#canyon

 

On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful geothermal area at Seltún. The main area is a fascinating hot spring field to the southwest, recognizable by the mud pools and steaming ground. Through the steam, you'll notice the yellow, green and red-orange colors, as well as the white and brown colors of the sulfates. The sulfates dissolve in water and become mottled. Thus, when it rains they disappear altogether, leaving only the bright yellow, green and red colors of the sulfur. It is a mythical sight to see.

A source for green power production?

In the mid-20th century, there were plans to utilize the geothermal field for power production, and Seltún then became one of the main drilling targets. Old drill pads are still in situ near the path along the creek.  During the winter of 2010, one of the boreholes started erupting intermittently with a few days between the eruptions. Another old drilling well blew up in 1999 forming a crater of approximately 30 diameters, now filled with mud except where a flow of steam keeps the boiling pits open. The explosion debris covers the surrounding slope like a carpet of yellowish mud up to about 100 meters.

Access is easy by the road

Walking the easy planks and steps through the area is quite an experience. Climbing to the top platform is a must. The view from this living, breathing corner of the earth is simply stunning.  To access you take a turn south from the main road between Reykjavík and The International airport at Keflavík, by the Aluminum Plant on Road Nr. 42. After about 20 kilometers you will arrive at Seltún.  Seltún is also part of the one day Road Trip around the Reykjanes Peninsula we recommend if you have a day in the capital Reykjavík. By taking that road trip you can see and discover many other magnificent places. 

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Below is the location of Seltún on the map of Iceland

On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.

 

The Lambafell fissure is an open narrow fissure in a small hill or a stack in the landscape named Lambafell. It is an exciting and popular hiking route and a great place to take children. The path is unforgettable, and it might be a good idea is to bring a small light to light up some of the interesting walls.  At the southern end of Lambafell, you will find active high-temperature steam vents. Along the entire mount is a groove, or a ledge, which leads to the deep and narrow Lambafell fissure. The fissure's width is only a few meters, but it is 50 meters deep. During the summer, you can hike along the entire fissure, and it will be worth your while.

The best way to hike through Lambafellsgjá fissure

Indeed, the best route to descend into the fissure is from the south, down a steep and rather loose graveled slope. The fissure's walls are covered with excellent outcrops of subglacially formed basaltic pillows. The fissure was most certainly formed during the Holocene, but the pillows are thought to be a lot older than the last glacial period, possibly the one preceding the last one – or even older.
At the northern end, the fissure opens at the same level as its surroundings. You can either hike back through the fissure or go back over the hill and down a well-marked trail.  At the northern end, the fissure opens at the same level as its surroundings. You can either hike back through the fissure or go back over the mount and down a well marked trail.

Only an hour drive from Reykjavík

Driving to Lambafellsgjá can be a part of a driving tour and a hiking tour at the Reykjanes Peninsula.  When you drive from Reykjavík on Reykjanesbraut Road Nr. 41. After a short drive passed the Aluminum plant, you turn south on the road to Keilir.  You go a bit further than the turn to go to Keilir and find a small parking space about one-kilometer hike from Lambafellsgja.

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Below is the location of Lambafellsgjá on the map of Iceland

The Lambafell fissure is an open fissure in an oval hyaloclastite mount named Lambafell.

 

Krísuvík is one of the fascinating areas in Iceland. That is if you are a true lover of nature. Situated in the south of the Reykjanes Peninsula, in the middle of the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it is spectacular. It is such an active geothermal area; one cannot help but wonder: Is it here that Iceland breathes?

The area is riddled with steaming volcanic vents and boiling hot springs, framed dramatically by a range of multi-colored hill. At Seltún and Gunnuhver you will find solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs, giving the soft soil its yellow, red and green hue.

Well-maintained boardwalks wind through the bubbling and hissing geothermal areas, with informative signage explaining all the important geological facts.

A short distance away from the geothermal fields you will discover several maars/crater lakes, created by the explosions of overheated groundwater.  The largest is Kleifarvatn and the second is Grænavatn (Green Lake), which glows in a deep green. It derives its color from thermal algae and crystals absorbing the Sun.

A few minutes drive away from this surreal landscape are the Krísuvík Cliffs with its thousands of sea birds. They nest in the rugged hillside beside the crashing Atlantic surf. All you have to do is hike along a trail to the edge of the cliffs, and you'll spot kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and a vast number of other species as they dive into the frolicking sea.

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Below is the location of Krísuvík on the map of Iceland

The Colorful Krísuvík

 

Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is situated on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge a short distance from the dramatic geothermal area of Seltún.The lake is incredibly deep, 97 meters (318 feet) at its deepest point. But, its unique feature is that it has no visible surface drainage, which means there are no rivers running to or from it. Thus, the water level only changes with the ground water. Following an earthquake in the year 2000, a fissure formed at the bottom of the lake that soon began to drain. It diminished by 20 percent. Gradually though, the fissure refilled, and the lake has returned to its previous levels.

