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Iceland’s Golden Circle: A Detailed Guide, Itinerary and Map for Your Trip!

Last updated: March 6, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 11 Comments

One of the most popular scenic routes in Iceland is the Golden Circle. This is a fantastic introduction to the country, and it lets you see many of the natural wonders that Iceland has to offer.

These include waterfalls, geothermal activity, spas, volcano craters and even a UNESCO world heritage site!

Even better, Iceland’s Golden Circle is an easy day trip from Reykjavik , making it accessible even if you’re on a short trip to Iceland.

In this post, we’re going to share with everything you need to know about Iceland’s Golden Circle, based on our time travelling in the country in both summer and winter.

This post includes what to see on the Golden Circle, the best ways to travel around the Golden Circle, other nearby attractions and lots more besides! Let’s get straight into it.

What is the Golden Circle in Iceland?

The Golden Circle is a circular route in southern Iceland that stretches for around 300 km / 186 miles and starts and ends in Reykjavik.

The route is popular, either as a day trip from the city, or as a precursor to exploring Iceland’s south coast. Often, instead of returning to the city, travellers continue along the south coast and then on around Iceland’s Ring Road .

The popularity is largely down to the easy accessibility of the route from the capital, and the fact that many of Iceland’s top attractions can be found along the route. We definitely recommend the Golden Circle to anyone visiting Iceland.

Geysir Iceland

Why is it called the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle gets its name from Gullfoss, one of the major waterfalls on the route. Gullfoss means Golden Falls in Icelandic. The circle part of the name is simply down to the route that you follow being roughly circular.

The name is also a clever bit of marketing as it sounds pretty cool. In the north of Iceland you can also find the Diamond Circle, another circular driving route which visits a number of popular attractions.

How Long Does it Take to Drive the Golden Circle?

The total driving time for the Golden Circle is just under four hours if you start and end in Reykjavik. Of course, this doesn’t include any stopping time or sightseeing.

For most visitors to Iceland, the Golden Circle is done either as a full day trip or a half day trip from Reykjavik, and we suggest allocating between 6 and 10 hours to the circuit.

Can I do the Golden Circle as a Day Tour from Reykjavik?

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular day tours from Reykjavik, so yes, you absolutely can.

We recommend some more tours at the end of the post, but here are a few quick examples to give you an idea of what’s available.

  • An 8 hour tour of the Golden Circle which includes the major highlights plus Kerid Crater.
  • A full day tour of all the highlights of the Golden Circle , which includes the option to visit the Blue Lagoon as well.
  • A private full day tour of the Golden Circle which includes all the highlights as well as Kerid Crater, Faxi waterfall, and time for ice cream at Efstidalur II.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of choice, whether you want a private tour or a group tour.

When to Visit Iceland’s Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle can be visited year round. Most of the attractions here are open year-round and the roads are open and well-maintained in both summer and winter.

It’s also one of the most popular day trips from Reykjavik, meaning it can get quite busy.

Most of the tours from Reykjavik depart in the morning between 8am and 10am. Some half-day tours also depart in the afternoon, between midday and 2pm. The majority of all the tours are back in Reykjavik in the early evening.

The three most popular stops for tours are of course the highlights, which are Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss. Expect these locations to be busy from 10am until 6pm. In winter, due to the reduced hours of daylight, these locations will likely be busy from 10am until around 4pm.

If you want to avoid the crowds on the Golden Circle, the best option is to drive yourself, and to visit outside of the busy times. If you are visiting Iceland in summer, you will have almost unlimited hours of daylight at your disposal, so if you toured the highlights before 9am or after 6pm, you are likely to be visiting with fewer people.

However, we would say that you shouldn’t let the possibility of crowds put you off. The attractions are all fairly large with plenty of space, and are all worth seeing even if they are a bit busy when you visit.

Highlights of the Golden Circle in Iceland

The Golden Circle has three major highlights that you should visit, as well as a number of other attractions. We’re going to go through the three major highlights in the order you might visit them, and then share an example itinerary for visiting the Golden Circle.

Almost all Golden Circle day tours will include all three of these sites.

Þingvellir National Park

The first attraction you will come to on the Golden Circle, assuming you are driving it in a clockwise direction, is Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir in English).

This is a UNESCO world heritage site, and was Iceland’s first national park. It’s important from both a cultural point of view, and also from a geological point of view.

Suffice to say, you won’t want to skip it!

Thingvellir was the location for Iceland’s first parliament, known as the Althing, which first met on this site in 930 AD. This was around fifty years after Iceland was first settled. Thingvellir continued to be used as the parliament’s meeting location until 1798.

Thingvellir was chosen as the location for the parliament as it was deemed to be relatively easy to reach from all the different regions of Iceland. Parliamentary meetings were held over the warmer summer months, and it was a major focal point for the Icelandic people.

Laws were passed, judicial hearings took place, and the basis for Iceland’s present day cultural roots and heritage were essentially formed.

Thingvellir National Park Iceland

This would make Thingvellir National Park worth visiting alone, but there’s more to see here.

As you may know, Iceland sits right on the middle of two continental plates, the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate. These plates are slowly drifting apart from each other, and Thingvellir is found in the rift valley of these two plates.

This means that you can see and even walk in the cracks that have opened up in the earth as these massive plates move apart from each other. You can even go snorkelling or diving in these fissures , for a truly unique experience.

Fans of Game of Thrones will also be excited to visit Thingvellir, as a number of scenes from the show were filmed in the park.

Most recognisably, the so called Bloody Gate, which forms a part of the path to the Eyrie, was filmed here for Season 4 of the show. More on this, and lots more other locations for the show, in our guide to Game of Thrones locations in Iceland .

Thingvellir National Park is also home to a lovely waterfall, Oxararfoss. This is a ten minute walk from the parking lot, and is a gorgeous waterfall that is well worth the visit.

As you can see, there is plenty to see and do at Thingvellir, so expect to spend at least an hour to 90 minutes here. There are also more walking trails and sights to see if you want to extend your visit.

Visiting Thingvellir is free, however if you are driving yourself there is a small parking charge. This is valid for all the parking lots for the day, and payment is accepted by credit or debit card. Read more on the fees and how to pay here .

Haukadalur Geothermal Field

The next major highlight after Thingvellir National Park on the Golden Circle is the Haukadalur Geothermal Field,  also referred to as the Geysir Geothermal Area.

This is around an hours drive from Thingvellir, and is home to a range of geothermal wonders. These include mud pots, fumaroles and hot springs, as well as two of Iceland’s most famous geysers – Strokkur and Geysir.

Geysir (the name means “to gush”) is where our modern day word geyser comes from, and Geysir was the first geyser ever to be described in print.

Strokkur Geyser erupting Iceland

If you want to see geothermal activity in Iceland, then the Haukadalur Geothermal field is a must-stop on the Golden Circle.

The two main geysers are Strokkur and Geysir. Of late, Geysir has been fairly dormant, although as he’s believed to have been erupting for at least 10,000 years, we think taking a break from time to time is only natural. When he does go off though it’s spectacular, with eruptions of boiling water and steam reaching over 400ft.

The good news though is that Strokkur, which is around fifty metres from Geysir, is far more reliable, usually erupting every five to ten minutes. This eruption is not quite as big as Geysir, generally averaging around 50ft in height, but it is still very impressive.

It’s free to visit Haukadalur Geothermal Field, and there’s free parking on site too.

Just be aware that this is an active geothermal area with thousands of gallons of boiling water pouring out of the ground, so take care when visiting and stay to the marked paths. Keep a close watch on children.

Gullfoss Waterfall

The last of the three major highlights of the Golden Circle is Gullfoss waterfall. Gullfoss, which means golden falls, is where the name of the Golden Circle comes from.

Gullfoss is a truly spectacular waterfall, and is one of our favourite waterfalls in Iceland .

The waterfall, which is on the Hvítá river, is found around ten minutes drive from Haukadalur. There are two main parking areas which offer different views of the falls, one at a lower elevation, and one at a higher elevation.

The views from both locations are worth seeing, and a set of steps links the two. It’s also possible to walk along the edge of the river above the falls for different views.

Gullfoss waterfall Iceland

The falls themselves are across two stages, with the first around 36 feet in height, and the second around 70 feet in height. Before these stages there’s a wide three-step drop that spans the width of the river. The falls are impressive due to their large volume of water, with approximately 4,900 cubic feet of water passing over the falls each second in summer.

Gullfoss is beautiful in both summer and winter. In summer, it’s surrounded by lush green vegetation, and there’s a good chance of seeing rainbows in the spray if you visit in the afternoon, as we did. In the winter, it’s a whole different scene, with snow covered landscapes stretching off into the distance.

The Falls have a visitor centre, shop, and cafe on site. It is free to visit and park here.

As well as being an impressive sight in of itself, Gulfoss is also the starting point for a number of experiences that many visitors to Iceland are interested in doing.

For example, you can book a tour to an ice cave and glacier , or you can take a snowmobiling tour on a glacier . These are seasonal tours, but might be worth considering if these activities are on your wishlist.

Other Attractions On or Near the Golden Circle

As well as the three major attractions along the Golden Circle, there are a number of other stops that you might consider. Some tours will include some of these locations, whilst others will require you to drive your own car, and even to do a short hike.

These attractions are listed in the order that you would encounter them if you depart from Reykjavik and drive the Golden Circle in a clockwise direction. Some of them do require taking a small detour from the main Golden Circle route.

þórufoss, or Thorufoss, is just a five minute detour from the Golden Circle route, and we think is a detour that is very much worth doing.

The waterfall is just off Route 48, and there’s a small parking lot off the road. Note that you can’t see the falls from the roads, and there’s not much in the way of a sign, meaning many visitors miss it.

Thorufoss waterfall Iceland

From the small parking area, it’s a five minute walk across flat ground to a viewpoint, where you can see the falls. You can also descend down the fairly steep path to the pool at the base if you are so inclined, but we thought the view was just fine from the viewing area.

The falls are not huge, but they are very picturesque. They have around a 54ft drop and are around 100 ft wide. They were also used as a Game of Thrones filming location . A good stop if you have an extra 15 minutes or so.

Laugarvatn Fontana

When you visit Iceland, the chances are high that you will want to take a soak in some sort of geothermal spring. Iceland has no shortage of these, from the famous Blue Lagoon , to hot rivers, and everything in between.

On (or near) the Golden Circle, there are at least three places for you to stop off for a refreshing soak, and the first of these is Laugarvatn Fontana .

The natural geothermal springs here have been a popular attraction since 1929. There are a series of experiences you can have here, including steam rooms, and warm pools that overlook the lake. There’s also a hot tub and sauna.

Laugarvatn Fontana

Those of you feeling brave can even take a refreshing dip in the lake itself, which is accessible from the bathing area.

Another reason to visit Laugarvatn Fontana, even if you aren’t planning on using their spa facilities, is for their famous lava bread. They bake their own bread using geothermal heat (a process that takes around 24 hours) and the end result is delicious.

Laugarvatn Fontana is in the town of Laugarvatn, which is on the Golden Circle between Thingvellir National Park and Haukadalur Geothermal Field. There’s free parking on site, but entry to the spa itself does have a fee, which you can see on their website here .

Towels are available for hire, so we recommend packing a travel towel like this to save on that fee.

They also have a nice on-site cafe which serves traditional Icelandic fare and snacks, including that delicious lava bread.

If you’re looking for a tour that includes time at Laugarvatn Fontana, this is a good option .

Faxi (also known as Vatnsleysufoss) is another beautiful waterfall on the Golden Circle, found on the Tungufljót river. It’s not a very high waterfall at around 22 ft, but it is 300ft wide, and is unusual enough to warrant a visit we think.

Faxafoss waterfall Iceland

You can either view the falls from the road above them, or drive down to the parking lot at the base. It’s a popular place for salmon fishing, so expect to see fishermen during the fishing season.

The falls are around a five minute detour off the Golden Circle route, and if you have the time are worth visiting for some photos. There’s also a restaurant on-site here, Vid Faxa, which offers meals with nice views.

This private tour includes a stop at Faxi.

Secret Lagoon Hot Spring

The Secret Lagoon Hot Spring is the second of the geothermal baths you can visit whilst travelling the Golden Circle. Despite the name, it must be said that the secret is definitely out on this one.

The Secret Lagoon dates from 1891, making it the oldest man-made swimming pool in the country. However, it fell into disuse until around 2005, when the present owner started to use it himself as a private pool, and hence it got its name.

Secret Lagoon Iceland

Today the pool is open to all for a fee, and offers a lovely bathing experience. It’s part of a larger geothermal area, so you can also see a baby geyser (Litli Geysir) as well as boiling pools.

It’s around a 10 minute detour from the main Golden Circle route to get to the Secret Lagoon, which is found in the town of Flúðir. There’s a fee to use it, and you can opening hours and prices on the official website here . You can also buy your tickets in advance online here .

Your entry ticket includes access to the segregated changing rooms, lockers and showers. Towel and swimsuit hire is available as an extra charge, so we recommend bringing your own .

Note that in Iceland it is required to shower fully naked prior to bathing, and whilst the changing rooms and showers are normally segregated, there are not usually private shower cubicles. So do keep this in mind prior to booking any spa experience.

The Secret Lagoon can be visited on a self-drive trip.

