DAY TWO | THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
As you’ll have seen on your first day, Reykjavik is amazing for a city break all on its own, but as the gateway to the country’s rugged fjords, lush valleys, rainbow-arched waterfalls, glacial gems and slumbering volcanos, it’s now time to leave the world’s northernmost capital and head south on a tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle, taking in some of the most dramatic sights this land of fire and ice has to offer – the Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Hot Springs and the Gullfoss Waterfall.
Thingvellir is the national shrine of Iceland, a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Vikings established the world’s first parliament in AD 930, and a place of captivating geology and extraordinary national beauty. You’ll also get a fascinating first-hand look at how the earth is ever so slowly pulling apart along the North-America and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Breaking for lunch at the Friedheimar Greenhouse, a family-owned-andrun geothermally-heated organic tomato greenhouse and café, you’ll learn all about the traditions and methods used by local farmers to grow their tasty and super-healthy produce, and sample the diversity and freshness of Icelandic food all for yourself.
Then it’s on to the Geysir Hot Springs to explore the geothermal pools and see the incredible hot spring of Strokkur erupt. It’s currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland so make sure you have your camera ready. And if that wasn’t spectacular enough, last stop of the day is the Gullfoss Waterfall (golden falls), named for the glacial sediment in the water that turns them golden in the sunlight, and fed by the Langjökull Glacier, the second biggest glacier in Europe.
Finally, the day ends with the first night of your three-night stay at Hotel Rangá, a luxury four-star countryside hotel in the heart of Southern Iceland’s panoramic scenery, and set on the banks of Iceland’s premier fishing river, the Eystri-Ranga.
Stay: Hotel Rangá