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Reykjanes Peninsula

Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Reykjanes Peninsula Birdwatching

From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Volcanic Hike & Blue Lagoon Option

1. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Volcanic Hike & Blue Lagoon Option

After complimentary pickup in Reykjavik, take a scenic drive along the lava-shaped coast toward the first stop. Once there, follow the trail to the Geldingadalir Valley under the care of your experienced guide. Since it first exploded into life in March 2021, Iceland’s newest volcano has sent rivers of molten lava flowing across this rugged wilderness. Hundreds of thousands of people have come to see the youngest mountain in the world, and this is your opportunity to see the brand-new jet-black fields of lava for yourself. Be led by knowledgeable guides to the volcano site and be shown how this unstoppable force has dramatically changed the Icelandic landscape. Before your arrival, be the first to see Seltun, an almost lunar landscape of red rocks, orange sediments, hissing mud pots and hot springs; be dazzled by the multi-colored craters and steam vents. The Reykjanes peninsula features even more fascinating geological gems. Next, visit the Gunnuhver Hot Springs, a group of active mud pools and steam vents named after a local witch who in folklore met her doom here, so watch your step. After, take a short 5-minute drive to Valahnúkamöl, stunning bird cliffs and basalt columns rising from the sea. Spend some time here enjoying the views of the iconic sights, including Reykjanesviti Lighthouse, the oldest still-standing structure of its kind in Iceland. From there, move on to the Bridge Between Continents, a place where a small metal footbridge straddles the ever-widening gap between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, spanning the Mid-Atlantic Ridge just a few feet above the volcanic sands that stand between the diverging continents. As the final optional part of the tour, discover one of the most popular places in Iceland, the iconic Blue Lagoon where milky sea waters contrast with black lava fields. Here, soak all your cares away for 2 hours at the Blue Lagoon SPA. Enjoy a perfect way to relax and reflect on an unforgettable day spent on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Geopark Small-Group Tour

2. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Geopark Small-Group Tour

Discover Iceland's "melting pot" where geothermal energy, seismic activity, and tectonic movements can all be found on this small-group half-day tour. After being picked up in downtown Reykjavík, travel by minibus to the peninsula. Before long, the beautiful Kleifarvatn and Graenavatn lakes will appear in front of you. Have your cameras ready to frame the unique beauty of these Icelandic scenes, both here and when you arrive at the Krysuvik geothermal area. Visit Reykjanesviti lighthouse where you can spot various bird species or simply enjoy the Atlantic ocean.  The tour is perfect if you want to experience the rugged beauty of Iceland before boarding your flight. The bus will be make an optional drop-off at Keflavik International Airport as well as the Blue Lagoon. Expect to return to Reykjavik by around 3:30 PM.

Reykjavík: Active Volcano Hike and Reykjanes Peninsula Tour

3. Reykjavík: Active Volcano Hike and Reykjanes Peninsula Tour

Embark for a once-in-life-time experience and hike up to Geldingadalir to see the hypnotic Fagradalsfjall volcano. Benefit from the comfort of pickup service and start the journey towards Geldingadalur valley. Along the way, marvel at the lunar landscapes and geological marvels of the Reykjanes peninsula. Then, begin your hike of 1-1.5 hours (one way) into the barren surrounding wilderness. Experience real adventure and get as close as it is safely possible to the edge of the ever-growing lava field. Gaze at the breathtaking fountains of fire and vivid orange rivers of lava. Your experienced guide will make your adventure safe, informative, and enjoyable, and will give you time to explore and see the volcano from different angles. Finally, continue the tour and explore the Reykjanes Peninsula with its valleys flows into the lava, its bare heights, its dark rocks and gaping craters.

