What to see in South West Iceland
1. Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon (BláaLónið) is located in Grindavík on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland. This geothermal lagoon, which is really an artificial lake, is located in an old lava field overgrown with moss. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, with more than 600,000 people visiting every year.
Photo by: laurent gauthier
The water has a temperature from 37 to 39 degrees Celsius. The water is rich in minerals, salts and blue-green algae, giving it a light blue colour. It’s said to have a healing effect on the skin. Alongside the pool are wooden boxes with white mud, which you can rub on your face and the rest of your body. After ten minutes of drying the effect is amazing.
2. Krýsuvík Seltun
Krýsuvík Seltun is one of the most active spring areas in southern Iceland. Krýsuvík is approximately 35 km from the Blue Lagoon.
The thermal area was formed by the gap between the European and North American tectonic plates. It smells like rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide).You can visit the area by wooden walkways that run between the bubbling and boiling mud pools. The ground is coloured green, yellow and red.
3. Bridge of Continents
On the Reykjanes peninsula you can walk from the Eurasian to the North American tectonic plate by walking over a footbridge in Miðlína. You basically walk from Europe to North America and back again. The tectonic plates float 2 cm farther apart every year.
4. Two lighthouses in Garðskagi
The lighthouses in Garðskagi were built in 1897 and 1944. The newer lighthouse is 28 metres high and is the highest lighthouse in Iceland. The Byggðasafn Garðskaga or city museum of Garður has information on the population and the marine life in the region. It is located in the outbuildings of the lighthouse keeper’s cottage.The newer lighthouse is open during nice weather. To reach it, you have to walk past the museum.