8. Kjölur and Golden Circle Exploration From Reykjavik
Lay eyes on Iceland’s wildest landscapes and most famous natural wonders on this full-day Golden Circle and Kjölur trip. Traveling by 4x4 with an expert guide, journey along the legend-swathed Kjölur route through the central Highlands, one of Europe’s last wildernesses. Pass glaciers, lakes and colorful volcanic mountains as your guide shares tales of ancient outlaws and trolls. Complement your adventure with a tour of the Golden Circle highlights, visiting ethereal Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir’s hot springs. Numbers are limited to six for a more personalized experience.
After hotel pickup in Reykjavik, hop inside a comfortable 4x4 and venture into Iceland’s awesome interior. On route, hear about the country’s age-old geology, learning how its volcanoes, glaciers, and other wonders formed through the millennia. Drive around the Golden Circle, the tourist trail that showcases three of the country’s national treasures. See the parliament site and continental rift at UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park; admiring the contrasting hues of the thick green vegetation and rich, black ground as you go.
Pay a visit to the Gullfoss waterfall, watching for the rainbows that can form above the crashing waters; and explore the Geysir geothermal area. View the bubbling pools and steam vents, and see Strokkur - a powerful geyser that shoots high in the air every five to 10 minutes. Before or after the Golden Circle, take an unforgettable drive along the Kjölur route, a gravel road through Iceland’s central Highlands that’s only accessible in summer. Absorb the spectacular mountain panoramas of what is one of Europe’s last wildernesses, and wind your way up between the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. Along the way, hear about the eerie legends that still swirl around the route, and learn how it became known for outlaws, ghosts and evil spirits.
In good weather, look out for Hofsjökull - the country’s largest volcano and third-biggest glacier. Take in views of Kerlingarfjöll, a range of high, multi-colored mountains. Listen as your guide shares folk tales about local trolls, and admire the shimmering red rhyolite stones and contrasting greens and yellows of the mountains’ springs and rivulets. Learn, too, how this colorful environment draws not only keen hikers but filmmakers, who have used it as backdrop in a number of movies.