Hæ from Reykjavik: The Golden Circle Edition

golden circle icelandI was told I couldn’t leave Iceland without setting my eyes on its famed geyser and waterfall, so that’s where I headed to the other day. If you don’t have a driving licence (or a friendly Icelander with a car) you are pretty much screwed and the bus tour is your only option. Mine was booked via Reykjavik Excursions, but Grayline and Sterna Travel seemed popular too.

The first stop was a tomato greenhouse and for a second I thought I was on a farming tour…but thankfully it was basically a fancy toilet stop where you could get away with ordering a Bloody Mary before midday without much guilt or shame.

Then off along the roads to Haukadalur Geyser: the largest and most famous in Iceland. Even ‘mountaineer’ tours with giant trucks stopped here, so it must be good right?

golden circle icelandWe’ve all been there, waiting 7/8 minutes for something to finally explode, but I’ve never done it in public, especially with 100 people standing around watching with video cameras.

If you get bored of all that gushing water, then tense your leg muscles and hit the trail to climb up the hillside to check out this view.

Next stop was the Gullfoss Waterfall and oh boy oh boy oh boy was that eye-ball stunningly wow-tastic – as I did not expect it to be so massive (that’s what she said). It was like a giant norse god’s personal toilet, though I didn’t see a hammer anywhere sadly.

And no, not even the sideways rain could ruin it. As the Icelandic weather is four seasons in an hour the rain quickly stopped and everyone was treated with a rainbow afterwards and rushed for the photo-opp.

And last but not least we made a stop at Thingvellir National Park.

This is where the American and Eurasian plates (the tectonic that is) are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year. Oh and it’s also where the original Icelandic parliament met to decide things from around 930AD to 1799AD, in the early years I reckon it was mainly a lot of shouting, beer and sword fights.

Looking at the photos it looks better than I remember. I was wet, hangry and tired by the time we got there and was not really in the right mood. Plus it was really crowded and it all felt a bit rushed.

Back in the city I could only think of one thing and that’s Reykjavik Chips: delicious, crispy, and oooh so addictive – these potato-based gifts from food heaven definitely made a rather soggy, tiring day awesome again.

What do you think about bus tours?

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  1. Indrukwekkende natuur! Aangezien ik niet kan kiezen in welk seizoen ik Ijsland wil bezoeken; blijkbaar maakt dat niet zo uit wanneer je alle seizoenen in 1 dag hebt 🙂

  2. Iceland is right at the top of my bucket list destinations to visit – these pictures definitely help keep it up there! What an amazing place. The chips look delicious too 🙂

  3. So so so jealous! I’ve craved visiting Iceland since I saw pictures from a friend’s road trip-excursion there! I’ll get there someday. It looks amazing!

  4. So dreamy. I know that wet, hangry, tired feeling so well! The four climates in an hour thing is no joke. Although I haven’t been to Iceland (yet!) it definitely was a thing in Scotland too. Man, your photos of this amazing island are incredible.