Kerið Crater

Kerið Crater, also called Kerid Crater, is a lovely volcano crater and crater lake just off the Golden Circle as you return to Reykjavik.

The crater is one of the best examples of its type in Iceland. It only formed around 3,000 years ago, so weathering and erosion have not had too great an impact, meaning it’s very visually recognisable.

Kerið Crater

When you visit, you have the option of walking around the crater, and you can also descend the approximately 200 feet down to the lake itself if you wish. It’s a lovely colourful red color with a fairly circular lake inside it, and makes for a great stop.

There’s a small entry fee of 400 ISK (as of June 2019) to visit the crater and park here. It’s also included on this tour , or this private tour .

Bobby Fischer Center

Those of you with an interest in chess will likely be interested in visiting the Bobby Fischer Center , one of the few museums in the world dedicated to a world champion chess player!

This is found in the town of Selfoss, and would be around a five minute detour from your Golden Circle route.

Here you can learn all about Bobby Fischer, often regarded as one of the greatest chess players of all time. Bobby was originally from Chicago in the USA, but lived the last years of his live in Iceland, largely as a way to avoid deportation to the USA following his violation of US sanctions in Yugoslavia.

There’s a small entry fee, and the museum is open from mid-May to mid-September. See the official website for opening times.

Horse Riding

Iceland is home to the beautiful Icelandic horse, a tough breed which has a wonderful flowing mane.

Many people want to meet, take photography with, learn about, and of course, ride, an Icelandic Horse when in Iceland.

When driving the Golden Circle, one option is to visit Friðheimar . You can pre-book a visit to the stables, and in the summer months they also run a horse show.

It’s also possible to take a tour of the Golden Circle which includes visiting a horse stable , or a tour of the Golden Circle which includes horse riding .

Icelandic Horse

Reykjadalur Hot Spring

Last, but by no means least, on our list of attractions near the Golden Circle, is the Reykjadalur Hot Spring. Unlike the other geothermal springs in this guide, this one is entirely free to visit, and is also a largely natural feature.

This one is just off the Golden Circle, with the parking lot for the hike around a five minute detour through the town of Hveragerði.

Hot water bubbles out of the ground and joins a natural river, and you can get into the river at different points and relax in the pools. To adjust the temperature, you’ll just want to go up or downstream!

There are of course a few caveats to this natural attraction. First, it’s about a 1 hour walk each way from the parking area to the bathing area. The path is well marked and fairly easy to follow, but it does go uphill for quite a while.

Reykjadalur Hot Spring

Second, there are no formal changing areas, showers, toilets, or anything like that. There is just a wooden boardwalk area with wooden modesty panels, but they are not enclosed.

So if you are nervous about getting undressed in public, you may want to put your swimsuit on underneath your clothing before you start the hike.

There’s also no shelter here for your or your stuff. So if it’s raining, you’ll want to be sure to have some sort of waterproof cover for your gear.

We advise against visiting in winter or when there is a lot of snow or ice on path as it can be more difficult to follow the path and to distinguish safe and unsafe areas.

All that said, this is a really wonderful natural bathing experience, especially in nice weather. If you are driving the Golden Circle in the summer months when you have lots of light, it would make a great last stop on your adventure!

Itinerary for Iceland’s Golden Circle

If you are planning on hiring a car and driving the Golden Circle, we’ve put together this quick suggested 1 day Golden Circle itinerary that departs from Reykjavik in the morning and returns to Reykjavik in the afternoon / evening.

It could also be used as the starting point for a longer trip in Iceland, and for some inspiration in that department, see our itineraries for 3 days in Iceland , 7 days in Iceland , and the Iceland ring road .

Þingvellir National Park Iceland

Stop 1: þórufoss

Our first suggested stop on your Golden Circle trip is þórufoss. It’s a pretty waterfall and it’s not usually too crowded. Depending on the traffic out of the city and where you are leaving from, expect this to take you around 40 minutes of driving. You shouldn’t need more than 10 – 15 minutes here.

Stop 2: Thingvellir

From þórufoss it’s about a 20 minute drive to Thingvellir National park. There’s a lot to see and do here. Don’t forget to pay for your parking! Highlights include Þingvallakirkja (the church), Lögberg (rock formations), the various fissures, and the Öxarárfoss waterfall.

You can also book snorkelling here . You’ll want to book this in advance and expect to allocate at least 2 – 3 hours to them if you choose to do those, which will impact how much you can see over the rest of the day.

Otherwise, we’d suggest scheduling around 90 minutes for Thingvellir.

Stop 3: Lunch at Efstidalur II.

By now you might be getting hungry. Our suggestion for lunch is the restaurants and farm shop at Efstidalur II, which is around a 40 minute drive from Thingvellir.

They have delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients, and we really enjoyed their burger. They are also famous for their ice cream, so even if you are travelling on more of a budget and are rocking a packed lunch, we highly recommend indulging in some ice cream anyway!

Expect to spend 45 – 90 minutes here if you have the full lunch, or a 15 minute break for ice cream.

Efstidalur II. Icecream

Stop 4: Haukadalur Geothermal Field

After lunch, it’s a 15 minute drive to Haukadalur Geothermal field where you can see the bubbling mud points, steaming fumaroles, and erupting geysers.

This is a wonderfully photogenic location and is a lot of fun to visit. Expect to spend around 30 minutes – 45 minutes on site.

Stop 5: Gullfoss Waterfall

From Haukadalur it’s just a short 10 minute drive to Gullfoss, which is often the major highlight for most visitors touring the Golden Circle.

It’s not hard to see why, and this waterfall is truly impressive. There are a plethora of photo opportunities here, so expect to spend at least 30 – 45 minutes on site. There’s also a gift shop, cafe and restrooms here.

Stop 6: Faxi waterfall

It’s time to turn around and start heading back to Reykjavik. If you’re still keen on seeing some waterfalls, then a stop at the quieter Faxi waterfall, 20 minutes drive from Gullfoss, is worth it.

It’s just off the road, and shouldn’t take up more than 10 – 15 minutes of your time.

Stop 7: Kerið Crater

From Faxi, continue on Route 35 for around half an hour until you come to Kerid Crater. This is another very worthwhile stop on the Golden Circle, giving you the opportunity to explore a real volcano crater up close.

You can spend a fair amount of time here if you choose to hike around the crater and go down to the crater floor, or you can just swing by and take a few photos. We’d suggest allocating between 15 minutes and an hour here, depending on your interest level.

Stop 8:  Choose a Hot Spring

If you are interested in visiting a hot spring in Iceland, the Golden Circle provides three options for you.

The two hot springs on the way around the Golden Circle, Laugarvatn Fontana and the Secret Lagoon, are very easy to visit as you travel round, and there are tours available which stop at one or the other.

See this tour which includes Laugarvatn Fontana..

Another option, if you are driving the Golden Circle over the summer months and want a bit of a hike to end out your day, then we definitely recommend taking the time to visit Reykjadalur Hot Spring.

It will take you around 25 minutes to drive to the parking lot here from Kerid Crater, after which you’re looking at at least an hours hike each way to reach the bathing area.

After all that hiking, you’ll likely want to enjoy the pools, so expect to spend around an hour lazing around. We’d not recommend doing this in winter, or if you need to get back to Reykjavik to return your hire car by a certain time.

From Reykjadalur to Reykjavik it’s about a 45 minute drive.

Another option is to add on a visit to the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon at the end of your trip. The Blue Lagoon is closer to the airport, whilst the Sky Lagoon is closer to Reyjkavik city centre. If you are driving yourself, neither are too great of a detour.

The Blue Lagoon makes for a good option if you are flying out the following day as the Blue Lagoon is close to the airport, and there are hotels in this area you can overnight at.

It’s also possible to take a Golden Circle tour which includes a trip to the Blue Lagoon at the end of the trip.

tour of golden circle iceland

Total driving time on the Golden Circle: ~ 4 hours Total sightseeing time on the Golden Circle: 3 – 8 hours, depending on sights and activities

Overall time for the Golden Circle 7 – 12 hours.

Map of Iceland’s Golden Circle

To help you visualise the Golden Circle and plan your route, we’ve put together this map. This has the standard Golden Circle Driving Route, as well as the major highlights and other attractions marked. You can see also see this on Google Maps here .

Iceland Golden Circle Map

Where to Stay on the Golden Circle

The majority of travellers driving the Golden Circle do it either as a day trip from Reykjavik , day tour, or as the start of larger trip around the country.

However, you can also stay on the Golden Circle too, and thus not feel rushed to get back to the city.

If you have more time in Iceland, you can easily split it up into 2 much more manageable days and have more time to explore this route, with plenty of time for side attractions, day-hikes and thermal baths!

Skyr Guesthouse

We’ve stayed at a few properties on the Golden Circle itself, as well as in Reykjavik, and wanted to share some options to help you plan.

Accommodation on the Golden Circle

  • Héradsskólinn Guesthouse – A great value and well reviewed hostel close to the Laugarvatn Spa. There’s an on-site restaurant, and rooms range from dorms to private accommodation.
  • Efstidalur Farm hotel – A lovely option that is close to both Haukadalur Geothermal Field and Gullfoss. There’s an on-site restaurant and bar, a geothermal outdoor hot tub, and they offer Icelandic horse riding in the summer
  • Fludir Icelandair Hotel – We stayed here once during a trip around the Golden Circle and it was very comfortable, with an on-site restaurant.
  • Garður Stay Inn by the Secret Lagoon – This is a well reviewed property which is very handy for the “Secret Lagoon”
  • River Hotel – Located by the Ranga River next to the town of Hella, this hotel offers dining, an open-air hot tub, bar and free wifi.
  • Midgard basecamp – Found in Hvolsvöllur, this highly rated hostel is a great budget option with a hot tub
  • Skyr Guesthouse – An excellent option just a couple of minutes drive from the Reykjadalur Hot Spring hike start point. We stayed here for a night and enjoyed the comfortable rooms and delicious food in the on-site restaurant

Accommodation in Reykjavik

  • Galaxy Pod Hostel – A well located hostel offering dormitory accommodation with a twist – each bed is in a self-contained pod, offering more privacy than a normal hostel. Pods vary in standard, but most come with TV’s, power and WiFi.
  • Reyjkavik Natura Icelandair Hotel , this hotel offers free parking, a free city bus pass to all guests, on-site restaurant and spa facilities. We stayed here on our first visit to Reykjavik.
  • Guesthouse Galtafell  – A good value option around ten minutes walk from the city center and quick walk from the BSI bus station. Offers both guest rooms in the main house as well as apartments that come with a small kitchenette. We’ve also stayed here.
  • Grand Hotel, around 1.2 miles from the city center, offering four star accommodation, free wifi, spa & fitness center and free parking. We’ve also stayed here.
  • Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina – a very central 4* hotel right on the Marina within a short walking distance of the highlights of the city. Rooms are all en-suite, some have balconies, and there’s a gym and restaurant on site.

Options for Visiting the Golden Circle

You have two main options for visiting the Golden Circle – you can drive yourself, or you can take a guided tour.

Guided tours are a very popular option, and because so many companies offer them, prices are competitive so you can get a full day tour at a good rate. See the next section for some of the tours and companies we suggest you look into for touring the Golden Circle, which includes both group and private tours.

The closest guided tour we found to the itinerary we put together is this full day tour .

The other option is to rent a car and drive yourself. There are a number of options for car rental in Iceland, but we recommend you check either Discover Cars here or on Northbound here .

Discover Cars compare a number of providers in the country so you can find the best price for you.

Northbound is based in Iceland, and they also search a range of providers with the added advantage that you can add the various insurances that are unique to the country should you so choose. This can help avoid the hard sell that you will otherwise likely get for these insurances at the checkout counter when you pick up your car.

See more on insurance in Iceland, plus general advice for driving in the country, in our tips for driving in Iceland post .

The Golden Circle follows good paved roads, so you won’t need a 4×4 for the Golden Circle. However, if you are doing it as part of a longer trip and are driving in winter, or are planning any time in the highlands in summer, you might consider a 4×4 vehicle.

At around 300 kms, the Golden Circle is easily driveable as a day trip from the city. Whilst gas is expensive in Iceland, you won’t need more than a tank to drive the whole distance.

That said, if you are travelling on your own or even as a couple, and budget is a consideration, you might find that a tour works out to be more cost effective than the cost of vehicle rental, insurance, and gas. This is because Golden Circle tours are really well priced in Iceland.

For budget tips, see our guide to travelling Iceland on a budget for more lots of tips on saving money in the country.

Þingvellir National Park Iceland

Best Tours of the Golden Circle

As already mentioned in the post, one of the most popular ways to experience the Golden Circle is on a tour. There’s a wide variety of Golden Circle tours to choose from, and taking a tour means you can just enjoy the sight-seeing without having to worry about the driving or other logistics.

Here are some suggested tours of the Golden Circle to consider, all of which depart from Reykjavik.

  • An 8 hour tour which includes the three highlights of the Golden Circle plus Kerid Crater. One of the lower cost Golden Circle tours.
  • A year round 9 hour tour which covers all the Golden Circle highlights and also includes time at the Laugarvatn Fontana.
  • A 10 hour full day tour of the Golden Circle which also includes snorkelling in the Silfra Fissure
  • An 11 hour tour of the Golden Circle which includes all the highlights, as well as an Icelandic Horse Riding experience

See many more tour options on  GetYourGuide here and Viator here .

