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The National Parks of Iceland

Iceland has established three national parks, each with its unique nature and history.

Þingvellir National Park and UNESCO world heritage site is located in South Iceland and is only about 45 minutes drive from Reykjavík city. At Þingvellir, the continental rift zone between the North-American and Eurasian tectonic place manifests in large lava gorges and a 10 km wide rift valley holding Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930, making it the oldest still operating parliament globally.

Snæfellsjökull National Park is at the edge of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the West part of the country. It is named after its crowning glacier and volcano, famous for being the entrance to the center of the Earth in Jules Verne’s story. It is the only park that reaches the shoreline and holds the maritime history of Iceland since the time of settlement in Medieval times.

Vatnajökull National Park and UNESCO world heritage site covers over 12,000 square kilometers or 13% of Iceland, making it one of the largest national parks in Europe. It envelopes Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull, where the interplay of volcanoes and glaciers has created otherworldly landscapes with black sand beaches, outlet glaciers and iceberg-filled filled glacier lagoons.

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