Þingvellir Travel Guide

  • Öxarárfoss waterfall as seen from above.
    Öxarárfoss waterfall as seen from above.
    by Regina1965
  • Flosagjá next to Peningagjá don't throw coins in!
    Flosagjá next to Peningagjá don't throw...
    by Regina1965
  • The view-dial at Hakið
    The view-dial at Hakið
    by Regina1965

Þingvellir Things to Do

  • Please don´t make cairns here.

    This tip is about "things not to be done" really. There is a special view-spot on road 36. After driving through a desert like landscape for some period of time all of a sudden the view of Þingvellir and lake Þingvallavatn opens up. It is a beautiful sight, so most people stop here to take photos.Somebody thought of making a cairn here as a kind of...

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  • CHECK OUT THE VIEW AT THINGVELLIR...

    Thingvellir Visitors Center stands very near the edge one of the tectonic plates at Hakid. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit the center as we were running late but we did have a couple of minutes to walk to the viewpoint at the edge of the plate. The view was spectacular as one could see the lake, the river and the park where we had...

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  • THINGVILLER CHURCH CEMETERY

    The cemetery is just opposite the front of the church and it looks more like a garden with its 30 or so graves. Most of the gravestones were upright but there was a very old one where the stone was laying horizontal on the ground, which probably meant that it was from around the 18th century.

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  • THE ORIGINAL CHURCH STOOD HERE 1,000...

    Þingvallakirkja is the small beautiful church at the National park at Þingvellir, but this particular one dates from 1859 but the original one would have been on the same site in the 11th century shortly after the acceptance of Christianity. Apparently King Olaf of Norway sent some wood and a church bell in 1015 according to Snorri Sturluson's...

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  • GAME OF THRONES WAS FILMED HERE

    For GAME OF THRONES fans it is possible to rake an organised tour to see the places in Thingviller where parts of the series were filmed. If you watch the series you can easily see the tectonic plate wall in season 4, episode 3. Many other locations in Iceland were used for filming the series. One of the photos shows the small waterfall after the...

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  • THE DROWNING POOL

    If you magnify the images you can learn about the law and punishments that were dished out around 1,000 years ago, but the information boards did not mention the death sentence carried out as punishment in the 17th and 18th centuries. Just by the Icelandic flag that marks the spot where the Law Rock was supposed to be you can see the DROWNING POOL...

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  • HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A LAW ROCK ?

    Lögberg or the Law Rock was the place where the Law Speaker sat to deliver his speeches when the meeting of the parliament was held each year at Þingvellir. Anyone could start a discussion or settle an argument at the Law Rock which was used from 930 AD until 1262 AD when Iceland formed an allegiance to Norway. There are two possibilities of where...

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  • THROW A COIN IN NIKULASARGJA !!!

    The fissure called Nikulásargjá but more popularly known as Peningagjá (meaning coin fissure) is the fissure where visitors throw coins in (for a wish, presumably) and the water is so clear you can see the coins glimmering at the bottom. In 1907 a bridge was built over the fissure for the visit of King Frederick VIII of Denmark and ever since then...

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  • ICELAND'S LARGEST LAKE

    Lake Þingvellir is the largest lake in the country with a rich ecosystem and catchment area of 1,300 sq. kms. The lake is in no man's land between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The water is very clear and our guide said when you are snorkeling you can see 450 metres but i am not convinced of this.

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  • ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD TO SEE THE...

    Arriving at Þingvellir (which is Thingvellir in English ) there were so many people there that it was difficult for our bus driver to find a parking space but once we left the car park we noticed large fissures in the ground, as if someone had scarred the earth with a giant knife. By the entrance there was another information board that explained...

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  • Þingvallabær farm.

    Þingvallabærinn farm, which stands next to the Þingvallakirkja church, was built in 1930 on the 1000th anniversary of the oldest parliament in the world at Þingvellir, established in 930. It had originally 3 peaks (burstir) but 2 more were added to the burstabær farm in 1974 when we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Republic of Iceland.There...

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  • Þingvallakirkja church.

    There has been a church at Þingvellir since the conversion in Iceland to Christianity in year 1000. The first church was erected here at Þingvellir in 1017 made from church-wood, which was a donation from the Norwegian King Olav Haraldsson. The king also donated a beautiful church bells.This site for a church at Þingvellir is either the first or...

