As the Icelandic adventures continue, the must thing to see while you are out there is the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle is the very popular tourist route that consists of three equally spectacular locations in southwest Iceland: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area in Haukadalur, and Gullfoss waterfall. I have to admit my adrenaline bug kicked in as well and I just had to experience trekking on a snowmobile along the Langjökull Glacier.
One of the fascinating things you’ll notice going through Þingvellir National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are the fissures- Iceland is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. You‘ll be able to see the rifting of the earth’s crust through many faults and fissures on the ground’s surface.
Continental drift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates
You’ll also find a vast amount of Lava fields that run all over the Park as well as the rest of Iceland
The Geysir Geothermal Area tends to be the second location visited on the spectacular Golden Circle Route. The geysers include the Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir
(the Icelandics’ spell ‘geyser’ with an ‘i’)
‘Geyser’ from the Icelandic verb geysa, ‘to gush’, the verb itself from Old Norse.
So, upon reaching the Geysir area, nothing quite prepares you for the smell of sulphur in the air… but don’t let that put you off! The sights are quite hypnotic with numerous bubbling hot pools in every direction, and the active Strokkur Geysir erupting every 4 to 8 minutes, sometimes even more frequently.
Unfortunately, unlike the Storkkur Geysir, the Great Geysir now remains fairly dormant.
The Great Geysir
Before Strokkur erupts, the pool of water begins to churn and bubble, turning in and out of itself like a concoction in a witch’s cauldron. Managed to get a slow-mo video of it erupting, which was oddly very satisfying to watch.
The pure power of nature, bare, in all it’s wonder.
The final stop on the Golden Circle is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland, Gullfoss, also known as the Golden Waterfall. Located in an ancient valley, it’s the Hvítá (White) river that runs through the waterfall and is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. It offers a spectacular view of pure beauty and breath-taking power of untouched nature… it also likes to add rainbows on a sunny day.
Gullfoss (not a sunny day)
And lastly, my favourite part of this adventure was exploring the Langjökull Glacier on a snowmobile. Wide open plains of whiteness for as far as the eyes can see, where at some points you could literally not tell the difference between land and sky (this while driving pretty darn close to the cliff edge of the glacier).
This was all done on guided tours being that it was my first time in Iceland, it certainly had it perks and took less organising; however, my next trip to Iceland I will definitely be looking to hiring a car as there are just so many smaller, eye-catching sights along the way.
To be able to get closer to less-popular untouched areas of beauty is just the type of freedom a curious adventurer’s mind longs for.