8. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Peninsula Day Trip by Super Jeep
Iceland’s volcanic landscapes take center stage on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the country’s southwestern tip. This full-day trip by Super Jeep from Reykjavik takes you into the peninsula to see multi-colored lava gorges, lakes, rock formations, wave-lashed cliffs, and more. Highlights include the Krisuvikurberg seabird cliffs, Seltún’s and Gunnuhver’s boiling pools and hissing vents, and the chance to cross between the continents.
Following hotel pickup in Reykjavik, settle aboard your Super Jeep, a 4x4 specially built to tackle Iceland’s challenging terrain. Meet your group of no more than six, and then admire the views as you travel to the lava-scarred Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland’s southwestern tip.
Listen as your guide talks about the peninsula’s geology, explaining how its rugged terrain is shaped by extreme underground volcanic activity. Learn how the cooled lava soil limits vegetation, creating lunar-like landscapes of sparse, moss-capped hills, and multi-hued rocks.
Stop at Lake Kleifarvatn, Reykjanes’ largest lake, ringed by black beaches and volcanic hills. Learn how this eerie lake sits over an active volcanic fissure zone, and began to disappear into a fissure after an earthquake in 2000.
Visit the Seltún geothermal area, and follow the boardwalks around boiling mud pools and hissing fumaroles. Then, view Lake Grænavatn, whose green waters are created by thermal algae and and sunlight-absorbing crystals. See the naturally perfect-shaped craters of Stóra and Litla Eldborg, and take in the Krisuvikurberg sea cliffs on the peninsula’s south coast. These towering cliffs attract nearly 60,000 pairs of nesting seabirds each summer, including gulls, guillemots, razorbills, and fulmars, as well as puffins between mid-March and late August. Other highlights include the Gunnuhver geothermal field, an atmospheric, steam-billowing swathe of mud pots, vents, and milky turquoise pools, and Sog, an area of multi-colored gorges. You’ll also see the stunning sea rock formations at Valahnukar, and visit Leifur Eiríksson Bridge, a man-made footbridge spanning a fissure between the Earth’s Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. If you wish, walk over the 59-foot (18-meter bridge), crossing between the two continents of Europe and North America in seconds. After a day of scenic wonders, finish with a hotel drop-off in Reykjavik.