Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wanderlust: Extreme Iceland - The Golden Circle

Tours are an absolute MUST if visiting Iceland, The magic of this country is going outdoors and seeing all of the amazing scenery so without a car (as there are no railroads in Iceland and limited buses depending on time of year) than you have gotta book one, or two. or three.

Having researched tour groups for quite some time (there are LOADS in Iceland!) Extreme Iceland stuck out to me, the website has so much choice when it comes to tours and displaying the itinerary, maps and even YouTube videos of destinations to go they seemed like the ideal choice,

Delighted to say, we were far from disappointed with the two tours we booked the first if which being the Golden Circle.

You may of heard of this one as so many tour groups run it, It is an ESSENTIAL to do this tour on your first visit, it is basically a circle of great sightseeing places not far from Reykjavik which you can see one after the other, probably about a max of a 20-25 minute gap between each once your out of the city so you can see so much in your day!

The tour is roughly around 9 hours so comfy walking shoes and warms (proper warms!) are a must. We were soooo lucky with the weather during the entire of our stay in Iceland, I had hoped for a mixture of snow and clear skies days and we got exactly that! This day was the snowiest of the week so we got to see everything in the snow and during blizzards which is cool as we don't get alot of snow here in the south so it was a complete novelty! :)

We opted for the Golden Circle Complete tour with our great tour guide guy Bjorn. Which took a group of 12 of us to all of these places:

1) Hellisheidavirkjun Power Plant  (yeh I don't know how to say that either!)

Our first stop was this geothermal power plant, located at the end of a very large lava field. It is the second largest in the world.

Its was a great idea for a first stop as having already spent a day living in the city we had a whole bunch of questions about how they get energy and water to Reykjavik. Interesting stuff and presented in a fun way so its not boring :)

The water in Reykjavik also comes from here and due to that it comes from wayy below the ground under all this lava field. The water does taste (and smell) very sulfery.

Imagine rotten eggs smell and you've pretty much got it!  We sorta got used to it in Reykjavik and didn't notice it much when showering but it did put us off driking water after a few days of drinking our apartment tap water which we had in bottles with us after we had had nothing but that for days!!

2)  Kerið Volcanic Crater

Kerið is a volcanic crater that once was a volcano but either blew itself to pieces or another theory is that it used up all its magma reserve so this is whats left,

Its actually full of water and looks like a pretty lake. Its a pretty old crater to, at around 3,000 years old

As it was very cold and snowy as forementioned, the water has frozen over so it had all turned to ice! still pretty cool and an interesting stop on the tour.

3.  The Geysirs

Without a doubt, the most touristy place we went to in Iceland was the Geysir Geothermal field. It even had its own food court and shopping area!

This did make it a pretty difficult stop as though we had a whole hour here it was hard to have time to photo the geysirs (theres loads!) and have time to join the huuuuge que for lunch as well as eat it.

Its a very impressive sight though and was a laugh to see the largest of the geysirs which goes off every 3-4 mins and reaches a height of over 70 metres. It really makes you just when your waiting for it!

4) Gullfoss Waterfall

After our fleeting lunch we then visited Gullfoss which is the most majestic and stunning waterfall I've ever seen! Its the most iconic one in Iceland and I can so see why.

and so so beautiful in the snow, this was definitely one of the highlights of our trip and when we took the most photos.

Its really was snowing hard in these pics but it made the experience even more magical.

5) Efstidalur Farm

We had a brief stop before continuing on to our last destination which happened to be a farm well known for its ice cream,

Though it was a little crazy to have ice cream in the cold that's exactly what we did and it was great!
Our new doggy friends also had abit :)

Icelanders apparently prefer to eat ice cream in the winter and see it as a winter treat to eat in the car!

The blueberry ice cream was a definate hit :)

 5) Thingvellir National Park

Our last stop before sunset was Thingvellir National Park, The area is a fissure zone running through iceland, situated on the tectonic plates of North America and Europe.

So you can quite literally walk between the two plates which is very cool. is a really nice walk to complete the golden circle tour!

 So there you have it! That is the golden circle tour :)

Planning to go anytime soon or want more info? Check out this tour on Extreme Icelands website

Would you visit Iceland or have you been on the Golden Circle Tour before?

Love, Sarah x


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