Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is the most popular tourist excursion in Iceland. On this tour one will visit the Thingvellir national park, Geysir Hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfall. Optional are visits to the Faxi waterfall and Kerid volcanic crater.

Thingvellir or Þingvellir in Icelandic, is the most sacred of places in Iceland. Here in a Rift valley between the American and EuroAsian tectonic plates parliament was established in Iceland in the year 930 and continued to be here until 1798. It was protected by law in 1928 and in 2004 Þingvellir was accepted on the World Heritage list for its cultural values. The rift valley is also a majestic example of the rift between the two tectonic plates.
Geysir hot spring area is named after the original Geysir that would spew hot water as high as 70 meters. Geysir has now retired, but his little brother Strokkur has accepted the choir of spewing hot water and erupts about every 10 minutes as high as 40 meters, even though average eruptions are closer to 15 to 20 meters.

Gullfoss waterfall in the river Hvita, and is the most famous waterfall in Iceland. It falls in two stages over two tectonic faults at 90° to one another. Gullfoss was saved from being a victim to a hydro electric plant in early 20th century. Its survival has been credited to a woman, Sigridur Tomasdottir in Brattholt, the daughter of one of the owners, but she fought hard to have the waterfall protected. Later historical explanations dispute this, but what ever was the case, Sigridur, who inherited a part of the ownership from her father, did her best to get the waterfall protected. She may have been the first tourist guide in Iceland as she routinely would bring visitors to the waterfall.
Faxi is a waterfall in the river Tungufljot.
Kerid is a volcanic crater, belonging to a row of craters that erupted 6.500 years ago. The crater is 55 meters deep. In the crater there is a lake that is like a window to the ground water in the area, and the surface will rise and fall with the hight of the ground water. The crater it is easily accessible for anyone that can make a short walk up a hill.
More in this category: « Reykjanes Snaefellsnes »

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