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Stop At: Nesjavellir Viewing Point, Iceland
This beautiful geothermal area is located at Nesjavellir and belongs to the volcano Hengill. The volcano Hengill is amongst the largest high-temperature geothermal areas in Iceland, covering some 100 km2. Driving at the slope of Hengill volcano and walking to the viewing point above the Nesjavellir geothermal power plant will make you filling at another planet.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Thingvellir National Park, Thingvellir Iceland
Thingvellir National Park is known with both historical and geological meaning.
The Mid Atlantic Ridge comes over Iceland, dividing a country into two parts belonging to American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and Thingvellir is a part of fissure zone on the tectonic plate boundary. The valley at Thingvellir contains the largest lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn.
Thingvellir is also Iceland’s cradle of Democracy and the birthplace of Althingi parliament. The direct translation of Thingvellir is Parliament-fields. Althingi is the oldest extant parliament in the world, established around 930 and continued as a general parliament assembly until 1798. Althingi performed its duties at Logberg in Thingvellir, meaning the Law-rock, which is where most of the speeches were held. Iceland declared it‘s official independence from Denmark in 1944 at Thingvellir on the 17th of June, making this date Icelandic national day.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Strokkur, Haukadalsvegur, Geysir Iceland
Geysir is a famous hot spring in the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley, found in south-west Iceland. Though Geysir itself is rarely active these days, Haukadalur Valley boasts a plethora of hot springs and geysers, including the powerful Strokkur, Smiður, and Litli-Strokkur.
Strokkur is, arguably, the country’s most famous hot spring, shooting vast jets of boiling water from 20 meters (65 feet) up to 40 meters (130 feet) high. Don’t worry about missing this incredible spectacle of nature, as Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes; just make sure to have your camera ready.
Geysir is much larger, but years can go by between eruptions here; it is currently in an inactive phase. When it does erupt, the water can shoot up in the air as high as 70 meters (230 feet).
At the southern part of the valley, Thykkuhverir, you’ll find various bubbling mud pots. These spooky brown cauldrons are fumaroles that boil up through the loose ground; after a dry spell, these mud pools are likely to transform into a hardened fumarole.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Gullfoss, White River, Blaskogabyggd 801 Iceland
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found in the Hvita river canyon in south-west Iceland. The water in Hvita river travels from the glacier Langjokull, before cascading 32 meters (105 feet) down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
The waterfall consists of two stages. The first, shorter cascade is 11 meters (36 feet), while the second drop is 21 meters (69 feet). The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70 meters (230 feet), descending into the great Gullfossgjufur canyon. Geologists believe that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the end of the last ice age.
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic meters (459 cubic feet) of water surges down the waterfall every second, while in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic meters (358 cubic feet). With such energy, visitors should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Fridheimar, Reykholt 801 Iceland
Enjoy the special experience of entering a greenhouse and sitting down to a feast of the famous friðheimar tomato soup with freshly baked bread, served with cucumber salsa. Visitors can buy delicious food souvenirs such as Tomato Jam, the Cucumber Salsa and Tomato Drinks to take away.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Kerid Crater, Route 35, Selfoss Iceland
Kerið is an exquisite crater with a small lake in the bottom is not far outside of the classic Golden Circle route that is a must-see for anybody to explore on their way out of Reykjavík. The 55-metre deep crater is 3000 years old and is part of the larger Tjarnarholar area, a collection of crater-hills.
Kerið is a protected natural site. A small parking lot is adjacent to the crater off Route 35, and marked footpaths guide visitors to its rim.
Duration: 20 minutes