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  • The model of Þingvellir at the Saga...

    At the Saga Centre in Hvolsvöllur there is a model of Þingvellir, the oldest parliament in the world, created in 930. The model shows what Þingvellir might have looked like in the year 1000. It shows 600 meters of the main area of the parliament at Þingvellir where Alþingi took place for 2 weeks each summer.This model was created for the exhibition...

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  • The view-dial at Hakið.

    At Hakið in Þingvellir there is a view-dial made by Jón J. Víðis, who was the great-uncle of my husband. Its is a quartz coated plate placed on a molten tube and has also the function of a sun-dial.This view-dial was designed in 1939 and erected in 1943. The plate got stolen and it was replaced in 1966. Three plates of view-dials have been stolen...

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  • A view-platform overlooking Þingvellir -...

    Before entering the National park of Þingvellir, depending on which route you take, we took the route from Mosfellsdalur (north-east of Reykjavík), there is a scenic platform, view-spot, with breathtaking view of Þingvellir and the lake.You can walk from there down the trail and into Almannagjá, the great fault. Well, you could, now they have...

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Þingvellir Transportation

  • Bus

    I saw Þingvellir and the surrounding areas as part of a tour with Iceland Excursions. The day trip, known as the Golden Circle, is offered by other tour groups as well, and is really a must if you're in Iceland. The bus provided by Iceland Excursions was clean and comfortable and the guide was knowledgeable. The tour itself was paced pretty well...

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  • The Golden Circle

    There is no public bus to Þingvellir. The two best options are to hire a car or take a tour. Going there alone, I decided not to hire a car because it wouldn't be worth it. Special thanks to Bragi for giving me 15% discount on the tours! The tour included a visit to Geysir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir.

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  • Þingvellir Hotels

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Þingvellir Local Customs

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    Tips accepted

    by acemj Updated Jun 13, 2007

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    If you follow the path from the lookout over the lake down toward the AlÞing, keep walking toward the parking lot across the valley a bit and you'll cross over the Peningagjá (The Money Chasm). Here in this deep fissure you'll see thousands of glistening coins in the crystal clear waters. It's somewhat of a tradition for visitors to throw loose change into the water from the bridge that crosses over the fissure. It's said that if you can follow the coin all the way down as it falls through the water, your wish will come true.

    However, with the prices in Iceland, I suggest you look for the smallest coin possible before you toss it in. Gotta save some bucks!

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Þingvellir Warnings and Dangers

  • A new fissure opened up in Almannagjá.

    Almannagjá Gorge was closed to public for a while, i.e. the southern most part of it - due to the ground caving in and a big hole/fissure appearing on the path. First a small hole appeared on the 31st of March 2011 and then underneath it a fissure, 10-14 meters deep and in parts 4 meters wide :( It was repaired temporarily by putting a plank on it,...

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  • Deep, deep

    When you're standing above the lake and overlooking the fissures in the valley, it looks like a really peaceful place, but when you think that this is land that is literally being pulled apart by the forces of nature, you realize there's more to it than meets the eye. Those strips of water that look like shallow little creeks are actually...

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  • Drive safely. . .

    . . . Especially in the winter time, especially if the roads are slushy, especially if you have a tiny rental Toyota! It could be hard gettting roadside assistance out here!

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Þingvellir What to Pack

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    Weather/photo/clothing

    by acemj Updated Jun 17, 2007

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I was in Iceland in April and I can assure you that you want to come prepared for the weather. It was quite cold for much of my time here and the day that I did the Golden Circle tour was also a wet and slightly windy one, so I was really glad that I had a wind and waterproof jacket.

    If you're doing the Golden Circle with a group, a pair of cross-trainers or any good athletic shoes will be sufficient, but if you're on your own and are looking to hike around Þingvellir National Park, I'd recommend a pair of good hiking shoes.

    Photo Equipment: Be prepared with all of your best camera gear to capture the sights here. If there weather is wet like it was for me, you should also be prepared to keep your camera gear dry. Cloths for the lenses, plastic for the body, etc.

