Golden Circle Route – Thingvellir, Waterfalls & Geyser Strokkur (Iceland)

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Iceland

Today we set the alarm clock at 9 o’clock and outside it was still dark. In December, the sun does not rise until after 12 o’clock in Iceland and already at 4 p.m. again. Not really long to take the Golden Circle route with the Geysir Strokkur.



The Golden Circle Route in Iceland

When we left our Hotel CenterHotel Klopp in Reykjavik at about 10 o’clock, it started to snow slowly. Well, fortunately the Icelanders do not have such a problem as we do at home. Most motorists already experience total chaos when the first snowflake is just hinting. But the serenity of the Icelanders may also be due to the fact that every second person owns a “monster truck” as a car and was thus certainly one meter higher than we were with our small car.

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in the southwest of the island, passing some of Iceland’s most famous attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser and Gullfoss Waterfall. You can easily drive this route in one day by car.

Thingvellir National Park

Our drive went along the Golden Circle route towards Thingvellir, a national park of the UNESCO World Heritage Site,where the American and Eurasian continental plates meet(official website).

Meeting the Continental Plates, Golden Cyrcle, Iceland, On Your Own, Car Rental Tour, Winter, TravelReport

Meeting of continental plates

The winter landscape looked very nice, but because it was also extremely cold (and we didn’t have the thickest clothes with us), we didn’t stay too long.

So off to the car and on. The road was steadily uphill and the snow drifting became more and more violent. Partly due to the persistent strong wind and the associated snow drifts we had visibility of less than 2 meters and were able to drive at a maximum speed of 20 km/h.

YouTube video

The Geyser Strokkur in the Haukadalur Hot Water Valley

Due to the weather, we also found very few tourists on this day. The next stop was the geyser Strokkur in the hot water valley Haukadalur, which (according to official information) is supposed to break out very regularly every 10 minutes. We already knew the spectacle from the geyser “Old Faithful” from Yellowstone National Park in the USA. We were all the more curious to see if this was the case. But Strokkur was reliable and he actually broke out every 10 minutes. In Haukadalur you will find other small geysers and many water holes.

The Gullfoss Waterfall

Afterwards we drove on to the waterfall Gullfoss, which we unfortunately could not see at all due to the heavy snowfall and the poor visibility. The waterfall consists of two steps, the first of which has a height of 11 metres and the second 21 metres. As in the following picture, of course, we would have liked to have seen this.

Gullfoss Waterfall, Golden Cyrcle, Iceland, On Your Own, Car Tour, Winter, Travel Report

The Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Now we had to come to our guesthouse that day, which was still about 3 to 4 hours away. Luckily, the weather improved a bit, so that the ride was ok in the meantime and the roads appeared partly in a reddish light.

The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

On the way we made a short stop at seljalandsfoss waterfall, where the river Seljalandsi plunges 66 meters into the depth.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Golden Cyrcle, Iceland, On Your Own, Car Tour, Winter, Travel Report

The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Our hotel in the south of Iceland

Arriving at our Guesthouse Vellir, the owner told us that we were lucky to have arrived at all, because on that day many roads (also to Reykjavik) had to be closed because of the weather. She tells us that there was almost no snow at that time last year.

We chose the hotel as it was perfectly located on our route. It is located not far from the main road and is therefore easily accessible. With us it had snowed heavily, which is why we almost wouldn’t have got through with our small car on the side road that leads to the guesthouse. Parking is available right on the doorstep.

The owner, who also takes care of everything herself, is very nice and takes care of her guests very well. Since we had to get out very early the next day, she gave us a breakfast package to go (sandwich, fruit, drink) because we could not attend the regular breakfast (free of charge). We chose a room with private bathroom, which was small but clean and modern. At night it was very quiet, as there are not many other houses around the guesthouse. At the entrance of the guesthouse you have to take off your shoes and put on slippers (provided by the owner) so that you don’t carry the dirt from outside. All in all a nice guesthouse, which we can recommend in any case.

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Our room at Guesthouse Vellir

We then talked to her a little bit about the weather forecasts for the next day and then moved into our cozy little room 🙂

All travelogues from Iceland

Iceland actually came relatively spontaneously to our world trip. We were looking for a cheap flight to the USA or directly to the Caribbean and found a really good offer from Icelandair from Frankfurt via Reykjavik to Boston and Orlando. Since stopovers at Icelandair are mostly without extra charge, we thought, ok, why not discover Iceland for a few days at take off and make three days out of the actual three hours stopover? Especially in winter this island should have its very special charm. So we had done some research and found the idea good. Iceland Day 1 Reykjavik – Tourist Attractions & the beautiful Northern Lights (Iceland)
Day 2 Golden Circle Route – Thingvellir, Waterfalls & Geyser Strokkur (Iceland)
Day 3 Skaftafell National Park – The blue ice caves of Vatnajökull (Iceland)
Day 4 The Blue Lagoon – The famous thermal bath at Reykjavik (Iceland)