On May 2rd 1943 a B-24 Liberator bomber in the US Air Force, Hot Stuff, crashed into the mountain Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland.  It was one of many aircraft accidents in Iceland during WWII but an exceptionally tragic one.  All members of the plane were killed in the crash except one.

Monument dedicated to honoring those on the B-24 when it crashed

The mountain Sveinstindur is positioned near the shout shore of the highland lake Langisjór, practically in the middle of Iceland.  The height of the mountain is 1093 meters, and it is higher than most of the surrounding mountains.  The elevation is about 350 meters as Langisjór lake is placed at an altitude of 670 meters.  Sveinstindur mountain is one of the best places in Iceland to get a good view of the Highland and probably one of the best viewing places in Iceland.  Here you have a view to six glaciers, many great volcanos,  hundreds of mountains, long and winding rivers, and the horizon for hundreds of kilometers in any direction.  You just have to be there to understand the magnitude of the view. 

The path to the top is not difficult

Although the walking path starting near the service center by Langisjór is not difficult or long, it is a bit steep and possibly a bit frightening for people who fear height, at least near the top. The view is also great if you choose to walk the first 150 meters.  The walk takes about an hour and a half upwards almost the whole time.  It is an elevation of about 350 meters and a bit more than a kilometer walk.  But with each step, you get a fantastic view.  On the walk up it is mostly a view to the west, south, and north, but when you reach the top, you get an additional view to the east where you will see the highest mountain in Iceland, Hvannadalshnúkur and also Lakagígar and Laki, the source of the huge eruption in 1783.  Now keep in mind that there is a great difference to walk on top of Sveinstindur in a calm wind and a wind above 4 to 5 meters.  It is not particularly enjoyable to walk to the upper part on a gloomy and cloudy day.  A reminder that anything you do in Iceland is weather and season related.  And just a reminder, this part of Iceland, the Highland, is only open from the middle of July until the middle of September.

Spectacular view from Sveinstindur mountain

Sveinstindur and Langisjór are part of the Fjallabak Nyrðri drive

The drive to Sveinstindur is a highland road.  It is only for good 4X4 vehicles as it is a hard dirt road with many creeks and rivers to cross. Anyone who takes a small cart to the highland, even a small 4X4 vehicle is always taking a significant risk of damaging the car and adding a considerable cost to the tour.  When you are on the Nyrðri Fjallabak road, you take a turn on the F235 Langisjór mountain road and drive the road to the Service Center by Langisjór lake.

Below is the location of Sveinstindur on the map of Iceland

Although the walking path starting near the service center by Langisjór is not difficult or long, it is a bit steep

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape. The 690 meters high cliff at the southern end of the mountain stands tall. Something visitors driving the Ring Road approaching the mountain can not but admire as it lifts from the endless sand Skeiðarársandur south of Vatnajökull and Skaftafell.  The mountain is like a magnet for the eye, and with its small ponds, rocks and vegetation surrounding the cliffs is just a perfect item in the landscape to photograph.  On a beautiful calm day it is almost too easy to take beautiful photos of this magnificent mountain.

A cliff that has been around for a long time in Icelandic history

Stories related to Lómagnúpur have been around for a long time.  One of the oldest one is from the famous Saga, Njála.  One of the main characters, Flosi who originally came up with the idea to burn Njáls farm, lived at Svínafell farm near the Svínafell glacier. In one of his dream, he saw a giant walk out from the mountains as it opened and named 25 men out loud, that ended up putting the flames to Njal's farm. After that, he walked back into the mountain.  Possibly the story has its roots in the fact that the cliffs are so steep and high that people feel dwarfed in the presence of the mountain and gave it a supernatural force. 

An unstable mountain with history of landslides

One could argue that Lómagnúpur is one of few mountains in Iceland that have unexpected landslides, even loaded with large bergs and rocks.  One quite significant was documented around the middle of the 17th century on the west side. The landslide is still visible from the farm Núpstaðir.  Another smaller landslide, also visible today both as a scar in the mountain and also at the root of the mountain, occurred on the east side in 1988. It is an unstable creature and possibly as it is the home of large giants.

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape.

Throughout the centuries Icelanders have been very efficient and almost pedantic in giving names to every small piece of item in the landscape throughout the whole country.  Wherever you go, everything from a high and mighty mountain to a low hill seems to have a name.  Every creek and every river have a name.  Every waterfall in our extensive variety of small and large falls has a name.  And believe me, we have hundreds of waterfalls.  Every cliff, lava field, every lake, every cave, every hot spring and basically every place in the country has a name. 

The river Kaldaklofskvísl (Cold crotch distributary) and Klámbrekka is between the hill in the background and the mountain Stóra Grænafjall.

If you only have a day to drive around the countryside in Iceland and are interested in some of the spectacular sites and natural wonders Iceland has to offer, the Reykjanes Peninsula Drive is a great option. This is especially true if you are staying in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, or near the International airport at Reykjanesbær or the small fishing town of Grindavík.

