The Golden Circle is an epic, 300 km route of Iceland's three most iconic natural wonders: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. If you're feeling adventurous and want to explore it all on your own, consider renting a car for a 10-day road trip around these magical places!
Alternatively, if you'd prefer something less taxing but just as immersive then sign up for a 6-Day Winter Package which covers this incredible golden circle adventure - guaranteeing unforgettable memories!
WHAT IS THE GOLDEN CIRCLE?
Iceland's Golden Circle is a spectacular sightseeing journey that melds both remarkable landscapes and meaningful historical locations in an unforgettable loop.
Boasting nearness to Reykjavík and the airport, combined with a short drive between sights, it is easy for everyone to fit in an excursion of The Golden Circle.
Whether you opt for one day or multiple days exploring this region's remarkable geologic wonders, you'll be amazed by all that Iceland has in store!
Why is it One of the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in the World?
An array of exciting activities, like snorkeling and snowmobiling, are offered on these unforgettable excursions. You can explore the Icelandic countryside from a variety of vantage points too—by helicopter or in the middle of an awe-inspiring midnight sun!
Exploring Iceland's Golden Circle will give you a firsthand look at some truly amazing geological forces, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant culture.
THE 3 MUST-SEE PLACES ON THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Experience the ultimate day trip from Reykjavík and explore Iceland's most popular attractions with a classic Golden Circle Tour! This captivating journey covers approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) across an awe-inspiring loop, featuring Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. Ideal for travelers on limited time or short layovers looking to experience as much of Iceland's scenic beauty all in one day as possible!
- Thingvellir National Park
- Geysir Geothermal Field
- Gullfoss Waterfall
The Geysir Geothermal Area
If you're looking for a more sweltering experience, the hot springs in Haukadalur are an ideal choice. This is one of the few places on earth where visitors can take in active geysers up close!
Explore the renowned Great Geysir, its companion Strokkur geyser, several new hot springs and an array of captivating hot springs, vapor vents, and sulfurous mud pots.
The Great Geysir may be dormant, but Strokkur more than makes up for it with its consistent eruptions of boiling hot water every 8-10 minutes that reach heights of 30 meters! Have your camera ready and make sure to stand on the windward side of the geyser for best results.
The picturesque Gullfoss waterfall (Golden Falls) captivates thousands on a daily basis in the summertime. Its unique, cascading shape and unparalleled photogenic properties make it an unforgettable experience during all times of year. Truly, this "Golden Waterfall" is a must-see sight!
On average, an astounding 100.000 liters of glacial water from the Hvítá river cascade down a breathtaking 31 meters into the Gullfossgljúfur canyon each second – so don't forget your raincoat! Whether you're gazing in awe at its majestic beauty or embracing its invigorating mist, this natural wonder is sure to take your breath away.
Throughout the, Gullfoss is open and accessible to visitors. However, icy or snowy weather may cause certain trails leading to lower viewing platforms to be blocked off during the winter months.
Thingvellir National Park
Golden Circle Thingvellir park is not only Iceland's historical and geological gem, but also a picturesque landscape. For centuries (930 AD - 1789), Alþingi has convened in this very place, making it an unforgettable part of Icelandic history.
It was even where the declaration of independence from Denmark occurred on June 17th 1944! In 2004, its allure earned Þingvellir recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site, ensuring that its legacy will live on forever. According to a law, passed in 1928, Thingvellir shall always be the property of the Icelandic nation, under the preservation of the Alþing. The National Park was formerly founded in 1930, marking the thousand-year anniversary of the Alþingi. Later the park was expanded to protect the incredible and diverse nature of the park and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004.
In Þingvellir National Park, visitors can observe the tectonic plates creating a mesmerizing crevasse in Almannagjá canyon and Silfra. Furthermore, guests are invited to partake in snorkeling or diving between the two continents! To add an extra layer of enchantment, Þingvallavatn—Iceland's largest lake—and Öxaráfoss waterfall make for remarkable views that you won't soon forget.
5 Reasons to Visit the Golden Circle in Iceland
If you're traveling to Iceland, the Golden Circle Tour is an absolute must-see. Whether your vacation lasts a few days or several weeks, this highly recommended tour will give you unforgettable sights and experiences that you'll remember for years to come. Don't miss out - book your tickets now!
It is Convenient to Arrange
Booking the Golden Circle tour in Iceland is a breeze - it can be done online, or you can ask your travel operator to take care of it for you. Plus, transportation will typically be arranged from your hotel or other accommodation so that the journey turns out to be effortless and enjoyable.
