Anyone that had a little interest in Iceland probably heard about the Golden Circle. It could not be any other way as it is probably the most famous area in Iceland. But do we really know what and where it is and the stops on the Golden Circle? If you still have a lot of information on your head but cannot figure it out just yet, we will try our best to help you out!
As funny as it may seem, the golden circle is not really a circle, it actually looks more like a triangle. Regardless of its shape, the area offers a great variety of Icelandic nature. If you only have a couple of days in Iceland, this could be a great option. You will for sure get a nice idea of what the country has to offer. It is in the South area of the country, just about one hour driving distance from Reykjavik.
The main three stops on the Golden Circle are:
- Gullfoss Waterfall:
The most famous waterfall in Iceland, Golden Waterfall if we translate its name to English. It is located in the southwest of the country and has two huge cascades. Actually Gullfoss is the biggest waterfall in Iceland, with about 1200m3 falling down every second in summer. Surely a great part of the Stops On The Golden Circle.
The upper level of the water fall has a height of 11 meters while the lower reaches a height of 20 meters drop. The waterfall runs on lava and basalt rocks. As it is quite powerful, the waterfall is retreating at a rate of 30cm per year due to the rock erosion.
Actually this area is called Haukadalur geothermal area but is widely known for its main attraction: Geysir. Iceland is a unique place. In contrast to most countries that are firmly based on a continental plate, Iceland is located just above the border region of the Eurasian and the North American continental plate. They drift apart right below Iceland – the earth’s crust is thin enough to heat underground water and cause geysers to emerge.
This amazing show has its best spectacle here in Haukadalur. This geyser is one of the greatest in Iceland, it can gush hot water up to 70 meters.
Thingvellir is historically as well as archaeologically the largest and most important gathering place in Iceland. In the Icelandic book of settlements, it is reported that a man named Grímur Geitskór was commissioned by the first settlers to locate a place for a popular assembly on the island. Grímur decided, after a long search, for the Þingvallavatn. So here is where the first parliament took place. It seems that the Icelandic Althing is the oldest parliament in the world. These Stops On The Golden Circle are both about nature and history!
What Are The Stops On The Golden Circle?
The old parliament of Þingvellir is located about 40km northeast of Reykjavik, right by the largest lake in the country. Its importance is not only related to politic matters but also to nature. Here is where the tectonic plates can easily be seen. You can actually dive through two continents in the Silfra fissure, between Europe and America.