The Golden Circle: our Icelandic travel tips
The Circle golden is a major place of interest in Iceland. As it is very close to ReykjavikIt is often visited first. It is often considered as a focal point of the country. It is difficult not to visit it during your trip...
The Golden Circle of Iceland is known mainly for three major sites: Geysir and Gullfossand the national park from Thingvellir (also known as Þingvellir).
These are the main tourist sites which we will discuss in this practical guide. But that's not all! We will discover that there are many other places in the Golden Circle. Before you leaveWe will also discuss some of the aspects practices.
Visit Geysir, the first geyser in Iceland's Golden Circle.
In less than an hour's drive, we arrive at a field geothermal. It is composed of two geysersthe famous Geysirwhich owes its name to this particular phenomenon, but which is no longer very active - and the StrokkurThis is the first time that a water heater has been installed in a building, which emits hot water every 5-10 minutes, at a height of about 20 metres!
Signs warn us as soon as we arrive: The water temperature is between 80 and 100 degrees CelsiusThe nearest hospital is more than 60 km away... We won't be able to get very close!
It's really amazing. A large crowd of tourists gathers around a small crater. The soil is saturated with water and the smell of sulphur is present everywhere. Then, suddenly, a giant bubble forms and explodes in a huge jet of water. This creates a column that rises several metres into the air. It is quite amazing. We are completely captivated by this scene, which is repeated every five minutes.
Gullfoss, Iceland's Golden Falls at the Golden Circle
The Gullfoss waterfalllocated in 115 km from the capital Reykjavik and not far from the national park from ThingvellirThis is a favourite attraction for tourists and locals looking to escape the city. It is the most popular attraction in Circle d'Orwhich the Icelanders call the Gullfoss waterfall. His incredible potential has earned him the nickname of 'the waterfall golden" . It consists of two waterfalls, each measuring 11 and 21 metres. Both have their source in the river Hvita. The canyon is 2.5 km long and 70 m wide and draws its water from the glacier Langjokull.
Sometimes a cooling mist can be seen at this point due to the power of the water movements. This can sometimes lead to the formation of a rainbow. This can only happen if the weather is at least sunny. The water flowing to its falls currently averages 130 m3 per minute. If we look at the history of the place, we can see that entrepreneurs had other plans for the area in the 20th century. They planned to harness its immense power by building a hydroelectric dam. This was not without the perseverance and determination of the Icelandic woman Sigridur Tomasdottirwho passionately defended this magnificent site.
Today, you can discover unusual places in the canyon and enjoy a breathtaking view of the waterfall. This is an opportunity to experience the extraordinary power of the currents.
Thingvellir National Park in Iceland's Golden Circle
The national park of Thingvellir is located in 45 km northeast of Reykjavik. This is a must if you plan to visit the Golden Circle. The national park Thingvellir has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We were immediately amazed by the variety of landscapes. The national park Thingvellir is both a historical and geological park. This Golden Circle nature park is located in an active volcanic area between two parallel cliffs. The vegetation is lush and green in summer.
This lava field is steeped in history and it is here that you can see the huge tectonic crack that illustrates the separation between the tectonic plates of the American continent and Eurasia. You can even go down into the faults to get a better look at the natural phenomenon of the Golden Circle. This is an excellent hiking in the Golden Circle, which allows you to see both the rift of Almannagia and the waterfall Oxarfoss.
If you visit the Golden Circle, Thingvallavatn is the largest lake in Iceland. The Golden Circle Lake is simply too big and its deep blue is almost magical.