Reykjanes Geopark



Three mammal species thrive on the peninsula. The Arctic foxes have always been around, but minks escaped from fur farms and became an integral part of nature in the 1930’s. The small field mouse is thought to have followed the settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries.

A varied array of bird species is to be seen within and outside of urban areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Among the wilderness birds are Ptarmigans, Northern Wheaters, Snow Buntings, Golden Plowers, Whimbrels, Ravens and various swimmers and wetland birds like Mallards, Greylag Geese, Great Northern Divers and Eurasian Oystercatchers; the birds of prey include both Merlins and Gyrfalcons.

Marine birds are common on the Reykajnes Peninsula. A number of high sea cliffs attract many individuals of different species during the breeding season. In addition, gulls and Arctic terns are a common sight.

All protective rules apply to these birds. History reveals a sad example to learn from: The extermination of the Great Auk. The last individual was killed in
Iceland, on June 3rd 1844.

Geology and landscape

The Reykjanes Peninsula is a young section of Iceland. It is a land-born, highly volcanic counterpart of the Mid-Atlantic Spreading Ridge where two tectonic plates part at an average rate of 2.0-2.5 cm/yr.
The peninsula, with an area of 2,000 sq. km, contains late Quaternary volcanic palagonite tuff and pillow lava formations as mountains from the last glacial periods. Also basaltic lava flows and volcanic structures from interglacial periods, especially from the last 11,500 years (the Holocene).
Four volcanic systems and fissure swarms line the peninsula from SW to NE. They contain open fissures, normal faults, high-temperature geothermal fields and volcanic fissures. These are lined with monogenetic craters.

Many small and large lava shields are found in the area, some made of primitive mantle melt (picrite). Eruptions have occurred in the three westernmost systems during the past millennium, all in long episodes, in the 10/11th centuries, in 1151-1180 and 1210-1240.


Ingólfur Arnarson settled the Reykjanes Peninsula, according to the sagas. Soon, he handed large areas over to other settlers who divided land further. Through the centuries, fisheries has been lifeline of the people.
Old cairns can be found around the peninsula. The cairns and hiking trails through the lava where used by people traveling to and from fishing outlets for centuries. In the 15th to 19th centuries, foreign trade was conducted in a few harbours.
Later large-scale fisheries and industry took over. Two geothermal power plants are in operation. The USA/NATO-base in Keflavik heavily influenced the economy during the second half of the 20th century. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist destination in Iceland.

Geopark partners

The logo Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark plays a role regarding tourism within the area of Grindavík, Reykjanesbær, Sandgerði, Garður and Vogar. The companies in this area can with a mutual cooperation make the logo even more valuable and at the same time strengthen their image.

*mynd*: RGP Veggskjöldur

Logo of Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark

Companies within geoparks around the world have the opportunity to use the logo for their own promotion. Companies that sign an agreement with Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark are permitted to use the customised logo for Reykjanes Geopark and in following years undergo a certain commitments.
The agreement is based on instructions how to use the logo ENG (European Geoparks Network) and have been assimilated to the Reykjanes environment. In the agreement all requirements can be found that a company must fulfil, in order to be permitted to use the logo.

Benefits of using the logo

A company’s benefit in cooperation with Reykjanes Geopark is substantial. The company has an opportunity to use the cooperation logo of Proud Partner of Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark as well as being able to use the promotional and educational material of Reykjanes Geopark. But the most important thing is the companies active involvement in the integration of UNESCO in the area in years to come. Reykjanes Geopark will promote their collaborators in the same way as the company will promote Reykjanes Geopark.
As soon as local companies will unite in using the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark logo as their logo of origin, we strengthen tourism and production in the area of Reykjanes.


The cooperation with Reykjanes Geopark in using the logo is free of charge.

Do you want to join us?

Please contact Reykjanes Geopark for more information: