Once an unassuming fishing village, Grindavik is coming into its own as a tourism destination in Iceland and not just because it is home to the nation’s most popular attraction, the one-of-a-kind Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Grindavik boasts breathtaking natural beauty with a variety of hiking trails and a newly opened camping area sporting state-of-the-art facilities.
The surrounding nature offers endless adventure opportunities. You can enjoy the geothermal landscapes including ATV riding, horseback riding, lava cave exploration and trout fishing. There’s also a 13-hole seaside golf course nearby. Finally you can go bird watching from dramatic sea-cliffs.
Hiking around Grindavik
Þorbjörn, a lone hill peak to the north of Grindavík, stands about 250 meters tall. It is easily accessible by foot. The stroll is quite rewarding – offering to those who scale Þorbjörn a view of almost the entire Reykjanes peninsula. The Ravine at Svartsengi (called “Gjáin” in Icelandic, which means simply “the ravine”) takes advantage of the latest technology to create a multimedia show which displays the geological history of earth and Iceland, the Reykjanes peninsula and Svartsengi in particular. A visit to Ravine heightens the experience of exploring the area’s nature as the newfound learning allows you to look at it from a new perspective.
East of Grindavík, Krýsuvík, Selatangar, Festarfjall and seemingly endless lava fields are among places to see. To the south, the Atlantic Ocean battles the island endlessly and to the west from Grindavík lays Reykjanes and the Reykjanes light house, the Gunnuhver (the “Gunna geyser”), Brimketill, Eldvörp and a multitude of other interesting natural phenomena.
Fishing and history
The vibrant village relies on a strong local fishing industry. This fact is well represented at the Icelandic Saltfish Museum. The same goes for the lively family activities at the Festival of the Sea every June. There are many charming shops and restaurants to discover throughout Grindavik. Fresh fish in particular is a favorite on the menu among visitors and locals alike.