guests with tents or trailers.

After enjoying yourself out in the nature you can visit the local swimming pool or relax in the hot tubs.

Keflavík

This area is called Keflavik (same as the international airport). It used to be a separate town, but is now part of a larger community, called Reykjanesbær, with a population of about 15 thousand.

The official symbol of the town shows the Northern Gannets, a beautiful white sea bird, which nests by the thousands on sea cliffs around the Reykjanes peninsula.

Close to the center, there are several interesting places to visit, such as museums, exhibitions and cultural center.

Here at the Duus-house, you will find a cultural center and an art museum. Also, there ‘s a collection of over 100 different boat models, representing almost every fishing boat used in Iceland from 1945 to 1960.

A short distance to the south of us, there is a museum of Rock ´n´ Roll, it is located here because many popular rock stars came from this town in the nineteen sixties and the seventies (1960-1980).

If you are interested in unusual museums, then this town also has a Fireman’s-museum, and a Toy-museum.

Fishing has always been an important part of life for people in this area, because there are rich fishing grounds close to the coast all around the Reykjanes peninsula. This was very important in the past, because fishing boats in Iceland did not have engines until after 1900.

Today, the job market is more diverse, and a large fraction of the population here makes a living from the service industry, tourism, education, and other modern areas.

Every year, in the first week of September, a large celebration takes place here called the Night of lights. Various exhibitions and concerts take place, and the final night ends with a firework display while at the same time, bright lights are used to illuminate the cliffs to the north of the harbor.

Basketball is very popular here, two of the best teams in Iceland come from here.

Njarðvík

Njarðvík – a small town with 4000 people.

Named after the Nordic god of the sea Njörður, our Poseidon or Neptune.

Here you will find a museum called the Viking World. It has several exhibitions showing what life was like in the Northern Europe at the time of the settlement of Iceland. The biggest attraction is the full-size Viking ship built by an Icelandic shipbuilder, an replica of an old Viking ship from the year 870, discovered in Norway.

The settlers who came to Iceland over 1100 years ago probably sailed here aboard similar ships. The ship was sailed to New York in the year 2000, to commemorate Leif Ericson ‘s journey to America a 1000 years earlier.

Close to the Viking museum there is an old turf house, originally built around 1860 and lived in until about 1890. This was the home of people of small means, and their life was hard.

In the old town is the Njarðvíkurkirkja Innri, a stone church built in 1886.

By the initiative of Ásbjörn Ólafsson, a farmer in Innri-Njarðvík, a church was built on the location. The church was consecrated in 1886 and is made from carved rock which was brought from the shore nearby and the heath above the inhabited area. One of the three clocks in the church tower is an ancient clock made in 1725.

Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1791-1852) teacher, translator and poet. His main subject as a teacher was Greek. Known particularly for his translations of Homer’s Odyssey and Itiac into Icelandic He translated the Icelandic Sagas into Latin Script historical Islandorum.

Jón Thorkillius (1697-1759) also born in Innri-Njarðvík, a close relative to Sveinbjörn. Jón was principal of the cathedral school at Skálholt and hence he has been called the father of primary education in Iceland. A monument was erected beside the church in his memory in 1965.

He was a great poet, translator and a grammarian, who wrote a dictionary of Icelandic skaldic language, the Lexicon Poëticum. His most famous works are his translations of Homer. Sveinbjorn too is commemorated by a monument at the church.

Due to the neighboring NATO int airport in Keflavik with American air forces the main hobby in Njarðvík is basketball, and still is even though the army left 10 years ago.

The way back to Reykjavík

Now we are heading back to Reykjavik. You might remember your trip from the airport to Reykjavik.

The first road on your right is road #43 is the road to The Blue Lagoon and Grindavík.

The next road on your left is road #421 to Vogar

Vogar

There is only one village at the coast on the left called Vogar, the village was formed because of good harbor and a short distance to the fishing grounds.

Today these qualities have no value since the fishing Vessels can do their landings anywhere in Iceland, even sailing straight to Europe with every kilo of fish already packed in consumer packaging for Marks and Spenser or other major retailer. They can also take the fish to Reykjavík or Hafnarfjörður.

However, this village has infrastructure from the past like schools, harbor and other things, and good road make it easy to live in this area and go to work in either Reykjavík or Keflavik. Land for house building is much cheaper here and for young people that can be very tempting.

Increasingly people can work in place like this and be connected to the internet. This is of course happening all over the western world.

In the area, there is very little shelter from the elements, men walking this route during winter towards the places on this peninsula were there was fishing post or facilities to land boats on the coast often perished in bad weather and for many years this route was considered hunted.

To your left you will see some houses in the lava, people lived here the last 40 years or so, these houses has been converted to summer houses and new houses built for that purpose.

You might wonder why you would like to stay in house like that in a barren and remote place, but often in the lava is a shelter which is nice, cosy and warm, even when the wind is blowing strongly all around you.

On your right you see the mountains of Reykjanes peninsula, they are made of tuff, indicating that they are result of eruption before the Ice age. It is estimated that the glacier was up to 400 meters thick, but this area has been so active after ice age that new lava has covered the path of the glacier in many places even though you can see the signs in many places.

We have no rivers here, but underneath us there are is a lot of fresh water moving through the lava towards the ocean. It rains a lot here, but the water disappears into the lava.

Vatnsleysuströnd

An area at the south side of Faxaflói, often called the coast by locals. In all Vatnsleysuströnd is 15 km long. Up from it lies Strandarheiði heath, which is all covered in lava rocks, which ran to the ocean around 9000 years ago.

The inhabited area on Vatnsleysuströnd is only on a thin strip of land by the beach and is mostly in boroughs that formed by the best land.

It was a good grazing land close to Vatnsleysuströnd but now there is no agriculture in this area because of much soil erosion, there is no grass for livestock or other domestic animals to eat. There is also a harsh landscape.

Instead, here is the biggest pork farm in Iceland located Kúagerði:

By https://www.flickr.com/photos/soffias/ – https://www.flickr.com/photos/soffias/2181090870/sizes/o/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5923977

Keilir

You can see one mountain, with very peculiarly shaped. The mountain is called Keilir which means a Cone and It is of course named for its shape.

The mountain was formed during the Ice Age, underneath a glacier and is classed as a hyaloclastite mountain, although scientists believe it to be the plug of a large crater.

It is a very popular among hikers and takes you 2-3 hours to climb to the top where you get a spectacular 360° view as you can imagine.

It is not considered to be extremely difficult hike as the mountain is not that tall, or 370 m but still is not recommended for inexperienced hikers to do on their own.

The Reykjanes peninsula, the steamy peninsula, is one of the youngest parts of Iceland. And the lava fields you can see came up after the last ice age.

 

 

As you can see now there is a lot to see on the Reykjanes peninsula.

If you take this trip, I urge you to take your time and enjoy the beautiful nature in not so crowded area.

It is very important to were warm clotting. Were you clothing in layers so you can take some of it off vile driving and put some more on when you go outside. Good boots are necessary.

I would love to hear from you, so please tell me below which place is your favorite.

I would also love to have a comment, or a question so please leave it below.

Þórhallur / Thorhallur

Founder of FactsAboutIceland.com

Leave a Comment