After exploring Reykjavik, next up on our Iceland to do list was the Golden Circle tour. I think the Golden Circle tour was the part of the trip we were most excited about – the opportunity to see geysers and a gigantic waterfall doesn’t come around often, and it looked so different to anything we had ever seen before.
We booked our trip with Reykjavik Excursions (we also booked our Northern Lights and Blue Lagoon trip with them) and they were just FAB – they picked us up from the road next to our apartment and the tour guides were so knowledgable about the island. We learnt so many great facts and heard stories that we would have missed had we gone it alone.
The first stop of the tour was Fridheimar – a farm where they grow tomatoes all year round, using power generated from the natural hot water produced in geothermal areas of the island.
It was so interesting to see how Iceland has adapted to growing food despite the fact that they have nearly 24 hours of darkness for a big chunk of the year! Plus we got to try some soup from tomatoes that had only been picked that morning – It was so delicious that I bought a recipe card so that I can try and recreate it myself at home!
Next up was a visit to the Haukadalur geothermal area to see the geyser Strokkur errupting – this was one of the most bizarre and amazing things I’ve ever seen!
The geyser erupts every 5-10 minutes and the water shoots about 20 feet in the air – it really is such a surreal thing to see. Nature is weird, innit?!
Our next stop was at Gulfoss Waterfall and was by far my favourite sight of the whole day. Gulfoss means “Golden Falls” and with the amazing weather on the day we visited, we really got to see why – the combination of the sun and the spray from the waterfall created the most perfect rainbow that I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from.
(Apologies about the grainy iPhone pic – the spray from the waterfall was spinning my camera lens out of control!)
The waterfall was so powerful and impressive – I truly had never seen anything like it before, I was in complete awe at the sheer size and speed of it. Even if you don’t fancy doing the full Golden Circle tour, I would absolutely recommend a visit to Gulfoss.
The fourth and final stop of the trip was at Thingvellir National Park – I was particularly excited about this one as we had read that some scenes from Game of Thrones had been filmed here (you know the ones where the hound and Arya are travelling through the wilderness?!)
Another super intersting thing about Thingvellir is that you can see where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates have started to pull apart – another set of nature’s superpowers on show in Iceland.
Our wonderful tour guide pointed out a couple of other interesting places in the park – like this pool which historically was used to drown women who had broken a law or a taboo. (Pretty creepy, huh?!)
We were lucky enough to have a decent amount of time here to explore and take in the amazing views – we just couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be in such a beautiful place.
If you’re heading to Iceland I would absolutely recommend that you plan the Golden Circle tour into your itinerary – it’s so exciting to see so many natural wonders all in the space of one day.
I feel like I’ve been so repetitive in this post and said that everything was amazing and breathtaking, but it really, really was. Nature plays such an important role in the culture and landscape of Iceland, and having the opportunity to see that up close is a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed!