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HomeIceland TravelA Native's Expertise of the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland

A Native’s Expertise of the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland

Þingvellir national park Iceland

The primary tour I joined after I began writing travel-blogs right here on Information to Iceland, was the preferred tour in Iceland: the Golden Circle tour. There are many variations of the Golden Circle tour out there, however the tour I joined is a 9-hour lengthy guided day journey from Reykjavík the place one will get to see some phenomenal locations right here in Iceland.

There are such a lot of lovely locations in Iceland and fascinating issues to do, however the Golden Circle is the place I take all my overseas mates which I present round my nation.

Since I first wrote this travel-blog I’ve added more moderen images from many visits to the Golden Circle of Iceland.

High photograph: Þingvellir Nationwide Park in autumn

Þingvellir Nationwide ParkLögberg at Þingvellir National Park


The primary cease on the tour is one in all my most beloved locations right here in Iceland, Þingvellir Nationwide Park. I go to it typically as it is just 50 km away from Reykjavík. 

There are two extraordinary issues about Þingvellir:

Firstly, it has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Web site.

Almannagjá gorge Þingvellir national park

Almannagjá gorge

Secondly, Þingvellir Nationwide Park is located on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the North-American, and Eurasian continents, making it a really particular vacationer attraction.

The tectonic plates are literally seen above floor and you’ll actually expertise the continental drift. To us Icelanders, Þingvellir is one in all our best treasures.

On the tour, we had been guided via this superb place and realized about its historical past, and walked inside Almannagjá gorge, which types the japanese boundaries of the North-American Plate. 

Flosagjá rift, Þingvelir national park

Flosagjá rift

I finished by Nikulásargjá rift, which we Icelanders name Peningagjá rift – the Cash rift, the place it’s a customized amongst us Icelanders to throw in some cash – it’s mentioned that your needs come true in case you observe the coin sink via the clear water and watch it land on the underside of the rift. 

It’s the solely place in Icelandic nature, the place it’s allowed to throw in cash.

Nikulásargjá rift, Þingvellir nationla park

Nikulásargjá rift

Within the photograph above you will note Peningagjá rift – there are different rifts right here the place you may strive snorkelling or diving underneath steerage.

It’s believed that by this spot the oldest parliament of the Vikings was held and that it was moved in a while to Lögberg in my first photograph of Þingvellir, with the Icelandic flag.

See additionally: A Compilation of the Viking Ruins & Pagan Burial Mounds I’ve visited on my Travels round Iceland

Gullfoss WaterfallGullfoss waterfall in Iceland

Gullfoss waterfall

Our subsequent cease was at Gullfoss – the Golden Waterfall from which the Golden Circle tour will get its title (gull=gold, foss=waterfall). 

Gullfoss is the best-known waterfall in Iceland and it’s breathtakingly lovely, 32 metres excessive, with two cascades, the primary one is 11 metres excessive, and the second is 21 metres excessive; they fall into the two.5 km gorge which is as much as 70 m deep. 

The waterfall runs within the glacial river Hvítá (White River) which runs from the Langjökull glacier simply above Gullfoss. River rafting is widespread on the roaring glacial river. Gullfoss waterfall is part of the Golden Circle in southwest Iceland.

Gullfoss waterfall 

You’ll be able to stroll proper as much as the waterfall the place you stand on the sting. It would make you drenched however it’s a breathtaking expertise.

Please bear in mind to watch out as the trail will get slippery and deadly accidents have occurred right here. Whether it is too icy within the wintertime the trail is closed. Too many guests do not pay any consideration to the hazard and climb over the gate 🙁 

You can even stroll up the steps to get a greater view from above and to go to the restaurant there. They’re well-known for his or her meat-broth “kjötsúpa” and right here we stopped and had lunch.

The path leading to Gullfoss can be wet and there will be some mist

The trail resulting in Gullfoss may be moist and there might be some mist

Gullfoss is state property. The current historical past of the waterfall is sort of fascinating and startling on the identical time, because the waterfall was contracted to foreigners and nearly harnessed.

The daughter of the farmer who owned this land, Sigríður in Brattholt (1871-1957), put up a battle to save lots of Gullfoss and threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if a hydroelectric energy station had been to be constructed.

This can be a lengthy story spanning over a few years, however to make it brief Sigríður saved Gullfoss and we’re actually grateful to her for that. 

The Lady in Gullfoss waterfall

The Girl in Gullfoss

There’s one other girl, which I like photographing when visiting Gullfoss; it’s a rock girl, which not many individuals discover. She is positioned in the course of the higher falls and I name her the Girl in Gullfoss 🙂

For extra images and a way more detailed travel-blog about Gullfoss, try my travel-blog about Gullfoss waterfall:

The Majestic Gullfoss – Iceland’s Golden Waterfall, which supplies Identify to the Golden Circle

Geysir Geothermal SpaceStrokkur erupting in the Geysir geothermal area that is part of the Golden Circle.

Strokkur erupting

Our subsequent cease was at Geysir geothermal space. Iceland is the one place in Europe the place this pure phenomenon may be seen, so it’s effectively price a go to. Geysir has given its title to all different erupting scorching springs that are known as geysers

Though this geothermal space is known as after Geysir then the “geysir” which erupts most often (like each 7-10 minutes), is known as Strokkur

Geysir itself stopped erupting in 1915, however it will need to have been a sight to see because it went as much as 70 metres into the air, however Strokkur is way smaller. 

Strokkur erupting in the Geysir geothermal area that is part of the Golden Circle.

Strokkur erupting within the Geysir geothermal space that’s a part of the Golden Circle.

Icelanders tried reviving it by throwing cleaning soap into Geysir and compelled an eruption and now and again it erupted. Then after an enormous earthquake within the 12 months, 2000 Geysir began erupting once more some 8-10 meters into the air, however a lot much less often than Strokkur. 

Geysir erupts now and again these days, though I’ve by no means seen it. However Strokkur erupts so often that one is sure to get an excellent photograph of its eruption. 

Take care that this can be a high-temperature geothermal space and keep throughout the boundaries and do not contact the water as it’s boiling HOT. 

Blue pool of hot geothermal water in Geysir geothermal area in southwest Iceland.

The northern eye of Blesi

And in case you do not wish to be drenched keep up-wind. I actually have arrived there on the very second of the eruption and as it may get actually windy I received Strokkur proper in my face.

There was no steerage on this cease, however one can learn up on the geothermal exercise within the Geysir geothermal space and wander round, taking a look on the different smaller geysers, which do not erupt, however have a spectacular color – and anticipate Strokkur to erupt with the digital camera prepared. 

Strokkur erupting in Geysir geothermal area

Strokkur erupting in Geysir geothermal space

There are a number of eating places by Geysir and an enormous store, promoting Icelandic woolen items, and many others. The rye bread bought on the eating places is baked within the floor within the Geysir geothermal space.

There’s another photograph alternative at Geysir, which was not talked about by the tour information, however I all the time go there to have my photograph taken; with the GEYSIR TROLL 🙂 

The Troll of Geysir geothermal area.

The Geysir troll

We Icelanders not solely imagine within the existence of elves, however we additionally imagine in trolls, not less than a few of us. I’ve received so many images of myself with the troll via the years – it’s a pleasant troll, completely different from a number of the ones in our folklore, who eat people.

It was once located proper by the highway subsequent to the resort, however a brand new resort is being constructed and the troll was moved.

I’ve written an in depth travel-blog concerning the Geysir geothermal space:

The extraordinary Geysir Geothermal Space – Strokkur and all the opposite Scorching Springs

Skálholt CathedralSkálholt cathedral in southwest Iceland

Skálholt cathedral 

Our subsequent cease was at Skálholt cathedral – the outdated seat of the bishops.

We stopped right here for a short time, lengthy sufficient to take a look inside this lovely cathedral – which is my all-time favorite right here in Iceland. 

Our tour information shocked us by singing an Icelandic track and she or he sang it fantastically – the entire church received stuffed together with her voice. 

Inside Skálholt cathedral in southwest Iceland

Inside Skálholt cathedral

Skálholtskirkja cathedral is one in all Iceland’s best-known historic locations. Right here was the centre of ecclesiastic energy in Iceland and at Skálholt the primary bishopric was based again in 1056.

It was so lovely when the solar mirrored via the stained glass home windows and stuffed the cathedral with multi-coloured gentle. Even the altarpiece of Jesus mirrored the colors of the home windows. It was simply out of this world.

Inside Skálholt cathedral in southwest Iceland

The altarpiece in Skálholt cathedral

Skálholt is a spot to not be missed throughout your Iceland go to, for my part.

Hellisheiðarvirkjun Geothermal PowerplantHellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plant in southwest Iceland.

Hellisheiðarvirkjun Geothermal Powerplant

Our ultimate cease on the tour was at Hellisheiðarvirkjun energy plant, which is the biggest geothermal energy station in Iceland. There’s a Geothermal Power exhibition on the energy plant on how geothermal power is harnessed there. 

The doorway price was not included within the tour and half the tour visited the ability plant and half the tour visited the cafeteria on the bottom ground. I’d advocate not lacking the exhibition, as it is extremely informative. 

Inside Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plant

Inside Hellisheiðarvirkjun

Since I wrote this travel-blog it has come to my consideration that alterations have been made to this tour, so as an alternative of visiting the ability plant a go to to the cultivation centre, Friðheimar, is now included on this tour.

I’ve written one other travel-blog concerning the Golden Circle, the place I embrace Friðheimar and Kerið crater: the Improbable Golden Circle – probably the most Fashionable Day Tour in Iceland.

Have a beautiful time on the Golden Circle of Iceland 🙂



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