Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park founded in 1930 is a UNESCO World Heritage site made famous because of its historical, cultural and geological importance. This Icelandic treasure with the name translated as “fields” or “plain” is valuable because of its special tectonic rocks and the volcanic environment found here. The Park which includes the largest natural lake of the country, called Þingvallatn is part of the primary stops and and most visited sites of Iceland, known under the name the “Golden Circle”. Þingvellir has emerged from its historical and political meaning associated to the Icelandic commonwealth into a place of meeting, a social center for everybody in Iceland.
Þingvellir National Park is situated in Bláskógabyggð in the South West part of the country, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and in the Hengill volcanic area. The canyon Almannagja is an evidence of the continental drift between the Eurasian Plates and North America. The canyon is not only a relic of natural beauty but also a common place where earthquakes occur.
You will be surprised noticing the clear waters of some rifts, probably the most appealing one being Nikulasargja or the Peningagja. Nicknamed “coin fissure”, this rift filled with clear water is littered with coins at the bottom. It is said that after it was bridge in 1907 for the royal visit of King Frederick the 8th of Denmark, the people gathered threw coins in the fissure to respect an old European tradition.
Þingvellir National Park includes Blaskogor or “The Blue Forest”, one of the few Icelandic forests, the Oxararfoss waterfall and Mount Botnsulur, over 1000 meters high, a mount with a glacier aspect. The Alþingi (assembly) at Þingvellir used to be Iceland's supreme legislative and judicial authority, established in 930 and marked in the park through the Lögberg (Law Rock).
Close to the Þingvellir National Park there is the forest called Vinaskogur or the “Friends forest”, which is a symbol of never ending friendship and peace among men.
It is also a custom that whenever the president of Iceland enters the park to present it to his guests, they stop to plant a tree.
Þingvellir National Park is a unique spot of great value. Whether you visit it to admire, take pictures or study the natural rock formations or you want to make a wish in the “coin fissure’, Þingvellir National Park is a very eye-catching, captivating place.