The Reykjanes Peninsula is a gem of Iceland. Most visitors to Iceland have visited it, whether they know it or not, as Reykjanes is home to Keflavík International Airport; many will also visit the Blue Lagoon for a dip. But there’s much more to Reykjanes than that. The peninsula sits on the tectonic divide, meaning that there are plenty of geothermal hotspots to visit. There are charming small seaside towns, without the bustle of the south, and the mountainous region also offers relatively easy hikes that afford spectacular views. Here are our favourite things to do there.
Krýsuvík, Route 42
Reykjanes is a lively, geothermally active peninsula, and there’s nowhere better to feel the heat and power of the living earth than at Seltún in the Krýsuvík valley. The iconic zig-zagging wooden walkway takes you over steaming vents, bubbling fumaroles and gurgling clay pots; the colours vary from earthy to vividly fluorescent. There’s a hiking path to get a view over the area, and more tempting trails lead you up to other hidden hot spots.
Reykjanesbær, Route 425
Less quaint but more powerful, the allegedly haunted Gunnuhver hot spot sends a torrent of steam into the sky. Nearby, you’ll get a chance to straddle the tectonic divide. The Reykjanesviti area has a Great Auk sculpture looking out to sea, marking the spot where the last one was reportedly hunted.
On the southern shore of Reykjanes is the thriving seaside town of Grindavík. The Hópsnes peninsula that juts out from the town is a truly curious spot: drive around the winding dirt track to the lighthouse to see lava plains studded with eerie rusting shipwrecks.
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