Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Part II - The Golden Circle

The next morning we woke up really early with plans for a full day ahead of us. We planned to visit the Golden Circle attractions and later a hike in Landmannalaugar .

Everywhere in Iceland you can see sheep and horses by the road (and sometimes on the road). This one we spotted on our way to Thingvellir


Our first stop was the Thingvellir National Park, the closest to Reykjavik, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a good thing we went early, because we were able to explore a bit without meeting the crowds that usually visit (the tourist buses started arriving as we left, actually). The Golden Circle was probably the only place where we saw more tourists, but even then it’s not comparable to the number of tourists you might see elsewhere in Europe. That said, it was nice to have bits of the park all to ourselves.

We saw our first foss (waterfall) there, the lovely Oxarárfoss.


on the road from Thingvellir


Our second stop was at Geysir, to watch the hot springs erupting in the air. The actual Geysir doesn’t erupt anymore, but its neighbour Strokkur gives a nice display almost every 6 minutes. It’s worth spending some time here, exploring the smaller hot springs nearby as well.

Lilac flowers near Geysir. We kept seeing these flowers everywhere


To complete the Golden Circle we finished with the mighty Gulfoss, which indeed is quite impressive. We walked all the way up to the base, and could hear the water thundering all around us.

We finished touring the Golden Circle a bit after lunchtime, and I wish we could've spent some time hiking in Thingvellir. But we were planning to hike in Landmannalaugar during the afternoon so that's where we were headed next...


For a good road map of Iceland I recommend the Road Atlas by Edda, for sale at any bookstore in the city. We got ours in one of the bookstores in Laugavegur.
The road from Reykjavik to Thingvellir and the rest of the Golden Circle is easy and straightforward. I'll be updating this info later on with road specifics and the road conditions we found, as a reminder and in case anyone finds it useful.

Ring road then road 36 to Thingvellir
From Thingvellir roads 365 and 37 to Geysir
From Geysir, road 35 to Gullfoss

More photos at Flickr:



Anonymous said...

wow, these photos are absolutely incredible - almost surreal. Thanks for sharing them!

I think I need to go rewatch Bjork's "Joga" video now... :)

fantasma said...

It looks amazing...
(your links aren't working, are they??)

AnaCAlmeida said...

Thank you for sharing these extraordinary photos! They are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You were really lucky with the weather, the photos look great.

L said...

OMG, I didn't know Iceland is So pretty! Thanks for sharing your photos!

Anonymous said...

Uau! Que férias fantásticas!
As fotos demonstram que a Islândia vale muito a pena visitar.

mutfaktelaşı said...

bu manzaralar harika, oraları gezebilmeyi çok isterdim.


Oh, fantastic.
Thank you so much, Tania!

Anonymous said...

those photos are amazing! The clear blue water pic with rock showing underneath would make a fantastic desktop background. :)

Anonymous said...

The pictures are so beautiful. Check out google in reference to those blue flowers. I'm pretty sure they're bluebonnets which also happens to be the state flower of texas.