Exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, and Geysers

golden circle iceland

I’ve been fortunate enough to take several trips with my parents to various locations. When I was growing up, we would take a trip about once a year. I was always grateful to Mom and Dad for bringing the kids along, even though I am sure it was much more of a hassle. It inspired my love of travel, and without it, I’m not sure I would chosen this as a career option.

Iceland Scenery Circle

One of my favorite trips was when I went to Iceland with my dad in October 2014. He has always had a passion for geology (another interest he has passed down to me), and so when I mentioned that I wanted to head to Iceland, he came along too.

By far one of the most scenic and geologically interesting parts of the trip was the Golden Circle. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we signed up for a tour, but I was happy to have my dad along in order to explain anything I wasn’t sure about.

Volcanic Crater Iceland

There were several highlights of this tour, but I loved the Kerio volcanic crater. We got to walk around the edge and peer into the pool that had been left after thousands of years after the explosion. The colors were magnificent and I couldn’t help but snap some photos as we went around.

Stokkur Geyser Iceland

I also loved the geysers throughout the area. After seeing Old Faithful, these were smaller and erupted more often because the geological matter had been created much more recently than what I had seen in Yellowstone National Park as a kid.

Geyser is originally an Icelandic word (“geysir”) and the Strokkur geyser would erupt every five to ten minutes. It was an awesome way to see a geyser up close.

Geyser Iceland Dormant

Gullfoss Iceland Waterfall

Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Golden Circle without heading to Gullfoss, Iceland’s largest waterfall and by far its most famous. At its deepest point, it’s 105 ft deep, and it is as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.

Gullfoss Water Iceland

Dad and I snapped a selfie at the edge, in awe of how many tons of water go through the crevice in a moment.

Alex Tim Iceland

I personally loved the Golden Circle because it taught me so much about Iceland’s constantly changing landscape. Everything was so new in comparison to what I had experienced before, and it made the land seemed untamed and wild. I was so lucky to get to experience it with my dad—it’s a memory we’ll always share.

Have you ever been to the Golden Circle? What would you recommend to see?

Keep wandering,

Alex Signature Wander


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