For many visitors to Iceland, the Golden Circle is their ultimate road trip: the popular loop features a waterfall, a geysir and a national park, all within a day’s driving of Reykjavik.
Although we had seen dozens of waterfalls and a constant flow of stunning scenery on our Ring Road journey to Hofn, Aly and I still felt like we couldn’t miss some of Iceland’s best-known sites. While Gullfoss was certainly the biggest waterfall we encountered and Geysir was the only geysir we came across, we were most taken aback by the sheer number of people there.
By any other European summer standards, the sites weren’t that crowded. But after four days of being the only people in a natural hot spring and being able to stop the car in the middle of the road to take a photo, it was a shock to see tour buses and semi-full parking lots. It’s surely worth a trip if you’re staying in Reykjavik, but if you have a set of wheels and some time to spare: don’t be afraid to go beyond the well-worn Golden Circle track.
Fun fact: geyser is derived from the Icelandic word Geysir. It literally means gusher!
We explored Pingvellir National Park when we went snorkeling at Silfra, the crack between Europe and America.
What’s your favorite photo of the Golden Circle?