The Golden Circle is one of Iceland's treasured excursion routes, also referred to as the 'Golden Triangle.' This 3-stop journey highlights some breathtaking beauty - from a thunderous waterfall and an erupting geyser, to a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s truly something you don't want to miss!

The entire region is enriched with stunning vistas and remarkable sites. Taking a tour of the Golden Circle will give you an opportunity to marvel at its stunning landscape and extraordinary geological aspects, ones that are difficult to find elsewhere but which can all be seen within one day’s journey.

For those seeking to experience some of Iceland's most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Golden Circle is a must. Spanning an impressive 190 miles (300 kilometers), this trail takes you through Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. Guided packages featuring the Golden Circle are available for anyone who doesn't want to drive themselves – like our immersive 6-Day Winter Package - or if you prefer taking your own car there's always our 10-day Road Trip option. Whatever way works best for you; half a day is all it will take!

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring forces of Iceland's enthralling geology, breathtaking scenery, and vibrant culture during a Golden Circle excursion. With additional activities like snorkeling and snowmobiling or unique styles such as helicopter rides or midnight sun tours available, you're sure to experience something extraordinary!

The stunning Haukadalur valley is home to a geothermal paradise, highlighted by Geysir - the source of all other named geysers. While this particular natural phenomenon has been in an inactive state for some time now, its close neighbor Strokkur more than makes up for it with frequent eruptions that can reach over 40 meters (130 feet). Each five to ten minutes, you'll likely witness its majestic boiling water shoot up into the air; thus providing the ideal photo opportunity during your visit!

The area around the geyser is speckled with steaming fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pits. For those looking for a more intimate experience, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur offer smaller but equally impressive eruptions.

Additionally, there are amenities nearby including a hotel, restaurant, café and gift shop across the street from the geothermal site which is open to visitors all day everyday - be sure to visit in the evening when you can observe its natural wonder from beneath an enchanting northern lights sky!

What are the stops on Golden Circle Iceland?

As you embark on the journey, be sure to take in all the highlights and captivating sights of Thingvellir National Park, bask in the beauty of Geysir's geothermal area, and admire Gullfoss waterfall.

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Thingvellir National Park

As the perfect beginning to any excursion in Iceland, Thingvellir National Park is a part of the renowned Golden Circle. Not only does this park offer stunning natural beauty, but it also holds historical significance that makes it an unmissable destination! Established as a national park in 1930 and awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2004, Thingvellir's importance cannot be understated. Make sure you add this incredible place to your itinerary when visiting southwestern Iceland!

Immerse yourself in the captivating landscape of Thingvellir National Park, a natural wonderland with lava fields, mountains and valleys. With stunning waterfalls and rivers flowing through it, this area also holds archaeological sites from medieval times. Not only does it have remarkable beauty to offer but also immense historical significance -- Iceland's national assembly was founded here in 930 AD before relocating to the capital city Reykjavik nearly 900 years later! The Golden Circle truly is an extraordinary destination not to be missed.

Not only is the site of Iceland's Parliament the oldest legislative body in existence today, but it was also where Iceland declared independence from Denmark and appointed its first president back in 1944. This historic location still stands as a reminder of freedom and democracy for citizens around the world.

Venture to Þingvellir, a breathtaking rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates where landscapes of dramatic cliffs, meandering rivers and profound gorges have been forged over millions of years. As one of only few places on earth that allow you to traverse from continent-to-continent in the Mid Atlantic Rift with each step you take, its remarkable beauty will leave you awestruck!

The most daring adventurers have the distinct privilege of snorkelling and scuba diving in Silfra, a ravine that is filled with pristine spring water. With visibility as far reaching as 330 feet (100 meters), most visitors will be enthralled by its geological marvels. Despite never freezing over due to continuous water flow, it remains at 35 F (2 C) all year round - making thermal suits an absolute must for explorers!

Apart from the notable Almannagja gorge, an incredible pathway that you can traverse to reach the rift valley from North America's tectonic plate, is lake Thingvallavatn. This stunning body of water happens to be Iceland's largest lake and sits south of visitor center of its National Park.

The Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir

Situated in the south coast of the Haukadalur Valley of Iceland, The Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir are celebrated worldwide. As perhaps the initial geyser to be found, its name has become a descriptor for all other such technology around the world. Though not as frequent nowadays, when it does erupt from its depths, it can reach up to an incredible 30 meters!

