It probably seems impossible to walk from Europe to North America within a matter of seconds, but Iceland is a unique place where seemingly unimaginable feats are completely real. The Bridge between Continents (or Midlina) is a 15 meter (50 ft) footbridge in the Reykjanes Peninsula spanning a gaping rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

The lava-scarred Reykjanes Peninsula lies directly on the Mid Atlantic Ridge. These major tectonic plates drift apart by the Earth’s forces, a few centimeters each year. After crossing the bridge, you can pick up a personalized certificate from the Reykjanes Information Center. It verifies that you did indeed walk all the way from Europe to America. (Or at least between the two tectonic plates…)

In the footsteps of the gods

On the midway point of the footbridge you will find a plaque with the words, “Miðlína, In the footsteps of the gods.” This is the borderline between the Eurasian plate and North American plates. The two sides are marked: ″Welcome to North America″ and ″Welcome to Europe″.

The bridge is named after the famous Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson. He was the first European to set foot in North America over 1.000 years ago, according to the Sagas. The bridge also serves as a symbol for the connection between two continents, Europe and North America, the new world and the old one.

What to see at the Bridge between Continents?

Beneath the bridge is a crevasse mostly filled with sand. You can also walk beneath the bridge, though we recommend that you stay on the path if you have walking difficulties. The view from the bridge is splendid. You can view the sea not far away, and on a clear day you can see Eldey island, which is just south of Reykjanes peninsula. Eldey Island is home to thousands of sea birds. South of Eldey is Geirfuglasker Island, where the last Great Auk was killed, making the species extinct.

All around the Bridge is the Reykjanes lava field. In fact, this is actually layers upon  layers of lava fields, the youngest one being from 1240. There are also many small craters, called Stampar, nearby, and if you are interested in geology you might enjoy a hike here.   If you drive south from the Bridge, you will find a small parking lot after a few minutes to the right side of the road. From there you can hike and find a few small craters.

In addition, not far from the the Bridge is a small cove called Sandvik. It has a nice black sand beach and not many people go there, making it a nice photo stop. However, beware of the waves, they can get quite big.

How to get to the Bridge Between Continents

The Bridge Between Continents is located in the eastern-most end of Reykjanes peninsula, on Road 420. The attraction is popular and included in many tours of the area. The bridge is about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik.

GPS: 63.868275 N, -22.675482 W