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, 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 footbrigde you will find, on the midway point of the brigde, a plaque reads, “Midlina, In the footsteps of the gods,” and it serves as a borderline between the Eurasian plate and North American plates. The two sides are marked: ″Welcome to America″ and ″Welcome to Europe″.
The bridge is named after the famous Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson. He was the first Euopean to set foot in North America over 1,000 years ago, according to the Sagas. It also serves as a symbol for the connection between two continents, Europe and North America, the new world and the old one.
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
What to see at the Bridge between Continents?
Beneath the bridge is crevasse, that is mostly filled with sand. You can also walk beneath the bridge, though we recommend that if you have problem walking that you stay on the path. The view from the bridge is splendid. You can see the sea not far away and on a clear day you can see Eldey island, which is just south of Reykjanes peninsula. South of that is Geirfuglasker island, where the last Great Auk was killed, leaving the specie extinct. Eldey island is home to thousands of sea birds.
All around the Bridge is the Reykjanes lava field. This is in fact layer upon layers of lava fields, the youngest one being from 1240. There are many small craters, called Stampar, nearby and if you have the time and you are interested in geology, it can be interesting to hike. 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 creaters.
Also, 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.