ThingvellirThe Parliamentary Plains are the most important historic site of the country. It is located just below the western fault line of the Icelandic Graben within the boundaries of the first National Park, which was established in 1928. The oldest parliament of the world was founded here in 930 on the lake Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake of the country with an area of 83,7 km². Its greatest depth is 114 m, and this lowest point lies 13 m below sea level. Its discharge is the river Sog, the longest spring fed river of the country with a very constant volume of 112 m³/sec. Three hydro electric power stations are situated on the river, which counts among the good salmon rivers. Very little water enters the lake on the surface, which means that it is mainly spring fed.

The natural surroundings are majestic and the contrasts are great. There is a system of interesting hiking trails all over the park. The present natural landscape has been in creation for about 9000 years and is still being created by the plate tectonics. The lake contains an abundance of at least four species of trout and char and angling is a popular pastime there. The farmers in the area net the lake and process the fish for the domestic and foreign markets. The distance from the capital is 49 km.


The second national park, Skaftafell, established in 1967, contains some of the most precious natural   pearls of the country. The rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, the flora and the fauna have a magnetic influence on the visitors. There are no roads in the park, but a network of trails offers the opportunity for differently extended hikes.

After National park Vatnajokull was established on June 7th 2008. the NP Skaftafell, came part of the National Park Vatnalokull.
The camping grounds are large but it is difficult to hammer the tent pegs into the gravel surface. Among the services rendered in the park are toilets, washing machines, a restaurant, a shop and a petrol station The park wardens offer regular guided walking tours and daily bus tours from the park to the volcanic Laki area and Jokulsarlon as well as the daily schedule. A comprehensive brochure with maps and hiking trails is available at the Visitors’ Centre.
The distance from the capital is about 340 km.

785 Öræfi


Jokulsargljufur National park was established in 1973. Its area was 150 km² on a 35 km long stretch   along the western side of glacial river Jokulsa a Fjollum. The northernmost part, Asbyrgi, was incorporated in 1978. The river canyon is about 25 km long and resembles the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

There are several places of exceptional natural beauty in the park, such as the Asbyrgi Canyon, The Whispering Cliffs, Forvod, Holmatungur and the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. The park is ideal for short or long hikes. There is no better way to enjoy its charm fully. The park wardens sell brochures with detailed information and maps.

After National park Vatnajokull was established on June 7th 2008. the NP Jokulsargljufur, came part of the National Park Vatnalokull.
The distance from the capital is about 500 km.

Travel info. at Ásbyrgi.
Tel.: 354-


The Snaefellsjokull National Park was officially established on the 28th of June 2001, thus becoming the fourth national park of the country.  Its boundaries follow the eastern border of the Gufuskalar estate on the northern part of the peninsula, a line east of the glacier and along the eastern edge of the Haahraun lava field to the Gjafavik cove in the south.
The distance from the capital is about 220 km

Þjóðgarðurinn Snæfellsjökull
NP Snaefellsjokull
Wardens Office
open all year
Klettsbud 7
360 Hellissandur.
Tel.: 354-

National Parks in Icelandic