The Reykjanes peninsula is an active volcanic system under its surface, situated at the south western end of Iceland. The peninsula is rather sparsely populated except for Reykjanesbaer, which is the largest town on the peninsula. Other towns include Grindavik, Sandgerdi, , Hafnir and Gardur, all of which rely heavily on fishing.
Reykjanes is marked by its large lava fields, active volcanism, numerous hot springs, geothermal energy and rugged landscape, all this allowing little vegetation. The gray-green moss on the strange, otherwordly lava is usually the first glimpse visitors to Iceland get of the land of ice and fire.
Things to do in Reykjanes
There are plenty of recreational opportunities to be had in the Reykjanes area. A popular one is ATV/quad biking, as well as mountain biking. Also, there is no shortage of hiking trails in the area.
A low mountain ridge rises on the peninsula, the most prominent being Mount Keilir, a small cone shaped volcano. Hikers enjoy climbing the mountain as it’s not too high, but still poses enough of a challenge. Once you climb to the top, which takes around 2-3 hours, you are rewarded with a beautiful 360-degree view that simply takes your breath away.
The Cave Leidarendi (e. ‘The End of the Road’) is a 900m long circular lava tube discovered two decades ago, and available for visitors to explore. There you can see unique rock formations and fascinating colors from the natural forces that shaped the tube around 2000 years ago. In the winter time, you are also likely to see amazing icicles and natural ice sculptures in the cave.
Besides its rich fishing industry, Reykjanes is also known for its many lighthouses. Some even say that the lighthouses outnumber the villages. The most known lighthouse, as well as being the oldest one in Iceland, is Reykjanes lighthouse, standing 29 metres tall at 69 metres above sealevel. Find out more about the Reykjanes lighthouses here.
Places to visit in Reykjanes peninsula
Among others, Reykjanes boasts of tourist attractions such as the geothermal areas like Krysuvik and Gunnuhver, ‘The Bridge Between Continents‘, where you can literally walk from Europe to North America, Lake Kleifarvatn, and let’s not forget the one which rules them all – The Blue Lagoon.
For more detailed information about attractions, villages and activities in the Reykjanes Peninsula be sure to go through our destination guide.