M arketers the world over like things to be sexy. If not sexy in themselves then at least in name. Which is why the area known for centuries simply as Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland will very likely come to be known as Reykjanes Geopark in the future.
If you know geology this particular peninsula is totally unique in all respects. The whole area is effectively where the Mid-Atlantic tectonic plates, the ones separating Europe and North America, rise high enough from the ocean floor to create a landmass. And what a landmass.
But as with most good things in life all is not what it seems
Now, you would be forgiven to shudder a little while driving from the Keflavik international airport to Reykjavik city. The whole airport and the whole stretch of the road into Reykjavik goes along this very same Reykjanes peninsula.
You could shudder thinking about how to get back to the airport and back home if the forces beneath this place start to rumble. And this being tectonic plates fault, sooner or later they will. You might shudder from the vastness of the desolate looking and moss grown old lava all around you. While kinda magical in deep summer when the rays of the midnight sun light up the country this place is also a bit forbidding in autumn, winter or spring. Cold, hard, snowy and not altogether safe either.
But as with most good things in life all is not what it seems.
It is here that you´ll find the popular and famous Blue lagoon and it is due to the warmth of the earth´s core, so close to the surface, that you can bathe in hot water here in the middle of nowhere. It is here you´ll also find the unique Trihnukagigur, the deep and massive underground magma chamber which will in due time probably be the second most popular tourist site in Iceland after the Blue lagoon. It is here you will find a number of hot springs spewing water and mud up on the surface continuously 24 seven.
Reykjanes peninsula is also where you will find, quite easily, two rather special mountains which for trekkers or hikers are absolutely recommended by team Total Iceland. Not only is climbing those great for your health, not only are both climbs rather easy but most importantly, both give you stunning views over a large piece of this wondrous area.
Keilir mountain you cannot miss. Its pyramid shape can be seen from almost everywhere around here and on a clear day you can even see it from Snaefellsjokull glacier over 200 kilometers away. The base of this 379 meter high mountain will surprise and delight you too and the hike up its hills is both enjoyable and relatively easy for most people. Absolutely fantastic for brilliant kodak moments and to get a real feel for this weird area. Remember, the whole peninsula is just meters above that famous rift splitting Europe from America.
As opposed to Keilir the Thorbjorn mountain has little claim to fame and does not offer quite as splendid views but great nevertheless. But what is does offer is a nice walking path the whole way up and once there commanding views of the rugged coast and the small town of Grindavik on one side but on the other a bird´s eye view over the famous Blue lagoon.
Team Total Iceland recommends both highly for all able bodied persons. Both will take some time but keep in mind everything worth something takes extra effort. Do not hesitate to make contact if anything.
Thorbjorn mountain is easily accessible from Blue lagoon and Grindavik town while you will need to walk a bit to get to the roots of Keilir mountain. Follow road 41 and turn on road 420. From there head towards Keilir on a gravel road. The hike should take you no more than two to three hours at a leisurely pace. Special equipment is not needed but as always care must be taken. Do not climb in windy weather.
View Two beckoning mountains in Iceland in a larger map