The golden circle can easily be done in a day if the day is long enough.
While that may sound like an esoteric Icelandic saying, it is the truth.
Days range from 4 hours to 20 hours in Iceland. It takes a good 8 hours to really see the Golden Circle. You will need three hours just to drive it and
an equal amount of time to gawk at it. And I do mean gawk, as in draw dropped open stare gawking while saying things like “holy guacamole”, “mother of god”, or “your kiddin me”. If you are fortunate enough to catch a sunny day without a lot of wind then you better give yourself 11 hours and bring some food and six camera batteries.
What is there to see ? Well, there’s the biggest geyser in the world.
It’s in a little field full of Geysers.
Then there is the Continental divide, the actual crack between the North American
and the European tectonic plates. Yea, that’s right – you can take a selfie standing in between two continents.
At one point it’s only about ten feet across. You can hike well into it and experience the different geology in each plate and contemplate your puniness.
Then there is the incredible vistas, the beautiful horses running free across sweeping green pastures, the volcano’s, the massive glacier covered peaks in the distance, birds, primitive sheep, interesting farm houses, dramatic properties and lots of waterfalls.
And of those waterfalls, there is one that everyone must see, the ultimate waterfall, Gullfuss.
Gullfuss is not so much a waterfall as an incomprehensible mountain of waterwrapping through a series of cascading waterfalls. It is sort of like Naigra falls running around a corner and down a few steps at the same time. At one point there is a V with water falling off all points. Then it falls into a massive deep crevice where the spray fly’s up the other side and creates a hovering cloud of mist.
It can be behind you and in front of you at the same times. Just listening to Gullfuss is a trip – seeing it and feeling it are like being in another world.
As you can see, the Icelanders rely on the tourist “sensible nature” not to step too far.
Here the waterfall is going straight back up in the air – misting us all.
Easy Trail, just a tad wet.
Gullfuss also has an interesting history – as explained on this memorial plaque.
We ate at a fun place, that was actually a working dairy and also provides lodging.
Its called Efstidalur and is on a working dairy farm with brilliant views of the
hulking Mountain Hekla. Efstidalur offers tasty farm to table meals and amazing ice-cream and has windows looking into the dairy barn.
We had a car to do this trip, but I can say that a tour bus would be fine. Most of what we saw was very accessible from the areas we parked.
How did this rock get so ripply ?
Little Farm on Fjord
Off in the distance, a mammoth glacier – a beautiful site for another day –
Next stop is the mighty Snaefellsnes peninsula.