The Golden Circle. That’s our answer when asked about one of the most popular tourist route in Iceland. There is no surprise that hundreds of thousands of tourist visiting Iceland travel this magnificant route each year to lay eye on some of Iceland´s most unique landmarks. One of those is the historical site Þingvellir, where the oldest parliament in the world was formed. It’s a plus to get a glimpse of natural phenomenons like the volcanic and geothermal areas.
The Golden Cirle has primary three stops: Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Geysir. Let’s take a closer look at the three stops:
Þingvellir National Park
This is a place of historical and geological importance. Historically Þingvellir is where the first parliament, Alþingi was established in 930. In the Common Wealth Era, Icelanders would gather at Þingvellir (sometimes for weeks) to join the assembly as well as selling their goods and services. Furthermore, Þingvellir was the place where people would hear news and stories from other parts of the country. Þingvellir therefore was, and is in many aspects, one of the centers for Icelandic culture. It’s not surprising since the foundation for the language, culture and laws were formed there. Besides of it’s cultural importance, Þingvellir is a site of a rift valley, volcanic landscape and is the home of the largest natural lake in Iceland, Þingvallarvatn. Today Þingvellir is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It’s so beautiful any time of the year:
One of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls is Gullfoss, that would translate as The Golden Waterfall. Gullfoss is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe and is known for it’s beauty and mystery.
Here is a clip from Gullfoss in winter:
As you can see, the walking paths are quite good in the area:
Geysir and Strokkur
The two geysers in South Iceland are like the big and the little brothers. Fun fact: the English word geyser derives from the Geysir located in Haukadalur, Iceland. In the recent years however the eruptions of Geysir have become fewer and fewer. Luckily Strokkur is still in full action and erupts over 50 meters every few minutes. The surrounding area is geothermal with various hot springs and hot mud pools.
Check out Strokkur in action:
That should be hot enough:
You can be sure to get some good food in the restaurant after taking a peek at Geysir:
For organized tours in this area, please visit ITB Travel.