The second leg of our Iceland adventure kicked off with The Golden Circle tour, a full-day bus trip that takes visitors around to all the classic Iceland sites. We traveled to waterfalls, churches, and geysers. I think one of the great things about Iceland is that there is such a broad range of activities and attractions that appeal to all different age groups. The group on our bus tour ranged from people who were our age up to 60 and 70 year olds. It was an excursion that was friendly for everyone.
Although to some extent I prefer to explore on my own when I travel, a guided tour is great in that you get to learn so much about the country in a way you might not have the opportunity to otherwise. One of the facts I learned about Iceland on the tour that I found most interesting was that the only mammal that’s native to Iceland is the fox. All other mammals found in Iceland — horses, sheep, dogs, mink, and mice — were brought over by human settlers.
The second stop on our tour was to see Geysir, one of the main attractions in Iceland. It’s a geyser that shoots water over 200 ft in the air every 5-10 minutes. It is extremely startling when it goes off, but it’s incredible to watch. Even though the water is boiling hot, you are somehow able to stand right up underneath the geyser as it it explodes.
Alec and I watched it go off a few times and headed up a hill to see a fuller view from further back. There are a few inactive geysers located in the same area, and you’re able to get pretty close up to them as well. Our guide warned us not to try to wade in because you could burn a foot off if you did!
I think by far my favorite activity in Iceland was horseback riding across a lava field. Our last day on the trip was the most beautiful we had there by far. It was perfect, sunny weather for spending the morning outside on horseback. Alec had never ridden a horse before, but he was a natural!
We went straight from horseback riding to the airport, and I was so sad to leave this magnificent country. I had so much fun on this trip and am looking forward to returning again.