Thingvellir’s Parliamentary Plains are the most important site in Iceland. The area is noted for its historical and cultural significance as well as its geological importance. The stunning landscape is forever being shaped by constant shifting of tectonic plates that lie submerged within the earth. Where cracks have created rifts at the surface, it is possible to witness the movement of the continent.
“Game of Thrones” fans also may recognize this location from Season 4 of the show, as it represented George RR Martin’s fictional land of Westeros.
The Great Geysir has been active for approximately 10,000 years and remains one of Iceland’s greatest natural attractions. Though its eruptions have been growing more infrequent, the surrounding area still has geothermal activity and smaller hot springs continue to bubble to the surface.
Strokkur, meaning churn, is another spouting geyser that attracts tourists to the area. The geyser delights crowds when it shoots water 20 meters high about every 10 minutes.
Gullfoss’ tumultuous white waters rush over the rim of the riverbed and dramatically crash into a 32-meter canyon. The result often is a beautiful shimmering spray that creates golden rainbows on a sunny day.
The falls once were considered as a potential site for a hydroelectric power source, but the area now enjoys a protected status.
Kerid is a volcanically formed crater containing a freshwater lake at its center. Like many other geological formations in the Selfoss region, it is composed of a red rock and, at about 3,000 years old, it is relatively new compared to surrounding formations, which are at least twice as old.
Most of the crater’s walls are steep with little vegetation, but one bank has a much gentler slope and is blanketed with deep moss. That area can be descended if you have a guide, the right equipment and a thirst for adventure.
Kerid is located on the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle.