The first part of day 6 of our week long adventure in Iceland was spent exploring the popular loop of natural attractions known as the Golden Circle.
Day 6 started off bright and early. We left our hostel a little after 7am, grabbed a quick bite to eat (and coffee!) at a local bakery before taking back roads towards the Golden Circle.
We drove about an hour and a half on mostly gravel roads, through outcroppings, before reaching our first stop, Pingvellir
Our stop at Pingvellir included walking within a fault line (above) and checking out the various sites where major historical decisions (think: Iceland’s legal adoption of Christianity) occurred.
We spent a good hour walking around and exploring Pingvellir before heading on to the second stop of our Golden Circle tour – Geysir.
The original “geyser”, Geysir, only erupts during periods of high seismic activity (about every 70 years), so we did not see the actual Geysir erupt. Instead, there was another geyser nearby that erupts every 5 minutes. So, we got to see it erupt several times, while exploring the adjacent bubbling hot pools.
Of all of the places we visited in Iceland, the stops along the Golden Circle were by far the busiest. There were lots of tour buses, likely due to the close proximity to Reykjavik and the airport, and these destinations, although impressive, definitely felt more “touristy”.
From Geysir, we drove about 10 minutes further to Gulfoss. The last waterfall of our Iceland adventure. Like all of the others we visited, Gulfoss was impressive and unique in it’s own right.
And, it was cool to be able to get up close and personal, without getting super wet (like at Skogafoss).
From Gulfoss, we continued on to our last stop of the Golden Circle loop, Kerid Crater. This was the only natural attraction that we paid a small fee to see, but it was well worth it. From the parking lot, there’s a short climb bringing you to the top of the crater where you’re greeted with aquamarine blue water surrounded by red rocks striated with green foliage. Kerid Crater was like nothing else that I’ve ever seen before – definitely a neat experience.
We walked around the top the crater, before descending toward the water’s edge where we also took a loop. From Kerid, we completed our Golden Circle drive by heading to Reykjavik to finish out our day’s explorations.