The Golden Circle - Iceland


Most likely Iceland's grandest attraction, The Golden Circle consists of expansive landscapes like nothing you've ever seen before. The country is largely volcanic (and active) and the route travels through a multitude of rainbow colored panoramas, glaciers, geysers, lava fields, and yeah, that famous waterfall. The Golden Circle is definitely not to be missed. Read on...

The first stop after a morning of horseback riding through the unicorn-like valley  (can be done as a combined tour) was Thingvellir Park, where the North American and European plates meet, commonly called the Atlantic Rift. The water that flows here is so pristine, you can drink it fresh from the rocky crevasses. If brave enough to endure the frigid waters, you can also dive down the Silfra crack and swim between the 2 continents. Visibility is said to be 100m+ and rarely surpassed.

Next stop on the Golden Circle is the famous Gullfoss waterfall, which actually means "Golden Falls". I can't imagine it can be any more beautiful than it is during the winter near sunset. The misty blue water cascades around fluffy white snow and is set against a backdrop of pastel pink, violet, and yellow skies. Gorgeous! 
Last stop on the circuit is the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur. Although the valley is full of steamers, Geysir (from where all geysers inherited the term) and Strokkur are the most popular for their dependability of erupting about every 10 minutes. 
I learned that all too well when I tried to make my way back across the fully iced-over field in the dark. Suddenly that darn thing blew up 40 feet in the air right next to me and I thought "This is it, I'm going to sizzle to death in this boiling steam.." LoL!! But alas, I'm here to tell the tale... It's amazing to see how alive the earth is below our feet.


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