What is Iceland’s Golden Circle sightseeing route and why is it so popular? Where should you stop when driving the Golden Circle? Read on and learn about Iceland’s most popular route and the top detours along the way.
Hear anyone talk about excursions in Iceland, and it is more than likely that they will bring up the Golden Circle. It features near the top of almost every list of things to do in the country and is listed as a sightseeing tour on nearly every tour provider’s website.
The Golden Circle consists of three equally stunning locations in southwest Iceland: Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. These sites are renowned across the world and are all as spectacular as they are unique. None of them is further than a two hour’s drive from Reykjavík, and thus all three can be visited within a day.
Only the city of Reykjavík and the Blue Lagoon compete with these destinations in terms of popularity, and the reasons for their fame are manifold.
At the end of the day, we’re going to take a bath in a natural spring called “The Secret Lagoon”, where we’re going to relax, sometimes sing and share memories.
The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Although the horses are small, at times pony-sized, most registries for the Icelandic refer to it as a horse. Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. In their native country they have few diseases; Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. The Icelandic displays two gaits in addition to the typical walk, trot, and canter/gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The only breed of horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally, and sizable populations exist in Europe and North America. The breed is still used for traditional sheepherding work in its native country, as well as for leisure, showing, and racing.
Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is an iconic waterfall of Iceland offering a spectacular view of the forces and beauty of untouched nature. Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle tour, located in South Iceland on the Hvítá (White) river which is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. The water plummets down 32 meters in two stages into a rugged canyon which walls reach up to 70 meters in height. On a sunny day shimmering rainbow can be seen over the falls.
The Strorkkur Geysir bursts high up for you, reaching from 20 meters (65 feet) to 40 meters (131 feet) high. We’ll also visit the Geysir shop, a place where you can see traditional Icelandic wool clothes & accessories.
Laugarvatn lake contains geothermal springs under its surface, making it a popular swimming spot with some warm patches along the shoreline year-round. The farmers here cook their bread underground. We’re going have a hot coffee and taste some home made ice cream from the farmers.
Þingvallavatn, anglicised as Thingvallavatn, is a rift valley lake in southwestern Iceland. With a surface of 84 km² it is the largest natural lake in Iceland. Its greatest depth is 114 m. At the northern shore of the lake, at Þingvellir (after which the lake is named), the Alþingi, the national parliament, was founded in the year 930, and held its sessions there until 1799 and still as of today the name Alþingi Íslendinga is carried by the parliament of Iceland.
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