We took a moment to catch up with our Iceland Sweepstakes Winner Katie, to discover the highlights of her trip. Read more about the Golden Circle, Gulfoss Waterfall, and Blue Lagoon.
Highlights of the trip. The biggest highlight of our trip was definitely the tour of the Golden Circle! Iceland has got to be one of the most picturesque countries on earth. All in one day we saw waterfalls, craters, geysers, the meeting of tectonic plates, and lava fields. We also took a tour of a geothermal power plant, which might not sound that exciting but was actually fascinating. Iceland is on 100% renewable energy and is very proud of that. We learned about how they drill down to reservoirs of hot water and use that water to power steam turbines and also pump it to the cities for home use.
Places and experiences you enjoyed the most. One of our favorite sights was the Gullfoss waterfall. Gullfoss is a huge waterfall that’s split up into different levels and almost looks like a staircase. It flows into a deep crevice and when you first walk up to it, you can’t see the bottom so it looks like the water is just disappearing into the earth. Pictures cannot do it justice. It was also really interesting to see it in the winter because large sections of it where rocks were jutting out were frozen, and it was definitely cold enough to where all of the water would have liked to freeze, but the waterfall was so large and forceful that it kept water flowing even below 0C.
We also visited the Blue Lagoon Spa, which is pretty famous and a very popular tourist attraction. The Blue Lagoon is a huge geothermal spa area that’s fed with water from a nearby lava field. The water contains a lot of silica which makes it blue, and it’s great for your skin. I think the average water temperature is around 100C, so it’s really nice to relax in your bathing suit in hot water while the ambient temperature is around 0C.
Recommendations for future travelers. Reykjavik is a great city to have as your “home base,” but we would definitely recommend seeing more while you’re there! In addition to the Golden Circle, you can go to the southern coast where you can go on glacier hikes, and you can go out of the city to see the Northern Lights. I’d really like to go back to Iceland in the summertime to see the dichotomy between everything being frozen over like it was when we were there and everything being green. Also, in the winter there are only about 5 hours of sunlight, whereas in the summer there are only about 5 hours of darkness!