Further Reading

That summarises our guide to Iceland’s Golden Circle. We’ve visited Iceland a number of times in both summer and winter, and have put together a number of detailed guides to help you plan your own trip. Here are some we think you will find useful:

  • We have a detailed guide to the best day trips from Reykjavik , if you choose to base yourself in the city and explore from there
  • We also have a guide to the best group tours of Iceland , if you want a longer guided experience. These range from a few days to a few weeks and cover all budgets
  • For overall planning, see our guide to planning a trip to Iceland
  • If you are looking for a self guided road trip in Iceland, we have some suggested itineraries. These include a 3 day stopover itinerary , a 5 day Iceland itinerary , a 7 day Iceland winter itinerary , and an Iceland ring road itinerary
  • Iceland has lot of attractions to suit different types of traveller! For some specific advice on different sights, see our guides to finding puffins in Iceland , Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland , and waterfalls in Iceland
  • If you’re visiting Iceland in winter, we have a winter packing list for Iceland , suggested winter activities in Iceland , and tips for driving in Iceland in winter
  • A popular attraction in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon – we wrote a whole guide to visiting the Blue Lagoon to help you plan your visit and make the most of your time there
  • Iceland is a fairly expensive country to visit. To help you save money, we put together a guide to visiting Iceland on a budget
  • If you’re lucky, you might see the northern lights in Iceland if visiting in winter. See our guide to photographing the Northern Lights for some tips on getting great shots
  • Speaking of photography, we have a guide to the best photography locations in Iceland , as well as a guide to finding the Iceland plane crash , which is a popular photography location

And that’s it for our post on visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle! As always, we’re happy to hear your feedback and answer any questions – just use the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

A detailed guide to exploring Iceland's Golden Circle. Covers the highlights, tips for side trips, a suggested itinerary + tour & accommodation options

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Anne Campbell says

11th February 2023 at 1:01 pm

Thank you so much for this excellent post about the Golden Circle! I haven’t found anything else online that compares to it. My husband, 15 year old son and I are going to be visiting Iceland on a 2-day layover to London in May and we have the Golden Circle planned for our second day in Iceland. With this post, I feel confident that I know what we will see and do, and we can’t wait!

Laurence Norah says

12th February 2023 at 10:32 am

Thanks very much Anne! Have a great time in Iceland and let me know if you have any questions!

Roy Hays says

23rd July 2022 at 2:58 pm

When is the best time to visit the golden circle?

24th July 2022 at 7:25 pm

If you mean by time of the year then honestly it depends! Summer you get lovely long days and green landscapes, whilst in winter you get shorter days but lovely snow covered landscapes. We’ve been at both times of year and they are both lovely, but it really just depends on whether you prefer a summery experience or a wintry experience!

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Neil Swinyard-Jordan says

12th August 2021 at 8:33 am

Good morning, I’ve just finished reading your website pages and so far it’s the best I’ve come across for details and things to do in Iceland and I’ve sent the address to several friends who are also planning trips to Iceland. Personally, I’ve booked a trip with my wife and two older parents in October, for 9 days. Keen to see the Golden Circle, our first 2.5 days will be staying to the south west of the circle at the Fire and Ice Hotel. I’d love to do the snorkelling at Silfra, perhaps the afternoon after we arrive in the morning but then wondered what you recommend for the best route to see the areas you write about above (clockwide /anti-clockwise, half one day, half the next)? We want to do the hot river soak, get to the far north for Gullfoss and see the main sights. Is it all doable in the time we have? Many thanks Neil.

12th August 2021 at 12:50 pm

Thanks very much, it’s great to hear from you.

So the hotel you have picked, (which I think is the Frost & Fire hotel in Hveragerði), is definitely well located, and just a four minute drive or 30 minute walk to the start of the Thermal River walk. It is definitely all possible in the time you have. I’d suggest:

The hot spring soak on the day you arrive. This isn’t time sensitive and doesn’t need a booking, so you don’t need to feel rushed about getting here should you have a flight delay. It’s about an hour’s walk each way from the start point, plus however long you choose to stay, so this could easily take up most of that afternoon if you choose.

The following day I would recommend the Silfra snorkelling experience and time exploring Thingvellir, including þórufoss. On the way back you could stop at Kerid Crater.

For your third day you could do the highlights around Gulfoss, including Faxi and Geysir.

This will give you plenty of time to see everything without being rushed at all. You could in theory do everything quicker (many people do the Golden Circle in a day), but going at a more leisurely pace will let you really enjoy everything.

I hope I’ve interpreted your request correctly in terms of the number of days you have, but do let me know if not and I can offer a revision 🙂

Have a great trip!

12th August 2021 at 6:18 pm

Laurence, That’s great and you interpreted everything exactly as I’d hoped. Your ‘programme’ will work for us and to do it at a leisurely pace will be ideal for the two parents… Many thanks, Neil

Kelly Brennan says

8th August 2021 at 2:08 am

Wonderful and very helpful article. I was wondering if you could give some advice? We are travelling with our kids (21&18) on the Disney cruise. (August 2022) We plan on renting a car. We would like to see the Golden Circle, Hike the Steamy Valley to the river hot-springs and go to the Blue Lagoon. We would like to see a bit of Reykjavik as well. We arrive at 1:00 pm and depart the next day at 5:00 pm. We can leave/return to the ship at anytime. Is this possible?? Thank you in advance. Kelly.

8th August 2021 at 12:39 pm

Great to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. I’d be happy to help. Sounds like you have an awesome trip coming up. So I would say that your plan might be pushing it a little in terms of getting everything in, although it depends on how fast you move and how early / late you are willing to travel. As you are visiting in August and the sun doesn’t set until around 10pm, you do have lots of daylight time to play with!

The drive out to Reykjadalur Hot Spring (I’m assuming this is what you mean for the steamy valley) is about 45 minutes each way from the city, and then it’s about a 1hr walk each way to the bathing area, plus however long you want to spend in the river itself.

The drive out to the Blue Lagoon from Reyjkavik is about 40 minutes each way.

I think you might have to decide between the Blue Lagoon and the Reykjadalur Hot Spring, unless you are planning some early starts or a late night.

An itinerary could look as follows:

Day 1: Spend a couple of hours sightseeing in Reykjavik on Head out to the Reykjadalur Hot Spring OR the Blue Lagoon between 3pm and 4pm.

Day 2, focus on the Golden Circle.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to be out too late, you could do the hot spring or the Blue Lagoon on day 1, then do the Golden Circle in the morning of day 2, followed by spending the remainder of your time sight seeing in Reyjkavik.

I hope this helps!

8th August 2021 at 3:27 pm

Thank you! I thought we were pushing it. The plan looks great. Have a fantastic day. Kelly.

8th August 2021 at 3:30 pm

My pleasure! Have a great trip 😀

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About Iceland

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tour of golden circle iceland

The landscapes of Þingvellir National Park create a beautiful and rare scenery

What is the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle is the most famous of all scenic routes in Iceland and combines stunning landmarks and historically significant places in a circular sightseeing tour.

Its proximity to Reykjavík and the airport area, as well as the short drive between the sights make it convenient for everyone, to include the Golden Circle tour into their itinerary.

Whether you take only one or more days to explore the Golden Circle, you’ll experience some of the most stunning geological wonders, Iceland has to offer!

The Golden Circle and its highlights

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  • Distance: appr. 250 km from and back to Reykjavík
  • Travel Days:  1-3 days
  • Combinations:   South Coast , Þingvellir , Ring Road
  • Best travel time: all year-round
  • 4 & 4 required?: no

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The stunning Gullfoss waterfall Photo: Páll Jökull Pétursson

During the summer, Gullfoss waterfall bedazzles on average more than 2000 people per day. The popularity and attraction of the 'Golden Waterfall' lie in its unusual, cascading shape and in its being extremely photogenic from every angle and in every season.

On average 100.000 liters of glacial water from the river Hvítá plunge 31 meters into the Gullfossgljúfur canyon every second. Since the cold spray water does not stop for tourists, we recommend raincoats!

Gullfoss is open the whole year-round. In the winter, the trails to the lower viewing platforms are sometimes closed due to icy and snowy conditions. Check the road and conditions map on safetravel.is

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Strokkur gushing up fountains of hot water @Ívar Sæland

Equally popular but significantly higher in temperature is the water in the geothermal area in Haukadalur. This is one of the very few places on earth, where one can closely observe active geysers. The famous Great Geysir, the geyser Strokkur and various kinds of hot springs, steam vents, and sulfurous mud pots can be explored.

While the Great Geysir barely spouts, the smaller geyser Strokkur reliably gushes its fountains of boiling hot water every 8-10 minutes up to 30 meters in the air. Have your camera ready and stay on the windside of the geyser!

Þingvellir National Park

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Þingvellir - the historical and geological treasure of Iceland

Þingvellir is the historical and geological treasure of Iceland, wrapped in scenic beauty.

From the age of settlement 930 AD until 1789 the Icelandic parliament Alþingi met here, and on the 17th of June 1944, Iceland proclaimed its independence from Denmark at this significant place. Since 2004, Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In Þingvellir, the tectonic plates drift apart, the crevasses being visible in Almannagjá canyon as well as in Silfra, where it is possible to dive and snorkel between the continents .

The biggest natural lake in Iceland, Þingvallavatn, and the Öxaráfoss waterfall add to the scenic beauty of Þingvellir National Park.

tour of golden circle iceland

More highlights along the way

The Golden Circle is mounted with big and small highlights and can be extended at will. More wonderful sights in the Golden Circle include the volcanic crater Kerið and the historic Bishop’s see Skálholt. The high amount of geothermal energy also supplies the numerous geothermal pools and greenhouses in the area. Find out more on Visit South Iceland

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The Golden Circle of Iceland: a Detailed Guide and a Map of 22 Top-rated Attractions

  • Last Updated: May 14, 2024
  • Norbert Zohó

Although a fairly small island nation, Iceland is packed with stunning natural beauty and exciting adventures.

Think of traveling through spectacular countryside to admire multi-level cascades, powerful geysers, bubbling pools, lava fields, and rugged cliffs. Over time, locals and visitors alike have created the perfect route around some of Iceland’s natural highlights: The Golden Circle. The looped route takes in many of Iceland’s best bits, for a memorable experience in the Land of Fire and Ice.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you on your exciting journey. You’ll find tons of recommendations and tips, covering famous attractions and thrilling activities, so you can really experience the best of Iceland.

What is the Golden Circle?

Map of the golden circle – attractions and detours, how long does it take to drive the golden circle, getting around the golden circle, when should you visit the golden circle, thingvellir national park, geysir geothermal area, gullfoss waterfall, thingvallakirkja church, gjabakkahellir cave, silfra fissure, laugarvatn fontana geothermal baths, sólheimar eco-village, faxi waterfall, kerid crater, slakki petting zoo and family park, the secret lagoon, helgufoss waterfall, brúarfoss waterfall, hvítá river and drumbó base camp, fridheimar tomato and horse farm, reykjadalur valley, the historical town of skálholt, thorufoss waterfall, efstidalur farm, bobby fischer center, langjokull glacier, thjorsardalur valley.

Iceland’s Golden Circle is one of the most famous and most popular routes for tourists. The circle reference is because it follows a loop, although you may also hear it referred to as the Golden Triangle. This stems from the fact that the route encompasses three particularly gorgeous destinations. You can visit a regularly spouting geyser, a thundering waterfall, and a UNESCO-listed site .

If you’re wondering about the golden part of the Golden Circle, it’s not just because the area is full of natural treasures. It actually takes its name from one of the main waterfalls along the loop: Gullfoss. In the Icelandic tongue, the name Gullfoss translates as Golden Falls.

There’s another cool driving loop in northern Iceland with a similar name: the Diamond Circle.

Unique features and dramatic landscapes are abundant throughout the region, and hotspots are so close to each other that it’s perfectly possible to hit them all up in just a day. Not to mention the fact that it’s tough to find such an area of geological wonder elsewhere across the globe.

Almost all travelers to Iceland want to experience the marvels along the Golden Circle. Combining natural splendor, picturesque scenes, traditional cuisine, and friendly local hospitality, it’s no wonder that the route is so popular. Within easy reach of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle is an ideal day-trip destination from the capital.

To simply drive the Golden Circle takes around four hours. This is, however, without stopping. The whole point of the loop is to experience a number of Iceland’s beautiful natural sites—so you would definitely want to plan at least a few stops and allot extra time to your adventure.

Many organized tours take a full day, around seven or eight hours, including a break for lunch. We would recommend you plan to spend the same amount of time exploring the Golden Circle, perhaps even longer if you have the independence and flexibility that comes with driving yourself.

tour of golden circle iceland

There are two main options for enjoying a trip around the Golden Circle: hiring a car or joining a private- or bus tour.

There are no public transport connections between the major attractions. Many are fairly remote, so it looks unlikely that this situation will change in the future.

In our opinion, driving yourself around the Golden Circle is the best way to fully enjoy your day. There’s no need for 4WD or any modified or specialized vehicles; you can explore the route in a regular 2WD car or campervan. Driving yourself gives you all the flexibility to tailor your day to your tastes. You can spend as much or as little time at places as you wish, break for lunch and restroom stops at any time, follow interesting detours, and really make the day what you want it to be.

