Exploring Reykjanes’ Explosive Environment

At first, Reykjanes might not seems like much of a sightseeing destination. For miles around, the lava fields spread like one expansive, flat blanket. In fact, if you happen to be driving along the coast during inclement weather, it can seem forbidding and barren. If you have a little faith however (and good direction) the road inland will lead you to some of Iceland’s most unique geological features.

 

Located in the centre of Reykjanesfolkvangur National Park lies Krysuvik/Seltun Geothermal Area, a ‘garden’ of volcanic vents, hot springs and scorched earth, that looks like something straight out of hell.

The boardwalk will take you all around the park, but if you are feeling brave you can climb to the top of the solfatara, or volcanic crater, and pretend you’re Indiana Jones.

For those of you that enjoy getting off the beaten path, Graenavatn Lake is just a short distance away from Krysuvik. This deceptively turquoise lake was once a volcanic crater that get’s its unique water colour from the high levels of sulphur, and its depth; despite being so small, some parts of the lake are 45 metres deep. Probably for the best to skip taking a dip then.

The real draw to this area lays in the sign at the dirt parking circle next to Graenavatn Lake. This footpath goes across the landscape for just over a kilometre, but your efforts are rewarded with Krysuvik-like landscapes, all to yourself:

While Krysuvik and Graenavatn merit a visit on their own, seeing these landmarks nestled in the rugged mountainous landscape of Reykjanesfolkvangur National Park easily transforms this area into one of Iceland’s top must-see destinations.

This nature reserve is only 24 miles from Reykjavik, making it a great route to take if you want to end your Icelandic road trip on a high note. There are also multiple hiking trails in the area – perfect for those that don’t want the trip to end.

 

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