Reykjanes Peninsula

Reykjanes Peninsula

For a truly impressive sight of raw volcanic landscapes and many volcanic landforms, the Reykjanes Peninsula is the place to be.

Lying astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Reykjanes Peninsula is very much an active zone of Iceland – in fact the whole of the Reykjanes Peninsula is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! When flying in to Iceland on a clear day, the fissures and ‘stretch marks’ of the Reykjanes Peninsula are clearly seen.

As well as simply journeying through the landscape, with its lava flows and volcanic cones, there are many stops that can also be taken to enhance the experience and encounter the geography of the landscape close-hand.

Bridge Between the Continents

The Bridge Between the Continents illustrates the widening fissures of this stretched land and students can stand with one foot on the Eurasian Plate and the other on the North American Plate – well, sort of! They’ll be amazed by the ropey lava surfaces of the lava flows and be impressed by the mini explosion craters that sit on top of the lava flows. Along the path leading to the fissure, you’ll find some interesting information boards.

Gunnuhver Hot Spring

Gunnuhver is a highly active geothermal area, brimming with mud pools and steam vents. Named after the female ghost, whose spirit was trapped in the hot springs by a priest 400 years ago, its story only adds to the eerie atmosphere. Walk along the two ramps amongst the hissing of the steam and the plopping of the mud, passing information boards and taking in the truly unique surroundings where geography meets chemistry.

Krýsuvik Mud Puddles

Explore the colourful landscape of this geothermal area, where you’ll be met by steaming volcanic vents, boiling hot springs and bubbling mud puddles. Follow the path leading around the area, then take a moment to stand on its two different viewing platforms to fully take in the spectacular sight before you. Teamed with a backdrop of dramatic red, green and yellow-coloured hills, this is a landscape that has to be seen to be believed.

Raufarholshellir Lava Tube

Take a look at the truly unique Raufarholshellir lava tube cave on your journey. Complete with fascinating tunnels and large chambers, lava falls and other spectacular lava formations can be seen deep in the tunnels. Alternatively, throw on your caving gear and explore the tube-like caves in our Lava Tube Caving excursion. 

Stampar Craters

The Stampar craters make an interesting 30 minute stop. Situated between the Bridge Between the Continents and Gunnuhver Hot Spring, from the parking area it’s possible to follow a marked trail across the lava flow and up one of the rugged yet fascinating craters.

Reykjanes Lighthouse

The Reykjanes Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in Iceland built on Valahnúkur in 1878. After sustaining significant earthquake damage, a new lighthouse was built on Bæjarfell hill in 1907-1908. Today, it’s an excellent stop due to its close proximity to Gunnuhver and number of scenic walks possible. Make your way up to the lighthouse or stroll along the cliffs, taking in the panoramic views and some great examples of coastal erosion. Caution is needed though as there are some precipitous, crumbling edges.

Power Plant Earth and MAGMA Earth Energy Exhibitions

Indoors, set in the midst of this astounding volcanic landscape, Power Plant Earth and MAGMA Earth Energy are two optional exhibitions offering the opportunity to learn more about the geography and geology of what has been seen and what lies beneath your feet. At Power Plant Earth, also housing a geothermal power plant, it’s exciting to take a short stroll to the North Atlantic Ocean’s shoreline to see the used hot water discharging into the pounding waves.

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