Top tip: Although you should have no problem finding gas stations along the route, always begin your adventures with a full tank of gas.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself around Iceland, or if you want to sit back and relax while somebody else does the driving, there are numerous Golden Circle tours to choose between. You can leave Reykjavik in the morning with a guide and hit the highlights before returning to the city in the evening.

tour of golden circle iceland

You can visit Iceland at any time of the year, so the best time to visit the Golden Circle largely depends on your tastes and preferences.

In the summertime, you can enjoy longer hours of daylight and bright, sunny days. You can spend longer enjoying the sights without having to rush back to the city before darkness falls. In the winter, you can enjoy the icy landscapes and might even spot the wondrous Northern Lights. Each time of year offers a different, but amazing, experience.

tour of golden circle iceland

Must-visit Attractions on the Golden Circle Route

Assuming you start the Golden Circle loop traveling clockwise, you’ll come to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Þingvellir National Park. Written in English as Thingvellir, it was the country’s first national park. It has cultural as well as geological significance.

The Althing, Iceland’s first parliament, was located at Thingvellir. The parliament first met here in the year 930 AD, some half a century after the country was first settled. Meetings took place during the warmer summer months with Icelandic people coming from all around the country.

Parliamentary sessions covered various matters, including judicial hearings and implementing legislation. The parliament played a huge role in shaping the cultural heritage that can be experienced in Iceland today.

Thingvellir was specifically chosen as the location for the Althing because it was fairly convenient to access from different parts of Iceland. Parliament continued to sit at Thingvellir up to the late 1790s.

Thingvellir isn’t just a special historic and cultural place though; it also has lots of fascinating geological aspects and nature.

The island of Iceland sits across two continental plates: the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. As the two plates gradually move away from each other, a gaping rift is created on the Earth’s surface. Thingvellir is in the rift valley, and visitors can not only see the huge cracks, but it’s also possible to go walking in the unusual fissures. Some areas have water, and it’s possible to snorkel and dive in the chasms.

Don’t miss visiting Oxararfoss waterfall while in the national park. The pretty cascade is around a 10-minute walk from the carpark. A number of walking trails lead through the park if you have longer to spend here.

You may recognize some spots as you explore, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. Several scenes were filmed around the national park. See the Bloody Gate from Season 4, marking the path to the Eyrie. If you want to discover even more GOT locations, check out our Game of Thrones guide for Iceland.

There are no entry charges for Thingvellir National Park, though small parking charges apply if you’re driving yourself. With so much to see and do, plan to spend at least an hour (perhaps longer) at the national park.

tour of golden circle iceland

Continuing clockwise for about an hour from Thingvellir National Park, the next must-see attraction is Geysir Geothermal Area / Field.

The name Geysir means to gush, and it’s where the word geyser (a hot spring that sometimes spurts hot jets of water and steam) originates from. Indeed, the first written record of a geyser is the one at Geysir.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that you’ll find plenty of geothermal magic at Geysir Geothermal Area. There are hot springs, bubbling pools of heated water, warm mud pots, fissures that belch steam and gases (fumaroles), and, of course, geysers. You’ll find two of the most famous geysers in Iceland here, the namesake Geysir and the frequently erupting Strokkur.

Thought to have been erupting for some 10,000 years, Geysir is fairly inactive these days. If you are lucky enough to catch the famous geyser in action, though, you’re in for a real treat—boiling water shoots more than 120 meters into the air, surrounded by a cloud of steam.

Sitting close to Geysir is Strokkur, the area’s main star for most visitors today. Eruptions occur every five to ten minutes, with the reliable and frequent jets a marvelous sight to behold. Water and steam typically reach between 15 and 20 meters high, though they can sometimes be as high as 40 meters.

Do take care when exploring the area, as there’s lots of boiling water leaking from the ground in many places. Additionally, steam can be scalding too. Stick to the marked walking paths and don’t go beyond safety ropes; it’s for your own safety and wellbeing!

There are no charges to enter Geysir Geothermal Area, and there’s also free onsite parking.

tour of golden circle iceland

The third major destination along the Golden Circle is Gullfoss Waterfall (golden falls), the beautiful falls after which the Golden Circle is named. One of the most spectacular cascades in the whole country, it’s definitely worthy of a place on any Iceland bucket list.

Just a short drive of around ten minutes from Geysir, Gullfoss sits on the Hvítá River. The falls are split into two levels. The first tier is around 11 meters high, while the second level is almost twice as high, at around 21 meters. The two stages are broken by wide steps that completely cross the river’s width. Around 138,753 liters of water gushes over the immense falls every single second during the summer.

The falls are truly amazing when viewed from any vantage point. You can see the cascades from two main areas, with higher and lower observation points. Follow the steps that link the two main areas for different views. With more time to enjoy the mighty falls, you can also follow the river at the top of the waterfall for yet another perspective.

Gullfoss is spectacular at all times of the year. In the summer, the falls are surrounded by verdant foliage and you may catch rainbows sparkling in the spray. Over the winter, snow-covered landscapes engulf the falls for as far as the eye can see.

The site has a visitor center, cafe, and shop. There are two parking areas, one at the top of the falls and one at the bottom. There’s no charge to park and it’s free to visit the stunning waterfall.

tour of golden circle iceland

Other Recommended Attractions and Things to Do Near the Golden Circle

A church has stood at Thingvellir since Christianity arrived in the area. The present church dates back to 1859. It’s a quaint church with attractive interiors. Thingvallakirkja Church is open daily from 9 am to 5 am during the summer.

tour of golden circle iceland

Another attraction to add to your list if spending more time in Thingvellir National Park is the fascinating Gjabakkahellir. It’s a 364-meter-long lava tube that was created during a volcanic eruption around 9,000 years ago. You can enter the lava tube from either end, and it’s just a short walk from the road. An unusual sight, the lava tube is especially enchanting in the winter when ice sculptures form in the darkness.

tour of golden circle iceland

Silfra Fissure is a relatively new chasm between the North American and Eurasian continental plates. The fissure was formed after a large earthquake in the late 1780s. The gap in the Earth’s surface is filled with meltwater from one of Iceland’s biggest glaciers, Langjökull.

It takes around a century for the meltwater to travel 30 miles via a lava field to fill up the fissure. The water is, therefore, incredibly pure. It’s possible to see up to 100 meters under the clear water. Snorkeling and diving here is certainly unique and exciting.

tour of golden circle iceland

There are numerous geothermal springs and pools around Iceland, including the renowned Blue Lagoon near the capital to warm rivers and hot pools in various parts of the country. Many visitors dream of soaking in Iceland’s hot springs.

There are several places where you can relax in geothermal waters around the Golden Circle, including the popular Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths. The naturally warm water at Laugarvatn Fontana has been attracting visitors since 1929.

You can soak up the glorious lake vistas while bathing in relaxingly warm pools, soak in hot tubs, and rejuvenate in steam rooms and the sauna. You can also brace yourself and take a dip in the shimmering cold waters of the lake.

Don’t miss trying the local lava bread too. The facility bakes its own bread, taking around 24 hours from start to finish using geothermal heat. The time is well worth it, though, as the bread is super tasty!

This tour takes you around the essential sights of the Golden Circle and includes admission to Fontana spa: The Golden Circle & Fontana Wellness

tour of golden circle iceland

Established in 1930, Sólheimar is the oldest eco-village in Europe. It’s also among the oldest such villages across the globe.

With a permanent community of around 100 people, the village was created using a combination of Christian teachings and the musing of Rudolf Steiner, a famous philosopher.

The unique sustainable village is one of Iceland’s biggest suppliers of organic produce. Pop into the cafe, situated inside a greenhouse heated by geothermal energy, for healthy refreshments. You can also pick up locally grown organic vegetables and delectable baked goods in the shop. The shop also sells terrific souvenir items, such as artisan wooden toys, handmade soaps and candles, pottery, arts, and crafts.

Visit the exhibition area to learn more about sustainable living and eco-friendly architecture. There are regular events, including art workshops, music recitals, sporting events, and informative lectures. The village is also home to a couple of guesthouses if you fancy experiencing the eco-lifestyle for longer.

tour of golden circle iceland

Located on the Tungufljót River, Faxi Waterfall is sometimes said to be a mini version of the more famous Gullfoss Waterfall. Although the water only falls around seven meters in total, the waterfall’s main beauty is in its 80-meter width. The flow of water is said to be like that of Gullfoss, although Faxi definitely isn’t as thunderous!

Sometimes also known as Vatnsleysufoss, Faxi Waterfall’s name is thought to come from the Icelandic word fax, which is a horse’s mane. The cascades do seem to take on a flow rather like that of a mane as the horse gallops through the wind.

Peaceful and scenic, Faxi Waterfall has another interesting aspect; there’s a man-made ladder for fish at the side! The ladder was constructed to assist salmon when trying to swim upstream. The river is teeming with salmon and is a popular spot for fishing.

tour of golden circle iceland

The stunning Kerid Crater is a common stop on Golden Circle day trips. Located close to Selfoss, just off Route 5, the beautiful caldera was created around 6,500 years ago.

The water-filled crater shimmers in the sunlight, the aquamarine waters contrasting perfectly with the colorful rocks around the edges. The rocks are hues of deep orange and red, with green and black streaks breaking up the fiery tones.

The oval shape of the crater creates wonderful acoustics, and a number of performers have held concerts in this magical place.

There’s a small charge to enjoy the crater, and there’s a car park close by.

tour of golden circle iceland

A terrific family-friendly stop along the Golden Circle, Slakki Petting Zoo and Family Park has plenty to keep little ones happy. Come face to face with a range of small creatures, including rabbits, dogs, cats, cows, and sheep. There are fish in the aquariums and birdlife includes chickens, ducks, and geese. Call into the restaurant for a tasty meal, and escape the weather with a game of indoor mini-golf.

tour of golden circle iceland

Located in Fludir, the Secret Lagoon is Iceland’s oldest swimming pool. Built in the early 1890s, it is known locally as Gamla Laugin. Filled by the nearby hot springs, the pool’s water maintains a pleasant year-round temperature of 38-40°C (100-104°F).

After a period of disrepair and disuse, the pool opened to the public again in 2014. Facilities include bathrooms, changing rooms, and a cafe.

Feel your cares simply drifting away as you unwind in the warm waters and enjoy the views. You can also follow the walking trail around the pool for great views of the geothermal landscapes.

The Secret Lagoon isn’t so secret these days and is rapidly growing in popularity among tourists. It’s highly recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

tour of golden circle iceland

While Gullfoss Waterfall is the most famous waterfall around the Golden Circle, the route boasts a number of other superb falls too. Tucked away from the main road, these hidden jewels are well worth a stop when driving yourself around the loop.

Helgufoss Waterfall is one such cascading beauty. Situated in the Mosfellsdalur Valley, it lies just a short distance from Route 36 between Reykjavik and Thingvellir. Water tumbles 12 meters down a moss-covered cliff, with pastoral scenes stretching into the distance.

tour of golden circle iceland

This magnificent waterfall is like many other waterfalls in Iceland, something you should not miss. It is often called Iceland’s bluest waterfall. Brúarfoss is part of the Brúará river, which is composed of meltwater from Langjökull glacier. It runs wide above the waterfall and then the water falls into a narrow crack in the middle of the riverbed.

The waterfall is located between Geysir Geothermal Area and Laugarvatn on road no. 37.

The hiking trail starts from the carpark by the river and the distance to the waterfall is around 3 km one way. During this trail, you will also see two other beautiful waterfalls: Hlauptungufoss and Miðfoss .

tour of golden circle iceland

The Hvítá River is sourced from Hvítárvatn, a glacial lake created by meltwater from the large glacier of Langjökull. It is the Hvítá River that flows through Iceland’s famous Gullfoss Waterfall.

It’s one of the country’s most beloved rivers for rafting and tours by river jet, and locals often enjoy fishing for salmon in the beautiful milky-blue waters. River tours lead through eye-catching scenery, with soaring basalt columns and impressive rock formations surrounding the canyon.

Whitewater rafting in Hvíta river on Golden Cirlce

The family-operated Fridheimar Tomato and Horse Farm is situated around half an hour’s drive from Gullfoss Waterfall. Something of an unusual attraction in Iceland, tomatoes thrive in the greenhouses, with heat and light to replicate conditions in the Mediterranean region. It’s certainly rather strange to experience such a farm, especially when the weather outside is cold and wet.

The farm uses eco-friendly energy and modern technology, with naturally heated geothermal waters providing the necessary heat for the plants. Computerized climate-control systems monitor the temperature, lighting, humidity, and gas emissions inside the greenhouses to ensure the perfect growing conditions for the three varieties of tomatoes. The farm produces around 370 tons of tomatoes each year. Cucumbers are also grown here.

Learn more about the farm and taste the fruits of its labor in the restaurant. Set amid the plants in a toasty warm greenhouse, the eatery dishes up a variety of tomato-based dishes. From steaming bowls of tomato soup and mussels in a tomato seafood sauce to sweet treats like green tomato and apple pie and tomato-flavored ice cream, there’s something to suit any tomato-lover’s palate. You can even sip on tomato beer while dining!

