Friday, August 31, 2012

The Little Foss -- Golden Circle, Iceland

Foss = Falls. Little because... well, you'll see in a post or two.
On our full day in Iceland we took a Golden Circle tour with Iceland Horizon, a fantastic small tour company. When you start researching day tours near Reykjavik, you quickly discover that a tour of the Golden Circle will give you the most bang for your krona, and that the most common economical way to see the Golden Circle is on a tour on a large coach bus (the big tour companies charge a premium for smaller group tours). The three main stops on the Golden Circle are Gullfoss, ├×ingvellir, and Haukadalur. Icelandic Horizon offer the perfect compromise: for the same price (a little under $70 per person) as the big tours, you get a full tour in a 16-passenger bus with an amazing guide and the ability to do even more than the coach buses. We made several stops that the big buses would never have reached, and were able to get in and out of the popular locations quickly.

The first of the special stops was a little waterfall whose name I can't recall or find anywhere. It was gorgeous and so special to be able to walk right up to the falls.

Iceland Travel Tips
  • Take a Golden Circle Tour with Iceland Horizon. You'll have to email them to reserve a place but they almost always have capacity and you don't have to pay until the day of the tour (instead of pre-paying online as many of the big companies require). The tour bus itself picks you up from  and returns you to your hotel. 
  • Visit a grocery store the night before and pack lunch (except for bread). I brought my Built lunch bag on the trip specifically so that I could pack lunches to save money. We packed delicious local carrots, pepperoni, cream cheese, caramel (!) skyr and assorted snacks in my Built tote and picked up some amazing cheese rolls when our tour took a pit stop at a bakery in Hverager├░i. This allowed us to sit on a bench with a beautiful view and enjoy our packed lunch while the rest of the group had to pay exaggerated prices for typical tourist cafeteria fare. 

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