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Geopark

Growing numbers visit beautiful Reykjanes peninsula: Record increase in number of overnight stays

By | Icelandic Nature, Local News From Iceland, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

Reykjanes peninsula has seen a larger increase in the number of overnight stays than any other part of Iceland. The increase between 2010 and 2015 was a whopping 245%, compared to a national average of 161%. The growth is explained by the proximity to the Keflavík International Airport, and the rugged natural beauty, geothermal areas and lava fields of the Reykjanes Geopark.

According to the regional news site vf.is the growth in the number of overnight stays has been strongest in West Iceland and the South West, especially Reykjanes. Proximity to the Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík and the capital region seem to be particularly important, as the smallest increase has been in East Iceland, where the number of overnight stays has grown by 138%.

At the same time as the number of foreign visitors and overnight stays has grown, the supply of hotel rooms has increased. However, the growth in the number of hotel rooms has been far slower than the growth in the number of visitors. In 2014 and 2015 the number of foreign visitors to Iceland grew by 175%, when the number of hotel rooms in the Reykjanes peninsula grew by 95%, leading to a better occupancy ratio of hotel rooms.

Unaralleled natural beauty
Reykjanes peninsula is not only home to the Keflavík Airport and one of Iceland‘s best known and most popular tourist attractions, the Blue Lagoon, but also countless other beautiful sights worth visiting.

The rugged lava fields of Reykjanes are among the most beautiful in Iceland. The last major period of volcanic activity in the region began shortly before Iceland was settled, in the 8th and 9th centuries, and came to an end in the mid-13th century. These lava fields formed in these eruptions are still relatively barren, since very little vegetation other than moss has managed to colonize the hostile lava fields.

The four major volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula include hundreds of open fissures and major high temperature geothermal systems, characterized by intense surface activity that has created a diversity of colours contrasting with the black lava and the lush green moss. The best two of the best known, and most easily accessible, are on the Krýsuvík system south-west coast of Kleifarvatn and Eldvörp, west of the Blue lagoon.

 

From: //icelandmag.visir.is

Reykjanes Geopark Internationally Accredited

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Reykjanes Geopark in Southwest Iceland was accepted into the European Geoparks Network (EGN) in Rokua Geopark in Finland on September 5. EGN is supported by UNESCO and is the formal association of areas in Europe that have important geological significance.

The acceptance of Reykjanes Geopark into EGN is considered to be a significant acknowledgment for inhabitants, organizations and companies in the region and a testimony to the unique qualities and worldwide significance of the area, as stated in a press release.

The accreditation will be used to promote the area for future visitors, as well as for building and maintaining facilities and developing educational and training activities.

Reykjanes Geopark is 825 square km (319 square miles) in size. Reykjanes peninsula lies on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is the only place in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is visible above sea level.

It has diverse geothermal and volcanic activity; among its biggest attractions are the hot springs of Seltún geothermal area in Krýsuvík.

The area also includes Keflavík International Airport and the municipalities of Reykjanesbær, Grindavíkurbær, Sandgerðisbær, Garður and Vogar.

Like other members of EGN Reykjanes Geopark works towards increasing interest of the earth by focusing on geological and cultural heritage, educating inhabitants and visitors about the area, and taking good care of the region for future generations.

 

From: //icelandreview.com