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.
Head 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. Stop, for short visit, to the geothermal area in the center of the town. After some refreshments, pass by the hydropower station Ljossafoss, which has been in operation since 1937.
Pay a visit 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, here is where the world’s first parliament was formed in 930. 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 takes us through a lunar-like landscape of volcanic phenomena and other geological wonders.
Need to Know:
Note: Please exercise caution when exploring hot spring areas and their surroundings. Wear comfortable shoes with a non slip sole, and a waterproof outer layer is recommended.