The Reykjanes Peninsula may be known as the home of the Blue Lagoon, but the rest of this amazing landscape should not be missed! Because it is also the home of Keflavik Airport, so it’s typically the first glimpse of Iceland that most people get. The Peninsula is a geothermally active, otherworldly landscape full of wonders. I’m so glad that I got an in-depth look.
I booked this tour on a whim after enjoying the South Coast tour so much. It was relatively inexpensive and only took the afternoon, so it was a perfect choice for my last day in Iceland. A Grayline Bus picked me up from Hotel Holt and shuttled me and the other passengers to the main bus terminal (right near the AirBnB I stayed at!). From there, I took another bus to the Blue Lagoon to catch yet another bus, which would take us on the actual tour.
I didn’t feel the pull to actually visit the Blue Lagoon, but I’m really happy that I got to see it at least because it is BEAUTIFUL. I checked in with the tour guide, DeeDee, to make sure I had time, and then ran off to take some photos of the bright blue water. There’s a path that winds around the Blue Lagoon Spa where other people were also wandering around in awe like me. It was such a gorgeous site to behold.
I was smiling so hard that my cheeks hurt by the time I boarded the bus to get on with the tour. I really enjoyed this tour guide because she was quirky and talkative (her first line of the tour was “BUCKLE UP EVERYBODY, THERE’S A WOMAN DRIVING!”), and made sure to stop anywhere and everywhere that we might want to take pictures. So, naturally, our first stop was a scenic overlook of the lava fields that cover a lot of the area.
We did a quick driving tour of the fishing village of Grindavik, which DeeDee narrated, spouting out interesting facts as we went. Like, did you know that fishing was the #1 industry in Iceland until last year, when tourism took its place? The drive along the peninsula was stunning. We had volcanoes to our left and the Atlantic Ocean to our right. Our next stop(s) were in the geothermal area, starting with the Green Lake and moving on to Krysuvik, a bubbling, sulfuric area.
The green lake was beautiful and its smooth surface resembled blue and green agate; it was amazing. We hopped back in the bus after taking our pictures and drove across the street to the active geothermal area. We walked through it on a boardwalk that zigzagged over the steaming ground.
The colors were gorgeous, from shades of orange and red to deep purple. The sulfur smell made us all try to breathe exclusively through our mouths, but it was a beautiful place to explore. From there, we drove down the road a ways to Kleifarvatn Lake, one of the largest lakes in Iceland. It was freezing and windy over by the water, so we ran to take our pictures of the moody, choppy lake set amongst the green-topped hills.
Recently (in 2000), an earthquake caused the lake to drain a bit and the water level went down a significant amount. This, plus murder of course, became the plot of a famous crime novel written by one of Iceland’s most well-known authors. We also stopped up the mountainside so we could take in the view of the lake from above, which was a thoughtful addition to the tour.
Our last stop of the tour was a whole area of the peninsula devoted to drying fish heads to be shipped out to whoever buys dried fish heads. It was quite the sight to see; all those fish heads dangling from wooden posts.
Deedee drove us back to Reykjavik and dropped us off wherever we wanted to go. And where I wanted to go was the Sea Baron in the Old Harbor, but more on that later…
Have you visited the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland? What was your favorite spot there?