Kleifarvatn lake is a popular destination and attraction

Today, the Kleifarvatn area is gradually becoming a popular destination for hikers, joggers and bird watchers. Surrounding the lake is a comfortable trail where you can enjoy the dramatic and ever-changing landscape. The lake itself attracts the local anglers who like to fish for trout in the tranquil, colorful area. Kleifarvatn lake and the area around the lake is also a great place to view the Northern Lights.

Kleifarvatn and the area around the lake is a great place to see the Northern Lights

Kleifarvatn and the area around the lake is a great place to see the Northern Lights

Monster and crime scene in a famous Icelandic novel

The lake is believed to be inhabited by a monster. The serpent-like creature is the size of a large whale and has been spotted surfacing now and then. The lake is the setting for the crime novel The Draining Lake by one of Iceland's most prominent crime authors Arnaldur Indriðason

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Below is the location of Kleifarvatn on the map of Iceland

Lake Kleifarvatn at Reykjanes Peninsula

 

Reykjanes peninsula has many interesting places and several natural wonders. In fact, one could easily spend a few days in Iceland and only visit interesting places on the Reykjanes peninsula. One of those beautiful places is Lake Djúpavatn, less than an hours drive from Reykjavík. It is a bit difficult to visit since the road is a kind of a Highland gravel road for 4X4 vehicles only. But that makes visiting the place just a bit more exciting and adventures. There are also a few interesting hiking trails in the are that take up two to four hours to hike. It is an advantage and a privilege in life to be able to drive such a short distance and enjoy peace and quiet in such beautiful places.

A small lake ideal for fishing and hiking

There is one sure way of getting your children away from the computer. Take them fishing.  Find a nice lake and it doesn't matter if it has salmon, trout or sand lance. Children simply love a trip including a fishing rod and a picnic. Djúpavatn (Deep Lake) is a popular family destination in Iceland and a perfect place for a family destination. This beautiful and tranquil lake is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a mere half an hour drive from Reykjavík.
In spite of its name, the lake is not at all deep, a mere 16.7 meters and its size is only 15 square meters. In fact, you can rent the whole lake if you don't want to be disturbed.

A road for a 4WD vehicle only

There was no fish in Lake Djúpavatn until 1960 when a stock of char was transferred to the lake from Þingvallavant (Lake Þingvellir), possibly because the two lakes share similar geological environments. The fish, though rather small, has now been thriving in Lake Djúpavan for 55 years.  Having a picnic by the lake is ideal, of course, but in Iceland, the weather can't always be relied upon to suit your needs. But, not to worry. There is a fishing lodge by the lake where you can have your picnic indoors.

Access to Djúpavatn is quite easy from Krýsuvíkurvegur Road Nr. 42.  A few kilometers before you come to the lake Kleifarvatn you turn to Road Nr. 421 Vigdísarvallavegur.  Here you need to keep in mind that this is one of the many roads in Iceland where you need a 4X4 or a 4WD vehicle. This is not a road for a small car.

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Below is the location of Djúpavatn on the map of Iceland

Djúpavatn a beautiful and tranquil lake is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula

 

In Iceland, the Blue Lagoon at the Reykjanes Peninsula is becoming a landmark equivalent to Big Ben in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is a place most visitors and tourists that plan a trip and come to Iceland want to visit.  Needless to say, it is probably the most popular tourist destination in Iceland. These unique baths were discovered accidentally in the 1970s. During a construction operation at the nearby Geothermal power plant, the workers decided to use this natural pool to wash after a long and exhausting day. Soon, the word spread about the water's extraordinary qualities. It is extremely rich in silica and sulfur, thus excellent for helping people suffering from skin diseases, such as psoriasis. One gentleman from the nearby town of Keflavik fighting the disease decided to try the bath. His experiment was successful even to the amazement of some of his doctors.

A lagoon from the Geothermal Power Plant became a popular bath

During the first years, the public spas were operated at the original site. But, the natural setting proved to be too dangerous resting in the middle of a lava field. The bottom of the pool was fissures riddled, hiding some rock traps. A company was formed to build a new and safe pool.  As the lagoon became more convenient to bath in, more and more people became interested in bathing in the blue lagoon. The current pool is man-made. The nearby power plant, Svartsengi, feed the pool through water output. The water is being renewed every two days.

Recently renovated it is truly a joy to visit

Just recently the Blue Lagoon and the area around the lagoon was renovated and are now a state of the art Geothermal Pool.  The water temperature in the lagoon's bathing and swimming areas is on average 37-39°C. Apart from the public pools, the Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments, using the mineral-rich water.  Access to the Blue Lagoon is as easy as it gets. You go to the Road Nr. 41, which is the first road most visitors drive when in Iceland, the road between the International Airport at Keflavík and Reykjavík the capital of Iceland. About 30 kilometers from Reykjavík you turn south on Road Nr. 43 to the town of Grindavík. A few kilometers before you come to Grindavík you will see the Geothermal Power Plant at Svartsengi and the signs leading to the Blue Lagoon on Road Nr. 426.

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Below is the location of Blue Lagoon on the map of Iceland

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

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