There are many reasons why it’s worth visiting Thingvellir. National park Thingvellir, or Þingvellir in Icelandic spelling, is the oldest national park in Iceland. It was founded during the late 1920s because of the history of the place. The area is deeply rooted in the national identity of the Icelanders because this is where the parliament Alþingi, or Althingi in English spelling, was founded during the Viking times, in 930. The parliament is one of the first parliament’s ever founded in the world.
The area is a world heritage site because of its unique nature. The national park is the place where it is easiest to see the boundaries between the two tectonic plates that are drifting apart in Iceland, the North-American tectonic plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate. The area in between the tectonic plate is sinking so the national park is located in a rift valley or a Graben.
The national park is a world heritage site because it is the best example in the world of a rift valley.
This is why it is so interesting and important to visit the national park when travelling in Iceland.
I always take a short walk with my guests in Thingvellir. We go to a beautiful viewing platform enjoying the view over the rift valley and taking some photos. We also take a short walk a little bit down the longest ravine Almannagja. It’s so beautiful. We can walk all the way down the ravine if you feel like walking and your hips and knees are ok but many people prefer to go back to the car and drive through the national park. Either way, it’s beautiful.