As one of Iceland’s main highlights is its beautiful landscape, one of the things you’ll likely hear about is the Golden Circle (not to be confused with x ). The route takes you to three popular attractions all within 100 km of the Reykjavik: Geysir (a spouting hot spring), Gullfoss (a roaring waterfall) and Þingvellir (meeting-point of the continental plates and site of the ancient Icelandic parliament).
You can rent a car where you’ll have the freedom to wait as long (or short) as you like at each site but booking a tour with one of the companies is doable too (where you might have a surprise stop at a tomato greenhouse and learn about why they’re red, round and taste of stuff)
First stop is The Geysir, fun fact: all the other geysers in the world are named after it. But the Geysir itself isn’t as active these days, it only gets it up every few years at best, and it’s the Strokkur that youthfully erupts every four/five minutes instead. It’s also worth staying at least half an hour to see Strokkur erupt a few time as the power and height of its blasts are a bit random.
Then there is the Gullfoss (Golden Falls) waterfall, I believe our guide called it the Niagra Waterfall of Europe (but don’t hold me on for that). Gullfoss is beautiful even when it’s bitterly cold, miserably raining and topped off with a biting wind. I absolutely loved it! Despite its name and the rainbow I spotted, I didn’t find any pots of gold. It’s such an incredibly large chunk of land and water, you can’t really get to grips with how impressive it is with our puny eyes. Would love to see it in winter when it’s all covered up in ice and snow, speaking of which, all three of these places (Geysir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir) were backdrops for Game of Thrones, particularly the icy Wall stuff.
Þingvellir (or Thingvellir) was the site of first Icelandic Parliament from about 900 A.D. Sadly the politicians don’t meet here no more with their axes and shields and cloaks (is this why we’re no longer politically engaged?!) Aside from that it also features a unique geological landscape that overlaps two continental plates and when you reach the top you get the impression the phrase ‘sweeping landscape’ was coined here. It’s a place to get lost in your imagination in a setting that looks like a thousand fairy tales have taken place there.
Have you braved or are planning to brave Iceland?