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13 August 2021

Ása Steinars

3 minute read

A day trip around the Reykjanes Peninsula

A day trip around the Reykjanes Peninsula

Find out what the volcanic region has to offer

Witnessing a volcanic eruption in close proximity is a once in a lifetime experience

A day trip around the Reykjanes peninsula

Inspired by Iceland collaborated with Ása Steinars on an adventure around the Reykjanes Peninsula. The volcanic region is filled with intriguing destinations to explore, and Ása is here to share how you can make the most of a day trip around the Peninsula.

If you're in Reykjavik and want to explore stunning nature without having to venture far, a drive around the Reykjanes Peninsula is the perfect road trip. It is situated on a rift zone between two very active tectonic plates that make for the wild and stunning nature. When driving around the peninsula, you'll see a great variety of nature, many signs of old volcanic activity, and of course, the currently active erupting volcano at Geldingadalir. I set out of Reykjavik for a road trip to explore this area, here's what I found:

Starting from the capital Reykjavik, the drive around the peninsula offers a perfect loop that can be done in one day. I started by driving along the north coast of Reykjanes until I reached the take off-road to Keilir mountain. The road was bumpy, and a 4x4 is definitely best to have to access here. After about an hour of slow driving, I parked and set out for a quick hike to Lambafellsgjá, a deep volcanic crack, and I managed to hike through the full length of it. Just next door is the incredible area of Sog. This is a great stop for a hike in stunning landscapes.

Next up on the tour is Keflavik, an old fishing village close to the international airport. Go for a walk in the harbor and check out Duus Museum, the local Art and Cultural Center. By now, you're probably ready for lunch, and Hotel Keflavik and Hotel Berg are great options for food.

From here, I continued along the coast to the northern tip of the peninsula, Garðskagaviti. Take a walk to the lighthouse and get close to the ocean. It's a great viewpoint where you can feel the wind and the waves. On a clear day, you can see all the way north to Snaefellsjökull (glacier) from here.

The road continues along the coast through lush green fields with roaming lambs and horses. Make sure to stop at Hvalsneskirkja. Some say it's the most beautiful church in Iceland. In summer, the fields here are covered in bright yellow flowers—it's super beautiful!

Driving south on the peninsula's west coast, you'll see many signs of former volcanic activity. A fun stop along the road is Stampar Gigar, two black craters in the middle of an ancient lava field. Park the car and take a walk up one of them for a good view.

The road continues along the coast. Soon, you'll see steam rising into the sky, a clear sign that you're approaching Reykjanesviti. This is a geothermal area, and much of the steam is from power plants. There are also many sites to see, including Gunnuhver, Reykjanesviti lighthouse, and sea cliffs to explore.

Next up is an active volcano, but first, a stop in Grindavik for some food. It's a good idea to not hike to the volcano hungry! Cafe Bryggjan serves a great lobster soup in Grindavik harbor. After a hearty bowl, I felt ready to take on the volcano.

The area of the volcano constantly changes due to the lava flow, so check the recent updates before heading in. SafeTravel is a good source of reliable information. A big parking lot and a well-marked trail will lead you to the lava and volcano. Wear hiking shoes, warm clothes and bring snacks and water for the trip. Also, keep in mind that the gasses from the lava can be hazardous, and you don't want to breathe them in. So stay safe!

Ása Steinars at the Blue Lagoon

By now, you have seen some fantastic nature, but there's one highlight left. The perfect way to finish a day of exploring Iceland is with a soak in hot geothermal water. Luckily you're not more than 15 minutes drive from the famous Blue Lagoon. Relax in hot water and even consider a dinner at their restaurant. You have definitely earned it!

You can see more from this journey in the highlights on Inspired by Iceland's Instagram page.

For more of Ása's adventures, follow her on Instagram
For all things Reykjanes Peninsula, check out Visit Reykjanes

This article was written by Ása Steinars

Ása Steinars is an adventure photographer from Iceland.

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