A detailed guide to exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle. Covers the highlights, tips for side trips, a suggested itinerary + tour & accommodation options…
If you love travel and are a fan of Game of Thrones, then it’s about time to visit Westeros! Here are top suggestions for filming locations from the series.
See erupting geysers, visit hot springs and experience the majesty of the Gullfoss Waterfall. Follow in the footsteps of Vikings on a walk down the lava canyon in Þingvellir National Park, where the American and Eurasian continents have pulled apart.
The hit dragons-and-swords thriller Game of Thrones is back for season 8, and one of the biggest stars of the show hasn’t gone anywhere.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the HBO series or just looking for a fantastical adventure, these real-life destinations where ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed are not to be missed.
Iceland is a landscape bejewelled with countless tumbling waterfalls, drawing millions of visitors to the country each year. But the real question is, which of these waterfalls is the reigning favourite? Read Waterfalls in Iceland For More Information Okay, so there are countless waterfalls across Iceland and each unique and beautiful. Some, however, do hold a […]
Cold-water freediving, or ice diving has got to be an activity reserved only for the bravest of souls. Plunging into sub zero temperatures and exploring the icy depths may well seem like a mad idea for most, but the beauty and wonder that awaits the intrepid diver in some of the world’s best cold-water destinations, may well hold the answer as to why freedivers go there.
See some of Iceland’s golden attractions on a 8-hour tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik, and combine it with a warm and relaxing bath in the natural thermal waters of the Secret Lagoon.
TO SAY that Iceland has become a popular destination is an understatement. The country of less than 350,000 inhabitants got 1.8 million foreign visitors in 2016, i.e. a 39% increase from the previous year. According to Tourism Iceland, if you’re visiting Iceland in August, there will be around 65,319 other visitors hovering around the southern part of the island with you, which means that your experience won’t be very unique or reflective of what Icelanders actually do when they have some time off. Here are some alternatives to 9 tourist hot spots in the country to make your trip more original and crowd-free.
1. Skip the Blue Lagoon and go to the Secret Lagoon instead.
The Blue Lagoon is usually people’s first or last stop while visiting Iceland as it’s on the way to/from the airport in Reykjavik. Back in the day, this used to be an eerie place that no tourist and very few locals would set foot in as it looked more like a puddle formed by nuclear power waste than a place of luxury and relaxation.
Read more from source: The 9 most touristy places in Iceland – and where to go instead
From above the world was grey, but below, it was the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen. So vibrant that it looked like someone had dragged the saturation level on a photo editor up as far as it could go. And yet, it was all real.
Snorkeling and Iceland are not two words I ever thought really belonged beside each other. After all, “Ice” is in the name, and although the country defies this by turning a lush green in the summertime, the water isn’t exactly known for being balmy. Let alone thinking about snorkeling in Iceland in winter!
The first time I visited Iceland in winter my local friends took me to Thingvellir to throw a coin in the crystal clear waters at Thingvellir. They mentioned people snorkel and dive in Silfra, and I shivered at the thought and promptly forgot about it.
In the intervening years until my most recent trip to Iceland, I learned a lot more and saw many pictures about snorkeling in Iceland at Silfra, and placed it firmly on my Iceland bucket list, should I ever return.
On a cruise to Iceland, you’ll experience dreamy, breathtaking landscapes of volcanoes, glaciers and pristine wilderness. The country is home to more strange beauty than most places in the world. With its black sand beaches, blue ice caves and snow-covered mountain peaks, Iceland offers plenty of natural drama.
The capital of Iceland, Reykjavík, is located on the edge of the arctic circle. The majority of cruise ships dock at the Skarfabakki cruise port. This port is located just under two miles from the city center. Most tours leave from Reykjavik’s downtown area, which is easy to access from the pier.
Luckily for cruise travelers, many of Iceland’s most dramatic sights are located within easy reach of Reykjavík. Here are five spectacular things to visit on your Iceland cruise.
The Blue Lagoon
A trip to Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to spoil yourself.
At Thingvellir National Park, site of the world’s oldest parliament, you can scuba dive between tectonic plates where Europe meets America.
I come from a long line of people going west. At the turn of the century (19th/20th), many Norwegians left home for America, some for a brief spell and some forever. Some to try their luck, some for curiosity, some just for the kicks: a new country, new people, a new language, a melting pot of cultures.
But the idea of pulling up roots and settle on other shores didn’t begin there. About 1000 years earlier, Ingólfr Arnarson and Hallveig Frodesdatter from Sunnfjord in Western Norway decided to leave their homeland and give the west a go. This couple were the first to settle in Iceland, and founded Reykjavik in 874.
