Almannagjá – A Gem of Nature in Thingvellir National Park


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Almannagjá is a beautiful narrow valley situated in Þingvellir National Park. The awe-inspiring gorge marks the tip of the tectonic plate of North America and Europe. Located in the southern region of Iceland, Almannagjá is quite a scenic location that Icelandic citizens hold close to their hearts. Just like many other places in the country. It is a place of great historical significance. The gorge is a geological wonder and a sacred place.

The first settlers in Iceland chose the area for their national assembly. Þingvellir National park is the original location of the world’s longest-running, continuing parliament, Alþingi. The speakers of Alþingi would stand on a peak above Almannagjá gorge to read aloud the laws of the day to the people. There used to be annual debate competitions and news exchanges here. People used to visit Almannagjá to represent their families and clans & there were battles for dominance. It started almost eleven hundred years ago to settle the disputes and make new laws. Religiously, the place is important because the ultimate decision to revert to Christianity and abolish paganism was taken at this place. Almannagjá is a much-celebrated place where Icelandic citizens like to celebrate their sovereignty and independence. Tourists who want to delve deep into the history of the country like to spend some time at this place. You must carry along a camera to capture the boundless beauty of this location.

There is an interpretive center situated at the top of the Almannagjá gorge, known as Hakið. There is an informative multimedia program conducted in the interpretive center. Those who are interested in the history and the nature of the place can visit this place. There are multiple things related to the nature of Þingvellir that are explained in detail on the big screens. There are diverse drawings and interesting photographs inside the center for the viewers.

Thingvellir National Park during autumn in Iceland

The Nature at Almannagjá

The border of the Mid-Atlantic Rift that passes across Iceland is marked by Almannagjá. Almannagjá gorge stretches eight kilometers in length and one of the intriguing places where you can see tectonic plates blowing into heaps.

It is highly likely to see both the cliffs that mark the ends of the continents. You drift one of them and climb up the other, as you drive through it. Throughout the country, this miraculous feature of nature cannot be witnessed more distinctly than over here at Þingvellir National Park. As the tectonic plates gradually pull away from each other, their movements provide the park with multiple unique features. There are various ravines spread across the area. These beautiful water bodies are filled with crystal clear spring water. Silfra fissure is the most popular of these ravines. Silfra fissure is known for snorkeling and diving. 

Northern lights over thingvellir national park in the golden circle in Iceland

The reason for the creation of partition in Almannagjá is the movement of tectonic plates. It could no longer support its weight when the North American plate pulled west, allowing what used to be the rim to break away from the continent in an earthquake. This caused the partition of the Almannagjá gorge into two.

Coated in lava rocks, Almannagjá gorge offers stunning scenes. It will become one of the most loved places by you in no time. The width of the gorge varies in different parts. You can cover some of the area on-foot, relishing the beautiful locales, and admiring the beauty of Iceland. As they walk through Almannagjá, the visitors will find a breathtaking waterfall called Öxaráfoss. This point is easily accessible by walking. The waterfall has a height of 13 meters, emitting rejuvenating vibes for the explorers. Öxarárfoss is one of the most famous attractions of Þingvellir Natural Park.

Almannagjá on a map

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