Category Archives: Geysir

Southern Iceland, shaped forces of nature

Southern Iceland, shaped forces of nature

Article by Dagur Jonsson

Iceland, in current scenario, is more connected to fun and adventure rather than dark and chilly days and nothing to do. It is a far better place for tourists now than it was two decades back. This mid-Atlantic European island is the closest neighbor to North America with flight duration of only four and a half hours. One thing can be said for sure. There are more than expected adventures and activities waiting for everyone. The most electrifying thing about Iceland is the weather. In January the temperature will very easily go below 0 degrees but still the Icelander’s welcome for every visitor is very warm in every season.

EggiðRugged and raw lava fields which are just few centuries old, gives a very warm welcome for visitors who arrive at Keflavík airport which is located in southern part of Iceland. These lava fields spread till the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula area. All in all it can be said that right from getting out of the airport, spectacular and amazing sights can be seen. Southern Iceland is full of surprises and new revelations on every step. Let us reveal some of those surprises.

Geothermal activities are very frequently visible in south Iceland in hot springs and especially the blue lagoons. Í bl.lóninu2Blue lagoon is probably the most illustrious bathing spot situated in the lava field. It is said that its water is full of minerals and that water is famous for health related qualities. South Iceland is the perfect destination for a day tour from Reykjavik and for those tourists who are short of time to explore the country in depth as it provides all opportunities for birdlife watching and whale watching along with some very well known sea shores.

Þingvallabærinn

South Iceland has variety of day tours to offer and that too from the capital Reykjavik. The tourist destination called “golden circle” is a must visit place for all the tourists coming to this part of Iceland. The main attraction is Thingvellir where it is believed that the earliest arrivers set an assembly way back in 930 A.D. this assembly is now called the oldest parliament of the world. This city of Thingvellir is also very famous for its natural beauty with a lake and numerous rifts that shows the signs of continental plates of America and Eurasia. Golden circle’s other two main attractions are the Gullfoss, “the golden falls” and the geothermal fields of Geysir. Gullfoss is a two tier waterfall in the gulch of the river Hvita and the hot springs are famous as it vomits boiling water and steam after every five minutes. Another geyser called “the old faithful” has started erupting again after sleeping for many years.

Landmannalaugar_poolLandmannalaugar is also very famous tourist destination as it is a hotbed of geothermal activities. It is also very famous for its springs and for colors of its landscapes and mountains. Situated in interiors in south Iceland is the Lakagigar crater series inland form Kirkjubaejerklaustur. It is famous as it produced the biggest lava flow in the historical times anywhere around the world. This event happened during the Skaftar eruptions in 1783.

All these forces of nature are responsible not only for shaping southern Iceland but also the life of the people living here. In earlier times, people here believed that the peak part of mount Hekla is the gate of hell.

Út í EyjarIn the southern most part, the Vestman Island is the home for continuous earthquakes. The history of southern Iceland is very rich and it is seen everywhere. Starting from range of Sage period farm houses at Stong it goes to the old bishop seat of Skalholt and also to the very popular regional museum at Skogar. All these are considered very unique in their respective fields.

Iceland is the perfect place for relieving yourself and taking a step on the European settlement and that too with a very electrifying, vigorous and a very ancient but a very personal living culture. You will feel as if you are in your home or your city as you are free to walk around, go shopping and exploring for new things.

About the Author

Dagur Jonsson is the editor of Iceland Guest, a website specializing in tourist information for travelers to Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandguest.com

Iceland’s Golden Circle Tour

Iceland’s Golden Circle Tour

Article by David Brooks

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, one of the tours you should look into is the golden circle tour. This will give you an experience of several of the country’s top tourist attractions.

Just what will you see on this tour? Generally, the “golden circle tour” consists of three prime locations, or attractions: Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park all located in southwest Iceland.

Gullfoss (which translates as “gold waterfall”, whereas, ‘gull’ is gold and ‘foss’ is waterfall) is probably the most famous waterfall in Iceland and the one you will often see pictures of. It is located on the Hvita (white) River. It is a powerful site and certainly worth seeing. The falls drop in two steps and then the river turns sharply to the left, forming a fairly narrow and steep canyon.

“Geysir” is a hot springs geyser located in an area called Haukadalur. We actually get our word, “geyser” in English from Icelandic. Specifically, this geyser is called strokkur, which means “boy.” If you have ever been to Yellowstone Park, then you kind of know what to expect. Strokkur is smaller than the one in Yellowstone but it is no less beautiful. What is also different about viewing the geyser in Iceland is the visitors can get quite a bit closer to it than American safety standards would dictate. I am not saying it isn’t safe, in fact this is something I like about Iceland as opposed to America: fewer rules, i.e. you are a grown up and can look after yourself.