Often a hit with younger visitors, the farm is also known for its horses. The farm breeds and shows horses, with several having proudly won first prize in events. Fridheimar Farm holds its own horse showing event each summer, called “A Meeting with the Icelandic Horse”. Attendees can learn all about the Icelandic horse, first brought to the island in the first century AD by early Scandinavian settlers.

tour of golden circle iceland

The picturesque Reykjadalur, AKA the Valley of Steam, is a geothermal area near to the southern town of Hveragerði. A warm river flows through the area, perfect for bathing. Hot springs feed the river with boiling water, which is then cooled with rainwater and glacial meltwater. The result is a river that varies in temperature depending on the location—move up or down the flow to find your ideal temperature before plunging in.

Reykjadalur is also a popular spot for summertime hiking. Colorful wildflowers and lush greenery fill the valley and hills, and the natural chemicals from underground stain the soil in striking shades of red, yellow, green, and blue.

tour of golden circle iceland

During the medieval era, Skálholt was one of Iceland’s major towns. Between the 1050s and 1780s, it was a significant hub for political matters, education, religion, and culture. In times gone by, it was the largest town in the whole of Iceland.

In the past, the area was surrounded by farms, smithies, and workshops, and there was also a monastery. In 1056, Iceland’s first official school was created in Skálholt, set up to provide an education for the clergy.

Tourists visit Skálholt today to learn more about the town’s important history and heritage. Over the summer months of July and August, the cathedral hosts a weekend music festival.

tour of golden circle iceland

Thurufoss Waterfall is another attractive waterfall on the Golden Circle. Located on the Laxá í Kjós River, water flows over a few rocks and steps before crashing down a larger cascade. The final drop is wide and the waterfall has a rather unusual shape. Surrounded by raw, natural scenery, the offbeat waterfall is certainly worth a quick detour and photo stop if you’re driving yourself along the Golden Circle route. Follow Road 48 after Helgufoss Waterfall to reach a small parking area, from where you can enjoy Thorufoss.

tour of golden circle iceland

The family-run Efstidalur Farm is a great stopping place on the Golden Circle. See the farm’s dairy cows and enjoy ice cream made using milk from the quaint farm. The homemade organic ice creams come in a variety of flavors. There’s also a restaurant where you can savor fresh, local tastes if you want something more substantial.

Situated in Selfoss, the Bobby Fischer Centre, known locally as Fischersetur, is one of just a few global museums in honor of a chess player. Learn all about the museum’s namesake—Bobby Fischer—who was a famous American chess player that spent three years living in Iceland.

In 1972, Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship. You can also visit the chess legend’s final resting place at the nearby Laugardaelir Church.

The museum opens from mid-May to mid-September. There’s a small admission cost.

tour of golden circle iceland

If you’re looking to combine a thrilling activity with your Golden Circle tour, try exciting snowmobiling at the dazzling Langjokull Glacier. On clear days, the sweeping views are incredible. There’s plenty of beauty to enjoy through the windows simply driving to the starting point too!

You can book a snowmobile tour on its own or add on a visit to a spectacular ice cave for even more adventure. Tour organizers collect participants from the nearby Gullfoss Waterfall.

tour of golden circle iceland

Fans of off-the-beaten-track explorations should consider taking a detour to the remote Thjorsardalur Valley. Part of the Southern Highlands, visiting the valley on your excursion will add on an extra couple of hours. With a myriad of stunning natural attractions, the extra drive is well worth it!

Marvel at superb waterfalls that see few visitors, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance far from the crowds. Haifoss, Hjalparfoss, and Granni are just a few of the splendid cascades to visit in the picturesque Thjorsardalur Valley.

You can also enjoy hiking in the expansive Burfells Wood, something of an Icelandic forest rarity for its large size. Spot an array of flora, such as vibrant wildflowers, verdant trees, and various species of grass and moss.

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Which of these amazing spots would you love to visit for your holiday? Get in touch  with our travel experts to start planning your  tailor-made vacation in Iceland .

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  • Golden Circle Tour

Discover Iceland’s stunning natural wonders on our most popular guided tour of the Golden Circle ! Explore the spectacular split between two continents, learn about Viking history at Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park , and gaze in wonder at the gorgeous gushers of the Geysir Geothermal Area and the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall.

  • Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
  • Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Round Trip Transport
  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Free WiFi on the Bus
  • Comfortable Coaches
  • 10% Discount at Gullfoss Café and Glima Restaurant (Geysir Hot Spring)*

*Automatic 10% discount after showing the booking confirmation (received when booking this tour), valid only when buying refreshments, not at the gift shops

Tour Itinerary

The golden circle tour.

See the unique natural marvels of Iceland’s world-famous Golden Circle on this enjoyable tour of its three most iconic places. First, you’ll walk between two continents at Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park , a spectacular rift valley packed with Viking history and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you’ll be thrilled by the soaring fountains of superheated water at the Geysir Geothermal Area and the tremendous two-tier 30-meter waterfall at Gullfoss . Along the way you will be treated to mesmerizing views of Iceland´s landscapes, make sure you have your camera ready! We offer a range of options and departure times to make this a fun-filled experience you’ll never forget!

Viking History & Colliding Continents at Iceland´s Þingvellir National Park

Your first stop on Iceland's famous Golden Circle is Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park , a place of outstanding natural beauty and the birthplace of the Icelandic Parliament. The Vikings made their laws for a thousand years and celebrated summer festivals in this stunning location. You can walk between the towering North American tectonic plates and Eurasian tectonic plates here, which are splitting apart at the speed of a few millimeters a year. Iceland declared its independence here in 1944, and in 2004, Thingvellir was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Imagine yourself walking with Vikings in this magical place!

Bubbling with Excitement at Geysir Geothermal Area

The next adventure on your Golden Circle tour is the world-famous Geysir Geothermal Area in the Haukadalur Valley. The world’s geysers take their name from this place – Geysir means “ to gush ” in Icelandic. Geysir itself erupts very rarely now, but don’t worry! Nearby, Strokkur is very active, with fountains of boiling hot water soaring high into the sky every 10 minutes or so. It truly is one of Iceland´s must see attractions. Feel the earth tremble beneath your feet as it prepares to explode, and smell the sulfur in the air! This is where you can really experience Iceland’s powerful underground geothermal energy at close quarters. Just watch which way the wind is blowing!

Majestic Gullfoss Falls, the Golden Falls of Hvita River

Your final treat on our Golden Circle tours is a trip to Gullfoss Waterfall, which translates as the “Gold Falls” is a short drive from the Great Geysir. Fed by glacial meltwater from Langjökull Glacier (the Long Glacier), you’ll be amazed by this roaring two-tiered waterfall, plunging more than 30 meters and then crashing deep into a rocky canyon. If you visit on a sunny day, you’ll see spectacular rainbows rising above the waters, or if you’re here in the winter, the falls will be a frozen wonderland instead! Clouds of spray hang in the air, making Gullfoss Waterfall a sensational sight, and there are several viewing platforms so you can experience it at different levels. We’ll stop for lunch at the excellent Gullfoss Waterfall Café.

Memories That Last a Lifetime on a Golden Circle tour Iceland

The glittering jewels in Iceland's crown, the Golden Circle is the perfect introduction to the spectacular sceneries that the “ Land of Fire and Ice ” offers you! With one stunning sight after another, your camera will be clicking all day! Our knowledgeable tour guides will be ready to wow you with fascinating stories of Viking heritage and fun facts to take away from this unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. where is the golden circle in iceland.

The Golden Circle route is in southwest Iceland, not far from the capital city, Reykjavík. The first stop on your Golden Circle tour is Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, just over 30 miles (50 kilometers). It’s about an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. Next, reaching the Geysir Geothermal area will take about 45 minutes. The last stop is Gullfoss Waterfall, which is only another ten minutes further away from Geysir. The entire route is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) in each direction. So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable day trip full of history and nature, the Golden Circle is a perfect choice! Join us and see what makes this the most popular Iceland guided tour.

2. How long will my day tour around the Golden Circle take?

Starting with a convenient pick-up from the city, the journey to the Golden Circle and stops at all the main attractions and the return journey will last about seven and a half hours. Your tour guide will provide you with a rich history of every part of the journey around the Golden Circle in Iceland.

3. What does Iceland's Golden Circle tour include?

The tour includes convenient city pick-ups and a comfortable journey in one of our modern coaches, with expert commentary and support from one of our professional tour guides in English. Enjoy the free WiFi and USB charging points onboard, so you can make the most of your time when you visit Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area , and Gullfoss.

4. How long is the Golden Circle tour?

The overall distance from the city to the Golden Circle Route stops at Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall, plus the return is around 155 miles (250 kilometers).

5. Can you enjoy the Golden Circle tour if the weather is bad?

Icelanders have a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” So that means you need to be prepared for all eventualities. Bring waterproof clothes (especially a waterproof jacket), dress in light layers that you can take off and put back on quickly, and wear sturdy waterproof shoes with good grip! We operate this tour year round, so please dress for for the season.

6. Where can you eat during the Golden Circle tours?

We ask you not to eat and drink when you’re on board our coaches, but don’t worry about getting hungry along the Golden Circle! There are places where you can grab something to eat and drink along the way at our three stops - Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss! Also, enjoy a 10% discount at the restaurants at Geysir and Gullfoss! All you need to do is to show your tour confirmation when paying.

7. Where are the pick-up locations for the Golden Circle tours?

Where possible, we will collect you from all major hotels in the greater Reykjavík area. In the city center, tour buses cannot always park outside the hotels, so we will pick you up from designated bus stops instead. We also pick up from the cruise ports for Golden Circle Tours.

8. What other natural beauties can I add to my Golden Circle Tour Iceland?

The standard Golden Circle Tour in Iceland includes the main stops at Þingvellir National Park, Geryser Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall. Many travelers like to combine Iceland's Golden Circle tour with extra attractions. A visit to the World Famous Blue Lagoon , The Secret Lagoon , or Fontana Geothermal Baths . Adding on a visit to one of Iceland´s Hot Springs is the perfect way to add some relaxation into your Golden Circle adventure. If you want to get even farther off the beaten track, a glacier snowmobile tour might be for you! There are so many things you can explore in one day in Iceland.

9. Have we answered all your questions about the Golden Circle tours of Iceland?

If you have any questions or are considering visiting the Golden Circle route on your own, or need recommendations for your visit to Iceland, just click here to ask us for more information! As a leading tour operator in Iceland, we offer trips to many other attractions in the beautiful country that we call home, other guided day tours in Iceland can be viewed here.

Please note

  • This Golden Circle tour is by default guided in English.
  • Restrooms available at all the tour stops

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Please present your electronic travel voucher/ticket at the time of tour departure. Pick up and drop off Pick up from hotels, guesthouses and designated bus stops starts 30 minutes before the tour departure time stated on your voucher.

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Iceland Golden Circle Tours and Driving Tips

Home | Travel | Europe | Iceland | Iceland Golden Circle Tours and Driving Tips

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The Golden Circle is one of the most popular routes in Iceland, a country we never get bored of visiting due to its incredible landscapes and northern lights.

We are lucky enough to be able to travel to the island every year to run our Iceland photo tours , and there isn’t a year where we don’t book a few days to drive the Golden Circle .

If you plan to visit Iceland, you shouldn’t miss the Golden Circle route . You can drive the Golden Circle yourself or take a Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik . There are a lot of very interesting stops on the Iceland’s Golden Circle, and once you complete the loop, you will have a general idea of how beautiful this country is.

In this guide to the Golden Circle, Iceland, I’m going to give you all the information you need to plan your tour to the Golden Circle . You will also find a Golden Circle Iceland map to help you find all the tourist attractions worth visiting.

Ready to plan your Iceland’s Golden Circle route ? In this article you will find:

  • What is the Golden Circle of Iceland

Unmissable Iceland Golden Circle stops

  • Best Golden Circle tours from Reykjavik

Tips for driving the Golden Circle in Iceland

  • Best Iceland’s Golden Circle hotels

Best Golden Circle restaurants

Iceland Golden Circle map with stops

What is the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular tourist routes in Iceland. It is a road route of about 186 miles that starts from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and goes around the island. In fact, even though there are a lot of things to do in Reykjavik , most tourists decide to take a tour or rent a car to do the Golden Circle route in one or two days and thus discover the best that the Land of Fire and Ice has to offer.

Golden Circle route in Iceland

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful tours from Reykjavik that you can take, and I recommend it, especially if you don’t have enough time to travel around the country. On the Golden Circle , you will find some of the most important natural wonders to see in Iceland : waterfalls, geysers, lakes, volcanoes, geothermal areas…

You can do the Golden Circle route in one day , although I recommend spending two days exploring the area thoroughly and staying overnight in one of the Golden Circle hotels that I will tell you about later. To explore it, you can rent a car or take one of the many tours to the Golden Circle from Reykjavik. Both options are good, although I prefer to drive the Golden Circle of Iceland Route to have more freedom and stop at each of the following tourist attractions of the Golden Circle when I feel like it.

There are a lot of unmissable Iceland Golden Circle stops , but if you only have one day, don’t worry. Of the 10 places to visit in the Golden Circle that you will find in our guide, the first 6 stops make the best Golden Circle 1-day itinerary.

In fact, all Golden Circle tours from Reykjavik include, at a minimum, the top 4 Golden Circle attractions you’ll see below.

1. Thingvellir National Park, a must-stop at the Golden Circle Route

The Thingvellir National Park is an essential Iceland Golden Circle stop . This is the area where you will have to spend the most time in the Golden Circle, at least a couple of hours, but it is very worth it.

Thingvellir National Park, things to see in the Golden Circle Iceland

It is 24 miles from Reykjavik and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. It’s undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions of the Golden Circle and Iceland, because this is where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia separate. In addition, since these plates separate an average of one inch each year, you can currently walk through the Almannagjá , which is the rift where you can see the fractures that have occurred in the earth due to this separation.

One of the most popular activities in the Golden Circle is to snorkel in the Silfra fissure , where you can dive between two continents and explore the canyon walls, learn about the flora and fauna of the place, and go through Silfra Hall, the widest crack. If you are interested, I recommend you book this tour . Here, you can also visit the beautiful Silfra Cathedral.

In addition, in Almannagjá, you will see a cluster of rocks with a raised flag. This is “The Rock of Law,” where the first Icelandic and world parliament, Alþing , was set. It was founded there in 930 AD and gave its name to Thingvellir, the “esplanade of the assembly” in Icelandic. You can also enjoy Öxarárfoss waterfall , Pingvallavatn lake , and Thingvallakirkja , one of the first churches to be built in the country .

2. Gulfoss waterfall, the most popular Golden Circle waterfall

Gullfoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland and one of the places to visit in the Golden Circle that you cannot miss.

This waterfall is also known as the Golden Waterfall and is located in the course of the mighty Hvítá river. When you get to it, it will give you the impression that the river disappears into the depths of the earth, as the flow continues practically perpendicular to the waterfall, creating a unique visual effect. This occurs because Gullfoss emerged after a crack in the Earth’s crust, creating an impressive waterfall that you won’t find anywhere else in Iceland.

Gulfoss waterfall, places to stop along the Golden Circle Iceland

If you look closely, you will see that there are actually three drops: a small one of 36 feet, a second of 69, and the third, the most impressive, of 104 feet, which crosses a canyon of about 230 feet. Without a doubt, an authentic wonder of nature that deserves to be among the most important Iceland Golden Circle stops .

The only downside to this place is that it’s excessively touristy and usually crowded. However, it is one of my favorite places to see Northern Lights in the Golden Circle of Iceland, and luckily, there is never anyone at night.

3. Geysir Hot Spring Area & Strokkur

The Haukadalur Valley , better known as the Valley of the Geysers or Geysir geothermal area , is the best area to discover Iceland’s great telluric force. Geysir, the geyser that gave the phenomenon its name, as it was the first geyser to be discovered, is here.

Unfortunately, it has been dormant for quite some time, so Strokkur , another geyser 0.3 miles from the previous one, has become the main point of interest in this area. I didn’t get a chance to see Geysir in action, but I assure you that Strokkur is fascinating, and it’s no wonder that even with his older brother inactive, this area is one of the most popular Golden Circle tourist attractions .

Geysir and Strokkur, the best stops in the Golden Circle

Strokkur launches, up to 100 feet high, steam and water jets at 200 ºF, not much compared to the 260 feet that Geysir eruptions used to reach. However, it’s still a place worth stopping in the Iceland Golden Circle . Also, eruptions happen every 5 or 10 minutes, so whenever you go, you can enjoy this show.

If you want to get a different view than the one from the base of Strokkur, there is a path that allows you to observe this geothermal phenomenon from above. My favorite time to visit is at sunrise.

4. Kerid Crater, one of the best things to see in the Golden Circle

Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice for places like Kerid Crater , another of the Golden Circle attractions that you have to visit. This crater stands out for its aquamarine lake, which forms an authentic natural masterpiece.

Kerid Crater, Golden Circle attractions

When you see it in person and view its perfect circular shape, reddish hues, the green moss that grows around it in summer, and the turquoise blue of the lake, it is impossible not to fall in love.

The crater is on a private property, and although you used to be able to visit it for free, the landowners now charge an entrance fee of ISK 400 (about $4). Not all tours include a stop at this crater, even though it is one of the most impressive places to visit in the Golden Circle. So if you are going to take a Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik , make sure you book a tour that stops there .

5. Bruarfoss, the most beautiful waterfall in the Golden Circle

A few years ago, Bruarfoss was one of the most popular stops on the Golden Circle, as it’s called the bluest waterfall in Iceland. However, the landowners, whose land you have to pass through to get to the waterfall, got tired of the hundreds of tourists who visited it every day on the Golden Circle Route and decided to close off access.

Luckily, you can still visit Bruarfoss, and, in fact, it’s one of the most important things to do in the Golden Circle for me. However, what previously consisted of a 5-minute walk now takes 45 minutes one-way, since you’ll have to walk upstream along the bank of the Brúará river. Still, it’s one of the most beautiful hikes in Iceland.

Bruarfoss, one of the best stops in the Golden Circle Iceland

This means that not everyone who drives the Golden Circle of Iceland visits it, allowing those who consider it a must-see stop of the Golden Circle to enjoy it practically by themselves. It’s totally worth the walk, and you will also pass by two other very beautiful waterfalls on your way there.

Take into account that there is no signposting and it’s very easy to get lost, so I recommend downloading our tourist map of Iceland , where I have marked the route. In any case, don’t try to get to Bruarfoss in the rain or if it has rained recently, as a lot of mud usually forms and the terrain becomes very slippery. But if the conditions are favorable, it’s one of the essential stops on the Iceland Golden Circle.

6. The Secret Lagoon, a great thing to do in the Golden Circle

Relaxing in the warm waters of the Secret Lagoon is one of my favorite things to do in the Golden Circle . Although it’s considered the oldest pool in Iceland, until a few years ago, it was only frequented by locals. But a farmer bought the land, in the heart of the Golden Circle, to equip it with new changing rooms and showers and popularize it among travelers. Nowadays it’s one of the most popular thermal pools in Iceland.

The thermal waters of the lagoon are between 100 and 104 ºF throughout the year, so, in winter, you don’t get cold, even if you are surrounded by snow. The views from the lake are mind-blowing, and you can even see a small geyser that erupts every 5 minutes from the water.

The Secret Lagoon, Golden Circle, Iceland

What I like most about this lagoon is that it isn’t overcrowded compared to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon , although you should book well in advance , as it’s very cheap and tickets sell out frequently.

I definitely recommend planning your visit to the Secret Lagoon to finish your Golden Circle route , since I assure you that you will leave these hot springs so relaxed, you’ll be unable to drive the Golden Circle.

7. Fontana Geothermal Baths, A must-visit in the Golden Circle

Didn’t manage to get a reservation at the Secret Lagoon? The Fontana Geothermal Baths is also a very good option and a stop that I recommend you do on your Golden Circle trip if you fancy relaxing.

Fontana Geothermal Baths, what to do Golden Circle Iceland

7. Fontana Geothermal Baths, a must-visit in the Golden Circle

Its location is also excellent, between the Geysir geothermal area and Thingvellir National Park. So after a long day visiting some of the most important tourist attractions in the Golden Circle , you can take a little breather in this complex of natural geothermal waters .

From the facilities, you will have stunning views of Lake Laugarvatn . However, the resort is very modern and lacks the natural charm the Secret Lagoon or other Icelandic hot springs have. Still, if you don’t want to miss an essential thing to do in the Golden Circle (relaxing in one of its hot springs), you can book it here.

8. Langjökull Glacier, an interesting place to visit in the Golden Circle

The glacier Langjökull , with its 350 mi 2 , is the second-largest glacier in Iceland after Vatnajökull. This glacier is not always included among the main stops in the Golden Circle , although I think it is worth visiting if you have time.

To get to know it, you must take one of the tours that leave from the Gullfoss Waterfall cafe and cover the glacier on a snowmobile like this. From there, you will ride in a special snowmobile until you reach the glacier base camp, where your snowmobile will be waiting for you.

Langjökull Glacier, an interesting Golden Circle tours

However, if you can afford it, it’s worth taking this tour, since you will visit the famous Langjökull ice cave , which, although it was built artificially in 2015, is quite shocking. The most interesting thing is that from inside, you can hear the sound of ice moving above your head.

In any case, whatever tour you choose, if you are doing the Golden Circle route in two days , touring the Landjokull Glacier is a great plan that I recommend doing the morning of your last day in the Golden Circle.

9. Sólheimar, the eco-village of Iceland

Sólheimar is not one of the most popular Golden Circle stops , although if you have time and you are going to do the route over several days, I recommend visiting it.

Sólheimar, a visit to do in the Golden Circle drive

It is a sustainable eco-village in the heart of Iceland, and it’s actually the largest and oldest in Europe. According to registered data, 100 people live in this place and also work together. But what most caught my attention in this village is that they live off the grid and use only geothermal energy , making this place one of the most ecological places in the world . They also follow the sustainable philosophy in everything they do, from the care of their greenhouses to the construction of schools and other buildings.

If I recommend you include this place among the Golden Circle attractions that you should visit, it’s because you should see that it’s possible to live a life that’s respectful of the environment and the planet in general. A visit that will certainly give you food for thought.

10. Skálholt, a historical place to visit in the Golden Circle

Skálholt is my last recommendation for points of interest to visit in the Golden Circle . It’s a very brief but interesting historical Golden Circle stop.

In this town is Skálholt Cathedral , which was built between 1956 and 1963 and played a fundamental role in the Christianization of Iceland.

Skálholt, Golden Circle Iceland tour map

In addition to the church, the town of Skálholt is known for having been a cultural and political center during the Middle Ages. The first school was built here.

Currently, in addition to the cathedral, only a few small houses remain, although at one point in history, it was the most populous city in Iceland. If you like history and want to know more about the island, it’s a stop you cannot miss on the Golden Circle .

Best Golden Circle Tours from Reykjavik

Not driving shouldn’t be a reason not to visit Iceland’s Golden Circle , especially considering the number of tours to the Golden Circle from Reykjavik and how varied they are.

Visiting Iceland without a car is possible, since numerous tours depart from the capital to all the tourist attractions of the island and especially to the Golden Circle of Iceland,.

I advise you to book your tour to the Golden Circle of Iceland as soon as you know the dates of your trip, since, being so popular, the best tours fill up right away. Specifically, you will need to book in advance if you are interested in the best Golden Circle tours below:

1. Cheap Iceland Golden Circle tour

If you want to do the basic Icelandic Golden Circle route , I recommend this tour , since you will spend the day visiting the highlights of the Golden Circle at the best price. In fact, this tour is considered the cheapest Golden Circle day tour from Reykjavik .

During the tour, which lasts approximately 8 hours, you will visit the Geysir geothermal area , the impressive Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park (Þingvellir). Also, this is one of the few tours that stop at Kerid Crater . Without a doubt, one of the best Golden Circle full-day tours to take if you are on a budget.

Reykjavik Golden Circle tour

  • Highlights : Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and Kerid Crater.
  • Duration : 8 hours.
  • Price : $57.20 ( check availability )
  • Description : Enjoy the main Golden Circle stops and some of the most beautiful Icelandic landscapes, among which there is no shortage of geysers, waterfalls, and volcanoes.

2. Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon tour

The Blue Lagoon , along with the wonders of the Golden Circle, is one of the most distinctive places to visit in Iceland. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to hear the question: Is the Blue Lagoon in the Golden Circle? Although it’s relatively close, the Blue Lagoon is not in the Golden Circle, although there are plenty of Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle combo tours. Of all of them, this small group tour with tickets included is undoubtedly the best option and the best way to visit the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon in one day .

You will visit Thingvellir National Park , Gullfoss waterfall , Kerid crater , and the Blue Lagoon , where you can enjoy a relaxing bath. I advise you to bring swimwear to bathe in the lagoon so you don’t have to rent it there. What the ticket does include are towels, soap, and shampoo. You can check our guide to the Blue Lagoon here.

Best Golden Circle tours in Iceland

  • Highlights : Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, Kerid Crater, and the Blue Lagoon.
  • Duration : 11 hours.
  • Price : $229.16 ( check availability )
  • Description : Get to know some of best points of interest in the Golden Circle and relax in the Blue Lagoon. The price includes entrance to the Kerid crater and to the Blue Lagoon. It doesn’t include swimsuit rental, but it does include towels, soap, and shampoo.

3. Small group Golden Circle Tour and Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon is the oldest hot spring pool in Iceland, so it’s worth visiting and taking a dip in it. In addition, it’s a good option if you want to relax in one of the many hot springs that are in Iceland, but you don’t feel like going to the Blue Lagoon because it is too touristy.

It’s also a good option if you think the extra cost of visiting The Blue Lagoon isn’t worth it, since taking a tour of the Golden Circle with access to the Secret Lagoon will be much cheaper and much more original in my opinion.

With this tour that departs from Reykjavik , in addition to enjoying this beautiful lagoon, you will also discover some of the most distinctive Golden Circle stops, such as the Geysir geothermal area , Gullfoss waterfall, and Þingvellir National Park .

They will give you an hour and a half to take a relaxing bath in the Secret Lagoon and then, you will visit the most popular places to visit in the Golden Circle. This is undoubtedly the best small group Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour .

Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour

  • Highlights : Secret Lagoon, Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park.
  • Duration : 10 hours.
  • Price : $91.59 ( check availability )
  • Description : This tour includes the entrance to the Secret Lagoon for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then you will visit the Geysir geothermal area, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the Thingvellir National Park.

