Time to get out of the city! Rent a car, take a bus tour, anything! Iceland is so much more than Reykjavik.
Check out the Golden Circle. It’s a 300km loop that gives you a taste of Iceland’s natural wonders. Still not convinced? Check this out:
Our first stop was in Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park to see the North American and Eurasian tectonic rift.
The water here comes from the nearby glacier and is extremely clear. If you’re up for a more extreme adventure, you can snorkel or scuba dive between the tectonic plates.
Next up was Haukadalur (falcon valley) which is an active geothermal area.
Locals used to wash their clothes in The hot springs, though that practice has disappeared due to preservation efforts. Although, most homes and businesses in Iceland use geothermal energy for heat and power.
From there, we took a longer drive out to Gullfoss waterfall, the tallest in Europe. Bundle up, it’s windy and the spray from the falls is enough to soak you all the way through if you get too close.
Make sure you don’t skip this one. It’s a seriously impressive sight.
Our last stop, and possibly my favorite, was Fontana Wellness geothermal baths.
Scandanavian bathing culture is similar to what we’ve discussed previously when I went to Japan, with a few key differences.
Men and women have separate locker rooms where you shower (get fully clean, don’t just rinse) naked.
Afterwards, you put on your bathing suit and make your way to the co-ed areas. Steam rooms, saunas, pools of varying temperatures, and in this case, a lake to cool off in.
We were also able to see how people used the steam from the ground to bake bread.
Is there a way to feel both exhausted and completely refreshed? Because I think we’re there.