Golden Circle and Lava Tube
The Golden Circle and Lava Tube tour will take you to the most famous Icelandic attractions – UNESCO World Heritage site Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area together with visit into one of lava caves made during volcanic eruptions.
In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel or designated bus stop downtown and we will head towards Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is one of two places in Iceland (and one of two countries in the world) where you can see a continental place on the surface of the earth. The place is located on Mid-Atlantic Ridge a boundary between North American and Eurasian tectonic plate. Valley is still volcanically active, there have been three major eruptions 10 thousand, 3 thousand and 2 thousand years ago. In central part of the valley lays the lake with the same name – Thingvellirvatn. Research says that it started to appear around 12 thousand years ago. Currently water in the lake comes from melting glacier Langjokull. Thingvellir is also very important historic site. The national parliament of Iceland called Alþing (Althing) was founded in 930 and held sessions until 1798. That makes it the oldest continuously existing parliament in the world.
After walking around the park we will get into the bus and drive to Gullfoss waterfall. The Golden Waterfall, also known as Niagara Falls of Iceland. The waterfall is a part of Hvita river, that is fed by glacier Langjokull. Waterfall itself is 32 meters high and consists of two cascades – first one is 11 meters tall, second one has 21 meters. In the early XX century there were plans to build a power plant on the waterfall, but the plans were cancelled either due to protests of local people or because lack of funds for the project.
From Gullfoss we will head to Geysir geothermal area. That will be our sightseeing/lunch stop. Geysir is a geothermal area in Haukadalur valley. The most famous one – Geysir, currently has low activity stage right now, but in the past used to send the water up to 70 meters into the air. Geysirs little brother is nearby geyser Strokkur. This one erupts every 5-8 minutes and goes up to 30 meters. How does a geyser work? There is a water chamber deep in the ground with walls covered with silica. Water is heated by magma lying beneath it and starts to boil. Pressure in the water chamber rises and pushes the water out to the surface. After eruption water comes back to the chamber and it is heated up again.
After Geysir we will go to one of Iceland’s famous lava caves. Caves are formed when river of lava flows through the terrain and the ceiling cools down faster than inside. We will put helmets with headlamps on our heads and go exploring one of couple of thousands years old volcanic tunnels. We will spend about an hour underground and after we will head back to Reykjavik, where your guide will drop you off to your hotels around 18:30.