The Reykjanes Peninsula lies on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, one of the world’s major plate boundaries. The Geothermal Circle is the area around this Peninsula. It is less popular than the golden circle, but it offers a vast array of lava fields and geothermal hot springs. With its location close to the airport, it is worth exploring after your international flight arrival on your way to Reykjavik, if that’s where you are staying. Here are a few places within the geothermal circle worth mentioning.
Gunnuhver stands at the heart of the UNESCO Global Geopark. It is a very active geothermal area of mud pools and steam vents. The groundwater is 100% seawater and when mixed with the minerals of the ground, it can provide vibrant hues. The water can get upward of 570 degrees F, so stay on the marked walkways if visiting here.
Interesting fact: Gunnuhver was named after an angry ghost whose spirit is said to have been trapped here by a Priest.
Bridge Between Continents
The Bridge Between Continents connects the fissures created by the stresses of the continental drift of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. You can literally walk across the bridge and go from one continent to the other. You can also run between the continents below the bridge. If you are able to do this, the Reykjanes Geopark Visitor Center offers a certificate which you can take home showing that you have crossed.
Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark
Only place in the world where the mid-atlantic ridge is visible above sea level. It is rich in volcanic and geothermal activity.
Family oriented village with a strong fishing history.
Valahnúker Mountain and the Cliffs of Valahnúkamöl in Iceland
The cliffs of Valahnúkamöl were created by powerful storms, high waves and pounding surf. We got here around sunset and it was quite cold. The sunset got covered by clouds but we still enjoyed having the entire place to ourselves.
The oldest lighthouse in Iceland. It was built in 1908 as a replacement for one that was damaged by earthquakes.
Prime fishing location with a nice view of two lighthouses.
Local restaurant Rostin boasts a nice view at sunset.
Hafnarberg Sea Cliffs
Long line of lava cliffs popular for hikers and bird watchers. Geosite in Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark. We parked just off the road and walked for a very long time but never actually made it to the cliffs. We still had a lot of fun having the entire place to ourselves.
One of the Oldest Settlements in Iceland. Hafnir is a Fishing Village.