4. Golden Circle & Snorkeling in Silfra Combo Tour

Snorkeling in the Silfra fissure is a unique experience and a different thing to do in the Golden Circle that is increasingly popular. The intensely blue water of the glaciers reaches the Silfra fissure, filling it and forming a landscape that looks like it’s from another planet.

To visit it, I recommend this tour , since it includes underwater photographs taken while diving in what is considered one of the most spectacular sites in the world, the Silfra fissure , in Thingvellir National Park.

In addition, you will also visit the most distinctive stops of the Golden Circle , such as Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area . Definitely a good way to get to know the Golden Circle of Iceland with a tour from Reykjavik .

Day trip Golden Circle and Silfra

  • Highlights : Snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.
  • Price : $206.34 ( check availability )
  • Description : Snorkel in the Silfra fissure and see some of the Golden Circle’s attractions, such as Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area. The tour includes a guide and the necessary equipment to dive in Silfra, free photos during the tour, and hot drinks and cookies at the end of the trip.

5. Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobiling tour

If you are looking for a Golden Circle full-day tour that includes a snowmobile ride on the imposing Langjoekull glacier, I recommend this tour.

You will be picked up at your hotel in Reykjavik first thing in the morning to begin your Golden Circle of Iceland Route. Once there, you will visit Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area , and Gullfoss waterfall.

At Gullfoss, you will get aboard a custom-made super truck to reach the Langjökull glacier base camp, where you can explore the glacier in the best possible way, on a snowmobile.

I haven’t been able to do this tour yet, but I will book a day on my next trip to Iceland to do it, since I can’t think of a more fun way to do Iceland’s Golden Circle Route.

Going over ice and snowfields at full speed and discovering landscapes that only a few people have seen is one of the best things to do in the Golden Circle .

Discover Iceland Golden Circle tour full day

  • Highlights : Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Snowmobile Tour of the Langjökull Glacier.
  • Price : $249.90 ( check availability )
  • Description : Get to know Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and tour the Langjökull glacier on a snowmobile. The tour includes all tickets, the snowmobile trip (2 people per vehicle), and the necessary equipment to carry out this activity. It also includes an audio guide that is available in 10 languages.

6. Golden Circle and Northern Light Tour

Seeing northern lights is one of the best experiences you can have in this country, so I advise you to take a look at our guide on how to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, and if you travel from September to April, don’t miss them.

Although there are plenty of Northern Lights tours from Reykjavik, if you’re interested in touring Iceland’s Golden Circle as well, you can save some money by combining these two tours and doing them on the same day.

Of all the Golden Circle and Northern Lights combo tours , this is the one I recommend . In the morning, you will visit the main tourist sites of the Golden Circle, such as Thingvellir National Park , Strokkur , Gullfoss waterfall , and Kerid crater, and you will end the day enjoying the magic of the Northern Lights . This is certainly one of the best excursions to the Golden Circle of Iceland if you have never seen the northern lights before.

Golden Circle and Northern Light from Reykjavik tour

  • Highlights: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall, Kerid crater, and northern lights tour.
  • Duration: 9 hours.
  • Price: $91.20 ( check availability )
  • Description: With this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit four essential places on the Golden Circle: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Kerid crater. In addition, you will go on a northern lights hunt with a guide.

7. Iceland’s Golden Circle & Whale Watching Full-Day Tour

Whale watching in Iceland is one of the best things you can do on the island, and you can combine it with a Golden Circle tour to do both excursions on the same day and save time and money.

This tour is my favorite , and it’s divided into two parts. In the early morning, you will take a boat from Reykjavik to see humpback whales, porpoises, and dolphins, which are the species that are usually in the area. Later, in the afternoon, you will visit some of the main tourist attractions of the Golden Circle , such as Þingvellir National Park , where you will see Alþingi, the first parliament in the world; Gullfoss waterfall; and the Geysir and Strokkur geothermal area . You will also pass through Hveragerði before returning to Reykjavik.

The truth is that I consider this tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik an excellent option if you are short on time and don’t want to leave Iceland without seeing whales. However, I think it is better to dedicate a day to seeing whales and exploring Reykjavik and another day to doing the Golden Circle of Iceland route combined with some other activities (Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Snorkeling in Silfra, snowmobile excursion on the Langjoekull glacier or Northern Lights).

 Golden Circle and whale watching tour

  • Highlights : Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Strokkur, Hveragerði, and whale watching tour.
  • Price : $181.12 ( check availability )
  • Description : You will take a whale watching tour in the morning. Then, you’ll visit some of the main points of interest on the Golden Circle, such as Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir and Strokkur geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and the town of Hveragerði.

8. Rafting in the Golden Circle

If you travel to Iceland in summer, you won’t be able to see the northern lights, but there are other highly recommended activities that you can only do during this time of year. For example, rafting in the Golden Circle . Specifically in the Hvítá River, which is a beautiful light blue color.

This is the same river that runs down the Gullfoss waterfall, although don’t worry, rafting is done downstream of the waterfall. On this tour , after

discovering the walls of the beautiful Brúarhlöð canyon and jumping into the water from one of its cliffs, you can relax in a sauna before visiting the most interesting stops of the Golden Circle of Iceland: Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir.

Please note that this is not a tour to Iceland’s Golden Circle that is suitable for everyone. Children under the age of 11 cannot go on it, since, although you have guides that take care of your safety, it’s still an extreme sport, so I also advise you to buy the best travel insurance .

Nice travel Iceland Golden Circle tour map

  • Highlights : Hvítá River, Gullfoss, Geysir, Thingvellir National Park.
  • Price : $ 158.20 ( check availability )
  • Description : you will raft in the Hvítá river and then relax in a sauna. After lunch, you will do the Golden Circle route and see Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and end in Thingvellir National Park before returning to Reykjavik.

9. Golden Circle and South Iceland tour

As I mentioned, the best thing is to spend one or two days doing the Golden Circle route, but if you don’t have enough time, I recommend taking the opportunity to see the best of Iceland in just 11 hours: the Golden Circle and South Iceland in a day .

I only recommend this tour if you are going to spend a single day in Iceland. If you have more time, spend at least one day in each of these areas. But if you are making a stopover or just don’t have time to see everything you would like to see, this tour concentrates the best of Iceland into the shortest time possible.

You will head towards the South of Iceland very early in the morning, where you will see the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the Solheimajökull glacier, the black beach of Sólheimasandur , and, finally, the beautiful Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls before starting your Iceland Golden Circle route .

In the afternoon, you will visit the most interesting points on the Golden Circle, Gullfoss , Geysir , and Thingvellir , to then return to Reykjavik in record time after enjoying the best of Iceland in one day. The tour is not cheap, but as the saying goes, time is money and you cannot leave Iceland without touring the Golden Circle.

Golden Circle and South Iceland from Reykjavik

  • Highlights : South Iceland (Eyjafjallajökull, Solheimajokull, Sólheimasandur, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss) and Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir).
  • Price : $355 ( check availability )
  • Description : The most complete tour you can do in Iceland in a day, where you will visit the most important attractions in both South Iceland and the Golden Circle, including the black sand beach of Iceland, the popular waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir.

10. Golden Circle Helicopter tour

The Golden Circle helicopter tour is a good option if you have even less time, or if you are passionate about photography and nature like us.

From the air, the Golden Circle looks different, and the views you get from taking this tour are just magical. There is no better way to see the wonders of the Golden Circle route hides.

You will get spectacular aerial views of such remarkable places as Gullfoss waterfall and the highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur. You will also enjoy incredible volcanic landscapes of lava and ice. You will also see the Langjokull glacier from above and get views of spectacular glacial lakes.

You can know more about the Iceland helicopter tour we took in this article.

Short Golden Circle route

  • Highlights : Gullfoss waterfall, Glymur waterfall, Langjökull glacier, and other places. Aerial view.
  • Duration : 180 minutes.
  • Price : $ 1100 ( check availability )
  • Description : You will fly over the Golden Circle and see the main places of interest from a bird’s eye view, including Gullfoss waterfall, Glymur waterfall, and the Langjökull glacier .

If you are planning a Golden Circle road trip so you don’t depend on buses or have pre-established schedules or stops, I advise you to take a look at our guide on how to get cheap rental cars and our article on best tips for driving in Iceland. For me, this is one of the best ways to get to know a country like Iceland, where each curve presents a new opportunity for you to admire the views.

In general, driving in Iceland is not dangerous, although I recommend always checking the state of the roads on Road.is , especially in winter. If you decide to drive the Golden Circle , my recommendation is that you first check that all the roads you are going to drive are in good condition and that you can make the most of daylight hours.

If you are wondering how much time you need to drive the Golden Circle , I can assure you that you can do the entire loop in one day. However, if you want to stop at each of the tourist attractions of the Golden Circle , I advise you to spend at least two days on it. That way, you will drive during the day, and at night, you can stay in one of the Golden Circle hotels that I will recommend later.

What kind of car do you need to drive the Golden Circle?

If you decide to drive the Golden Circle, Iceland, you have to know that the roads that make it up, although narrow, are perfectly paved, so you can drive any type of vehicle.

If you plan to drive on an F-road, you will need a 4wd, but these roads are located in the Highlands of Iceland. If you do the basic Golden Circle route, you won’t go on any unpaved roads. In any case, if you are going to drive the Golden Circle of Iceland in winter, remember that a 4×4 car will always be safer.

However, take into account that gas is quite expensive in Iceland, so you may want to look for a fuel-efficient vehicle when renting a car for the Golden Circle if you’re traveling on a budget.

How to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland

The best way to drive the Golden Circle is clockwise, that is, visiting Thingvellir first, where you will need to spend the most time, then going to the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall, and, finally, making a short stop at Kerid crater before returning to Reykjavik.

If you are going to drive the Golden Circle in two days , do it the same way and stay in one of the hotels of the Golden Circle near Strokkur. You’ll be able to see the sunrise from this geyser and take some of the excursions that depart this area the next day, such as the Langjökull glacier tour or rafting down the Hvítá river, in addition to visiting Gullfoss and the Kerid Crater.

Is Driving the Golden Circle dangerous?

I do not consider driving the Golden Circle of Iceland dangerous . The roads on this route are paved, and the journey can be done with any type of vehicle. Of course, I always advise driving at a reasonable speed, regardless of the time of year, and checking the condition of the roads and the weather before leaving.

If you visit Iceland at off-peak times, you won’t find any traffic, so it will be quite comfortable to drive through the Golden Circle. But if you travel during peak tourist season, both the parking lots and the roads themselves may be somewhat crowded. This doesn’t mean that driving the Golden Circle is dangerous , just that you have to be more cautious because the roads are narrow.

As you can see, driving the Golden Circle is quite safe if you do it at the right speed.

Driving the Golden Circle in Winter

If you’re going to drive the Golden Circle in winter, you must check the weather forecast and the state of roads in Road.is before leaving. If there is a severe storm or snow forecast, stay in your hotel. The wind in Iceland can also be quite dangerous if you’re driving.

Golden Circle Iceland self drive

Even if you think there is good visibility, always keep your lights on, and don’t drive at the maximum speed of 90 km/h (55 mph) on paved roads. You should drive slower in case there is “black ice”, which you won’t be able to see with the naked eye but could be very dangerous when driving the Golden Circle or anywhere else in Iceland.

Even if you are not going to drive on any F-roads, renting a 4×4 to tour the Golden Circle in winter is the most sensible choice. By this, I mean that you can drive around the Golden Circle in winter with no problems, but a 4wd car will make your route much safer .

Best Iceland’s Golden Circle hotels

If you can spend more than one day visiting the Golden Circle and are looking for hotels to stay in the Golden Circle , then you will find the best accommodations in this section. That way, you can do the Golden Circle tour at your leisure and enjoying all its wonders. Of course, I advise you to book early, especially if you are going to travel during peak toursit season.

1. Hotel Grimsborgir – Your Golden Circle Retreat

The Hotel Grimsborgir is one of the best hotels in the Golden Circle , although I have to admit that it’s pretty pricey. It is 10 minutes from Kerid Crater and half an hour from Thingvellir, so its location is excellent.

Where to stay near Golden Circle Iceland?

The best thing about the hotel is that they have hydromassage bathtubs with views of the sky and the mountains, which you’ll especially appreciate after a long day touring the Golden Circle because being able to relax with good views is a luxury. And best of all, if there are northern lights that night, the hotel has a wake-up service so you can see them. This also makes it one of the best hotels to see Northern Lights in Iceland .

It also has quite a good restaurant and a buffet breakfast that is a real wonder. So overall, I consider this to be the best Golden Circle hotel if you can afford it.

2. Litli Geysir Hotel

We stayed one night at the Litli Geyser hotel on one of our last trips and we saw one of the most beautiful sunrises of the year there. Also, its location is excellent, just 600 feet from the Geysir geothermal area and a 10-minute drive from Gullfoss waterfall.

Hotel Golden Circle where to stay

Although we didn’t book them, the hotel runs quite interesting excursions and activities in the area. It also has a restaurant and free parking for guests. It’s a hotel in the Golden Circle without too many luxuries, but is a very good option for its location.

3. Hotel Gullfoss

If you are on a tight budget, I recommend staying at the Gullfoss Hotel . Don’t let its price fool you; the hotel is very well located, as it’s a 10-minute drive from Strokkur, 35 minutes from Thingvellir National Park, and just 5 minutes from Gullfoss waterfall. So it’s another excellent option if you are looking for well-located hotels in the Golden Circle .

