This predominantly green-focused tour revolves around the Hengill Volcano, which looms just a few of miles from Iceland's capital of Reykjavík. Hengill last erupted approximately 2,000 years ago, but it is still active. Numerous natural hot springs, steam vents and fumaroles dot the surrounding landscape.The 2,635-foot-highHengillvolcano produces impressive amounts of energy by way of hydro and geothermal power, both of which provide Reykjavík and other municipalities nearby with plentiful hot water and electricity.
Stopping at the Hellisheidi Geothermal PlantVisitor Center, you'lllearn about volcanoes, geothermal technology and the history of the area. Then, it's on to the town of Hveragerdi, which sits atop an ancient magma chamber that accounts for the abundance of hot springs that bubble and hiss all around this unique little community. After a short, scenic drive past the town's trademark greenhouses, you'll enjoy a short walk to an area with hot springs. Then, you'll follow the River Sogid past the Ljóssafoss Hydro Station, which opened in 1937.
Your next destination is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir, where the world's oldest existing parliament was formed in the year 930. Then, you'll drive past Iceland's largest natural lake at Thingvallavatn and on to a viewpointon the lower flanks of volcano. From there, the views of the scenery and bubbling hot springs are spectacular. Finally, you will drive back to Reykjavík through a lunar-like landscape of volcanic phenomena and other geological wonders.