One of the best ways to get around Iceland is to rent a car. It’s great because you can set your own
itinerary and stay in spots as long as you like. We Airbnbd at a scouting station about 45 minutes east of Reykjavik, near Þingvellir national park. It was really cute and put us within an hour of most of the
main stops on the Golden Circle.
Stop 1: Kerið, the Crater lake
Price: 4 dollar car park fee
Our first stop was at the Crater lake, Kerið. It’s essentially this old volcano that’s Crater collapsed and now is filled with water. It was a nice warm for the Golden circle, you can just take your time and walk around the top of the mound and then also walk down to the water. The landscape around it is pretty
rocky and incredible too.
Stop 2: Faxi
Faxi is a small waterfall that’s a little less travelled than some of the major waterfalls like Gullfoss. The cool thing is, you can get right up to it (just dont fall in!) We only spent a few minutes here because it
was raining pretty hard but it was still interesting!
Stop 3: Geysir
This is a pretty popular destination with everyone wanting to see the geyser erupt. It goes off a few
times every hour. It’s pretty cool to see that, but if you go here take the time to walk around all the
geothermal pools. Honestly I found some of the bubbly hot pools more interesting than the geyser.
Stop 4: Gullfoss
Gullfoss is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls and is popular for a reason: It’s a sight to be seen. The
water plunges down into a canyon thats rugged and evergreen. I feel like you could take days hiking
around it. You can get pretty close, although there are ropes at the edges. You can also walk up on thecliff above it and get a birds eye view. It was raining when we went, but I didn’t care. Its a popular but must see stop.
Stop 5: Þingvellir National park
Price: $5-7 Car park fee
Þingvellir national park was our 5th stop, and we only saw a fraction of it. Seriously, you could spend awhole trip exploring this park. We passed the beautiful Lake Þingvellir as we came in, and then we
parked close to the Silfra fissures. This spot is where the North American and the Eurasian tectonic
plates meet, so you can stand in two places at once. There are excursions where you can actually
scuba dive between them. But if you’re like me and traveling on a budget – exploring the park will
suffice. There is a waterfall – Oxarfoss, close by the car park that you can walk to as well.
Stop 6: Reykjaldur Hot Springs
Our last stop along the Golden Circle was at the Reykjaldur hot river. Be prepared to hike a few miles
in, a decent amount of it uphill, to get here. But it’s worth it! Once you arrive, you can sit or lay in the
river (it’s only about knee deep in most spots) and relax from your hike. It’s very rocky, so if you have watershoes, I recommend those. Oh and be prepared for some floating plant matter. Hey, it is a river.
There are dividers along the edges that you can change behind, but you’re still in the open, so it’s
helpful to have a friend hold a towel around you. Fair warning: Some people don’t care and change in
the open. But it’s a beautiful hike where you can see amazing landscapes and bubbling hot pools.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day exploring the Golden circle. Stay tuned for more on our second and
third days in Iceland! Have you explored the Golden Circle? What was your favourite site!