Iceland Day 1: The Golden Circle

Well this post will consist of our arrival half day and our first full day around the Golden Circle. I may have mentioned at some point in my Iceland roadtrip post that Iceland is amazing. The best way to travel around is by campervan. You have the freedom to go where you want and sleep where you want. We decided we wanted the freedom to go anywhere and opted for a 4×4 campervan. This campervan was a little more on the pricey side compared to some of the simpler campervans. So after a lot of research we narrowed down our selections. We opted for the Jeep Super Camper from Camper Iceland, because look how cool it is!

Jeep Super Camper Iceland

Our Jeep Super Camper in the town of Vik

The guys at Camper Iceland were super friendly and helpful. They showed us how to set up our bed. We grabbed a quick shower there and off we went! Our first stop was at Bonus to grab groceries for a few days and then we drove out to Thingvellir National Park. We arrived at around 6.30pm and it was windy and rainy. We had to set up our bed in this horrible weather which took a while since it was our first time. When we had set up we realized we had no bed linens which also meant no pots and pans. All the camping essentials were left back at Camper Iceland. Luckily for us someone drove out the following morning and delivered all our pots and pans and comfy blankets so it wasn’t a big deal.

The Golden Circle

Thingvellir National Park

Our breakfast consisted of Skyr, which was amazing! Once we got our camping essentials we headed off to explore Thingvellir. We were determined to make the most of this rainy day so we walked through the tectonic plates despite the weather. We still couldn’t believe we were in Iceland finally.

Golden Circle Thingvellir

Walking through Thingvellir National Park

This place was so cool, we were basically walking between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. This was our introduction to the epic landscapes of Iceland that lay ahead. From here we hit the road heading North towards Geysir. Before we reached Geysir we stopped off at this amazing ice cream place called Efstidalur, do your self a favor and have an ice cream no matter the weather! We both had the salted caramel and we sat down in this wonderful little café area looking through the glass to see the same cows that produced the milk to make the ice cream!

Geysir and Strokkur

Golden Circle Strokkur

Looking out towards Strokkur

So after our ice cream stop off we finally made it to Geysir. It had stopped raining (finally) so we got out and hiked around the area. The colours of the soil were so vibrant and there was steam coming out of the ground. Strokkur was going off every few minutes. It was an amazing introduction to the geothermal activity around Iceland and our first geysir experience!

Gullfoss

I think the highlight of our Golden Circle day was definitely Gullfoss. That was our next stop and even though the rain had started again, this amazing waterfall did not disappoint! This was the first waterfall of our trip and it was beautiful! There was something about the shape and the power of this waterfall that really made it quite memorable for me.

Golden Circle Gullfoss

Majestic Gullfoss, the highlight of our Golden Circle day trip

After a few pictures at a few different locations around Gullfoss we headed out just as the rain started to get heavier. Our next stop was meant to be the Secret Lagoon, which we soon realized was no longer a secret. We got there and went to check it out and opted to stay in our warm clothes rather than swim in a warm pool in the rain. We were trying to decide our next move, our options were to head out to Landmannalaugar or just continue straight down to Seljalandsfoss and camp for the night. With all the bad weather we decided not to head to the highlands and we skipped Kerid and continued straight to Seljalandsfoss. We set up our bed in the car and popped a bottle of wine as we were quite proud of our first successful day, despite the weather. Then we quickly realized why all the other campervans were leaving that night. We stuck it out in the middle of the Seljalandsfoss car park with high winds and rain which continued the next day.

14 Comments

  • Gemma October 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    It’s kinda crazy that you are between two tectonic plates when you were on that path! I especially love the picture of Gullfoss, the landscape in Iceland is just incredible. I had never considered traveling by camper van, but it sounds like you have so much more freedom that way.

    Reply
  • Christine K October 26, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I have been hearing a lot about Iceland lately and now I can understand the hype. Looks like a great adventure and loved the way you chose to explore it. Nice photos and post.

    Reply
  • Clare October 27, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I would of loved to hire a car and drive round Iceland. I did the Golden Circle bus tour and had a great day, but would of been nice to have the freedom of a car. It’s such a beautiful country I would love to go back in summer 🙂

    Reply
  • Christina October 27, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Iceland’s landscape looks moody and artistic, a bit like a scene from Lord of the Rings. Gullfoss is a natural wonder I would love to see. Iceland seems like a bit of a travel hotspot at the moment.

    Reply
    • Stace October 27, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Girl its getting so busy! Even in October there were tour buses everywhere and it was meant to be low season!

      Reply
  • Tina and Jimmy October 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Glad the weather didn’t ruin your trip! 🙂 It does still sound enjoyable and despite the rain the pictures are pretty cool. Love the shape of the Waterfall, ive not seen anything like it. Would be so cool to walk along the tectonic plates!

    Reply
  • Maja | Mexatia October 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Ohh this Iceland is itching me more and more. I don’t know when or how, but we need to get there as soon as possible. Idea of renting a campervan is excellent. They are ok with tourists sleeping in the car?

    Reply
    • Stace October 27, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Yes! Definitely! Campervan is one of the most popular ways to travel around Iceland!

      Reply
  • Janine Good October 27, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    The more I read about Iceland, the more I want to go! The Golden Circle looks incredible and so scenic!

    Reply
    • Stace October 27, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      It really was!

      Reply
  • Soraya October 28, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Wow this looks incredible, especially Gullfoss. That waterfall is stunning. I have been reading about Iceland heaps lately and it’s really making me want to go there. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Cliodhna Ryan October 28, 2016 at 3:12 am

    It’s my dream to own a camper van. I never knew they were popular in Iceland. It looks like you had an amazing trip. Geysers, waterfalls, what more could you want?!

    Reply
    • Stace October 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Ahh I so desperately want my own campervan to take everywhere!

      Reply
  • Claire November 16, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    This is so useful thank you! Can’t wait to take a trip to Iceland soon. Hoping to take a trip as a layover one one of my UK to USA flights.

    Reply

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