Reykjanes Peninsula Journals

South Western Iceland & the Reykjanes Peninsula

A June 2004 trip to Reykjanes Peninsula by DrMaximus

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland More Photos
Quote: Besides Easter Island in South America, the only other place that I had always dreamt of going to was Iceland. In June 2004, my friend and I were fortunate enough to chance upon an excellent airfare to Reykjavik, so we soon found ourselves all packed and ready to leave.

Reykjanes Peninsula

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland, I had mapped out the route for Day One, as well as highlighted the interesting sites which I did not want to miss. As we arrived earlier than expected, the car rental agent did not arrive until about 45 minutes later. Within an hour and a half of landing, we found ourselves driving along the deserted streets of the town of Keflavik, a 4-6 minutes' drive from the airport. Breakfast was not to be had anywhere since nothing seemed to be open at 10am on Sunday morning. We drove along the harbour and up a cliff where we enjoyed a panorama of the area as well as watched a fisherman cast his nets. The wonderful feeling of finally being in Iceland was...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

The Blue Lagoon

Attraction

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
We got to the Blue Lagoon at about 11am and there was already an appreciable crowd that was growing fast. The Blue Lagoon is a good stop for departing visitors with flights in the afternoon. To save some money, be sure to bring along your own towel.


No picture can get you ready for the Blue Lagoon. When you remove your clothes (after a good shower) in the cold air and dip into the hot water, the refreshing feeling is overwhelming and therapeutic.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Valahnjukur

Attraction

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
At the extreme south-western tip of Iceland lies the very sleepy village of Valahnjukur. In fact, it houses just a few cottages but boasts of a giant and very beautiful lighthouse sitting atop a steep hill which has steps leading up. When we were there, there were two men re-painting the lighthouse.


Further towards the coast, some time should be spent admiring the coastal volcanic formations such as lava plateaus and extrusive features. A beautiful photo or two can also be taken of the wild purple flowers that are strewn across all of Iceland.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
Along the ring road at the Reykjanes Peninsula, you will drive past the Gunnuhver Sulphur spring area which is close to the Valahnjukur light house. Amazing solfataras can be seen, smelt and heard down here. My travel mate says that they stink like crazy but I actually quite enjoyed the raw, earthly smell. Moreover, the thought of what crazy geothermal power laid under our feet, was enough to drive me all excited and perky. Try something: dip your cloth handkerchief into one of the sulphur flows and then feel it. You can get a good idea of how hot the water is, as well as really smell the sulphur. Get used to this: by the time you are through, you and your clothes will smell like sulph...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
I had wanted to give this spot a miss, but my mate wanted to visit it so we finally made a detour and drove there. It was a fantastic decision to do so. Have you ever imagined what it's like to be standing in between two continental plates? Well, here you can. The bridge links the North American plate with the European plate and you can easily go under it to walk on the black volcanic sand that covers the entire area. Squat down and feel the fine sand--you will be amazed at how warm they feel, thanks, perhaps, to the lava flows kilometres down beneath your feet! Be sure to take a picture of you at the bridge with the sign showing two arrows, one pointing to North America and other towa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Krisuvik & Seltun geothermal area

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Attraction | "Krisuvik & Seltun geothermal area"

Reykjanes Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
Not to be missed, yet it often is as this geothermal area lies on a detour away from Route 1 between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik.


DO NOT MISS Krisuvik and Seltun because they represent the most interesting geothermal spots in all of Iceland. Here you can see greyish-black bubbling pools, solfataras, and shallow, truly smelly pools with thick bubbly liquid that go "blopp, bloop, booloop". You can do the handkerchief trick again as detailed in the Gunnuhver article.


It is amazing how on one side you have these bubbling sulphur pools, and just across the road you find rich green fields with crystal clear pools.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Kleifarvatn Lake

Attraction

Kleifarvatn Lake Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
After visiting Seltun, further north along the detour route towards Reykjavik you will see the huge elongated Kleifarvatn Lake on your right. Be amazed by its eerie still surface and water, which appears like thick oil. To add to the amazement, the beach is black due to volcanic sand. There are numerous hot springs along the beach as you walk, so watch the step.

Legend has it that Kleifarvatn Lake has its own Loch Ness monster... maybe you can catch a glimpse of it on a fine day.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Kleifarvatn Lake

Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

Predeparture Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
Since IcelandAir is the only carrier to Iceland, we had to bus down from Montréal to New York JFK International Airport to catch the flight. A flight which took barely five hours transported us to a strange land whose geography appeared more like that of the moon, or of some other outer planet, rather than that of the Earth. Just a day before I left Canada, I popped by the local Chapters store and got myself a copy of Lonely Planet's Guide to Iceland (May 2004 Edition) which turned out to be one of the best investments I ever made in a book. The authors, Paul Harding and Joe Bindloss, made accurate and detailed descriptions of this marvellous island and all that it had to offer. I read the book ...Read More
Keflavik Photo, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Quote:
If you are arriving from the States, chances are you will be getting into Keflavik International Airport very early in the morning. We drove to the town of Keflavik and got there by 9am or so. It was completely deserted. There were cars and houses and signs of life, but no living soul was in sight. The only place to dine was the Hotel Keflavik where we paid 800ISK for a hearty buffet breakfast. The nearby church at Innri-Njardvik is one of the only few brick-laden churches in Iceland - well worth a quick stop enroute to Reykjavik.

About the Writer

DrMaximus

DrMaximus
Montreal, Quebec

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Pre-departure & enroute