Finishing the Golden Circle

June 13:

We woke up around 11:00, made oatmeal for breakfast, and headed off to finish our journey on the Golden Circle.

Efstidalur II- The Barnloft

Efstidalur is a local dairy farm that has a restaurant, lodge, and ice cream shop. We stopped for some yummy rich ice cream – we read it was the best ice cream in Iceland! Graham got vanilla and Lizzie got chocolate. The windows in the ice cream shop looked right into the cow barn where we were able to watch several cows eat while we ate our ice cream.

Brúarfoss Waterfall

After the dairy farm we headed to see some beautiful waterfalls. It was raining and very windy by this time and we did not bring our hiking boots since we would only really use them during this 10-day leg of our 2 month trip. The hike to the 3 waterfalls was very muddy and quite miserable as we tried so hard not to get our shoes wet or muddy. Much of the hike was us weaving through branches and walking on the outer bank of the trail to avoid the mud puddles. We thought about turning around many times, but were determined to see the waterfalls since we had come this far. We ended up making it to the falls and getting a good workout all at the same time!

The first waterfall we came to was Hlauptungufoss. It was beautiful with bright blue waters!

The bright blue color of the water comes from something called “Rock Flour”, where the glacier grinds up the bedrock as it moves, and then deposits that fine dust into the streams and lakes

The second waterfall was just a ways up (650m) from the first, Midfoss.

This part of the trail was mostly big rocks and beautiful black sand. Thankfully the mud was behind us. We kept going and finally came to Brúarfoss. It looked almost unreal. It was beautiful and worth the hike up.

The lower half of our bodies were covered in mud from the hike… but wow, was Bruarfoss worth the hike!


The next stop on the Golden Circle was this geothermal area with active geysers and boiling mud pits. It had a lot in common with Yellowstone National Park back in the States.

This pool was close to boiling temperature!
This pool was a breathtaking almost glowing blue color
A tiny bubbling geyser!


Hrunalaug is a privately owned natural hot spring. After paying the owner, we enjoyed such a relaxing warm dip in the hot springs. We met a lot of people while we were there and even another couple from North Carolina! We stayed for several hours enjoying the beautiful view and great conversations. This was our last stop on the Golden Circle!

Vik tjaldsvæði- Campground

We finally got to hwy 1 or the Ring Road, which is the road that encompasses the full perimeter of the island. We drove an hour and a half to a campground close to the black sand beaches. We made ourselves some Mexican rice for dinner and went straight to sleep around 1:00.

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