Waterfalls, geysers, Icelandic farm, tectonic plates, hot springs, northern lights and the stunning highlands – I got to see everything in just one tour: the two-day trip to the Kerlingarfjoll Mountains including the Golden Circle. The tour is called Highland Paradise.
We started the trip with the first half of the Golden Circle. We explored the UNESCO World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park, with the Oxararfoss Waterfall, visited the Icelandic farm Efstidalur and listened to the incredible sound of the Gullfoss waterfall. In the end of the second day, we watched the eruption of Strokkur at the Geysir Geothermal Area, had a quick stop at Faxi waterfall and walked around crater Kerid while the moon was rising. You can find more detailed information about the Golden Circle tour at my blog “Iceland in one day.”
Surrounded by Mountains
After Gullfoss we hit the road towards the Kjölur area. I felt like being in a different world. The landscapes could hardly be more gorgeous. We followed the glacier Langjökull and just enjoyed the view of the impressive snow covered mountains, lighted up in indescribable colours from the sunset.
Soon, the Kerlingarfjoll mountain range appeared on the right side. They were formed during a volcanic eruption in the last part of the ice age and their shapes and colours stand out from the surrounding environment. The Kjolur area is rather dark coloured, whereas Kerlingarfjoll is dark and bright which creates a strong contrast.
The Only Hotel in the Highlands of Iceland
The location of the hotel is divine! It is the only hotel located in the highlands of Iceland. The hotel is located next to a river and surrounded by the snow covered Kerlingarfjoll Mountains. It is the perfect place to see the northern lights as it is far away from any light pollution. The friendly owner of the hotel and our lovely tour guide prepared a nice dinner for us, a salmon, which we enjoyed all together. Afterwards we relaxed in the hot pool just beside the hotel.
We had a clear sky, the sun was still hidden behind the mountain, but the sun lit up the mountain peaks one after another in a pink colour. We hiked up one of the mountains to get a better view of the environment. The view was absolutely stunning. You could see very far and I did not hear anything except of the river flowing through the valley. Just there, I definitely found my most favourite place in Iceland!!!
Following the River
On our way back, we crossed a river where our tour guide wanted to go for a little walk. I never expected anything spectacular when looking at the rather small river, but after following it for a bit, the river becomes very wide and is flowing through a canyon. There is a waterfall on the right side as well as fantastic rock formations and on the other side the gorgeous Kerlingarfjoll Mountains are located.
On the Moon
We were walking along the edge of the canyon which was quite flat and looked similar the surface of the moon. I often heard people saying that some landscapes of Iceland give you the feeling of being on the moon, but until then, I never experienced it myself. The feeling is amazing!
After driving further back, we stopped at a big lake which we also passed in the evening before. The lake mirrored the glacier Langjokull and its surroundings. We were just in time to take some great pictures of the scenery as the sun disappeared a few minutes later behind a mountain.
Sunset at the Geysir
We stopped again on the way back at the Geysir Geothermal Area as the sun was setting and lighting up the steam throughout the whole area. A perfect end of this adventurous trip which is by far my most favourite winter tour!