Thingvellir National Park Iceland: History & Travel Guide

The Marvels of Thingvellir National Park

Every travel junkie knows that numerous places around the world offer unique experiences. Many of them will provide you with unforgettable sights and incredible nature. A good example is Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park. If you’re looking for a visit to the wonders of nature, this place has to be on your checklist.

To reach the park, you’ll need to take a 45-minute drive from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Along the way, you’ll see some epic Icelandic landscapes. Thingvellir (also written as Þingvellir National Park Iceland) is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, its fame increased after Game of Thrones was filmed there.

 

What is There to Do and See at Thingvellir National Park?

Iceland’s Thingvellir park spreads on around 90 square kilometers. The park is home to the biggest lake in the country known as the Jökulsárlón lagoon. It’s also a place where you can see numerous volcanoes and mountains. The untamed and beautiful nature of the park is breathtaking and one of the primary reasons for tourists to flock to Iceland from all around the globe.

 

A Place Where Continents Meet

Thingvellir lies in the Iceland rift valley, also known as the Iceland plate boundary. This incredible place allows you to see the exact spot where the Eurasian and North American continents meet. If you want evidence of the majestic power of tectonic plates, Iceland is the place to visit, and Thingvellir park is the center of it all.

The Iceland rift valley is famous for its incredible geological deformation. Deformation occurs because the island’s rocks change due to massive tectonic forces. Visiting Iceland’s fault line is a life-changing experience since it reminds you that the planet is alive as kicking.

 

Snorkeling Under the Rift

The two submerged rifts within the park are known as Davíðsgjá and Silfra. You can enjoy a diving or snorkeling session beneath the continents. These sports are popular because the water is crystal clear and allows divers to swim closer to the rifts and see them within the lakes. Volcanic eruptions have ripped apart the mountains creating a base, and glacial water has filled the holes, creating the lake. A dry-suit diving certificate is a must in case you want to dive. However, entering the caves isn’t allowed.

 

Incredible Hiking Trails

The most popular trail is the Öxarárfoss Waterfall Trail. It leads to the crater where the continents meet each other. You shouldn’t miss this hike since it’s a unique experience. However, there is another trail that’s more of a walk than a hike, and it leads to Almannagjá gorge. Getting to the gorge is easy, and you’ll pass through two incredibly looking stones facing each other. Upon reaching the top of the canyon, you’ll enjoy a remarkable view over the Thingvellir National Park. 

 

Historic Importance of the Park

As per written accounts dating from the Viking Age settlement of Iceland, Ingólfur Arnarson and his family were the first settlers. They arrived along with other team members in 874 A.D. to a location known as today’s Reykjavík. The first thing the settlers did is adopt the þing, which was a form of democracy common among various Germanic societies. 

Thingvellir roughly translates as “the parliament fields.” The Alþingi site was known as the democratic legislative assembly, a prominent political institution, and the highest court of the commonwealth during the Viking Age.

Iceland was a part of the Danish Kingdom before they became an independent republic. In 1904 Iceland had been granted home rule. Later on, in 1918, Iceland finally became a sovereign state within the Danish Kingdom. When Iceland was finally declared as a republic in 1944, the declaration ceremony was held at Thingvellir. In 2004 UNESCO declared Þingvellir national park Iceland as the first and official national park in the country.

 

How to Get There?

If you’re located in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, you should take Road Number 1 up north until you go through Mosfellsbær. After that, make a first exit on the right, and you’ll reach Road Number 36, leading to Thingvellir. You’ll need around 40 minutes give-or-take, and the road conditions are excellent.

Everyone who visits Iceland knows that a visit to Thingvellir park is a must. Filled with substantial magma fields, and ruins of old stone structures. Wherever you look, nature and landscapes are breathtaking. In case you decide to visit the Thingvellir National Park, you should know that you can easily spend the entire day there. Tour companies offer various sightseeing packages and itineraries, but visiting on your own is by far the best experience you could have. Renting a camper is the most popular choice among tourists because it allows them to take control over the entire visit to this magnificent place 

 

Explore With Rent.is 

There are plenty of activities you can take part in when you visit Thingvellir. It’s never easy to choose only some of them, but if your time in Iceland is limited, you should maximize your opportunity. Experience the raw nature of Iceland, hike trails, and incredible scenery by booking your Iceland camper rental with Rent.is. We’ll gladly help you with any additional information you may need about Thingvellir park and exploring the island in general with resources like our Iceland travel guide. Book your trip today!