Be collected in mid-morning from your Reykjavík accommodations, then head to the first stop, Thingvellir National Park. The park is not only a site of geological wonder, located at the intersection of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, but also a place charged with history. Thingvellir is the site of the world's first parliament that met there each year, beginning in 930 AD, and continuing until 1798. Thingvellir tells stories of geographical and political struggles and compromises, as well as ongoing evolution. Thingvellir was accepted on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its cultural values in 2004.
The second stop on the tour is Geysir, where you can see erupting geysers with your own eyes. The great Geysir stopped erupting in the early 2000s but its baby brother, Strokkur, goes off every few minutes reaching an average of 15-20 meters into the air. There is a small multimedia geo-center exhibition demonstrating the science behind the geysers. There is also a nice coffee shop where you can grab a bite for lunch (at own expense).
The third stop on the Grand Golden Tour is the beautiful waterfall, Gullfoss (Golden falls), Europe’s second most powerful waterfall. The waterfall drops down in two stages, 11m and 21m, before falling into a crevice making it look as if it disappears into the earth. You can enjoy Gullfoss from different scenic points, each giving you distinct views and photo opportunities of the waterfall.
The fourth stop is Faxi, or 'Vatnsleysufoss', a waterfall located on the river Tungufljót, plunging over 7 meters. This waterfall is quite impressive, not only because of the height, but the waterfall is almost 80 meters (262ft) wide. The Faxi waterfall is named after the farm, Vatnsleysa, and means 'shortage of water', and is usually full of salmon.
Next up is the great Kerið (Kerith or Kerid in English), a volcanic crater lake located in the Grimsnes area in south Iceland. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier. It was created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, and is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. The caldera, like the other volcanic rock in the area, is composed of red, rather than black, volcanic rock.
You will be taken back to your Reykjavík accommodations afterward.
Golden Circle Route
Thingvellir National Park
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