Best Golden Circle Tour From Reykjavik: Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir

Experience the sheer beauty of Iceland in a single day with the Best Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik. Dive into history at Thingvellir National Park, marvel at the raw power of the Gullfoss Waterfall, and witness nature's fury at the Geysir geothermal area. Expert guides, coupled with convenient transfers, make this tour a must-do Icelandic adventure!

At a glance
Per Person
Tour Starts:
Thingvellir National Park
Max Guests
8 Hours
Uncover Iceland's Natural Wonders: The Ultimate Golden Circle Tour

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Iceland's awe-inspiring landscapes with our comprehensive Golden Circle Tour. This full-day adventure takes you across the central and southern region, stopping at some of the most iconic and beloved attractions that Iceland has to offer.

Why the Golden Circle is Popular for a Day Trip

The Golden Circle, a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, is often favored for day trips due to its close proximity to Reykjavik and its stunning natural beauty. The 300-kilometer loop encompasses several iconic Icelandic landmarks, including the Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park.

golden circle tour
Panoramic view on Gullfoss waterfall on the Hvíta River

These attractions offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the raw, untouched beauty of Iceland's landscapes, from erupting geysers to thundering waterfalls and historic sites. The ease of access and the opportunity to witness such unique geological phenomena within a day make the Golden Circle an ideal choice for those seeking a quick yet enriching Icelandic adventure.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit to Thingvellir National Park
  • Sightseeing at Geysir Geothermal Area
  • View Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Knowledgeable tour guide offering insights into Icelandic history and culture
  • Comfortable coach transportation with onboard WiFi
  • Options for additional activities like geothermal bathing and glacier hiking
  • Convenient pick-up and drop-off service
  • Cultural storytelling and fun facts from your guide
  • Ample photo opportunities of Iceland's natural beauty
  • Lunch stop at a local restaurant (meal costs not typically included in tour price)

Þingvellir National Park: A Testament to Iceland's Heritage

Þingvellir National Park, one of the most significant historical and geological sites in Iceland, stands as a testament to the country's rich cultural heritage and dynamic natural beauty. Located just 49 km east of Reykjavík, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an essential stop on the world-renowned Golden Circle tour.

tectonic plates in Thingvellir National Park
Eurasian and North American tectonic plates in Thingvellir National Park

Historically, Þingvellir (translating to "Parliament Plains") served as the site where the Althing, an open-air assembly representing the whole of Iceland, was established around 930 AD. This assembly, which initially met annually, saw lawmakers from all over the country - the South Coast, the Westfjörds, the North, and the East - congregating to set laws and settle disputes. This tradition continued for centuries, marking Þingvellir as the birthplace of Iceland's democracy and making it a place of national importance.

The park is also a haven for geology enthusiasts. It sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates – the North American and Eurasian plates. Visitors can walk between these two continents, experiencing the slow but constant process of continental drift. The Oxarárfoss waterfall and the beautiful Þingvallavatn, Iceland's largest natural lake, add to the park's scenic charm.

Read More: Complete Guide To Thingvellir National Park

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Spectacle

Nestled in the heart of the Hvítá river canyon in southwest Iceland, Gullfoss Waterfall, affectionately known as 'The Golden Falls', offers a spectacle of nature's grandeur and power that is simultaneously humbling and inspiring. As part of the famous Golden Circle route, this iconic waterfall is a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring the natural wonders of Iceland.

Gullfoss is not just a single waterfall but a series of two cascading falls. The upper one drops 11 meters, while the lower one plunges 21 meters into a rugged canyon, whose walls reach up to 70 meters in height. This dramatic descent of water creates a mesmerizing display of raw power and beauty, culminating in a rainbow-filled mist on sunny days - a sight that rivals even the renowned Northern Lights.

Gullfoss waterfall
Wonderful summer view of popular tourist destination - Gullfoss waterfall

Located approximately 107 km from Reykjavík, or about a 1.5-hour drive, Gullfoss is easily accessible for a day trip. The journey carries you through some of Iceland's most stunning barren countryside, immersing you in the country's unique landscapes.

The significance of Gullfoss extends beyond its natural beauty. The waterfall stands as a monument to one of Iceland's most impactful environmental protests. In the early 20th century, plans were underway to harness the waterfall for hydroelectric power. However, Sigriður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of the waterfall's owner, fought fiercely to preserve the site. Her determination led to the preservation of Gullfoss for future generations to appreciate.