The many reasons Reykjanes Peninsula day tour is a perfect road trip for stopover and short stay passengers who visit Iceland

Grábrók is a crater formed by a fissure eruption approximately three thousand years ago. The fissure that initially opened during that eruption wasn't very long but left behind Grábrók and her two crater sisters that can be seen when on top. Also, from the top the massive lava about seven square kilometers that surfaced in that eruption is visible.  It is a sight of geological interest comparable to Lakagígar, the Laki craters in the Icelandic Highland accessible from the Southern Region. The view from the top is not only interesting because of the lava. It is an impressive view over the most beautiful part of the Western Region Borgarfjörður and the tiny but beautiful lake Hreðarvatn, that was formed during that eruption.  To the northwest is a view to Baula a cone shaped and colorful mountain.

The walk to the top is quite easy as the crater is only about 170 meters high (560 feet).  There is a good path up to the top with manmade steps.  It is one of the natural sights that are basically on the Ring Road in Iceland and has been popular among Icelanders for decades.


Below is the location of Grábrók on the map of Iceland

Grábrók is a crater formed by a fissure eruption approximately three thousand years ago.

Some mountains in Iceland are more impressive than others. It doesn't have to do with size or magnitude. It has more to do with its role and identity. Baula in Borgarfjörður is one of those mountains. Like Keilir on the Reykjanes Peninsula Baula is known to most Icelanders. At the mere mention of those two mountains, everyone can instantly visualize them, as well as their surroundings.  Like Keilir, Baula is cone-shaped and have forever served as landmarks for travellers. When you pass Baula, you are leaving the south part of Iceland and venturing on the dangerous Holtavörðuheiði moor where the weather can be portentous. The mountain marks the end of the secure world when travelling from the south – and means you have reached safety when travelling from the north.

Apart from being a landmark, the Baula Mountain is quite beautiful with its red and orange hues caused by its rhyolite rock composition. It is 934 meters high and was created approximately 3 million years ago. Geologically it is classified as an intrusion. In geological terms, it is a batholith, which is a mass of rock that has been thrust upwards from deep within the earth. Nearby you'll find Litla-Baula (Tiny Baula) where rare columnar strands of rhyolite are to be found. Together, Baula and Litla-Baula are considered the most beautiful pair of mountains in Iceland.


Below is the location of Grindavík on the map of Iceland

Like Keilir on the Reykjanes Peninsula #baula is known to most Icelanders

The mountain Trölladyngja (Troll Mountain) is quite curious. This dwarf of a mountain (only 275 meters high) consists of palagonite like most mountains in the area. Trölladyngja and its surroundings is part of the Krísuvík Geothermal Area, but only recently so. Until 1975, there was no geothermal activity around the mountain, but a few years later things started to shift and change. Today Trölladyngja is geothermally very active. It is quite apparent in the colorful south side of the mountain and its surroundings.

Next to Trölladyngja is another mountain, Grænadyngja (Green Mountain) that is a bit higher (393 meters). The two mountains are commonly referred to as "The Sisters." Both mountains are geothermally very active, and also very popular amongst hikers. Both mountains are easy to mound, even for the inexperienced hiker. Indeed, one of the most popular and beautiful hiking routes in the Reykjanes Peninsula is the hike from Trölladyngja onto Grænadyngja, through the beautiful valley running between them.

"The Sisters" rise high above the lava field surrounding them, and are easily discernible from a long distance away, i.e. from the Capital area. Close by, you will find some of the most popular attractions in the Reykjanes Peninsula, such as the Blue Lagoon, the Bridge Between Two Continents, Reykjanesviti Lighthouse, Seltún and Gunnuhver.


Below is the location of Trölladyngja mountain on the map of Iceland

The mountain Trölladyngja and her sister Grænadyngja


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.

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


Below is the location of Kleifarvatn on the map of Iceland

Lake Kleifarvatn at Reykjanes Peninsula

Apart from the Snæfellsjökull glacier, Mount Keilir on the Reykjanes Peninsula is possibly the most painted mountain in Iceland. This perfectly cone-shaped mountain has always fascinated artists. It is renowned for the colorful display of lights and shadows surrounding it at dawn and dusk, often bathing the mountain in a mythical light.

Keilir is a palagonite mountain. It was formed during a sub-glacial eruption during the Ice age. Still, Keilir is not a stratovolcano, like the Snæfellsjökull glacier or the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier that are cone-shaped volcanoes erupting at relatively regular intervals. Keilir was formed through a single eruption beneath a dense Ice age glacier. Such volcanoes are usually palagonite mountains and they erupt only once.

Keilir is only about 380 meters high and relatively easy to climb. The mountain is very popular amongst hikers.  The view from the top is spectacular. During the years, two trails have formed on the east side of the mountain. It is wise to stick to those trails, as the mountain's gravel is quite loose. On the top, you will find an observation platform with an excellent overview of the Reykjavík Peninsula. There you can appreciate how extremely geologically active the area has been throughout the centuries.

Below is the location of Keilir on the map of Iceland

Mount Keilir on the Reykjanes Peninsula