Reykjanes and Blue Lagoon - Day Tour


Tour description:

- from Reykjavík drive Kringlumýrarbraut and Hafnarfjarðarvegur (road no. 40) through the suburbs Kópavogur and Garðabær

- turn right onto road no. 415 to Álftanes peninsula, turn right to Bessastaðir


Bessastaðir

- one of the richest farms in mediaeval Iceland, center of education and culture for many centuries, first mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas

- site of the only Latin school in Iceland from 1805 until 1845, when it was moved to Reykjavík

- since 1944 residence of the President of Iceland

- church built in early 19th century, interesting stained glass windows, showing the history of Christianity in Iceland

- you can visit Bessastaðir, the church is open to visitors, the residence of the president is not

- drive back on road no. 415, turn right, pass the church of Garðar


Hafnarfjörður

- town, centered around the harbor, built on a lava field, inhab. approx. 20.000

- long history of trade at the harbor

- famous Viking village near by the harbor, Viking festival every second year

- local folk museum and Icelandic film museum in the oldest building of Hafnarfjörður, Sívertsen-house, recently reconstructed

- small but lovely garden Hellisgerði, ingeniously made into the lava, not far from Sívertsen-house

- tourist information centre

- guided walks on Icelandic folklore such as stories of hidden people and other fairies

- several restaurants, cafés, shops, churches etc.

- continue on road no. 41, drive road no. 42 in direction to Kleifarvatn and Krýsuvík


Kleifarvatn

- lake, 10 km², up to 97 m deep

- very interesting because the water level rises and falls, sometimes drastically, for examples in 2001 the water level dropped about 7 m due to a fissure that opened after an earthquake

- hot springs at the bottom of the lake, in 2001 they appeared at the beach

- lava all around the lake

- continue on road no. 42


Krýsuvík (Seltún)

- Krýsuvík is actually the name of an abandoned farm and a former church

- nowadays people use the name for the hot spring area Seltún

- hot mud and steam springs

- stop at the parking lot and enjoy a walk on a path

- this landscape changes very much, new springs appear at the surface, others „die“ or explode

- it depends on the weather, how much water there is on the surface

- be very careful, this hot springs can be dangerous, stay on the path

- facilities (during summer season)

- drive back to the junction, turn right onto road no. 427 in direction to Grindavík


Grindavík

- small town, 2.300 inhabitants

- living on fishing, fish processing, recently reconstructed harbor

- new church, school buildings

- very interesting museum on salt fish processing, salt fish (cod) was one of the main trade Icelandic goods until frozen fish products took over

- The motto of the museum „Lífið er saltfiskur“ (Life is salt fish) is taken from a novel by Halldór Laxness, Salka Valka.

- for further information on the Salt fish Museum see here

- restaurants, bank, shops

- from Grindavík drive road no. 43 to get to the Blue lagoon


Blue Lagoon

- one of the most famous and unique attractions in Iceland

- pool of pale blue warm water (38ºC), especially rich of minerals

- situated in the middle of black lava fields, often it looks very surreal, especially when fog swirls over the water

- The artificial lake was actually created by accident when geothermal seawater was used to cool down the nearby power station in the 1960s. The run-off water was meant to sink into the ground, but at a point the lava would not absorb any more water and a lake appeared. Experience and research have proved that the water is very healthy for several skin diseases and it is an unforgettable experience to relax in the hot, salty water. A new Blue lagoon was created and a modern service centre built 1998.

- restaurant, cafeteria, souvenir and cosmetic shops etc.

- walking path along the lake (500 m)

- drive back onto road no. 43, heading north, turn right onto road no. 41 back to the capital area

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Highlights

Bessastaðir residence of the president, Hafnarfjörður town, Kleifarvatn lake, Krýsuvík hot spring area, Grindavík town, Blue lagoon

Total distance: approx. 120 km

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