Scuba diving Iceland’s Silfra crevasse is an extreme adventure due to the cold temperatures, but it’s worth the experience for those brave enough to do it.
I look down into Iceland’s Silfra crevasse and I can feel the chill of the pristine glacial water drifting up toward my face. The water is crystal clear and I can see the jet black lava stone bottom 70 or 80 feet beneath the surface. A bucket list moment had finally arrived. I was diving in Iceland. It was time to plunge into some of the coldest and clearest water in the world.
Diving into the Silfra Iceland
When regular people dream of vacations they think of sunny beaches, warm weather and relaxation. Then there are scuba divers.
I have been a licensed scuba diver for the better part of my life.
The HBO hit show “Game of Thrones” takes place in a world of fantasy, but dozens of the scenes were filmed at real medieval castles and in wild forests and craggy mountainsides across Europe and Iceland.
Google Earth captured images of 33 of these real-life places for fans of “Game of Thrones,” a series based on the books by author George R.R. Martin.
For instance, the above photo showing the Arena of Meereen — featuring Daario Naharis (actor Michiel Huisman), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) — was filmed at a bullring in Osuna, Spain.
But beware: Views of these scenes from Westeros’ seven kingdoms contain spoilers up through Season 6. [Read the Full Story About the Show’s Set Inspiration]
Ever since Bran Stark fell from the tower on that fateful day six years ago, people have been flocking to the places where Game of Thrones was shot. From the icy landscape of Iceland to the cobbled streets and heritage sites of Seville, Spain and the narrow lanes of Dubrovnik, Croatia, there are tours that take fans to all these places.
As the Bard said, the game is afoot. And by game, we’re talking about the one involving a certain ferrous throne. Game of Thrones fever is gripping the entire world, as it does every year since 2011. And in turn, tour operators have capitalized on GOT fever by organizing tours that take fans through all the major sites. Guides tell visitors about what key moments were shot at what site, bringing fans closer to the brutal world of Westeros.
Iceland’s is replete with spectacular natural attractions and surreal landscapes that feature tall waterfalls, massive glaciers, therapeutic lagoons, hot geysers, and more.
10. Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a geothermal spa located in the Grindavík lava field in the Reykjanes Peninsula. The site is roughly 39 km from the capital city of Reykjavík. The warm waters of the Blue Lagoon has a significant concentration of sulfur and silica, and bathing in these waters is believed to have curing effects on people with certain skin ailments like psoriasis. The man-made lagoon is fed by the water released from the Svartsengi geothermal power plant. A strict code of hygiene is followed by the authorities here and it is necessary for the guests to shower before bathing.
Winter is coming and that means it is time to start planning for your well-deserved year-end vacation. An ode to HBO’s beloved Game of Thrones (GoT) series, award-winning travel retailer, Flight Centre, has launched a series of GoT-themed tour packages for fans to get up close and personal with their favourite set locations. For those who really want to get into the spirit of winter, Flight Centre has also gathered a list of the top Christmas Markets around Europe for an unforgettable Yuletide encounter.
Immerse in the Song of Ice and Fire
King’s Landing, perhaps one of the most recognizable set locations, can be found in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Your guided tour will transverse scenic coastlines, medieval architectures and the magnificent Dominican Monastery and Museum.
“You see this highway we’re driving on now? It’s in this spot because of the elves.”
I’m in Iceland, which at this week-point in my trip I’ve dubbed the “land of folklore.” Currently I’m on a Grayline Classic Iceland Golden Circle Tour, with my guide directing my attention to my left. On the side of the road sits two rocks, residing in the place where the road was originally supposed to have been built.
“Right when the bulldozer was about to move the rocks it tipped over, completely defying the laws of physics,” explains Jaakko. “When a second bulldozer came its engine suddenly died. Then they knew there were supernatural forces at play.”
The story goes that a clairvoyant came to survey the rocks, and told the workers it was the elves doing.
THE EARTH IS BROKEN into several gigantic landmasses, or “tectonic plates”. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge separates the Eurasian tectonic plates from North American tectonic plates.
While about 90% of these tectonic plates (including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) are usually an under-ocean phenomenon, there are a few rare places on Earth like Thingvellir National Park in Iceland where the plates extends above sea level, giving us an incredible opportunity to witness them with our own eyes as you can see from the picture we took above.
The dive (or snorkel) is located in the Silfra fissure, in the middle of Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you are just doing a stopover in Iceland or have set your base at Reykjavik, you don’t have to take a big detour for this adventure.