Þingvellir, anglicised as Thingvellir, was the site of the Alþing, the annual parliament of Iceland from the year 930 until the last session held at Þingvellir in 1798. Since 1881, the parliament has been located within Alþingishúsið in Reykjavík.
Þingvellir is now a national park in the municipality of Bláskógabyggð in southwestern Iceland, about 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. To its south lies Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
Þingvellir National Park (þjóðgarðurinn á Þingvöllum [ˈθjouðˌkarðʏrɪn au ˈθiŋkˌvœtlʏm]) was founded in 1930, marking the 1000th anniversary of the Althing. The park was later expanded to protect the diverse and natural phenomena in the surrounding area, and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2004.
In order to visit the national park you will need to fly to Iceland. Almost all international flights land in Reykjavik and this is a great place for starting your visit to Iceland. The best way to explore the island is by car. This provides the most flexibility. You can rent cars in Reykjavik.
When to visit
Iceland is generally cold and hostile during winter. You can visit during this season but you should be properly prepared. Iceland in general and Þingvellir National Park has the most visitors during spring, summer and fall. Summer is the most popular season and tourists flock to see the natural wonders of Iceland.
Map of Thingvellir National Park
Image gallery of Thingvellir National Park
Visitor/Information centres in Thingvellir National Park
Most national parks have an associated visitor centre to help visitors. They are usually open most of the year but some close in the off-season. You will often be able to find information on all the activities in the national park. A visit to the visitor centre is often recommended before venturing into the park.
Most national parks have there own trademarks. This goes for both natural sights and man-made. This section will list any popular sights in nature.
Activities in Thingvellir National Park
This section will list some of the popular activities in the national park. They range from demanding to family type activities.
Mushroom hunting in Thingvellir National Park
There are mushrooms on Iceland. However, this is not one of the great countries for foraging. You can find interesting mushrooms to look at and you should stick to photography in this national park.
Camping rules in Thingvellir National Park
Wild camping is illegal in Iceland. Iceland is not like some of the other Nordic countries where wild camping is permitted. Make sure you have permission from the land owner or local authorities when pitching a tent.