16th of April 2018 was almost the end of my Icelandic trip of a week in the Western South of the island. That day, I got the chance to adventure myself on the most touristic grounds of Iceland through the Golden Circle (Gullni hringurinn). This geographical concentration of landmarks includes the National Park of Pingvellir, the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Valley that I will detail a bit later in this article.
This day would have never been possible without the generous help of the Mountaineers of Iceland. This fully licensed travel agency was founded in 1996 by Herbert Hauksson and is the oldest snowmobile tour operator in the country. They have for mission to ” to introduce Iceland’s endangered glaciers and pristine nature, inspiring moments of wonder, leaving everyone feeling happy and eager to revisit [their] beautiful country”. And they succeeded with me! Thank’s to their knowledge and experience I lived one of the most unforgettable day of my life.
At 8 in the morning, I met with Haffi, our guide for the day. What I truly appreciated was the fact that we were going to be only four with him. I will give the us possibility to really live this experience at it’s fullest.
Our first stop of the day was Gullfoss (The Golden Fall): the two story waterfall located on the Hvita river and probably the most impressive one. It starts with a 32 meter drop followed by a 70 meter one into a tight canyon. The wind was strong, as well as the rumbling noise caused by the stream’s strength. We walked around and above this waterfall, fighting to stand straight (due to the wind) and feeling immersed by the nature’s power.
After this, we drove up to an additional stop on the trip, the Langjökull Glacier (the Long Glacier) and its 953 squared kilometers area. The road to go there is quite bumpy, full of meters high of snow and deep holes in the ground. It almost felt like being in a roller coaster than to be in the 4×4 by Ford. Once up there, at the Mountaineers of Iceland‘s base camp, we walked into a changing room equipped with snowproof jumpsuits, helmets, gloves ans boots in order to get ready for our snowmobile experience.
And what an experience! The five of us rode on the shinny snow, feeling alive more than ever, feeling the sun warming us, following each other’s print on the ground and once we stopped, the strong power of the mountain’s silence. It was beautiful and thrilling.
After an hour of blast we walked back to the car and drove down towards the third stop of the day: Geysir, located in the Haukadalur valley. Geysir is a geyser that can spit burning water up to 70 meters high. Neighboring this site’s main attraction are some burning geothermic bath around which you’re able to walk around and admire the dreamy colors inside.
The last stop of the day was ahead of us and certainly deserves more than a day of exploring. The Pingvellir National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site founded in Thingvellir in 930. Besides that, it is also an exceptional geographic location at is in the separation of American and European Tectonic plates, and that’s what I got the chance to see. It’s impressive and gave me the will to wonder more in this park.
The weather was gorgeous, and despite the wind, this tour was sensational.