Just a short distance from this dazzling natural monument, Strokkur Geyser proudly displays its eruptive power every 5-10 minutes. It contains one of the most famous natural geothermal pools in the world.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall is the awe-inspiring finale to the Golden Circle. Situated on the magnificent Hvítá river, its two tiers plunge 32 meters into a picturesque canyon below - an unforgettable sight that you must capture for your photo album! Don't miss out on this majestic experience.

'Golden Falls', otherwise known as Gullfoss, is one of the most magnificent and awe-inspiring waterfalls in Iceland. It boasts a powerful 32 meter drop into the renowned Hvita River gorge which makes it an ideal spot for rafting. Located just ten minutes away from Geysir, Gullfoss is also the furthest destination on the Golden Circle tour outside Reykjavik City limits - making it an absolute must-see!

In the early 1900s, British developers nearly destroyed Gullfoss to use its formidable power for hydroelectric energy. Fortunately, Sigridur Tomasdottir - whose family owned the farm adjacent to the waterfall - fought tooth and nail against these plans; ultimately resulting in their retreat from this breathtaking realm.

In 1978, Sigridur became Iceland's first environmentalist and instilled a sense of conservation throughout the nation. To honor her commitment to protecting Gullfoss, a memorial was erected on the cliff overlooking it that same year. As such, Sigridur served as an inspiration for countless individuals who sought to preserve nature in Iceland and beyond.

At any time of the year, we can bask in the beauty of Gullfoss; from its captivating winter landscape blanketed with snow and ice, accompanied by a spectacular northern lights show overhead, to its summertime grandeur crowned by an ever-present rainbow while basking under the midnight sun.

Surrounding sites

Southwest Iceland is the perfect place for travelers seeking to make the most of their trip, as it encompasses a wide range of activities. From indulging in luxurious spa treatments at Flúðir's Secret Lagoon or Laugarvatn's Fontana Spa to exploring Langjökull glacier’s glistening ice tunnels and visiting Solheimar ecovillage – there truly is something here to satisfy everyone! If you're seeking to take in more natural splendor during your Golden Circle tour, be sure to check out the nearby Kerid crater lake.

WATERFALLS While Gullfoss is by far the most dramatic waterfall on the Golden Circle, there are three other smaller waterfalls which only require a short detour off the main route – Helgufoss is a 12-metre-high cascade that drops over a mossy cliff. Although only a few minutes' drive from the main Golden Circle route, you may have this serene location all to yourself.

There are numerous guided tours that provide these sites as supplementary stops along the way, or if you prefer self-exploring, then this guide here has just what you need for great detours off of your original route.

How far is the Golden Circle from Reykjavik?

Experience the majestic wonders of Iceland's Golden Circle, a mere 300 km from Reykjavik. While the trek can be completed in about 3-4 hours when you drive by car, why not take advantage of our day tour and save yourself some time! We offer both luxurious rental cars or join us on an unforgettable guided tour to help make your visit even more special.

How to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland?

Spanning 300km, the route passes through three renowned sites: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir Hot Springs. Though you can complete this journey in half a day if necessary, it's always essential to plan for highway drives ahead of time — something that will be sure to enhance your experience!

Where to stay in the Golden Circle?

Escape to the majestic Golden Circle, where Iceland's alluring beauty abounds. Whatever your budget may be, there is something for everyone in this stunning region - from exquisite luxury hotels and camping spots to cozy cottages. Make memories that will last a lifetime at The Golden Circle!

Are you seeking something truly extraordinary? Look no further than the nearby glamping sites offering exclusive locations with easy access to significant areas of interest. For those who adore nature, renting a hut near Gullfoss Waterfall or Geysir Hot Spring is an excellent choice for unforgettable memories!

For those who prioritize convenience, Reykjavik and surrounding cities boast a plethora of comfortable hotels and hostels that provide easy access to the area's best restaurants famous attractions and shops.

When is the best time to visit Golden Circle Iceland?

The Golden Circle is at its best between May and September when the days are longer, temperatures milder, and daylight hours more generous. During this period of warmth, you can explore outdoors in pleasant conditions while maximizing your sightseeing options.

