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Iceland sits on the geographical border between the American and Eurasian continental plates. This huge ridge spans miles and miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Iceland is the only point where you can see the border of the tectonic plates on land. The great rift runs through Iceland like a battle scar and is gradually pulling the island apart. You can see the meeting point of the Eurasian and American plates at the Bridge Between Two Continents on the lava-strewn Reykjanes Peninsula.
Group of people on the Bridge between continents.
Best time to visit
All year round
63.868380806758694, -22.6751519212301
Distance from Reykjavík
60km (37mi)

Related tours

Reykjanes geopark in Iceland.
8 hours

Volcanic Wonders of Reykjanes Geopark

The Reykjanes Geopark is home to a striking, dramatic landscape comprising lava fields, volcanic craters, geothermal waters, and lava caves. This exciting day tour includes visits to the latest eruption site, the Seltún geothermal area, the bubbling mud pools of Gunnuhver, and the Bridge Between Two Continents!

From €77/person

Straddling Tectonic Plates at the Bridge Between Two Continents

Facts about the Bridge Between Continents

Did you know that you can stroll between Europe and America in a matter of seconds? The 50-foot Bridge Between Two Continents crosses the rift between the two tectonic plates in Iceland. The continental plates are constantly drifting apart and separate further by around 2.5 centimetres every year. It is this separation that has caused the huge scar, or ‘rift’ in Iceland’s landscape. The Bridge Between Continents spans the gap of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs for more than 16,000 kilometres across the globe. Despite its length, Iceland is the only place on Earth where you can see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge above sea level.

The Bridge Between Continents used to be called ‘Leif the Lucky’ Bridge after Leif Erikson, a Viking-age explorer from Iceland who is said to have set foot on America around 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

How to visit the Bridge Between 2 Continents

Isolated at the edge of the Reykjanes Peninsula, the Bridge Between Continents feels as though it is in the middle of nowhere. Jet-black lava fields and rugged rock formations seem to stretch for miles from this spot. It is around 62 kilometres (38 miles) from Reykjavík and the drive takes just under an hour. It is easy to drive yourself to the Bridge Between Continents if you are hiring a car – you just need to follow routes 40 and 41 out of the city and turn off onto route 44 at Njarðvík, following route 425 out of Hafnir until you see the sign for the bridge.

The Bridge Between Continents is close to Iceland’s main international airport. Keflavík Airport is 23 kilometres away (14 miles), and the drive takes around 25 minutes. The famous Blue Lagoon geothermal bath is in the same area as the Bridge Between Continents, so the bridge can be an easy stop before or after a rejuvenating soak in the milky-blue waters.

If you’d rather leave the driving and navigation to someone else, there are plenty of day trips from Reykjavík to the Reykjanes Peninsula. Joining an organised tour that stops at the Bridge Between Continents is an easy way to reach this isolated spot and means your trip is paired with the highlights of the area – the Blue Lagoon, volcano hiking and visiting the lighthouse at the edge of the ocean.

Things to do at the Bridge Between Continents

Most people stop at the Bridge Between Continents for just a few minutes, making the short walk from the car park to the footbridge to snap some photos as they straddle the line between America and Europe. There are signs either side of the bridge (one saying ‘welcome to America’, the other ‘welcome to Europe’) for prime photo opportunities and, once you’ve crossed, you can claim a certificate at the nearby Reykjanes Geopark Visitors' Centre which is located in the Duus Museum in Keflavík town.

Apart from crossing the footbridge, you can simply take in the other-worldly beauty of the spartan volcanic landscape from the Sandfellshæð Viewpoint a few moments' walk away. If you’re travelling this far along the Reykjanes Peninsula, you may as well continue for a few more minutes to Sandvík Beach where the rugged volcanic cliffs meet the wild North Atlantic Ocean.

Away from any light pollution, the Reykjanes Peninsula is a prime place to hunt for the Northern Lights in winter. The Bridge Between Continents is in the middle of nowhere with a handy car park, so it’s a great place to cast your eyes towards the sky and search for the green glow of the aurora borealis on a cloudless night. The beams of light dancing against the black sky with the bridge in the foreground make an excellent photo.

Experiences and Sights Around the Bridge Between 2 Continents Iceland

While the Bridge Between Continents is quite a small yet quirky feature of the Reykjanes Peninsula, it is close to one of Iceland's biggest and most popular attractions. The famous Blue Lagoon is just 25 kilometres from the bridge – a 25-minute drive. Here, you can slip into the bath-warm water of this outdoor lagoon and let your mind and body rejuvenate. As Keflavík Airport is in the area too, you can easily combine a visit to the Bridge Between Continents and a session at the Blue Lagoon with transfers to your evening or late afternoon flight home.

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, it’s worth heading to Keflavík town where there is a volcanic geopark and visitor’s centre. This is where you can pick up a certificate declaring you’ve crossed the rift between two continents. This section of the Reykjanes Peninsula is also home to Garður Old Lighthouse, which is a pretty lookout point where you can gaze at the endless North Atlantic Ocean all the way to the horizon. The Reykjanes Geopark is UNESCO-protected and features marked walking trails that wind across the volcanic landscape.

All About the Bridge Between Two Continents

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