Þingvellir to Reykjavík

A visit to the points of interest of Þingvellir National Park, Iceland including Almannagjá fault, the continental divide and fault line between Eurasia and North America, Öxarárfoss waterfalls, Alþing – Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th century, Þingvellir Church, Visitor center, Horse riding and hiking before driving to Reykjavík

Þingvellir is a national park and UNESCO world heritage site which is part of the golden circle of Iceland.  Þingvellir offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Almannagjá fault, the continental divide and fault line between Eurasia and North America
  • Öxarárfoss waterfalls
  • Alþing – Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th century
  • Þingvellir Church
  • Visitor center
  • Horse riding and hiking

Þingvellir is pronounced Thingvellir, I was pronouncing it with a ‘P’ the whole time I was there but I was wrong!  Upon arriving at Þingvellir, you should plan which car park you want to park in as there are 3 car parks (probably car park P1 where the visitor center is).  Þingvellir is the only place I visited in Iceland where you have to pay for parking.  You also have to pay for use of the toilets and they accept credit card!

Almannagjá fault, Þingvellir, Iceland

Almannagjá fault, Þingvellir, Iceland

Þingvellir national park is famous for the Almannagjá fault running through it.  You can walk in between the continental divide of the Eurasian and North America plates.  It’s a funny feeling to be walking in between tectonic plates, thinking to yourself, what happens if there’s an earthquake or the fault line moves?

Due to the unique beauty of Þingvellir, several episodes of Game of Thrones have been filmed here.

Öxarárfoss waterfalls, Þingvellir

Öxarárfoss waterfalls, Þingvellir

Whilst walking through Þingvellir you’ll see signs to Öxarárfoss waterfalls, you must visit these falls as they are incredible.  Not only are they beautiful but the fact that the water is dropping off the tectonic plate into the fault line is out of this world.  These waterfalls are relatively quiet compared to other falls in Iceland, they are approximately a 1500 meter walk from the visitor center.

Alþing - Iceland's parliament

Alþing – Iceland’s parliament

Þingvellir in English translates to ‘Parliament Plains’.  From the 10th to 18th century Iceland’s parliament, Alþing, was situated at Þingvellir.  There is not much left of the parliament, you could easily walk past it and not know what it was.  There is an illustration of how it used to be all those years ago.  Icelandic people respect Þingvellir because a lot of major events Icelandic history have taken place here.

þingvallavatn lake, Þingvellir National Park

þingvallavatn lake, Þingvellir National Park

þingvallavatn lake is a huge part of Þingvellir National Park.  The visitor center is located on the western side of the lake.  The day I visited, Þingvellir was cloudy but on a clear day you can use the lake to make some incredible reflection photography.  The park is surrounded by mountains and steaming volcanoes.

The church you’ll see (above) is called Þingvallakirkja.  The church is open daily in summer if you have the desire to go inside.  The smaller houses next to the church (above) are summer houses of the Icelandic president.

You can organize in the visitor center longer hikes and horse riding in the park if you’re planning on exploring the park in depth.

Deep snow, Iceland

Deep snow, Iceland

The drive from Þingvellir National Park to the capital, Reykjavik takes just over half an hour and you’ll pass through some mountains on this route.  As I was driving in March there was still a lot of snow up there!  I stopped at a designated viewpoint but because it was foggy and snowy all that was visible was white.  I’m sure where I am stood looks completely different in the summer.

Reykjavík to Seltún

2017-04-19T02:46:14+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Iceland|18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Bornomadic April 9, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Beautiful Pingvellir. My interest rose about it after reading that it is one of the shooting sites for “Game of Thrones”. Have added it to my travel list. Great pictures too.

  2. Laura April 9, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Your post makes me think about my recent trip to Iceland. We took the road from Thingvellir to Reykjavik on our last days in the country and even after seeing all those beautiful places and stunning nature, this place had its own charm and effect on me! How cool is it to walk inbetween two tectonic plates?!

