A short distance from Reykjavík, Viðey is a charming island . The island's highest point is 32 meters (104.9 feet) above sea level. The island is thought to be around two million years old, a former volcano rising from the bottom of the sea. It rose above sea level only nine to ten thousand years ago. A day spent in Viðey is an ideal outing for the family. Besides walking the island, it is possible to hire a horse and see Viðey from horseback. The island is relatively well grown and rich in bird life. At least 30 species are known to lay eggs on the island. There are also beautiful, historic buildings on the island. Research has shown that people lived there as early as the tenth century and a church was built in the twelfth century. A monastery was established in 1225 and stood until 1539, when it was raided and everything from it stolen. The oldest stone building in Iceland is in Viðey and has preserved its original charm and grandeur. One of the oldest church buildings in Iceland, built in 1774, is also in Viðey.
The Golden Circle is the collective name for a stunning 300-kilometer (190-mile) trail that traverses the most iconic and awe-inspiring sights of Iceland's geography. Located in southwest Iceland, the circle lets one experience the historic and exquisite reaches of the Þingvellir National Park, the marvels of the Geysir and Strokkur geothermal areas, and admire the wispy cascade of the Gullfoss waterfall as it gushes from the River Hvítá. Along the way, less prominent but equally mesmerizing attractions include the Kerið volcanic crater, the idyllic town of Hveragerði, the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station, and historic Skálholt Cathedral.