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Þingvellir Off The Beaten Path

  • Hverageroi

    Hverageroi was perhaps the least interesting part of the Golden Circle tour for me, although it was a nice place to stop and grab an ice cream. It is a small town about 45 km east of Reykjavik and was our last stop in the afternoon before heading back to our hotels. The town has a population of about 1700 people and is located on some of the most...

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  • Skálholt

    Around the church at Skálholt, you'll see some archeological digs as well as a monument on the spot where the last catholic bishop of Iceland, Jón Arason and his two sons were beheaded for their opposition to the Reformation. Below the church, in the crypt, there is a free museum with artefacts dug up over the years including tombs of bishops, but...

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  • Skálholt

    The first church in Skálholt was built in around the year 1000 A.D. and the site has been historically and religiously important in Iceland since then. That was the same year the Christianity become the official religion of Iceland and the first bishop was Ísleifur Gissurarson, who was one of the most educated men in the county. Isleifur lived here...

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Þingvellir Sports & Outdoors

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    Hiking in Þingvellir

    by seamandrew Updated Sep 7, 2005

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    Certainly one of the best ways to see this amazing National Park is to hike it. There are many things to see like the lake, waterfalls, fissurs of the land, historical buildings, wild flowers, rivers and streams, interprative centers etc. A trip to this park should include some time for hiking around and see what's to be seen. It is all so beautiful.

    Equipment: Be sure to pack a warm jacket and longer pants if you're wearing shorts. The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and can change dramatically in the course of an hour. A good pair of hiking shoes is ideal, but I had a pair of cross trainers and they were sufficient.

    Hiking around ��ingvellir
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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Þingvellir General

  • STORY OF THE BOOTHS

    When the Alþingi (parliament) met each year for two weeks thousands of people would travel from all over Iceland to attend the meeting. They set up shelters that were built of turf and rocks with some type of temporary roof. Not only the important law makers attended at Þingvellir but ale makers and entertainers came to serve the people, sword...

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  • Landscapes

    Þingvellir National Park is a wild and unique landscape that is really worth the trip. Where else on earth can you say that you were able to drive or walk from North America to Europe? The geological impacts of glacial and volcanic activity are truly remarkable worth some exploration. It's no wonder that the park was named as one of UNESCO's World...

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  • Roadside pullouts

    There are several places along the road where you can pull-over safely, without having to worry about being in the way of oncoming traffic. Not that there was much traffic here in early March!

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Explore Deeper into Þingvellir
Lake Þingvallavatn.
Things to Do
The national graveyard behind Þingvallakirkja.
Things to Do
Throwing coins into Peningagjá.
Things to Do
Almannagjá rift.
Things to Do
Þingvellir National Park
Things to Do
Þingvellir Information center.
Things to Do
Vinaskógur - Friend Forest
Things to Do
Lögberg - Law Rock.
Things to Do
Mt. Botnsúlur.
Things to Do
Bláskógar - The Blue Forest at Þingvellir.
Things to Do
Walking inside a fissure leading to Öxarárfoss.
Things to Do
The upper route to Öxarárfoss waterfall.
Things to Do
A view spot on the east part of Þingvellir.
Things to Do
Drekkingarhylur - The Drowning Pool.
Things to Do
Drekkingarhylur II -no throwing of coins.
Things to Do
Öxarárfoss - a beautiful waterfall.
Things to Do
Lögberg/The Law Rock
Things to Do
Visit Þingvellir National Park
Things to Do
Kerið Volcanic Crater
Off The Beaten Path
Waterfall
Things to Do
Lake Þingvallavatn
Things to Do
More than just the ridge
Things to Do
Spectacular views of the Mid Atlantic Ridge
Things to Do
Þingvellir
Things to Do
Þingvallakirkja
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Rift Valley
Things to Do
Geothermal power station
General
Iceland's First National Park
General
The little church
Things to Do
Almannagja and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
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Öxaráfoss River
Things to Do
Öxaráfoss
Things to Do
Around Öxaráfoss
General
Þingvallakirkja & Þingvellir Information Center
Things to Do
Þingvallavatn
Things to Do
Check road conditions before driving......
Warnings and Dangers
Oxarafoss
Things to Do
Pingvallakirkja
Things to Do
Almannagja
Things to Do
Lake Þingvallavatn
General

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