Our first full day in Iceland took us on the Golden Circle Tour, one of the most popular tours that start in Reykjavik. Our small van seated 15 people in addition to the driver, and we began our drive through the wondrous scenes of Iceland.
Stop 1: Þingvellir National Park
This expansive landscape featured a view of the mountains, lake, and rock formations of one of Iceland’s oldest used lands. Parliament was held there in the 10th and 18th centuries, and their spots are marked by a flag. The most famous aspect of this national park is the tectonic plates that created it: when walking across the hiking trail, I walked from the North American plate to the EurAsian plate! Try going home and telling your friends and family that you walked from one continental plate to the other!
We visited a family farm in the municipality of Bláskógabyggð, where we learned about the making of Skyr, a native and classic, yogurt-like Icelandic snack that is made from skimmed milk. The farm featured an ice cream shop selling homemade ice cream from their own cows, and a cute restaurant that also featured dishes using homegrown products. It was the perfect introduction to Icelandic rural culture.
Stop 3: Gullfoss Waterfall
This was the most gigantic waterfall I have ever seen! Its massive nature combined with intense winds created a raining effect; we were covered in water walking beside it taking pictures! A short hike can take you to deeper near the waterfall, but keep in mind that it is cold, windy, and wet!
Iceland has many natural wonders, including geysers, which spray burning hot water from inside the earth. This one is enormous and erupts every 3-5 minutes.
Stop 5: Faxi Waterfall
While this was only a picture stop, this waterfall was stunning. I wish we could have had more time to hike down and explore!
Stop 6: Kerið Crater
This natural crater is truly this beautiful, aqua-blue color. The pictures look edited but I swear this was the actual color!
The Golden Circle Tour took about 8 hours including stops and driving time, so it is a full-day trip. However, after visiting all these spots you have seen the most famous sights of Iceland! I’d definitely recommend it.