• Súsanna Svavarsdóttir

The Colorful Krýsuvík


The Krísuvík church
The Krísuvík church

Krýsuvík is one of the fascinating areas in Iceland. That is, if you are a true lover of nature. It is spectacular in the south of the Reykjanes Peninsula, in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge's fissure zone. It is such an active geothermal area; one cannot help but wonder: Is it here that Iceland breathes?


Krísuvík at Reykjanes on the map of Iceland
Krísuvík at Reykjanes on the map of Iceland

The area is riddled with steaming volcanic vents and boiling hot springs, framed dramatically by a range of multi-colored hills. At Seltún and Gunnuhver, you will find solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots, and hot springs, giving the soft soil its yellow, red, and green hue.


Krísuvík at Reykjanes Peninsula
Krísuvík at Reykjanes Peninsula

Well-maintained boardwalks wind through the bubbling and hissing geothermal areas, with informative signage explaining all the important geological facts.


A short distance away from the geothermal fields, you will discover several maars/crater lakes created by the explosions of overheated groundwater. The largest is Kleifarvatn and the second is Grænavatn (Green Lake), which glows in a deep green. It derives its color from thermal algae and crystals absorbing the Sun.


A few minutes drive away from this surreal landscape is the Krýsuvík Cliffs, with its thousands of sea birds. They nest in the rugged hillside beside the crashing Atlantic surf. All you have to do is a hike along a trail to the edge of the cliffs, and you'll spot kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, and a vast number of other species as they dive into the frolicking sea.



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