Exploring Otherworldly Landscapes in The Golden Circle

Hi Friends,

If you read my last blog post, you will know my time in Iceland did not exactly go to plan. However, at my hostel, I met and befriended many likeminded people and ended up going on a road trip with 2 of them. I actually had a tour booked and didn’t end up going because I decided a road trip with 2 new friends sounded a lot cooler than sitting on a massive tour bus full of strangers.

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Heading out initially we could almost see nothing but snow – this is the view from the rear window (difficult to shoot handheld in low light but you get the idea).

Pat, Lewis and I set out in the morning, picked up Pat’s hire car by foot and headed off to do The Golden Circle circuit. Fortunately for Pat and I, Lewis was very well read about the places we were visiting (with an excellent memory) and basically acted as a tour guide.

Þingvellir

Þingvellir is a location of great significance for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, dating back to 930AD, this was a meeting place for Icelandic people. Laws were passed here and the early foundations of language laid.

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Secondly, geographically it is a very unique place, the park lies in the boundary between the Eurasian and the Northern American tectonic plates.

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Tips for Þingvellir

You can also organise to do a tour where you scuba dive or snorkel between the tectonic plates in the Silfra fissure. My hostel roomie, Daniel, told me that he found it scary (admitting that was mainly because he can’t actually swim very well) but otherwise recommends doing it.

Kerið

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake. I really loved the landscape in this area, felt truly otherworldly.

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Kerið
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Dramatic skies and otherworldly landscape
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Thanks to Lewis for this pic of me – yes, my album is coming out next month 😉 jokes…

Haukadalur

Haukadalur is a valley which is home to the famous geysers and other geothermal sites of Iceland. We watched a number of eruptions – 2 of which from Strokkur which is known for consistently erupting every 6-10 minutes.

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Another extreme landscape with boiling hot pools of liquid against a snowy backdrop
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Strokkur erupting

Oh and it smells like rotten eggs here due to the properties of the water but the smell isn’t that bad, it is just slightly unpleasant.

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Gullfoss

Gullfoss is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland. I feel like I didn’t capture its epicness but I tried haha.

 

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Half frozen Gullfoss in winter

 

I even took out my tripod and attempted a long exposure shot (below) AND I edited out raindrops for the first time. Not one of my most amazing shots but again I tried ;).

 

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Gullfoss in Winter

 

Faxi

Faxi is another epic waterfall on the Golden Circle circuit. I think when you compare this with the landscape in the above waterfall photo you can see how diverse the weather is in Iceland in one day! These locations aren’t that far apart, yet one is almost completely hidden by snow and the other just has smatterings of it.

 

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Faxi Waterfall

 

Secret Lagoon

The lads then went to the Secret Lagoon which they both very highly recommended. I sat that round out because for some reason the Lagoons in Iceland don’t appeal to me in any shape or form.

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The sky only began to clear up as we were leaving 😥 haha

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are interested in reading about what I got up to in Reykjavik you can check out my blog post here or if you would like to know about how to travel in Iceland on a budget click here.

Mikki 🙂

7 thoughts on “Exploring Otherworldly Landscapes in The Golden Circle

  1. Hi Mikki,
    I’ve really enjoyed all your blog posts about Iceland, not only because of the beautiful photos but because you’ve given very practical tips. It’s always been a dream of mine to go there. I’ve never been overseas though so the logistics and the cost always puts me off. Thanks to your blog posts I have some excellent information to use to help with planning if it ever becomes a reality. Love all your gorgeous shots. It can be difficult to capture how spectacular a landscape is but you’ve done a fantastic job. Best wishes. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a kind comment. I agree all these little details for travel planning can be very stressful but thanks to the internet it has never been easier to work it all out :)! I am glad you have found the information I have shared to be useful too. Let me know when you make those dreams reality. Mikki 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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