In Reykjavik, the tours are a must, getting out from the town. By car on your own allows you the freedom of everything and if solo could be the best cost wise, at @$60us per day. But if you go far you may need different accommodations and you have to do your own research on what you are experiencing. If you take a tour it will cost more but comes with a set itinerary and structured but you will hit the highlights and have commentary of what the place has to offer. Note – do lots of comparisons of the tour guides the exact same tour can cost two, three and four times the cost. Example – the tour I am on cost between $85pp to $325us. Generally the smaller the group the higher the cost. So advantages and disadvantages of both. Up to you what suits you best. I personally prefer the freedom of time and location and doing my own research.
With that being said, today I went on a tour of the Golden Circle. I only have one more day in Iceland and wanted to see the countryside a bit and this was the most efficient. I went on a smaller private tour (only 16 on in a van). Cost $135us.
Heading out from Reykjavik we drove thru the lava fields covered moss which takes over 100 years to grow and there are earthquakes everydays – small and not “felt”. Plus there are over 100 volcanoes on the island, many still active. Then on to a quick rest stop in a town with dozens of hot springs. They use them for greenhouse growing. There are horses everywhere (80,000 in the country and yes they do eat horse but it’s not as common today.
First to Kerio Crater formed when a volcano collapsed in on itself. Be sure to go down to the bottom where it is peaceful away from the other tourists & traffic noise. All you hear is yourself breathing and the birds. The water is cold and there are fish. Beautiful.
On to Faxi (the Main of the Horse) Waterfall – very powerful today with the snow melt. There is a salmon run off to one side.
Had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the Icelandic Horse, feeding them and petting, very nice – short and stocky. There are over 80,000 horses and thousands of Sheep – there are more sheep then people (320,000 people).
Now on to Gullfoss the Golden Falls which are truly magnificent. Wide, deep, fast and Beautiful. The mist rises from the bottom and the roar is soothing. I sat for awhile and just enjoyed… Take the lower pass to get close and feel the spray on your face.
The Gieser Strokkur or Churning Butter is Spectacular. The Geyser erupts about every 5-8 min and is surrounded by other bubbling pools and thermal activity. You can get surpassingly close just beware of the 100 degree water at your feet and don’t get burned.
Finally Pingvellir National Park a World UNESCO Site, where the two tectonic plates meet and split (American & Eurasian). The waterfall is manmade 1000 years ago to water their crops and animals. Climb to the top and the view is Wonderful – can truly see the world from here & it is Beautiful.