From Reykjavik: UNESCO Reykjanes Geopark Private Tour

4. From Reykjavik: UNESCO Reykjanes Geopark Private Tour

The Reykjanes peninsula is a 2,000 km² (772 mi²) area characterized by various formations of palagonite tuff, pillow lava, and basaltic lava flows shaped by volcanic activity during interglacial periods, mostly in the last 11,500 years. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level on this peninsula and it is lined with four volcanic systems from SW to NE, containing craters, faults, open volcanic fissures, large and small lava shields, and high-temperature geothermal fields. Fisheries have long been a lifeline of the locals, with fishing towns and villages along the black sanded coastline, some even dating back centuries. In 2015, Reykjanes was recognized as a Global Geopark by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) for its geological heritage in connection with the area's natural and cultural heritage. UNESCO Global Geoparks have sites and landscapes of international geological significance, managed with a holistic concept of education, protection, and sustainability. The Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark has 55 geosites and we will start on the outermost point of the peninsula at Garðskagi. Two lighthouses stand there bearing the same name Garðskagaviti. The older one dating back to 1897 is the second oldest lighthouse in Iceland while the newer one dating back to 1944 is the tallest lighthouse in our country. Both lighthouses offer a unique 360° view over the Atlantic Ocean and inland, and by the coast are varied species of sea birds, seals, and whales. Heading south from Garðskagi by the coastline, we next stop at the unique black church Hvalsneskirkja. This is among our favorite Icelandic churches, built with basalt lava rocks and crafted inside with driftwood, both collected within the region by locals. Its colorful tower makes for a great contrast against the basalt exterior and the surrounding mossy lava field. Closeby is another lighthouse, the picturesque yellow-colored Stafnesviti, overlooking the rocky coast of Básendar which used to be the largest fishing and trading post in the area before a flood caused by a terrible storm destroyed the whole town in 1799, changing the shoreline forever. We then head further south through the lava field with the rocky coastline to our right, to the wooden black church Kirkjuvogskirkja in the fishing village Hafnir. This is the oldest church on the Reykjanes peninsula, dating back to 1860. Standing close to shore, an anchor from the sailing ship Jamestown is kept to commemorate when the residents woke up one morning finding that ship had run aground after drifting abandoned and filled with valuable timber over the Atlantic Ocean. Most of that timber was then used for building houses and bridges all over Iceland. We continue our way to the Bridge Between Continents, a symbolic bridge over a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. With the Mid-Atlantic Ridge lying through and these plates constantly rafting, this is among the few places on Earth where they can be seen above ground. Next up is the colorful and active geothermal area Gunnuhver, with mud pools, hot springs, and steam vents surrounded by lava fields and a sulphuric landscape. Walking trails run throughout the area between observation decks, overlooking this spectacular everchanging area. A short drive from there takes you to Reykjanesviti, the oldest lighthouse in Iceland on top of a hill dating back to 1907. A walking path leads to the peak of Valahnúkur, where the first-ever lighthouse built in Iceland stood, before being damaged by earthquakes and powerful waves on this most south-western point of the peninsula. Valahnúkur is an eroded sea cliff that formed in an eruption over 10,000 years ago and is now a popular nesting site for seabirds. The music video Volcano Man starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams was mainly shot here. Valahnúkamöl is a beach filled with large boulders created by powerful storms and waves, and looking out into the Atlantic Ocen is Eldey, a high stack of islands with the largest gannet colony in the world. The last mating pair of Great Auks were killed there in 1844, and by Valahnúkur is a statue of a Great Auk in memory of this extinct species. Heading east we stop by the small coastal rock pool Brimketill which rests by the coastline. Pounding waves have carved the cliffs throughout the years and formed this pool, which looks tempting to take a dip in when the weather is calm, but it is highly advised against due to sudden waves sneaking up on you and sucking you out to sea. Instead, there's an observation platform overlooking this spectacular formation. We head to the last stop of the day, the geothermal field Svartsengi. It is one of the five major geothermal areas on the peninsula which last erupted over 800 years ago, producing the surrounding lava fields and forming a long row of scoria and spatter cones called Eldvörp. The Svartsengi Power Plant sits in the middle of the field, producing electricity and energy for the local district. Run-off water fills the Blue Lagoon with geothermal water rich in minerals with healing abilities, making it the most popular bathing resort in Iceland. A drive through this area gives you great sights of this active geothermal area in-between the rocky mossy lava.

Frequently asked questions about Reykjanes Peninsula Birdwatching

What are other things to do than Birdwatching that are worth visiting in Reykjanes Peninsula?

The other unmissable things to do in Reykjanes Peninsula are:

What are the best Reykjanes Peninsula Birdwatching?

Which Reykjanes Peninsula Birdwatching are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These Reykjanes Peninsula Birdwatching are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in Reykjanes Peninsula

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What people are saying about Reykjanes Peninsula

The guide was really great (Italian)! We were able to see a lot of incredible landscapes! The hike was quite easy but it is good to cover up because of the wind, the view from the top was magical. The guide made several extra stops as we were ahead of schedule, it was really great. A long day well worth it, especially with the blue lagoon to relax after the hike!

Tour of a different kind. Visit to places that are not so well known and perhaps because of this allow a deeper look into the history and current way of life in Iceland. The weather didn't play along, also typical for Iceland. Great tour with a very knowledgeable guide (Ian).

Had a great trip with guide Gummi. Lots of really interesting information, and couldn't have been more helpful. Even found a good place for lunch when it turned out that everyone was vegetarian ! Well recommend him.

David was an excellent guide and we really enjoyed the volcano hike. 3 hours at the Blue Lagoon was a little lengthy but could see how people would enjoy the extra time there. Would highly recommend!

The hiking on volcanoes was phenomenal, we stopped also another 3 fantastic places before heading to the Blue Lagoon and spent 3 hours there. Definitely recommended!