Don't Miss Out: Golden Circle Classic and Northern Lights Mystery

Geysir Geothermal Area: An Erupting Marvel

Our Golden Circle Iceland tour concludes at the geologically vibrant site of the infamous Geysir hot spring, also known as Strokkur. The Geysir Geothermal Area, part of Iceland's illustrious Golden Circle route, is a marvel of natural phenomena that invites visitors to witness the raw power and beauty of Earth's geothermal activity firsthand.

Situated 100 km away from the capital city of Reykjavík, the area spans approximately 3 km² (1.1 sq mi), with most of the springs aligning along a 100 m (328 ft) wide strip. This vast geothermal field lies in the Haukadalur Valley, a location renowned for its geothermal activity, making it a must-visit destination for any Icelandic tour.

Geysir Geothermal Area
Stokkur eruption with sunstar in a beautiful sunny day in winter

At the heart of this geothermal valley is the Great Geysir, a famous hot spring that has lent its name to all other geysers worldwide. Although Geysir is currently dormant, it was known to spout water every third hour up to the beginning of the 19th century. Today, while the Great Geysir may be idle, its sibling, Strokkur, steals the show by reliably erupting every 6-10 minutes, shooting boiling water up to 20 meters into the air.

The geothermal field is situated at the northern edge of the southern lowlands, at an altitude of 105-120 m above sea level. It rests on the slopes of the Laugarfjall lava dome, which is also home to the Strokkur geyser, located about 50 meters south.

Visiting the Geysir Geothermal Area provides a unique opportunity to experience and appreciate the dynamic forces that shape our planet. The geysers' eruptions, the bubbling mud pots, and the steam vents create a landscape that seems otherworldly, a testament to Iceland's moniker as the 'Land of Fire and Ice.'

Included in the Golden Circle Tour

  • Bus transportation
  • Professional tour guide
  • English language tour
  • WiFi on board
  • Visit to Thingvellir National Park
  • Visit to Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Visit to Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Educational content on Icelandic history and culture


  • Meals and beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activity costs
  • Gratuities for tour guide
  • Pick up from locations not specified
  • Entry fees to additional attractions not on the itinerary

Tips for making the most out of your Golden Circle Trip

  • Start early to avoid crowds at Thingvellir National Park and Geysir geothermal area
  • Wear warm, waterproof clothing for the weather at Gullfoss Waterfall and other sites
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy the natural beauty along the route
  • Keep your camera ready for photos of the Hvita River
  • Take time to explore each attraction for a full experience
  • Engage with tour guides for insights into Icelandic history and culture
  • End the day with a soak in a natural hot spring like the Blue Lagoon
  • Use free WiFi on coaches to share moments live
  • Consider additional activities like horseback riding offered by tour operators

Can I do the Golden Circle in one day?

Yes, you can absolutely do the Golden Circle in one day. The Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik usually takes about 4 hours to reach your destination and the round-trip is only about 3 hours driving time. This makes it very feasible to complete in a single day.

When is the best time of year to go on a Golden Circle tour?

The best time of year to go on a Golden Circle tour really depends on what you want to see. If you want to see the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall frozen, winter is the best time. But if you want to walk between the Eurasian tectonic plates in the Thingvellir National Park Geysir geothermal area, summer would be the best time.

What are the best stops along the Golden Circle Iceland?

The best stops along the Golden Circle include Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. These are all the main attractions that have a rich history and showcase the natural beauties of the country. Other attractions that are worth visiting include the Secret Lagoon and Langjökull Glacier.

Can you do the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon in one day?

It's possible to do the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon in one day, but it would be a full day with a lot of driving. It's best to start early and plan your day accordingly. It's also important to note that while the Golden Circle can be done with a small group or even solo, the Blue Lagoon usually requires a booking in advance.

What to bring with you on your Golden Circle tour?

When going on your Golden Circle tour, it's important to dress warmly and bring a waterproof jacket, as the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable. Also, don't forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery!

What is so special about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?

The Blue Lagoon is a world-famous geothermal spa located in southwest Iceland. The lagoon is fed by water from the nearby geothermal power plant, which is rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur. These minerals are said to have beneficial effects on the skin, and many visitors come to the lagoon to enjoy the spa's renowned mud masks. Some versions of the Golden Circle tours in Iceland include the Blue Lagoon visit.

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What our customers say

We went with Arctic Adventures. Our guide was Andre and he made our trip fantastic. Mini bus was great, places great. Secret lagoon was very hot, careful if kids are getting in. All the other stops were fun and a hood 8 hours spent.

Brilliant tour. Tour guide was very informative and funny. Told you plenty of things about each site you visited. Definitely recommend

Great service and an even better stay.
John Gardener
Great service and an even better stay.
Sarah Ballent
Great service and an even better stay.
Julie Hassent
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