Our third day in Iceland was just as good as the first two! This may have been our longest day yet, but it was jam packed with adventure and exploration! On this day, we decided to complete the Golden Circle. This is one of the most popular driving courses for anyone visiting Iceland. Iceland is a pretty small Island, but it still takes a lot of time to drive around the entire perimeter. The Golden Circle is much smaller, but still offers incredible views, making it very desirable!
If you don’t have a car while visiting the country, there are tons of tour groups that will drive you around the circle. If you do have a car, we’d recommend driving yourself because you’ll have more freedom and flexibility. Also, a guided tour will be more expensive.
We started the Golden Circle at the Þingvellir National Park. This park is very popular because it’s where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.
If you’re looking for something really fun and unique to do while in Iceland, they offer scuba diving and snorkeling here! While we were walking around, we noticed a tour group training to jump in. I can’t say that I’d jump into that water during the middle of December, but it sure would be cool to say that you did!
The water was so calm and peaceful.
We loaded back into the car and headed towards our next destination, Haukadalur.
This is a very large geothermal area that houses some of the most popular geysers.
Not all of them shoot off, but there are a couple that shoot off every ten to fifteen minutes. When visiting, just find the geyser that everyone is standing around, that’s the one most likely to shoot off. 🙂
They have a fantastic gift shop and café, where you can warm up and shop!
Our next stop on the Golden Circle was the Gullfoss Waterfall. Before we walked down to see the falls, we grabbed a snack at the visitor’s center.
Honestly, they didn’t have the best food, but the hot chocolate was yummy!
Once we were warmed up, we walked a short distance to the falls.
The Gullfoss falls were massive!
There are two lookouts that you can choose from. This way, you can see everything from a different angle. If you visit in the wintertime, walk carefully! The pathway and staircases are very icy.
After spending some time at the Gullfoss falls, we started driving towards Kerio Crater Lake.
It snowed pretty much the entire time that we were completing the Golden Circle. It seemed to pick up as soon as we got to Kerio Crater Lake. If you stop here, please note that you’ll have to pay a small fee of 400 ISK. This is about 4 dollars per person.
What’s now a lake, used to be an active volcano! The volcano erupted years ago and then collapsed in on itself. We couldn’t walk down to the water with all the snow. However, if you visit during the summer, you should be fine walking down.
It was slightly challenging trying to walk around this lake, due to the massive amounts of snow. There’s no pathway to guide you, and there’s also no guard rail. However, it was a very pretty view!
This was the last stop for our Golden Circle adventure, but we had some time to kill before we headed to the Blue Lagoon.
As we were driving around, we came across another adorable town. They had their very own ice-cream factory and a shop that sold some! Of course, we had to stop and try some!
It was super yummy!!
How adorable is this town?! All of the trees were lit up and they had this beautiful string of lights at the entrance to their park.
Of course I made Taylor get out of the car and take a picture with me. 🙂
When we were done roaming around, we drove an hour to the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a HUGE tourist destination in Iceland. Almost everyone who comes to Iceland makes a stop here. If you plan on visiting yourself, make sure you make a reservation well in advance. We made our reservation a few days beforehand and were only able to land a spot at 7:30pm.
Some people will even come to the Blue Lagoon during their layovers for some rest and relaxation. Therefore, they have a luggage drop off area.
The Blue Lagoon is essentially a giant geothermal spa. Currently, there are four packages that you can choose from. Standard, Comfort, Premium, and Luxury. The standard package allows you access to the lagoon and a silica mud mask. The Comfort package gives you entrance to the lagoon, silica mud mask, use of a towel, one drink of choice, and an algae mask. The Premium package includes everything from the comfort package, plus the use of a bathrobe, slippers, reservations at the restaurant, and sparkling wine at the restaurant. The Luxury package includes everything from the Premium package, but also includes entrance to the exclusive lounge (child free), and spa journey product change.
There’s a small Café and a nice restaurant if you’re looking for some food. Since this is a tourist destination, the prices of food are outrageous. We’d recommend bringing your own food or eating beforehand.
Before getting into the lagoon, you’ll need to change and shower off inside the locker rooms. There are rows of lockers that you can place your stuff in, which opens with the wrist band you’re given when checking in. I can’t speak for the men’s locker room, but the women’s locker room was crazy. There wasn’t enough lockers and it was slightly confusing trying to locate an empty one. I wish I would’ve packed flip flops, because the floors were really wet and disgusting.
When you come out of the locker room, you’ll see the entrance to the lagoon. The water was very turquoise and warm. There’s a small door that leads to the outside. We apologize for the blurriness of the photos, but it was dark and the GoPro didn’t hold up well.
When you swim outside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the snow covered rocks. You’ll also see the steam rising from the water, and you’ll feel very warm and toasty. The water was the perfect temperature! It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t cold either. The first thing we did, was find the mud bar to receive our masks.
The second thing we did, was find the bar. The wrist band that you receive when checking in, will also tally up your purchases. There is a mini bar that you can swim up to, which includes beer, wine, water, and soft drinks.
Even though it was dark, it was still so beautiful. I wish our pictures would’ve turned out better!
The Blue Lagoon is currently adding a hotel, where you will be able to stay for longer periods of time and include different packages. I’m sure it will book up quickly! We’d love to go back one day, but maybe in the daylight.
We didn’t leave the Blue Lagoon until nine thirty, but still had to drive an hour back to Reykjavik. By this point, we were all very hungry and tired. Most restaurants were closing, and quite frankly, we were exhausted. Taylor found a fantastic pizza place close to our apartment, so we picked up dinner.
It was SO GOOD! They had every type of pizza you could think of, the service was great, and they were very fast. We’d definitely recommend eating pizza at Devitos when in Iceland.
This was such a fun way to end our last full day in Iceland!