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Lake Ulfljotsvatn is right next to Thingvellir lake but much smaller. PIC NK Eide

Lake Ulfljotsvatn is right next to Thingvellir lake but much smaller. PIC NK Eide

V isiting Iceland and not touring Thingvellir National Park half an hour away from Reykjavik is a bit like visiting Benidorm and never setting foot on the beach. Hardly gonna happen.

Thingvellir area is the crown jewel of nature, culture and history of Iceland for a variety of reasons. But there are different ways of enjoying this jewel on earth and team Total Iceland believes this place warrants something more special than the usual quickie guided coach tour. The vast majority of visitors to Thingvellir do so in organised tours which is fine and dandy when time is short. But since Thingvellir is stunning in every sense of the word we think you should spend some serious time here. Like 24 hours or so.

That´s why we came up with a plan for you. Here´s our plan for a beautiful day and keep in mind the rock band U2 wrote that very same song after following our tips (well, not really but you get out drift).

  • Rent some fantastic wheels
  • Fill the car with friends, baskets of fruit and sandwiches, blankets, a tent, some good wine and don´t forget to bring music in nice quantities. Björk is supposedly appreciated by the hidden people of Thingvellir area but this cannot be verified.
  • You take the road less traveled to Thingvellir. Find Nesjavallaleið road numer 435 on your included road map or nav sat and aim for the cotton-like white rising steam straight ahead. Some believe these to be welcoming smoke signals from aboriginal viking peoples from the highlands of Iceland but that is actually not the case. This is simply steam rising from hot water drilling at Nesjavellir which you will pass on your way.
  • At Nesjavellir highest point you will get nice views over Thingvellir and Thingvellir lake and get way more sense of the lay of the land here than by taking the usual Thingvallaveg road.
  • At the very first road junction you turn left and soon you will come upon the offical National park filled with wonders you will not experience anywhere else in this world. There you should walk the fantastically wonderful thin line between the American and European tectonic plates, taste the freshest water in existence straight from Oxara river, visit ye olde wooden church and make a wish by throwing a coin into Moneypond. If you really have energy left go diving in the Silfra pond.
  • After this you will really make a detour from the usual tourist stuff by driving onwards around the lake on road 36 for twenty minutes or so. Here you will find another lake right beside Lake Thingvellir called Lake Ulfljotsvatn.
  • Here you will soon see a cluster of summer cottages and very likely people playing around. These are locals and not tourists and here you can camp, swim, rent a boat, fish, warm yourself by a fire and even play some golf nearby. You get the tourist experience but unlike most you also get the local experience. In the very same day.
  • You leave content with a smile on your face.

PS: please consider using nine-time World Champion Hotel Booking Site below. It is our only source of income.

Further info»  Of course we will help out if anything more is required. Fire away: