You can explore a veritable jewel, in the truest sense of the word, in North Iceland. The Diamond Circle is a roughly 250-kilometre route that connects five spectacular highlights in the north. Most tourists travel the famous “Golden Circle” in the south, so you can enjoy Iceland’s wild nature on the Diamond Circle virtually on your own.
What is the Diamond Circle? The Diamond Circle, or Demantshringurinn in Icelandic, is a popular new sightseeing tour in the north of Iceland. It begins about 30 kilometres outside Akureyri and stretches from Lake Mývatn to the Tjörnes peninsula. Although the route can also be covered in one day by car, you should allow two to three days to explore the natural wonders of this region. Here are many things you can experience on and around the Diamond Circle.
Europe’s strongest waterfall
Dettifoss is a true force of nature: around 200 cubic metres of water plunge some 45 metres into the depths here every second. Listen to the thunder and roar of the water from afar and see the rising spray of Europe’s strongest waterfall. Until late spring, ice, ash and rock create impressive mosaics around the 100 metre-wide waterfall. Dettifoss is a 10-minute walk from the car park through an extra-terrestrial-looking landscape of solidified lava.
The Waterfall of the Gods
Two waterfalls number among the five main attractions on the Diamond Circle. This is inevitable given their huge contribution to Iceland’s magic. While “Goð” translates as “gods”, Goðafoss owes its name both to its divine beauty, and also to a lord named Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði. After Iceland’s conversion from paganism to Christianity, the leader of the Icelandic parliament at the time threw all the idols of the Old Norse religion into the roaring waters and proclaimed a new name for the waterfall.