Krýsuvík Geothermal Area
Not too far from the centre of Hafnarfjörður are the remarkable solfatara fields of Krýsuvík where you’ll discover an expanse of steaming volcanic vents and boiling hot springs, framed dramatically by a range of multi-coloured hills. A well-maintained boardwalk winds through the bubbling and hissing geothermal area, with informative signage explaining all the important geological facts. The massive solfatara, steaming away on the hilltop is a tempting attraction, even for those with tired legs, and the spectacular view of the surrounding area is well worth the extra legwork! As a short side-trip, you can also explore the coast where you’ll discover the stunning cliffs of Krýsuvíkurbjarg: an area renowned for its rich birdlife.
Beside the mudpots and sulphur deposits, you'll find wildly colourful crater lakes. The Grænavatn, Gestsstaðavatn, and Augun lakes are explosion craters formed by volcanic eruptions. Grænavatn Lake, the largest at 46 meters (150 feet) deep, glows in a deep green and is coloured so because of the presence of thermal algae and crystals that absorb the sun. Gestsstaðavatn Lake draws its name from Getsstaðir, a nearby farm, abandoned during the Middle Ages. On either side of the main road are two small adjacent lakes, called Augun (eyes).
Just a few minutes' drive from the surreal landscape of the geothermal area are the stunning Krýsuvíkurberg Cliffs. Here, thousands of sea birds nest in the rugged hillside beside the crashing Atlantic surf. For a peaceful jaunt, hike along the trail to the edge of the cliffs where it's possible to spot kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, and other birds as they dive into the sea or frolic with their flock.
Contact the Hafnarfjörður Tourist Information Centre for a detailed map of the Krýsuvík area, including hiking and walking routes and information on local history, geology, folklore and attractions.