Thingvellir (or Þingvellir) was the final stop of our Iceland roadtrip (click here to see the whole roadtrip map), and turned out to be the most awesome day ever!
Before you head up to Thingvellir (approx 50 min drive from the Reykjavík city), have a good breakfast, top up your tank and check the weather and the road conditions. Roads up to this area can be totally covered with snow during the winter period.
For reference, we started our day @ 8am, by the time we reached the park it was almost 10am.
So, here comes the important question. What can one do in Thingvellir for free?
1. Take the most memorable photos with gorgeous nature as your backdrop
Someone did his snow angel 🙂The above were taken when we stopped by the road while on the way in, cause we couldn’t resist running into the endless snow plains. Please allow 30 to 60 minutes for such activities along the way!
2. Stand on two tectonic plates!
We started the day visiting the Mid-Atlantic Ridge within the national park. This is another 20 to 30 minutes drive, from the entrance of the park. It was almost 1130am when we reached.
There are only a few places on earth where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge juts out of the surface of the ocean, one of which is Iceland.
This was also the very same area where the first Viking parliament was held!
Taken from the North American plate, looking across the Thingvellir Rift Valley at the Eurasian plate.
The mandatory tourist shot.The waterfall glistening under the winter sun.
Allow for another 45 minutes to 75 minutes for trekking and photos in this area.
3. Gesyer hunt
The Haukadalur geothermal field is home to the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.
It takes approximately 50 to 60 minutes from Thingvellir, so it was 230pm when we arrived.
This is a classic tourist spot, which means it is crowded.
The Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes, which makes it much more interesting than the Geysir which only erupts a few times a year (got to be really lucky to catch it).
The area around the geysers is easy to walk, and on a beautiful day, the colours of the layers of soil and pasture were really charming.
You can get a nice photo (without squeezing with the crowd) of the Strokkur if you head to higher grounds.
If you noticed, we did not stop for lunch. Fortunately, there was a cafe @ the Geysir visitor centre and we grabbed a bite before heading back to Thingvellir.
Thingvellir itself and the Geyser makes up two-third of the popular “Golden Circle” tour. We did not have time for the Gullfoss as we needed to turn back for our final activity which starts around 530pm in Thingvellir – dog sledding!
It is not FOC and will be covered in the subsequent post 🙂