Summertime can be a thrilling adventure, with activities like river rafting, horseback riding and glacier hikes. But winter has its own special beauty too - if you're the kind of person that loves skiing or snowmobiling through a breathtaking landscape of glimmering mountains blanketed in peaceful serenity.

Tips for visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle in winter

The Golden Circle in wintertime is a truly spellbinding sight to behold - the snow and frost paint different landscapes for you to explore. To help you craft your perfect itinerary, here are google maps and some helpful guidelines:

Dress Warmly

Despite the sunny skies, temperatures can easily dip below freezing. Therefore, it is essential to dress in several layers of appropriate clothing such as waterproof outerwear and sufficient hats, scarves, and gloves for added warmth. Be sure to layer up properly before venturing out!

Check the Forecast Before Going

When planning a visit to Iceland, it's important to be mindful of the unpredictable weather and check the forecast before heading out on your adventure. That way you can plan accordingly for whatever Mother Nature has in store!

Bring traction equipment if Necessary

If you're looking to explore the Golden Circle's wild region, it may be a good idea to bring traction gear such as crampons or snowshoes. So if you want an exciting outdoor journey away from civilization, these necessities can help ensure your safety and comfort as you traverse this awe-inspiring area!

Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter conditions

If you're driving through Iceland during the winter months, it is critical that your vehicle is fitted with suitable tires and has a sufficient amount of antifreeze. Furthermore, make sure to scan for any weather-related road closures before embarking on your journey in order to guarantee an enjoyable trip.

The entire driving route covers 300km and includes three major attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir Hot Springs. The drive can be completed within half a day, but as with any highway driving, planning before beginning your journey is important. Before setting out on the Golden Circle road trip, check that your rental car has all the necessary safety equipment (e.g., spare tire) and that you are familiar with the Icelandic driving laws . Make sure you have the right maps or GPS directions so you won't get lost, and pack all the necessary supplies, such as food and water.

Best things to do in Golden Circle in Iceland

Kickstart your journey at Geysir Hot Springs, where you can admire the energizing splendor of geothermal pools and hot springs that reach temperatures up to 80 degrees Celsius (176F). Do not miss out on the awe-inspiring sight of Strokkur geyser erupting water every few minutes as high as 30 meters in the air!

There is a relaxing spa situated in a geothermal valley. Surrounding it are billows of white steam that rise from the ground, smaller bubbling natural pools, and even a tiny, erupting geyser. The warm water stays at 38-40 Celsius all year round, making the Secret Lagoon a perfect addition to your Golden Circle trip, no matter when you visit. It is a great spot to end the day, either under the ethereal glow of the midnight sun in the summer months or the dancing northern lights in the winter.

From either side of the Golden Circle's deep canyon you can behold one of its finest attractions: Gullfoss Waterfall. This spectacular two-tiered cascade drops 32 meters with tremendous force, creating a breathtaking display that is sure to leave an impression. And if you're feeling daring, take the short hike down closer and experience it from up close!

The final stop on the Golden Circle Tour is Þingvellir National Park, a location with profound cultural meaning to every Icelander. This remarkable park offers an abundance of hiking trails and geological wonders that will leave you in awe such as lakes, waterfalls, impressive ravines and fissures - not forgetting Almannagjá! A trip here promises you an unforgettable journey through nature's finest scenery.

Iceland Golden Circle Itinerary

Experience the beauty of Iceland and all its wondrous sights in just a few days with an unforgettable Golden Circle Itinerary! This iconic route offers you some of the nation's most incredible views, taking you to places that are highly sought after. Embark on your Golden Circle Adventure starting off with:

  • þórufoss
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Haukadalur Geothermal Field
  • Gullfoss Waterfall Stop
  • Faxi waterfall
  • Kerið Crater
  • Hotspring: Laugarvatn Fontana or the Secret Lagoon.

What to wear when visiting Golden Circle Iceland?

When picking what to wear on your journey, there are a few components you should keep in mind. To start with, the climate in Iceland can be unpredictable; therefore, layers are key! Making sure you have an outer layer that is waterproof is vital — as well as hats, scarves and gloves just in case of rain or windy days.

