Iceland has three national parks; each of them can be explored with a day tour directly from Reykjavik.
Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park is approximately a 45 minute drive away from Reykjavik. Þingvellir is one of the most popular destinations in Iceland and is a part of the Golden Circle Tour. It was declared a national park in 1944 and since 1983 it has been a member of UNESCO. Althing, the Icelandic parliament, is one of the oldest extant parliamentary institutions in the world and was a place where chieftains from all over Iceland used to meet annually to discuss the laws and future direction of the country. The first mention of Þingvellir is in 930 AD.
Þingvellir is unique from a geological point of view. Þingvellir National Park is home of the two tectonic plates that seperate Europe and North America! Make sure to walk between them and be on two continents at once!
Silfra is a world class-snorkeling and diving site. Be brave and jump into the crystal clear azure water that reaches just a few degrees above zero! It may be chilly but it's a once in a lifetime chance to dive between two tectonic plates!
Vatnajökull National Park
On June 7th, 2008, Vatnajökull was declared a national park. Vatnajokull is the largest glacier in Europe and the largest glacier located outside the Arctic zone. The most popular attractions of Vatnajökull National Park are: Bárðarbunga Volcano, Dettifoss Waterfalls and the Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón.
Jökulsárlón is one of the most beautiful places in Iceland- segments of crystal clear icebergs floating through the water will take your breath away. If you're lucky, you might even see seals lounging on the icebergs. This incredible gem is located less than a 5 hour drive from Reykjavik and is well worth the trip.
Snæfellsjökull National Park
Snæfellsjökull National Park is located on Snæfellsness peninsula and of the three parks it is the only one located on the coast. It was established on June 28th, 2001 making it the second oldest national park in Iceland. Snæfelljökull glacier sits on top of Snæfellsjökull Volcano Mountain and is called the jewel of West Iceland. Visit beach Ytri – Tunga on a warm day you can find seals sunbathing - Be extra quiet and you might get a look at their furry faces and long cat-like whiskers.
Have you heard of the book “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, by Jules Verne? This is the place where the journey to the center earth had started!
Climb at your own risk! If you decide to climb to the cave please be very careful. We do not recommend doing so for unexperienced climbers as it can be quite dangerous.
On a clear day with high visibility you can see Snæfellsness from Reykjavik - a view worth waiting for!
Reykjanes Peninsula is one of nature's works of art. It's volcanic and geothermal activity create special natural phenomena.
The Mid-Atlantic ridge wraps around the territory making it a notable place to visit in the world, as Iceland is one of the only places you can see the Mid-Atlantic ridge above the ocean; 90% of it is it hidden under the water. Because it also is the place where two tectonic plates meet, Reykjaness Peninsula often hosts light earthquakes.
Take a trip to the Peninsula to explore different types of volcanoes, at least four types of volcanic zones, caves and lava fields.
We recommend visiting the following:
- Bridge between continents: Two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and North American plates are constantly moving; a special bridge was built between the two of them allowing you to put one foot in Europe and the other in America! The bridge was built as a sign of the link between Europe and America.
- Gunnuhver: In the Southwest you can find mud pools and hot steam vents. A magical place that is referred to as the witches boiler- and not just any witch, but Witch Gunna who fell into one of the hot pits by falling for a trap that the Priest had set up for her. The noise of bubbling mud reminds us of the witches old snarly voice.
- Krýsuvíkurberg: Here you will find massive cliffs bustling with multicoloured birds. A perfect spot for photography.
- Grindavík: Grindavik is a small town with some of the best fishing in Iceland. Grindavík has huge fleet fishing boats, lots of sightseeing tours in the Atlantic Ocean and a 13 hole golf course. Grindavik is a very popular place, particularly because of its proximity to the Blue Lagoon, which is just a few steps behind town.
- Blue Lagoon: One of the most well known places in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon belongs to the 25 wonders of the world. Azure water, relaxation and health benefits - the minerals in the water are beneficial to the skin and can have great effects on people with psoriasis. Don't leave Iceland without visiting the Blue Lagoon!