One of the first things I suggest when people ask me what to do when they arrive in Iceland is to head to the geothermal areas of Gunnuhver and Krýsuvík, and having not been ourselves for a few months, we headed back and did a little vlog too. A big thanks to Toyota Island for lending us the Land Cruiser for the weekend, it was super comfy and thank goodness for those heated seats!!
Our Geothermal Road Trip
The Icelandic geothermal landscape
Heading from Reykjavik toward Keflavik you really get a feel for the dramatic Icelandic landscape. On the drive it goes from a dark and lifeless moonscape to a soft and green moss covered lava-scape. Once you arrive at the geothermal area, you'll smell it first but, the steam meets you and the ground truly comes alive.
Is an easy stop and well worth it to experience the steam, smell and colours here. Legend says that this geysir is the ghost of a dead woman (Gunner) who was killing peasants. The local priest give her a ball of yarn to follow, she followed the yarn down a hole where the geyser started - people believed it led straight to hell.
This is a great introduction to Iceland and makes for a fun, short stop which is very accessible. You can park right by the path that leads to the Gunner Geysir viewing platforms, and walk around the site.
Slightly further along the coast, passing Grindavik where I recommend you stop off at Bryggjan for a warm bowl of local lobster soup and bread (free refills). You will no doubt smell Krýsuvík before you arrive here. The geothermal stream bellows from the ground and the colours are fabulous. Again, very accessible. Park and walk on the boardwalk style path, climb the stairs to get an view across the park.
On a freezing cold day, Krýsuvík is a very surreal place to stand and watch the earth as it steams and bubbles away. It might look sunny and warm in these pictures but it was easily a chilly -10'c brrr. As the steam rises and drifts out over the snowy landscape, you can't help but wonder "where the heck am I"?!!
Check out the crazy colours in these pictures, the ground is a beautiful mixture of greys and coppers, steaming away, it's so raw and alive.