Don't forget to pack a couple of pairs of comfortable shoes! You'll be exploring the Golden Circle on foot, so having some good supportive walking shoes is essential. It's also smart to bring an additional pair in case it rains — my travel companion ended up buying new ones at an exorbitant price because he had neglected this precautionary step.

Ultimately, the temperature can significantly decline during the night near the circle. To stay snug and cozy, bring along some warm clothes such as a cardigan or a coat.

What to pack for Golden Circle?

As you prepare to venture around Iceland's majestic Golden Circle, make sure to pack the right items that will ensure your comfort and safety. Don't forget to layer up with warm clothes and travel documents! And if outdoor exploration is on the itinerary, don't leave home without insect repellent so you can enjoy all of nature's glory while there. With these essential items in tow, you'll be ready for a memorable journey through this beautiful land.

Where to eat when driving Golden Circle?

If you're exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, why not add a delicious flair to your journey? Many restaurants and cafes along the way offer traditional Icelandic delights such as smoked salmon, reindeer stew, and rye bread. But if international fare is more up your alley - no worries! You'll find Italian pizzas, Mexican tacos and burritos, as well as classic American burgers available too.

Affordable & Adventurous Golden Circle Day Tours

Each tour comes with its own mix of adventurous activities.

Here are two guided Golden Circle tours.

1 - Golden Circle Atv Day Tour (ISK 30800 Per Person)

2 - Classic Golden Circle Tour Iceland (ISK8990 Per Person)

Simply book your tour and leave the rest to Golden Circle Day Tours!


Is the Golden Circle worth it?

Make sure to include the Golden Circle in your trip plans when visiting Iceland! This easy day excursion from Reykjavik encompasses three of the nation's most sought-after destinations – Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Haukadalur (Geysir) with its bubbling geothermal area. Stop by for a memorable experience filled with awe-inspiring sights!

What are the three main attractions of the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle contains a wide range of activities, but the best known is Thingvellir National Park is part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites. Geysers include Great and Strokkar geysers. Gull fosse falls. All three groups form unsurpassed teams based around their intense nature.

How much is the Golden Circle tour in Iceland?

When it comes to exploring Iceland via the Golden Circle tours, you have a variety of options and prices. Guided tour packages start at approximately $90 per person while self-drive tours begin as low as $50 each. To discover more regarding specific plans and costs, please feel free to visit our website here for further detail!

Why do they call it the Golden Circle in Iceland?

The name Golden Circle or 'Gullnihringurinn' in Icelandic translates to a route from Reykjavik to Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss, the highlights of the path. This name is derived by "GullFosses", literally meaning Golden waterfall.

How long does it take to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland?

Embark on the Golden Circle journey in Iceland, a 300-kilometer (186 miles) long route you can complete within 6 to 8 hours. Start your tour in Reykjavík or anywhere along the way and experience some of the most breathtaking sights this country has to offer!

Is it difficult to drive around the Golden Circle?

Navigating the circle can be a bit of an obstacle for those unfamiliar, considering the winding turns and altered routes. Nonetheless, it is not all that difficult to traverse. Still, it is vital to drive with caution and stay aware of other drivers or pedestrians nearby.

What is the Golden Circle Iceland Wikipedia?

The Golden Circles is an island and popular tourist route in southern Iceland which spans around 300 kilometers (190 mi). Generally this place hosts most tourist activity in Iceland.

Is the Blue Lagoon part of the Golden Circle Iceland?

Contrary to popular belief, the Blue Lagoon is not a part of Iceland's iconic Golden Circle tour. Instead, the golden circle attractions this renowned journey consists of three remarkable sights: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall - all located in close proximity to one another. The Blue Lagoon however lies further away on the Reykjanes Peninsula near Grindavík; its bubbling waters nestled among the volcanic fields of southwest Iceland.

Can you do the Golden Circle in one day?

Embark on a memorable road trip with the Golden Circle route, covering 230 kilometers (140 miles) of Iceland's most magnificent scenery! It may look like a lot to cover in one day, but you can rest assured that it is doable - all while relishing scintillating views. Experience this classic journey for yourself and make lasting memories along the way.

How to visit Iceland’s Golden Circle solo?

An economical and favorite way to take in the sights is to rent a car and explore at your own pace, undeterred by an itinerary. However, if you prefer not having to drive yourself, there are guided tours of the Golden Circle available from various companies.