Next up on the golden circle tour, though not necessarily in this order, is Thingvellir. Thingvellir is the site of the original Althing, Iceland’s first parliament. It dates back to 938 A.D. That’s right; Iceland had a parliamentary democracy over 1000 years ago. This site is also located about 40 minutes outside of the capital city, Reykjavik. Thingvellir is also a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Icelanders traditionally came from all over Iceland to this spot annually. People bartered goods, resolved civil matters and decided on laws. It was also quite a social gathering I imagine. The site is right on a volcanic rift and you can walk between the rifts. There’s a beautiful waterfall and deep pools of crystal clear water, all off which flows out into a rather large lake called Thingvellirvatn, or “the water of Thingvellir.”

There are a few ways you can see this tour. First, you can take a tour bus which is the most cost-effective way but certainly the least personal and intimate. You can also choose to book a tour with one of the many jeep tour companies. This option is much more adventurous, personal and unrestricted, especially in terms of time. The jeep tour option can be more fun because most likely they will take you off road to see what the tour bus patrons will not. The third option, and also the most expensive, is to rent a car, secure a map and do it all yourself. Don’t worry too much about getting lost. Iceland is pretty easy to get around in and there aren’t that many roads that you would get massively confused as you might in a metropolitan area.

If you are only going to be in Iceland for a short time, the golden circle tour is a good option. It will give you a decent overview of some of the country’s highlights. But don’t think that these attractions are necessarily the best Iceland has to offer, they aren’t. In fact, Iceland has hundreds, if not thousands of natural wonders. If you ever have the time and wherewithal, I would recommend spending a couple weeks camping, hiking and exploring this natural wonderland, it is one of the most pristine wildernesses left on earth.

If you are looking for things to do in Iceland and are short on time, try the Iceland golden circle tour, it is pretty good as far as Iceland tours go. If you want a different idea try the Langjokull super jeep tour Iceland. Have fun! – David Brooks

About the Author

David Brooks is a freelance SEO consultant based in San Diego, CA.

Iceland´s Golden Circle Tour

Iceland´s Golden Circle Tour

Just what will you see on this tour?  Generally, the “golden circle tour” consists of three prime locations, or attractions: Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park all located in southwest Iceland.

Gullfoss (which translates as “gold waterfall”, whereas, ‘gull’ is gold and ‘foss’ is waterfall) is probably the most famous waterfall in Iceland and the one you will often see pictures of.  It is located on the Hvita (white) River.  It is a powerful site and certainly worth seeing.  The falls drop in two steps and then the river turns sharply to the left, forming a fairly narrow and steep canyon.

“Geysir” is a hot springs geyser located in an area called Haukadalur.  We actually get our word, “geyser” in English from Icelandic.  Specifically, this geyser is called strokkur, which means “boy.”  If you have ever been to Yellowstone Park, then you kind of know what to expect.  Strokkur is smaller than the one in Yellowstone but it is no less beautiful.  What is also different about viewing the geyser in Iceland is the visitors can get quite a bit closer to it than American safety standards would dictate.  I am not saying it isn’t safe, in fact this is something I like about Iceland as opposed to America: fewer rules, i.e. you are a grown up and can look after yourself.

Next up on the golden circle tour, though not necessarily in this order, is Thingvellir.  Thingvellir is the site of the original Althing, Iceland’s first parliament.  It dates back to 938 A.D.  That’s right; Iceland had a parliamentary democracy over 1000 years ago.  This site is also located about 40 minutes outside of the capital city, Reykjavik.  Thingvellir is also a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Icelanders traditionally came from all over Iceland to this spot annually.  People bartered goods, resolved civil matters and decided on laws.  It was also quite a social gathering I imagine.  The site is right on a volcanic rift and you can walk between the rifts.  There’s a beautiful waterfall and deep pools of crystal clear water, all off which flows out into a rather large lake called Thingvellirvatn, or “the water of Thingvellir.”

There are a few ways you can see this tour.  First, you can take a tour bus which is the most cost-effective way but certainly the least personal and intimate.  You can also choose to book a tour with one of the many jeep tour companies.  This option is much more adventurous, personal and unrestricted, especially in terms of time.  The jeep tour option can be more fun because most likely they will take you off road to see what the tour bus patrons will not.  The third option, and also the most expensive, is to rent a car, secure a map and do it all yourself.   Don’t worry too much about getting lost.  Iceland is pretty easy to get around in and there aren’t that many roads that you would get massively confused as you might in a metropolitan area.

If you are only going to be in Iceland for a short time, the golden circle tour is a good option.  It will give you a decent overview of some of the country’s highlights.  But don’t think that these attractions are necessarily the best Iceland has to offer, they aren’t.  In fact, Iceland has hundreds, if not thousands of natural wonders.  If you ever have the time and wherewithal, I would recommend spending a couple weeks camping, hiking and exploring this natural wonderland, it is one of the most pristine wildernesses left on earth.

If you are looking for things to do in Iceland and are short on time, try the Iceland golden circle tour, it is pretty good as far as Iceland tours go.  If you want a different idea try the Langjokull super jeep tour Iceland.  Have fun! – David Brooks

David Brooks is a freelance SEO consultant and geothermal energy advocate.