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Thingvellir National Park

Iceland´s oldest and most popular National Park is located only 50 minutes drive from central Reykjavik. Thingvellir is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its historial and cultural importance. It is home to two of our dive sites, the Silfra fissure and Davidsgjá. The National park is also part of the famous Golden Circle area together with the geothermal hot spring Geysir, and the majestic waterfall Gullfoss. In the winter this is also a perfect place for northern light hunting, as there is no street lights interrupting the darkness.

Sunset view over Thingvellir

Althingi -historical Parliament

Thingvellir can be translated into “the field of Parliament” in English. The Icelandic parliament called the “Althingi”, is said to be the oldest democratic parliament in the world, founded in the year 930 AD by the Icelandic Vikings. Thingvellir was the place where this parliament was first established, and for a few weeks every year the early settlers of Iceland gathered here to partake in the parliament meetings but also for trading, entertainment and games. During all our tours you will get a glimse of the location of the original parliament, and your guide will be able to tell you a bit more about it.

 

Tingvellir- between two tectonic plates

The National Park of Thingvellir is located in a rift valley in between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. This tectonic plate boundary stretches from the Arctic in the north to the Antarctic in the south. It is called the Mid-Atlantic ridge and it is part of the longest mountain range in the world. This is a divergent tectonic plate boundary, meaning that the two plates are slowly drifting apart from each other, making the rift valley in between wider for every year. The drift is about 1-2 cm per per on average.

 

                    Tectonic plate boundary in Thingvellir

Only in Tingvellir this mountain range raises over sea level and makes it possible for us to walk, snorkel and dive in between two tectonic plates. This truly is a uniqe experince which can not be done anywhere else in the world.

Drive slowly – Divers crossing!

Thingvellir- Lava fields

This national park is located in the middle of a big lava field, covered in volcanic rocks. On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Skjaldbreiður, the impressive shield volcano from where the lava origins. The volcano was created during a big volcanic eruption taking place 9000 years ago. The eruption turned Thingvellir into the lava field it is today, and it also created the basin of Lake Thingvallavatn.

When walking in this area you will notice many cracks and fissures in the ground. These have been created as a result of the volcanic activity, the tectonic plate drift and the frequent earth quakes here. The park rangers will tell you to stay on the man made walking paths when exploring the park, as some of the smaller fissures can be hidden under vegetation in the summer or under the snow in the winter. One of the largest cracks is the world famous Silfra fissure where divers and snorklers can explore the underwater beauty of this place.

 

Amazing experience. Small group size. Memorable.
In comparison to the groups from the other company with had over 15 people per group, I was very glad I went with Scuba Iceland. The more personal attention and smaller ratio helped with the experience. Also, from a cost point of view, they don't charge extra 5000 isk like some companies for pick up.

SingleWomanTravels – Jul 17, 2016