Gullfoss waterfall

Iceland Mini Break – The golden circle tour – Part 1

The Golden Circle tour is one of the must do sightseeing trips in Iceland. It encompasses the Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysr and the rift between two worlds the American and Eurasian tech tonic plates which is in the Pingvellir national park. The tours takes about 8 hours in total and as soon as you leave Reykjavick the scenery is spectacular. Of course, we still had to wait for the sun to come up!

The first place that we stopped was a tomato growing nursery, which in the twilight was like a bright orange beacon. Due to the lack of daylight and low temperatures in the winter months most of the fruit and veg that Icelanders grow is done in big climate controlled green houses like the one below. The lights stay on about 17 hours a day and the temperature is kept at a steady 23°C. The green houses are dotted along the highway and really stand out against the twilight and look like beacons of warmth in the cold harsh environment.

Tomato Greenhouse
A tomato greenhouse lit up in the dim morning twilight.

Once we had completed our “technical stop” we travelled onto the Gullfoss waterfall. A picture of the waterfall is below and it is absolutely amazing. There are two 32m “falls” in Gullfoss that the water cascades over down in to the ravine below. Approximately 109 cubic litres flow over the water fall every second and it is all melt water from the Vatnajökull Glacier.

Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss waterfall from the lower viewing platform.
Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss waterfall from the upper viewing platform.

There is just a constant rushing of water as it flows over the falls in one almighty torrent of ice cold water.

The landscape is, of course, both bleak and beautiful. You can see in the shot above that there is no vegetation growing on the horizon and it appears to be a mix of snow, ice and rock. It pretty much was but there was some very rough heater type grass under the snow in places. You can see from the shots below how Barron the landscape is out to the mountains and extinct volcanoes in the background.

The mountains at Gullfoss
The mountains on the horizon at Gullfoss with the Vatnajökull glacier poking around the mountains on the right.

The Vatnajökull glacier is off to the right of the mountain line in the above picture. You can also take glacier tours from Gullfoss in super jeeps and small vans with huge snow tires, almost like monster trucks.

Needless to say Gullfoss is not to be missed on any trip to Iceland.



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