  3. Jatin Chhabra April 9, 2017 at 7:08 am - Reply

    There is no doubt that Iceland is a beautiful country. I have never heard about Þingvellir national park but it is stunning. I wonder what would have been the temperature when you were taking these shots? -20 degree…

  4. Iftekhar Idris Asif April 9, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Sometimes when I feel lonely, I read this travel blogs because these blogs give the inspiration to go ahead. Seriously dude, I love every travel bloggers around the world, who are making my leisures time beautiful. Btw, nice blog. 🙂

  5. Archana Singh April 9, 2017 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Your posts are making me think to postpone my other travel plans and put Iceland right on the top. Love your pictures and beautiful description. Keep sharing.

  6. Bhushavali April 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Oh! You’re standing in knee deep snow!!! Wow! Again, as a GoT fan, that’s a plus point too! //water is dropping off the tectonic plate into the fault line//???? – Whoa!!! That’s just awesome!!!

  7. Rashmi and Chalukya April 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Iceland has always been fascinating to us for its diverse landscapes and bounty of nature. Tracing through the Game of Thrones shooting spots would be fun. Those small colorful houses look pretty and its reflection captured is amazingly beautiful.

  8. Lynne Sarao April 10, 2017 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Iceland is so high up on my bucket list and I’ve seen so many beautiful photos of this waterfall that it’s definitely on there too! I can’t believe you have to pay to use the bathroom though! That’s crazy!

  9. Zinara April 10, 2017 at 2:30 am - Reply

    I dream on traveling to Iceland so soon, maybe soon. Your photos are just so beautiful and says how much of a beautiful land Iceland is. Öxarárfoss waterfalls look breathtakingly amazing! þingvallavatn lake seems so dreamy! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Iza c/o Kathy James April 10, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Your articles about Iceland are awesome. There are so many wonderful places in Iceland.
    Þingvellir looks spectacular! Your photos of the lake and plains look stunning. I wish I could relocate to Iceland. : )

  11. Reshma April 10, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Pingvellir looks so beautiful! And it’s great to know that it’s just half an hour away from the capital. Plus Game of Thrones was shot here and you can get to walk on the tectonic plate – Wow, so many reasons to add Pingvellir to the bucket list!

  12. Ticking the Bucketlist April 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I loved the Thingvellir National park. Did you dive in Silfra as well? I did not dare to as I was there in winters. I loved the picture of the parliament…your post has made me feel so nostalgoc!

    • James Smith April 11, 2017 at 1:21 am - Reply

      I didn’t visit Silfra, I guess it’s something to do next time!

  13. Global Girl Travels April 11, 2017 at 2:44 am - Reply

    I have a thing for waterfalls so that photo of Oxararfoss waterfalls won me over quick. Much has been written about Iceland but not these parts that you featured. It will be another reason for us to visit Iceland again as we’ve only explored most of Reykjavik!

  14. Suma - Tales of travelling sisters April 11, 2017 at 9:02 am - Reply

    The Oxararfoss waterfall looks magical, the entire location is breath-taking. Would love to visit the lake and the waterfalls when I visit Iceland. Even though it was cloudy, the picture of the lake reflecting the surrounding looks brilliant!

  15. Archana April 11, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Your articles on Iceland are wonderful. Like you, I too face difficulty in pronouncing new names. My friends would love Þingvellir a lot. Specially coz ir is a site for Game of Thrones, is a national park and UNESCO world heritage site which is part of the golden circle of Iceland

  16. Sandy N Vyjay April 12, 2017 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Þingvellir is definitely another important page of Iceland. Do not see many people writing about it. But I found the post fascinating because it talks about the lesser known facts about the history of Iceland. The Iceland Parliament is something I would love to visit, it must indeed have many fascinating stories to tell!

  17. Carmen Baguio April 12, 2017 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! Look at all of that snow. Was it difficult to walk around? I would have to brave the cold to see that waterfall. Gorgeous!

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