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Trip List by aRedLetterLife

4 Days in Iceland: Day 2 - The Golden Circle

20 Sep 2012  An action packed 4 day itinerary: Day 2
5.0 of 5 bubbles based on 14 votes

This is a BIG day. The Golden Circle is pretty much mandatory if you decide to come to Iceland. Most tour's list 3 stops to complete the circle, i will tell you about 4. You have Thingvellir National Park, the geysers, Gullfoss, and Kerid. Assuming you took my advice in my day 1 entry, you have a car and you are doing the tour yourself. Really, don't spend the 573442592 krona on a bus tour, you only get to spend a couple minutes at each spot, its stupid expensive, you miss the 4th stop on the circle, and all the other cooler tourists will look down on you for being an insufferable spendthrift.
So when all is said and done the golden circle should take you about 6 to 8 hours, just in time to get back for dinner (see below for my dinner reccamendation). Obviously, its better to leave earlier in the morning to avoid the bus tours. This amount of time is perfect because you aren't really in the car that long (that will be remedied on day 3) between stops.

  • 1. Thingvellir National Park
    Thingvellir National Park, Thingvellir, South Region

    Thingvellir is pretty sweet, It's definitely not the most exciting spot that you will stop at during your tour of the golden circle, but by no means should it be overlooked. i mean, They used to drown women in the pool right by the the first bridge you cross (look for the plaque that tells you the history of it right along the bridge). if you want to, there is a small waterfall that you can hike to before you get to the main parking area, park in the smaller parking area about a 6th of a mile before the main one. You cant miss it since a ton of other tourists will be stopping there as well. Walking between the chasm of the continental plates is pretty much the highlight of the park, and for good reason. It's damn impressive. While we were there part of the chasm was closed off due to a recent earthquake. Got that? Part of the place that you would normally walk collapsed into the bowels of hell. Have a good hike sucka.

  • 2. Strokkur
    Strokkur, Geysir, South Region

    Geyser IS rock and roll. This is the highlight of the golden circle tour. If you did even the smallest amount of research you know that geyser is the name of the first, well, geyser. The one that all the others get there name from. Unfortunately some stupid tourists through some garbage into it a few years ago to try to bait it(which does work if you use laundry soap) all that stuff clogged up and then finally a earthquake pretty much closed the hole. Lucky for you, when one door closes another opens, and right next to geyser is the geyser strokkur. This bad boy explodes every 5 minutes shooting boiling water about 100 feet into the air! its alot of fun and it makes for great pictures. Now is a good time to grab some food, suprisingly the giftshop next to the geysers is actually decent. try the smoked lamb on a pita for 250 krona (guaranteed this is the cheapest meal you will have in Iceland) or the traditional lamb stew.

  • 3. Golden Falls (Gullfoss)
    Gullfoss, Blaskogabyggd, South Region

    Gullfoss, or the Golden falls, as it's name means, is big. really big. it is often debated to be one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. If it isnt raining while your there you will most likely get the treat of seeing a rainbow cresting over the falls which will probably make your panties wet.

  • 4. Kerid Crater

    Most golden circle itineraries skip kerid, in fact, tripadvisor doesnt even have it listed as a attraction. Who knows why cause its dope. Kerid is a volcanic crater lake that, if you follow my itinerary, is on your way back to Reykjavik. Look close for the signs cause it can be easy to miss. It takes about 15 minutes to walk the circumference of the crater and about 5 minutes to walk down to the water. If you're the adventurous type bring a bathing suit and hop on in if you don't mind the razor sharp volcanic rocks tickling your piggy?s not to mention the ice cold freezing water.

  • 5. The Pearl (Perlan)
    Perlan, Reykjavik, Capital Region

    We had a few extra minutes to kill before dinner so we went to see the Perlan, or the pearl. Honestly, unless your gonna eat at this overpriced water tank its not really worth stopping at. It does however giver you a nice view of center city

  • 6. Fiskfelagid (Fish Company)
    Fiskfelagid Fish Company, Reykjavik, Capital Region

    Having a fancy dinner in Reykjavik only one night is a good idea since it is so expensive. The rest of the time you'll be eating hotdogs at Baejarins beztu pylsur, and believe me that's not such a bad thing. For your one special fancy shmancy dinner i suggest Fiskfelagid, or Fish Company as the English say. The restaurant hands down had the best food that we had in Iceland, and all the places we went to were good. Its consistently voted in the top 10 restaurants in the country. For your meal i suggest the, "around the world tasters plate with wine pairing". Like i said, this ain't cheap, and the whole table has to order it, If i remember correctly it costs somewhere around 17,000 krona per person, but it is totally worth it and the wine just keeps on flowing... Don't forget to sign the "guestbook"!

  • 7. Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture
    Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture, Reykjavik, Capital Region

    I assume you know this, but it never really gets dark in Iceland during the summer months. Sure, the sun "sets" kinda. But that happens at midnight, and even then its more like dusk then really dark, then it rises again at 3am! its ridiculous. Anyway, we got out of our gluttonous dinner at Fiskfelagid around 11:30 (23:30) and sure as anything it was still light out so we went to go see the sun voyager, a famous Icelandic sculpture and then went down to the harbor to watch the sun set.