Reykjanes: a roadtrip along the Icelandic peninsula
Most people who’re travelling to Iceland are going straight from the airport of Kelavík to the capital city Reykjavík and the rest of Iceland. Lots of travelers don’t even know that the Reykjanes Peninsula is full of beautiful places as well and therefor it’s really worth your time to go road tripping along the peninsula. In this post I’ll tell you all about the places to visit.
Reykjanes is an Icelandic peninsula located on the south-western part of the country. It’s the peninsula on which you’ll arrive with all international flights, at Keflavík Airport. The peninsula is full of volcanic activities and sights, which makes it a beautiful place to go road tripping. Among other places, you can find here the Fagradalsfjall volcano which erupted in March 2021 and the famous Blue Lagoon baths.
Places to visit at Reykjanes
From Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík it’s a 45-minute drive. Before driving to Reykjavík, you can pay a visit to the sights of the Reykjanes peninsula. Hereby I give you 13 sights which you can visit during your road trip along the peninsula.
All international flights arrive at the airport of Keflavík. This is also a small village where you can find several accommodations. Ideal for when you’re arriving late or when you’re having an early return flight. It’s also a great starting point for exploring more of the peninsula of Reykjanes.
2. Gardur Old Lighthouse
The Gardur Old Lighthouse is located at the very top of Reykjanes. You can have a short walk around the lighthouse and enjoy the views. If you’d like to stay somewhere around this area, the Lighthouse Inn would be a great option.
A little more southwards you’ll get to Hvalsneskirkja. Located in a picturesque environment, this beautiful church is dark colored and has a colorful church tower together with the door, which is also very colorful.
If you happen to be around the Gardur Old Lighthouse and Hvalsneskirkja, then you definitely shouldn’t miss Stafnesviti. This orange-colored lighthouse is situated in a calm location and offers some beautiful views.
5. Hafnarberg sea cliffs
Reykjanes is well-known for it’s magnificent, rough sea cliffs. At Hafnarberg you can have some amazing views over these cliffs and enjoy the untouched beauty of Iceland.
6. Bridge between continents
The Bridge between continents is located near Hafnarberg, which is a small food bridge separating the European tectonic plate with the North American tectonic plate. It’s nice to have a quick stop at this place.
7. Valahnúkamöl, Reykjanes Lighthouse & Gunnuhver
If you love to explore more of the rough cliffs and nature of Reykjanes, you should definitely pay a visit to Valahnúkamöl. Depending on the time of visit, you can see how rough the sea can be and how the water beats against the beautiful cliffs. From Valahnúkamöl, you can also have some nice views over Reykjanes Lighthouse (which you can also visit from closer). Also located near Valahnúkamöl is the geothermal area of Gunnuhver.
8. Brimketill lava rock pool
Another cool sight to have a look at the rough cliffs and the rough water of the sea which collapses against the rocks.
9. Blue Lagoon
After Brimketill, you’ll get to the town of Grindavík and when you’re going a little upwards, you’ll get to the famous Blue Lagoon. At the Blue Lagoon, you can have a nice bath, you can have lunch/dinner or you can overnight at one of the hotels. Don’t forget that the Blue Lagoon is very touristy, so it can be very crowded. To be honest I would prefer to go to one of the other many natural baths Iceland has to offer, but it’s nice to give a quick visit to the Blue Lagoon or to go here for a delicious lunch.
10. Fagradalsfjall volcano
The Fagradalsfjall volcano became more well-known in March 2021, when the volcano erupted. For a few months, you could walk towards the volcano to see the eruption and the lava. At the moment, the volcano isn’t erupting anymore, but it’s still very nice to hike towards the volcano to have a look at the lava streams and to see the heat still coming out (see the above pictures). Depending on how far you would like to go, there are different hiking times. We walked around 20 minutes for the views we got in the above pictures.
11. Krísuvíkurberg cliffs
You can say I’m a huge fan of rough nature and untouched surroundings, because the Krísuvíkurberg cliffs offer again some amazing views over the cliffs and the sea. Absolutely worth a stop.
Before arriving at Krýsuvík, you’ll come across Gígvatnsvatn, which is a a lake with crystal clear, blue water. It’s really nice to make the extra stop along the way. You can have a walk around the lake or just enjoy the views.
The geothermal area of Krýsuvík is absolutely a must-visit when road tripping along Reykjanes. It’s a fascinating place where you can walk all the way up (with stairs) and enjoy the views over the steamy hot water springs. Take into account that there will be a sulfur smell.
North from Krýsuvík you can find the big lake of Kleifarvatn. Here, you can have some amazing views over the lake. Enjoy a lunch or a drink somewhere along the lake or take a beautiful hike.
Reykjavík is a lively city and in the evening you can have a nice time with plenty of choice when it comes to restaurants and cafés.
If you have more days to spend in Iceland, consider booking a campervan and make it a fun camping trip. It will be less costly having transportation and accommodation with campsites accessible near the Ring Road. It’s also the option that will afford you the best opportunity to spend as much time outdoors, like having your morning coffee in the most picturesque of Icelandic landscapes.
What other places surprised you during your drive to Reykjanes? I love to hear about your experiences! You can let me know in the comment section below.