W e wish we could tell you something great about the town of Grindavik Iceland. But that is next to impossible. Painting a rosy picture of this town on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland would be hard for even the very best novelist.
The place is in essence still the very same fishing port it once was and although one can get all necessary services here and this is the closest town to the most popular tourist site in Iceland finding tourists here is a long shot. The town is simply not worth much attention.
Although locals will most certainly be up in arms and argue the worth of this little place the fact remains that Grindavik has little to recommend it. Its location is not very pretty, it does not have a center to speak of and at least half its people work elsewhere. Which brings us to style Grindavik a lifeless sleeping town. A huge reason for this are high apartment prices in Reykjavik sending droves of locals to outside towns like this one to save on rent. Here you can rent a whole villa for the same price as a tiny flat in the capital.
The place is in essence still the very same fishing port it once was
What Grindavik does have to its name is a fine harbor for fishermen and is the closest town to the famous Blue lagoon, although you would probably not know it if you arrived the wrong way. But that´s it for any praise.
This would be a fine spot to stock up on supplies if this was anywhere else in the country. A number of services is to be found here ranging from a bank to a large grocery store along with the usual gas station/fast food joint. But since this is only half an hour from Reykjavik and Keflavik few travelers will need stocking up around here.
Sights are few and far between. Team Total Iceland has before recommended a stop in the local golf club where a part of the rather nice course runs around the tectonic rift. This is possible without disturbing the golfers but probably not very popular in large groups.
This is not to say there is nothing to see here. There is but not in town itself but the natural surroundings. The jagged coast is nearby and quite rocky and stunning. Also on the beach is a rather nice hot pool. A little distance away is Thorkotlunes, a small peninsula popular for shorter walks. Of interest here is a small lighthouse and wrecks of small ships stranded here in earlier times. Also close is Vogastapi where you will find examples of an old shield volcano. Shield volcanoes mean as volcano built entirely from lava flows and not from eruption per se. Another fine site is Eldvorp, an active geothermal place where you can almost feel the heat coming from below. Care should be taken at all times. Never a good idea not to respect nature. Also Gunnuhver hot spring area is another option for this.
Also quite fun is walking to the top of Thorbjorn mountain from where great views will greet you. Excellent views over the Blue lagoon industrial area. Another option is to find a small natural circled pool called Brimketill on the beach. While beautiful the water is cold but great if that is your thing.
Of note within town is the newly built Magma House @ Hafnargata 12 where geology in the area is explained as well as how locals cope with nature and use natural resources. Known locally as Kvikan this houses three different exhibitions. One about a local author, Gudberg Bergsson, of some fame within Iceland. One about codfish production throughout and one about earths energy.
You will find a number of decent places to eat in town. Not counting fast-food joints there is Salthusid restaurant @ Stampholsvegi, Vor restaurant @ Hafnarbraut, Bjarmahusid @ Hopsheidi and of course Lava restaurant @ the Blue lagoon.
For accommodations check our search engine below. The Northern light Inn @ Blue lagoon is quite popular but bear in mind the lagoon is some way off from Grindavik town and good 20 minutes away from either Keflavik town or Reykjavik city. Unless you want to depend on tour buses to get to and fro you will have to rent a car.