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Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

Redmond, Washington
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Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

hi guys.

So landing in the airport at 630am, renting a car and heading to Vik to spend 2 nights there. So was thinking would do the Golden Circle Tour on our own.

I know the top spots are Geysir, Gulfoss and Thingvellir National Park. I know folks who take the tour who say that it's "rushed'. So how can one make a nice day out of this? What are the areas we can spend time in?

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Redmond, Washington
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1. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

Also, any scenic spots I can stop on the way from the Golden Route towards Vik on Highway 1?

Annapolis, MD
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2. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

We just did this. here is what worked for 2 47 yr olds and teen son. From air port drive to mossfellbakkari in (45 minutes, they open at 8am and told me in email they would let us in early if we warned them; this nicely breaks up the drive from keg to thingvellir), and have breakfast. Drive to thingvellir park at the multimedia center and take Quite some time to explore the rift, historic sites there, and try to walk to deserted farm stead (we never found it but it was still neat ground to cross). Continue to Laugavartn and have gourmet lunch at restaurant across the parking lot from hot springs lake - I can't recall the name but it is in lonely planet guide. See warm pool where beheaded bishop was washed before burial (or so they say). Continue on to geyser, wander along paths until you have seen enough. Drive to gull floss and repeat. I think all that took us about 4pm or so , and then we went to fludir for the night.

Redmond, Washington
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3. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

This sounds really useful, thanks a lot!

Milano
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4. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

On R1, see Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skogafoss (waterfall and museum), Soheimajokull glacier (reach by car, you can take a walk on it, be careful ....), the near Vik go to Dyrhòlaey to see puffins, Reynisfjara beach. Near Kirkjubæjarklaustur there's Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, Kirkjugolf.

Redmond, Washington
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5. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

xydan: Oh wow, thanks. Perhaps I can save your suggestions for the day AFTER I reach Vik?

Redmond, Washington
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6. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

Just reading this again.... I see that the Sólheimajökull glacier is a big one.. are there signposts that inform folks where we can detour from Route 1 and park, and hike.walk a bit on the glacier?

To rephase my question, what's the "touristy" area of this glacier?

Icelander in...
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7. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

Here are few photos of Sólheimajökull. The touristy area is a glacier tongue snout, and a little ,,ice lagoon" that is forming in front of it.

The road is well marked, few Kms. east of Skogar.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Florida
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8. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

pitbulloftravel: Wow that is our Day 1 in a nutshell, except we were gonna grab breakfast at airport and then head to Thingvellir, but we might hit up that restaurant now, thanks for the heads up. Even after Gulfoss, we have a restaurant planned before heading to Hella for the night. It's a packed first day, I hope weather and daylight are enough for Day 1. But backup plan is to cut Thingvellir short if we are running behind schedule and hit it back up at the end of our 2 weeks since we have our last 2 days in the capital.

How long did it take you guys to clear customs, pick up your rental and get on the road?

9. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

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Annapolis, MD
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10. Re: Doing the Golden Circle tour on our own - questions

The airport is really fast and easy. I think we would have been on the sidewalk in 30 minutes except we stopped at duty free to pick up wine and beer, and first we went the to duty free for people leaving Iceland by mistake. I still think we were out in well under an hour. I picked the Breakfast is mosfellbaer option because I knew we would have an adrenaline rush (Wow, here we are, driving in iceland) that would get us through the first part of the drive (and icelandair gave out free skyr) , and that had us drinking expresso, eating chocolate croissants halfway through the drive to Thingvellir (total drive was about 1.5 hours). I think you will be fine on time. You can spend 2 hours (or more, depending on how much you want to hike) at Thingvellir, but Gullfoss and Geysir are only about 20 minutes each. You can enjoy all 3 of these even if the weather is lousy-- just have rain pants, good rain jackets. We also liked the $10 rainball caps EMS was selling as they keep it farther off your face than just the hood. You can almost guarantee it will be pouring part of the time, but we found with the right clothes it didn't matter that much for walking.