2 Full Days in Iceland - Day 1 (Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon)
We spent 2 full days and a half day in Iceland 2 weeks ago. It was truly one of the most amazing trips we have taken so far! If you have not visited Iceland yet, please put that on your list. In these series, I will be sharing our itinerary for 2 full days in Iceland during the winter.
Day 1 we spent exploring the Golden Circle and ending the day at the Blue Lagoon.
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
The park’s valley is caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates. This place is also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During warmer months, you are able to go diving or snorkeling in this area as well. Apparently, due to the filtration process, the water is crystal clear!
I loved seeing those little houses in the valley, so cute!!
This place also has historical significance - it is where early Icelanders practiced a version of today’s parliament, way before the idea came up in other countries.
Because it was during the winter time, we couldn’t walk around the valley as much compared to the summer months, but we still got to explore this magical place by foot for about 1-1.5hours.
We went in the morning and the sun was just making its appearance through the clouds, making this snow valley even more beautiful!
Next stop was Gullfoss Waterfall, which was one of the most jaw-dropping views we’ve ever seen in our lives! It was so grand and so blue & white! Even when you are far away, you could still feel the mist coming from the waterfall.
During the colder months, you actually only see 1/3 of the water volume because the rest is frozen. I can only imagine how big this waterfall would be during the warmer months! We definitely want to come back in the summer time to visit the same places and see the difference!
We couldn’t stop staring at the spectacular views here, we kept looking back to get our one last look several times!
There’s also a restaurant/cafe and shops nearby so you can warm up a bit before you head to the next stop.
The English word “geyser” is derived from this place. As you walk along, you will see small puddles of boiling water. Make sure you don’t try to touch because it’s actually boiling and you will burn yourself!
You can see eruptions called Strokkur of around 30m (100ft) if you wait long enough. We waited for about 15-20minutes and saw 2 medium sized eruptions, but was too cold to wait longer for the bigger eruption. Everyone has their phones and cameras ready to go because the eruptions are actually very quick, so in order to capture them, this is what you have to do! I couldn’t get them in photos, but caught some in video.
This area also has a few restaurants - this is where we had our lunch.
As you drive around Iceland, you will see Icelandic horses everywhere! Our tour guide made a quick stop so we can see them up close and pet them!
As you can see, Icelandic horses are smaller (pony or donkey size), stockier, and more furry than normal horses you are used to seeing. They had really pretty eyes with long eyelashes too!
I am not a big animal person at all, and usually get scared of big animals, but these Icelandic horses stole my heart! I would love to come back to Iceland and go horseback riding!
Kerið Volcanic Crater
Kerið is a volcanic crater that is now a lake. During the time we went, the lake was completely frozen and covered in snow. You can walk along the outside of the crater, but be careful as it is very slippery, we almost fell! When it’s warmer, you can see the actual lake, which is supposed to have a beautiful aqua color to it from the minerals. In the winter, not much to see here. Another reason for us to return to Iceland in the summer!
And…. the definite HIGHLIGHT of this trip, the BLUE LAGOON!! This was the biggest reason I wanted to visit Iceland in the first place. Though Ryan was very skeptical about this place at first, he ended up having a blast here!
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa famous for its very opaque blue-colored water, hence its name. It’s so opaque that you can’t see anything below the water, so make sure you don’t drop anything in here - there is no way you will find it!
We spent about 1-1.5hour total at this place, which was perfect for us. Your ticket includes one free drink. There is a swim-up bar where you can claim your drink. They have beer and slushies (think they have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions). It’s freezing out but because the water is so warm, a cold beer actually tastes so good here!!
Your ticket also includes one free silica mask, which is great your skin! The minerals in the water is also great for your skin. We definitely saw a difference in our dry skin from just spending an hour in here!
Also, they limit the number of tickets per hour, which is great so you can experience this magical place without being in a big crowd! We thoroughly enjoyed every minute in here. We were able to witness the sunset here, which I highly recommend - it’s even more beautiful!!!
This was a great way to end our day to wind down from a long day of sightseeing! We were ready to go back to our hotel and have a great night of sleep.