The Bridge Between Continents: Europe and North America on Reykjanes Peninsula

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Several places on Earth act as a magnet for most of the travelers and adventure seekers, but Iceland has a charm of its own. No traveler has ever missed out on mentioning Iceland in their “bucket list”. Though this heavenly place seems to be very calm and serene in the pictures, it will make you experience the power of nature and the extreme geological contrasts at the same place. Iceland, for a reason, is called “the place of Ice and Fire”, and this is due to the presence of geysers, hot springs, lava fields, that are accompanied by the staggering waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, floating icebergs on the beach and not to forget about the extremely brutal cold waves, and all this at one place. But this is not all, there is another one of the most fascinating and thrilling places that should be in your travel itinerary is the “Bridge Between Continents”. So, let’s jot down a few more interesting facts about this place and what makes it so different. 

Bridge between continents in Reykjanes Peninsula Iceland, bridge between North America and Europe in Iceland

“The Bridge Between Continents”

This place, lava-scarred Reykjanes peninsula is located over the world’s major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Going by the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates drift theory, these plates are continuously drifting apart owing to the great forces of nature. The rate at which these plates are pulling apart is approximately 2.5 centimeters per year. This happens deep inside the surface of the earth on the ocean floor, while a major tectonic plate boundary that is in between the Eurasian and the North American plates, runs right through the middle of Iceland.  The ongoing natural processes deep down the earth make the plates diverge constantly which results in the formation of the fissures or the linear fractures. It is because of the tension that is built when plates pull apart and the energy is released in this form. A large fracture can be seen beneath the bridge with splitting rock formations.

Bridge between continents in Reykjanes Peninsula Iceland, bridge between North America and Europe in Iceland

Jump Between the Two Continents

This bridge was earlier named after one of the most famous explorers, Leif Eiriksson, and was known as “Leif the Lucky” bridge then. Over 1000 years ago, he was believed to be the first Icelander to set foot in North America. It is quite obvious that walking from Europe to North America seems an impossible task, but guess what, it is just a matter of seconds! Yes, this is what you will experience when you visit this place in Reykjanes peninsula. “The Bridge Between Continents”, is evident from the name and Iceland is a place that makes unimaginable feats completely real. This footbridge is in between the continents or “Miðlína” as it is called in Icelandic, and is 50 ft. (15 meters) long that fills up the gap between Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.  This small footbridge over a major fissure also serves as the strong connection between two continents.

The midway of this bridge with a plaque reads “The Bridge Between Continents: In the Footsteps of The Gods: Mid-Point,” and is the borderline between Europe and North America. Here, the two sides are marked as ″Welcome to America″ and ″Welcome to Europe″, while beneath the bridge you can see the crevasse, which is mostly filled with sand and rocks. Amidst the eerie and the otherworldly landscape, you can see the fissures created by the mid-Atlantic ridge that looks completely unrealistic and unbelievable at first.

Direction to Reykjanes Peninsula: The Bridge

This place is located in the eastern-most end of Reykjanes peninsula, which is on road 420. You can start your drive from Reykjavik, which is about an hour-long journey to this beautiful attraction. It is at the end of Reykjanes Peninsula, start from traveling to south on Route 40, out of Reykjavík, follow the road onto Route 41, before turning to Route 44 that will eventually become the Route 425, where the bridge is located.

The Bridge Between Continents is also a perfect place to explore if you are on a short stopover in Iceland. It is located only 19 minutes drive from the airport. 

Map of The Bridge Between Continents in Reykjanes

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