It is Worth Visiting
Iceland's Golden Circle tour is a renowned tourist attraction, offering majestic views of Gullfoss Waterfall, Geyser, Thingvellir National Park, The Secret Lagoon and the Ring Road. Not only that - hikers and scuba divers can also visit golden circle to take advantage of the vast array of sporting activities available. Boasting incredible sites over both summer and winter months make it one of the most visited area for tourists everywhere!
There is History to Learn
Take a journey through time with this tour of the breathtaking beauty and captivating history of Geyser and Thingvellir National Park. Discover stunning facts from its past as you explore picturesque landscapes that will make your trip an unforgettable experience! Furthermore, there is a central hub where curious tourists can quench their thirst for knowledge about the location's ancient roots.
Expert Tour Assistance is Available
Make your trip to Iceland unforgettable with a Golden Circle tour. Our knowledgeable and expert tour guides will be by your side the entire time, delivering captivating information about all of the popular attractions that you'll experience. Through engaging narration, they'll help make your journey even more pleasurable! Be sure to explore our various Golden Circle tours today for an incredible adventure in this stunning location.
It is a Cost-Efficient Option
This tour is filled with a variety of exquisite itineraries that make it incredibly entertaining. Despite its vast quality, Iceland tourism has made this global experience available at an affordable price - which explains why it's become so popular!
If you're searching for a remarkable destination to take your family, consider Iceland! From glaciers and black-sand beaches to natural hot springs and geysers, this stunning country has it all. Despite being remote and ruggedly beautiful, kids can enjoy the nearby lava fields or partake in exciting activities like whale watching—making Iceland an ideal place for families seeking adventure. So make it your next trip—you won't regret it!
EXTRA STOPS ON THE GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE IN ICELAND
If you have the luxury of a full day to explore the Golden Circle, take advantage by visiting as many noteworthy locations and activities popular tourist route as possible. Surrounding Iceland's iconic landmark is an array of stunning vistas and captivating attractions sure to make your trip truly unforgettable. Here are some must-sees for any journey around The Golden Circle:
- Gjabakkahellir Cave
- Silfra fissure
- Thingvallakirkja Church
- Kerið crater
- Faxi waterfall
- Secret Lagoon
- Friðheimar Greenhouses
- Hvítá River Base
- Laugarvatn Fontana Spa
- Efstidalur farm
- Skálholt town
- Slakki Zoo
- Sólheimar Eco-Village
Gjabakkahellir is a remarkable lava tube cave located in Thingvellir National Park, created over 9000 years ago. Easily accessed by a 50-meter walk from the road to its entrance, this 364 meter long subterranean wonder offers adventurers breathtaking frozen sculptures during wintertime and endless exploration opportunities throughout the year. Don't miss out on an opportunity to explore Gjábakkahellir!
SNORKELING AND DIVING IN SILFRA FISSURE
One of Iceland's most captivating marvels, the Silfra Fissure is a rare sight located in Þingvallavatn Lake within Thingvellir National Park. From its vibrant shades of blue to being part of the awe-inspiring Mid-Atlantic Ridge, snorkelers and divers alike will be able to relish in an incomparable experience while swimming between two impressive continents!
Exploring the icy depths of Thingvallavatn is an unforgettable experience, as its waters are surprisingly teeming with life. Submerge yourself and you will be entranced by a stunning underwater garden that flourishes despite the bracing cold temperatures!
THINGVALLA KIRKJA CHURCH
Ever since Christianity was brought to Thingvellir, a church has been present in the area. The alluring building that stands today dates back to 1859 and is open for public visits from 9am to 5pm during summertime.
If you're lucky enough to come during the off season, then don't let that stop you from exploring this gorgeous church interior! The beauty of this remarkable building is worth a visit any time of year.
A mere 12 km from Gullfoss and the Geysir Geothermal Area lies Faxi Waterfall, a serene cascade well worth exploring. Although modest in size, this waterfall will surely dazzle you with its captivating beauty.
Nestled amid astonishing Icelandic scenery, Tungufljót's waterfall is a breathtaking paradise for fishing. Its crystal-clear waters teem with salmon, making it the ideal spot to take a break and enjoy an idyllic picnic on a sunny day.
KERIÐ VOLCANIC CRATER
The iconic Kerið volcanic crater in Iceland is a sight to behold. It was originally a traditional cone-shaped volcano, but after an explosive eruption over three millennium ago, the summit has caved into its magma chamber below. Today it stands as a majestic testament of Mother Nature's formidable force.
Keriðd is home to a mesmerizing caldera that you simply can't miss during your Golden Circle excursion. Its breathtaking walls plummet down 180 feet, and the caldera spans 890 feet across with an aquamarine colored lake inside due to the mineral-rich soil - truly a sight to behold!
Located only 15 km away from Selfoss, the crater is easily accessible by Route 35 and boasts a small parking lot right next to it. Plus, entrance into the area will cost approximately 500 ISK per person - an absolute steal!
Located between Gullfoss Geysir and Thingvellir National Park, Efstidalur is a delightful family-run farm providing an ideal pitstop. Our quaint ice cream parlor offers exquisite flavors crafted from the freshest milk sourced directly from our very own cows! Come by for a truly unique dining experience you won't soon forget!
Savor the heavenly flavor of this freshly-made ice cream, made from milk produced by the cows you can observe through the windows that divide the store from their barn! It couldn't get much fresher than this!
THE SECRET LAGOON
Experience the extraordinary natural hot spring, The Secret Lagoon, located in Fludir (Flúðir), a quaint village 25 km from Geysir. This geological marvel has been enchanting visitors since it was formed nearly 130 years ago in 1891!
The Secret Lagoon evokes a magical and mysterious ambiance with its steaming water, miniature geysers, hot pots, and verdant environment. Its temperature range of 38 - 40°C all year round ensures that you can rest in the lagoon's warm embrace anytime! All your worries from Gullfoss will melt away as you savor drinks and immerse yourself in nature.
FRIÐHEIMAR TOMATO AND HORSE FARM
Take a journey 20 km from Geysir along Route 35 to Friðheimar, an idyllic family farm with geothermal power plant greenhouses that use artificial lighting for year-round growth and harvesting of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Take a trip to the farm and taste some of their delicious offerings in one of their quaint, cozy greenhouses! Enjoy tomato-based dishes, freshly-baked breads and scrumptious food souvenirs while surrounded by stunning plants. Not only that but you can also learn more about geothermal heating used for Icelandic horticulture through the exhibition on site - what better way to spend your day?
At Friðheimar, the farmers raise Icelandic horses and put on an incredible show in the summer months. To experience all that they have to offer, be sure to reserve a spot ahead of time; otherwise, you can stop by their restaurant anytime between 12pm-4pm for lunch or dinner!
HVÍTÁ RIVER AND DRUMBÓ BASE CAMP
Iceland's Hvítá River, a milky-white expanse of water, is renowned for its rafting and river jet tours. But the locals know it best as an ideal location to catch salmon!
Magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall is powered by a river that begins in the glacial lake of Hvítárvatn. As Langjökull, Iceland's second-largest glacier melts and releases its water into this lake, it then spills southward to create the spectacular cascade we know today.
Traverse through the mesmerizing, milky-blue lower stretches of the river and behold an unparalleled scene filled with imposing basalt columns and striking rock formations. Journey by raft or jet boat - 10 kilometers beneath the waterfall, where you can bask in tranquil waters as part of your exploration into this secret gem within Iceland's Golden Circle !
Take a journey to Iceland and explore the stunning sites of Geysir (14 km away) or Faxi Waterfall (3km far off) by taking one of our spectacular tours available from either Drumbó Base Camp (Drumboddsstaðir), just minutes from Route 35, or Reykjavík.
LAUGARVATN FONTANA GEOTHERMAL SPA
Fontana Spa is a truly mesmerizing experience, situated in the picturesque scenery of Laugarvatn Lake. It's conveniently located midway between Thingvellir National Park and Geysir where guests will be able to revel in its geothermal luxuries with views of two breathtaking volcanoes and the lake itself!
The spa is home to a number of artificial pools that vary in size, depth, and temperature. Right alongside the Finnish sauna with its picturesque glass wall overlooking the lake sits three steam rooms built upon natural hot springs and mini-geysers just metres from the lakeshore – ideal for cooling off after your sauna session!
As you immerse yourself in the bubbling hot springs, the sound of boiling water can be heard beneath your feet. After a relaxing hour or so, treat yourself to an appetizing buffet offered by the spa's restaurant specializing in scrumptious local fare!
THE HISTORICAL TOWN OF SKÁLHOLT
Skálholt was a paramount location in Iceland during the Middle Ages, functioning as both a political and cultural hub between 1056-1785. It served as an episcopal seat, providing educational opportunities through its very first school - established to educate clergy in 1056. Along with various farming lands and smithies, there also resided a monastery within this great town which once held tremendous significance; it was formerly known as the largest city of all of Iceland!
Skáholt's rich history and cultural importance draw countless tourists. The renowned music festival occurs for five consecutive weekends in July and August, bringing even more focus to the cathedral. Situated inside Iceland’s Golden Circle area, it is only 15 km away from Sólheimar Eco-Village and 25 km from Geysir.
SLAKKI PETTING ZOO AND FAMILY PARK
Taking a break on driving the Golden Circle route brings you to Slakki Petting Zoo and Family Park - an idyllic spot for your family. Especially perfect if you have kids, this charming zoo will bring them endless joy and entertainment! Don't miss out on making lasting memories at Slakki's delightful destination!
The park is full of adorable animals that you can get to know and pet, such as sheep, puppies, kittens, rabbits, hens, chicks, piglets calves ducks ,geese mice and aquariums. Additionally there's a small indoor mini-golf course plus a delightful restaurant for your pleasure.
Located on the Golden Circle and a mere 3 kilometers away from Skáholt, and 28 kilometers from Geysir is the beautiful family park.
Since 1930, the illustrious eco-village of Sólheimar has been a beacon of sustainability and Christian values based on Rudolf Steiner's philosophy. Despite its age, this community is still thriving with over 100 residents today. A marvel to behold, it stands as a testament to the power of positive intentions made manifest in reality!
Sólheimar is a renowned, sustainable green village that produces some of the most exceptional organic vegetables in Iceland. Visit their local store to purchase delectable baked goods and homemade candles, soap, ceramics, wooden toys and artwork – all made with love!
Nestled in the village is an inviting café situated within one of its geothermally-heated greenhouses and two lovely guesthouses. If you're looking to learn more about sustainable living, check out their educational exhibition, or get involved with any number of activities ranging from lectures to sports and music events!
If you're exploring the Golden Circle, make sure to take a break at Sólheimar Eco-Village! Located 20 km from Laugarvatn Fontana and 30 km from Selfoss in south Iceland, this one of a kind village is not to be missed.
When you plan your journey to Iceland, make sure the Golden Circle route is on top of your bucket list. A guided tour or a rental car - Both options will guarantee an unforgettable day filled with wonder during your trip in Iceland!
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE?
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland's iconic Golden Circle, which features Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir geothermal area and Thingvellir National Park.
WHY IS IT CALLED THE GOLDEN CIRCLE?
Years ago, the delightful Golden Circle circuit was officially accepted and embraced by Iceland Tourism - a popular drive from Reykjavik that offers many tourist attractions.
HOW LONG DOES THE GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR TAKE?
The duration of your journey will depend on the weather, any extra activities you plan to include, and whether you're returning to Reykjavík or somewhere else. If your Golden Circle route includes adequate stops at each spot with a return trip back to Reykjavík, it should take a few extra stops and about 6 hours in total.
Why is Iceland popular with tourists?
Tourists flock to Iceland because of its beautiful nature. This landscape was absolutely magical and beautiful. Stunning scenery promises endless snow-capped peaks, mountains and snow-covered peaks. With its rugged ice-filled landscape, the Nordic ice looks unlike anything you will find anywhere else on Earth.
Why is the Golden Circle famous?
The Golden Circle is the most traveled scenic route of Iceland which combines beautiful landmarks with historic sites on a circular sightseeing journey.
What is everything to see on the Golden Circle?
The three Must-See Locations on the Golden Circle. The classic Golden Circle tour consists of Iceland's three most popular tourist attractions: Gull Fosse waterfalls and geothermal areas of Geyser and Engvellir.
Is it worth it to go to the Golden Circle?
Probably Iceland's most famous scenic road was the Golden Circle. An incredibly easy introduction to Iceland enables you to see many beautiful nature sights. It has waterfalls, hydrothermal activities, spas, volcanic craters and is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
CAN YOU DO THE GOLDEN CIRCLE IN A DAY?
Absolutely! Even with an additional activity like snowmobiling on a glacier or whale watching, you'll have no problem fitting the Golden Circle tour into one day.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CIRCLE TOURS IN ICELAND?
Absolutely! The Silver Circle takes you on an unforgettable journey to discover the beauty of Borgarfjörður and its incredible sites, like Deildartunguhver hot spring, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls, Krauma Geothermal baths and Reykholt. Meanwhile, if you're looking for a more northern adventure then the Diamond Circle is your best bet! This route travels through Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi and finally ends in Húsavík. There's no better way to explore these marvellous regions than with one of our wonderful circles - book today for your chance at an unforgettable experience!
IS THE BLUE LAGOON ON THE GOLDEN CIRCLE?
The Blue Lagoon is situated in Reykjanes Peninsula, just nearby Keflavik airport and a short drive away from the capital city of Reykjavik. It's easy to combine both the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle on one day tour - perfect for those who are looking to fit in as much sightseeing as possible!