This is a predominantly eco-focused tour that circles the active central volcano Hengill, which is located just a few kilometers from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. Hengill produces impressive amounts of energy by way of hydro and geothermal power – both of which are utilized to provide the capital and nearby municipalities with plentiful supplies of hot water and electricity. Stop at the geothermal plant of Hellisheidi where you’ll learn about geosciences, geothermal technology, the environment and the history of the area. Then, continue to the town of Hveragerdi located on top of an old magma chamber which accounts for the abundance of hot springs that bubble and hiss all around this unique little community.
Take a short scenic drive passing by the town’s trademark greenhouses, and the new hot spring area - which broke through the earth’s surface following a dramatic earthquake in 2008. Next, pay a short visit to the geothermal area in the center of the town. After some refreshments, pass by the hydropower station Ljóssafoss, which has been in operation since 1937. Head out to the UNESCO site of Thingvellir. As you approach Thingvellir, cross the neovolcanic rift zone that slices through Iceland from northeast to southwest. Pause at the viewpoint to soak up a little of the nation’s history, it is one of oldest parliamentary institutions in the world. Lastly, pass by Iceland’s largest natural lake, Thingvallavatn, to the view point located on the lower flanks of the volcano. The drive back to Reykjavik will take you through a lunar-like landscape of volcanic phenomena and other geological wonders.