The next couple days of our trip were filled with some more jam packed exploring and I can’t wait to share all the fun things we saw! 🙂 Below is a map of Iceland that I found HERE (this site also has a ton of helpful articles I used while planning our trip). On our trip we only explored the West/Southwest regions of Iceland, and if we took a longer trip, we would have likely stayed at a couple different airbnbs along the way, and ventured out much further. But even in the small area we covered we saw SO MUCH beautiful stuff.
When planning our trip we did some research on the places we definitely wanted to see, and basically just tried to plan our driving routes around all the different stops we wanted to make to be sure we were efficient! Some things unfortunately had to be taken off the list (like Diamond Beach) because they were just too far and with our limited time frame, we prioritized being able to see more things!
Okay! Let’s dive into days 3 & 4.
Iceland’s famous “Golden Circle” is made up of three incredible locations in the southwest: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Each one is unique and so beautiful and a must see! We prioritized our day around seeing two out of the three stops, and saved Thingvellir for another day! We also added some additional stops on the way! 🙂
Our first stop of the Golden Circle was Geysir Geothermal Area! The Geysir called Strokkur is the one we saw – it’s the most active one in the area, erupting every couple minutes up to 30 meters in the air – it’s crazy! We watched it erupt a bunch of times from different views and it was so cool. Learn more about it here.
The whole area was filled with geothermal pockets and you could see clouds of steam rising from all the hot water!
These big crowds of people just gather around waiting for it to blow! The time between eruptions is always different and how big the eruption is changes too. We watched a few rounds from down on the ground then did a little hike up higher for an overhead view!
After spending some time at the Geysir area, we headed to our next stop: Gullfoss Waterfall! In Iceland when we were driving around I loved that you could just see so many beautiful mountains, and waterfalls, etc. right on the side of the road everywhere! But getting to see some of the waterfalls up close they’re all so different and beautiful – it was awesome.
I never thought I’d be a selfie stick kind of girl but honestly, it made getting a bunch of photos of us together and being able to get some of the sights in the background a lot easier on our travels. SO I would highly recommend. 🙂
You’ll see these sweet horses as you’re driving around Iceland and they are so dang cute! This one area we stopped, the owner had put a sign out that visitors are welcome to come pet the horses, and you could buy some treats to give them if you wanted too! All my dreams came true getting to pet one of these cuties! 🙂
I may or may not have made Ryan pull over several different times so I could photograph these gorgeous horses along the roads on our trip! A little more info about Icelandic horses here!
On our drive we saw a sign for Kerid Crater, so on a whim decided to take a little detour to check it out! It was totally worth it! It cost a few dollars to get in, and you can walk around the top rim overlooking the lake that’s surrounded by red volcanic rock, and then take the long stairs down to view the lake at ground level. The stairs down were no problem, but we certainly got a good leg workout in coming back up haha.
Before this trip neither of us had good hiking boots. We made it a priority to grab a pair before we headed to Iceland, and they came in handy so many times. There are plenty of accessible sights to see where you just take a staircase or path, but there are also plenty of places we went, where if we didn’t have hiking boots we wouldn’t have been able to make it. Definitely get yourself a good (waterproof) pair of hiking boots before your trip!
After checking out the crater we made our way to grab lunch. I would be lying if I said I was a big fan of the food in Iceland. To be completely honest, the food wasn’t really a big selling point, or much to write home about. It was also decently expensive, so we didn’t go crazy eating out. We packed a lot of easy food and snacks that we brought from home, and kept it simple cooking our own dinner most nights – typically pasta or sandwiches – nothing super exciting.
But the BEST meal that we had on our entire trip was this lunch. I know it may not look like much to write home about, but it was a great burger, and felt like something we might grab at home in NJ. If you’re craving something that feels familiar and your passing through Selfoss area I’d highly recommend Tommi’s Burger Joint – Hamborgarabullan.
After lunch we drove around the neighborhood & checked out a local beach, walked some more, and worked up our room for ice cream! 🙂
I didn’t write down the name of this ice cream shop unfortunately, however it wasn’t too far from the burger place! There were a couple great ice cream shops we stopped at throughout our trip! They had lots of fun flavors!
After ice cream we called it a day and made our way home. It seriously had me in awe all the different landscapes you’d see on a casual drive. So beautiful.
We wanted to do a more intense “real deal” kind of hike, and with some recommendations from a friend we decided to check out Glymur Waterfall.
It was definitely a more intense hike, full of adventure, and things we’d never done before. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Remember when I said waterproof hiking boots were a must…this is a big one why. To do this hike you had to cross this river, and there is no way we would’ve been able to do so with out waterproof, hiking shoes.
We spent a couple hours on this hike, and could have even kept going further, all the way to the top of the waterfall (the tallest in Iceland). It wasn’t like a hike I was used to in NJ, where you’re on pretty consistent terrain. There were ropes to help you climb up and down rocks, water cross over, caves to cut through. It was wild and so much fun. But we only went up to a certain point where we got a great view of the waterfall, and then turned back around.
The water was so tasty EVERYWHERE in Iceland.
When we made our way back down, Ryan thought it would be a good idea to take a “shortcut” to the parking lot. I wasn’t about it because my dad always taught that you should always take the same way back as the way you went so you don’t get lost. Well, we did make it back to the parking lot but I definitely don’t think the way we went was a short cut. LOL But there were some cool abandoned buildings a fields along the way.
Next up on the agenda (after a well-earned lunch of course), was Thingvellir National Park! It was a less intense but very cool walk/exploration with tons of cool stuff to see!
If we had more daylight I would’ve loved to spend even more time at Thingvellir. But because we didn’t have a full day there, we just chose a couple parts of the park to explore! The main thing I wanted to make sure we saw was Silfra – a fissure caused by moving tectonic plates. You can snorkel in there (we didn’t do that) but I imagine it would be super fun because the water is so clear!
And that’s a wrap for days 3 & 4 of our Iceland trip! Did you miss part 1? Check it out here! And stay tuned tomorrow for part 3 of our trip!