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The Golden Circle: An Iceland Itinerary Gem

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in South Iceland, covering about 300 km encircling Reykjavik, the central part of the country and back. This area contains most tours and travel related activities and covers major attractions of Iceland: a spouting hot spring - Geysir, a roaring waterfall - Gullfoss, and the Thingvellir National Park.

The Golden Circle begins with Geysir, the oldest geyser known to mankind. Although Geysir has been inactive recently, it is capable of hurling boiling water up to 70 meters (230 ft) in the air! The emergence of such hot springs is mostly connected with the earthquakes that took place long ago in the area and caused significant changes in the landscape.

The second stop is Gullfoss, also called the Golden Falls waterfall. As one first approaches the falls, the crevice is obscured from view, so that it appears that a mighty river simply vanishes into the earth. The remarkable phenomenon is located in southwest Iceland where the Hvita River turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step "staircase" and then abruptly plunges into a 32-meter (105 ft) deep crevice.

The Golden Circle ends in the historical and geological wonder, Thingvellir National Park. It is the "crossroad" where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimeters per year.

Moreover, the road to the three major sites is accompanied by the beautiful Icelandic countryside: flat or framed by distant hills and other inspiring and scenic views.

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