Golden Circle Iceland where to stay

The rooms are very well equipped, and the restaurant serves traditional Icelandic dishes with lamb and seafood. The only drawback is that, due to its good price, you will have to book many months in advance if you want to find a free room.

4. Guesthouse Fludir – Grund

At Guesthouse Fludir you can choose between a room with a private bathroom or a shared bathroom. It’s a good option if you are looking for something cheap or traveling in a group, since they have up to two-bedroom apartments.

Hotels in the Golden Circle Iceland

The location is very good, since it’s a 20-minute drive from Gullfoss and Geysir and 0.6 miles from the Secret Lagoon. In addition to providing free parking, this accommodation has a restaurant, and it’s a good option to stay in the Golden Circle for groups .

Regardless of how many days you’re going to spend in the Golden Circle of Iceland , you will have no problems with meals, since there are numerous restaurants along the way and some of them are very good.

Efstidalur Farm , which is also a hotel and ice cream parlor, is one of my favorite ones. Here, you can taste a wide variety of Icelandic dishes, which are always made with local products and by real chefs. In addition, they have plenty of vegetarian options. The restaurant is located in Laugarvatn, making it ideal for having lunch between Thingvellir and Geysir and Gullfoss. In fact, it’s the restaurant in the Golden Circle where we stop every year during our photo tours.

Another recommendation is the Geysir Restaurant , which is the restaurant of the hotel I have recommended in front of Strokkur, the Litli Geyser hotel . It has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, which makes it a very good place to stop. On the menu, you will find everything from light meals to more hearty ones with seafood or meat. All the products they use are local, and it’s one of the Golden Circle restaurants that I am sure you will like.

And my last recommendation is the Gullfoss Kaffi , a cafe and restaurant in the Golden Circle located a few feet from the waterfall. This is another of the places to eat in the Golden Circle of Iceland where we stop every year. There is certainly nothing like their soup to warm you up, especially in winter. They also have vegetarian options and even group menus .

If you want to find the main attractions of the Golden Circle, there is nothing better than a map. You’ll find a very visual map of the Golden Circle below where you can quickly locate the main tourist attractions. In this way, you can plan your Golden Circle itinerary quickly.

Iceland Golden Circle route map

But if in addition to the Golden Circle, you want to visit other places in this beautiful country, download our tourist maps of Iceland , where you will find everything you need, including the Iceland Golden Circle map with stops.

Iceland Golden Circle FAQs

To finish, here are some frequently asked questions about the Golden Circle of Iceland in case there is still something that we haven’t covered in this guide.

The Golden Circle is one of  the most popular routes in Iceland .

Where is the Golden Circle in Iceland?

The Golden Circle departs from  Reykjavik , the capital of Iceland, which is located in the southwest of the island, and goes inland.

How far is the Golden Circle from Reykjavik?

The Golden Circle  begins right after leaving Reykjavik  and runs for 200 miles.

Is the Golden Circle worth it?

The Golden Circle is very worthwhile, since, in a very short time, you can get to know the best of Iceland. It’s ideal to get an idea of ​​the type of landscapes and places you can find in the country. If you have very little time and you can’t visit other areas of Iceland, it is worth doing the Golden Circle of Iceland Route, but even if you have more time, you should still do it.

What are the stops on the Golden Circle?

The must-see Golden Circle stops are  Thingvellir  National Park , Geysir  Geothermal Area ,  Gullfoss  Waterfall ,  and  Kerid  Crater .

When should you visit the Golden Circle?

The route can be done at  any time of the year . If you are going to do the Golden Circle Route in winter, it is safer to drive a 4×4 car, but it is not mandatory.

How long is the Golden Circle?

The total route of the Golden Circle is about  190 miles .  However, there are some stops outside the basic Golden Circle itinerary that may extend the tour.

How long does it take to do the Golden Circle?

You will need at least one day to  visit the Golden Circle ,  although it’s recommended to spend two days on this route.

Can you drive the Golden Circle yourself?

roads are paved, and although they are narrow, they aren’t dangerous if you check the weather and road conditions on Road.is before you drive.

Do you need a 4x4 car to drive the Golden Circle?

Unless you head to the Highlands and take an F- road ,  a 4wd car is not necessary .  However, it may be advisable to rent a 4×4 car to tour the Golden Circle in winter.

Can you drive the Golden Circle in winter?

Yes , you can drive the Golden Circle in winter, as long as you check the weather and road conditions on Road.is .  If you want to drive the Golden Circle in winter in a safer way, renting a 4wd is a good decision.

Is the Golden Circle free?

The Golden Circle route is free , but there are places where you must pay an entrance fee, such as in the Kerid Crater.

Is the Blue Lagoon part of the Golden Circle?

No , the Blue Lagoon is not part of the Golden Circle, since it’s located more to the southwest, on the Reykjanes peninsula. However, the Blue Lagoon is close to the Golden Circle, so they can be visited on the same day.

If you have any questions when planning your Golden Circle road trip , leave a comment and we will be happy to help you.

Whether you are going to take a Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik or you are going to drive the Golden Circle on your own, I hope you have a very good trip.

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2 replies on “ Iceland Golden Circle Tours and Driving Tips ”

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Hello, What about Nesjavellir view point, in Gloden Circle?

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Hi Jose Antonio, It’s not part of the Golden Circle, but you could make a detour to see the Nesjavellir viewpoint after visiting the Þingvellir Church. After seeing the viewpoint, you can head back to the Golden Circle route and continue on your way to Reykjavik.

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tour of golden circle iceland

Golden Circle Tours of Iceland

Classic Golden Circle Full Day Tour

Icelandic hot springs, gullfoss & thingvellir.

tour of golden circle iceland

Gullfoss Waterfall in Summer

Interactive Map

Fill your day exploring the famous Golden Circle in a small group setting with some added flair. Visit the unmissable Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Kerid Crater Lake , and Geysir Hot Springs . We'll also stop at off-the-beaten-track spots like Hveragerði a geothermal town in Southwest Iceland. You'll get a real feel for the Land of Fire and Ice in just one day.

Be amazed by gushing geysers, powerful waterfalls, and historical sites. Pack your sense of adventure and explore the best Iceland has to offer!

  • Explore Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
  • See Gullfoss waterfall
  • Tour around Geysir hot spring area
  • Visit the town of Hveragerði
  • Check out Kerid crater lake
  • Transfer to/from Reykjavik
  • A Guided Tour of the Golden Circle
  • A Certified Guide
  • Free WiFi on the Bus
  • Stop at Hveragerði

What to bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sturdy shoes

Tour Snapshot

  • Expert Guides
  • Small Group Experience
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • No Booking Fees
  • Fast & Secure Payment

From Reykjavik, you'll drive towards Iceland's three most famous attractions that make up the  Golden Circle : Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Hot Springs, and Gullfoss Waterfall. We ensure that you get enough time to take in the magnificent landscape and the rich history found at every footstep.

Þingvellir  (Thingvellir National Park)  is deeply rooted in Icelandic history and is famous for numerous reasons. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Iceland's first Althing (Parliament) was founded in 930. It's also where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia drift apart, creating a stunning canyon. The park is, quite simply, breathtaking. The waters, ponds, and fissures are extraordinarily clear, and the place's history is endless.

When traveling through Iceland, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that should not be missed.

Geysir Hot Spring Area is located in Haukadalur Valley. Here you'll find the famous Geysir, after which all other geysers are named. The area is filled with steam and magical geothermal phenomena. At the moment, the most active geyser is Strokkur. It erupts every 4-10 minutes and treats visitors to a show giving you that tingly feeling in your stomach. 

Gullfoss  or the  Golden Falls   are next up on the itinerary. It's one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland. The cascade plunges slightly over 30 m (98 ft) and has two drops. Gullfoss has been locals' favorite since the Viking times, and now it's your time to explore it.

Another spectacular attraction on this tour is Kerid (Kerið) crater lake . It's also called "The Eye of the World" because of its distinct appearance. Red-colored rocks surround the 3000-year-old lake filled with aquamarine water, and the whole area around it is enclosed by green vegetation. This is the view you’ll be met with above the lake.

The extra stops will be at:

Hveragerði is a geothermal town famous for its steaming hot springs and greenhouses. Also known as "the earthquake town," Hveragerði is an active earthquake location. Grab a cup of coffee and visit an earthquake exhibition in Sunnumörk Shopping Center free of charge.

Pick-up information

Your Golden Circle small-group sightseeing tour starts with pick-up from your selected location in Reykjavik at 8:00 a.m. Please note that the pick-up can take up to 30 min.

Available pick-up points:   Arctic Adventures’ pick-up list .

Golden Circle Full Day tour interactive map

How is it best to be ready for a pick-up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our   pick-up locations   in Reykjavík.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our super jeep tours  are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour .

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our  cancellation policy .

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures tour?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our   self-drive tours .

All of our tours are guided in English.

Can the guide advise if I am eligible for rescheduling the tour and/or a refund?

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

What type of power outlets are used in Iceland? Do I need to bring an adapter?

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

How are the tours rated in terms of difficulty?

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the   difficulty ratings   and descriptions.

How does carbon offsetting work?

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund   is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

Do you offer a tour that is solely the Golden Circle?

Yes, we offer the tour Golden Circle small group tour which is basically the Golden Circle with some extra stops. This tour is focusing on sightseeing and the history of Iceland. Our stops are Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir national park (home to one of the first parliaments of the world), Geysir hot spring area and the historic Skálholt cathedral.  View Golden Circle Tours .

I want to book the Golden Circle in combination to another tour, what are my options?

We offer numerous options to spice up your Golden Circle tour and make the most of your day. Here is a list of some great tours.

All year-around options:

  • Golden Circle, Super Truck and Snowmobiling
  • Golden Circle Small group tour
  • Golden Circle and Snorkeling
  • Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon
  • Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon Tour
  • Golden Circle and Super Jeep tour
  • Golden Circle and Caving
  • Golden Circle & Horse Riding
  • Golden Circle Super Jeep & Buggy Riding Tour

Summer season:

  • Golden Circle and Rafting
  • Golden Circle & Whale Watching Tour
  • Golden Circle & Puffin Tour

Winter season:

  • Golden Circle Aurora Surprise
  • Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon & Northern Lights

What sights will I see on the Golden Circle?

The tour is based around the three most popular attractions in Iceland  Thingvellir National Park ,  Gullfoss Waterfall  and  The Great Geysir . We offer several Golden Circle trips that combine sightseeing with some of our adventure tours.

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Golden Circle & Caving

Golden Circle & Caving

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Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon

Golden Circle & Snorkeling

Golden Circle & Snorkeling

Contact us for more information about this tour.

Arctic Adventures offers pick up service from selected Reykjavík pick up points. Note that you can always update your pick-up / drop-off location through our customer portal: https://my.adventures.is You can press the login button in your confirmation email for an easy login to the customer portal. If you experience an error with logging into the customer portal or can't find your booking, please contact us on Facebook Messenger, or send us a message here below. Chat with us on Facebook Messenger

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The Golden Circle

Golden circle iceland, geysir, gullfoss and thingvellir.

The Golden Circle is by far Iceland's most famous attraction. A short drive from the capital city, you see the most stunning sights at Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall - all in one day!

Reykjavik Excursions offers a great selection of Golden Circle tours with extra options to please every traveller, such as a visit to Friðheimar greenhouse, a snowmobile ride on Langjökull glacier, horseback riding, a relaxing visit to Fontana Geothermal Spa, and much more. Find your Golden Circle tour from the list below.

RE SUMMER tour card RE24

GOLDEN CIRCLE

Golden Circle Direct

RE SUMMER tour card RE04

The Golden Circle & Friðheimar Greenhouse

AG44

SNOWMOBILING

Golden Circle & Glacier Snowmobiling

CRE10

COMBO OFFERS

Golden Circle & Northern Lights

RE SUMMER tour card SRE74

Golden Circle & Fontana Wellness

RE SUMMER tour card SRE09

Golden Circle & Lava Tunnel

RE SUMMER tour card AI06

SUPER JEEP TOURS

Golden Circle and Glacier Super Jeep Tour

Super-Jeep-Snowmobiling

Golden Circle Super Jeep & Snowmobiling

Small Group Golden Circle with lunch and Hvammsvík Hot Spring header

SMALL GROUP

Small Group Golden Circle with lunch and Hvammsvik Hot Springs

RE04 06

Golden Circle & Sky Lagoon

RE SUMMER tour card SRE46

Golden Circle & ATV Adventure

RE SUMMER tour card SRE55

Golden Circle & Horse Riding

RE SUMMER tour card SRE47

Golden Circle & Buggy Adventure

RE SUMMER tour card CRE08

Golden Circle & City Sightseeing - Hop On Hop Off

AA-CSI

MULTI-DAY TOURS

3 Day - Golden Circle, South Coast, Ice Cave & Jökulsárlón

AA-AIA

6 Days Around Iceland Adventure

SRE99-21

HOLIDAY TOURS

Reykjavík Christmas Walk & Golden Circle

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Driving Iceland's Golden Circle: All You Need to Know

Imagine coasting through stunning countryside to see spouting geysers, thundering many-tiered waterfalls, and dramatic cliff faces. All at your own pace. If that sounds incredible, then you're ready for an iconic adventure with a  driving tour  of Iceland’s Golden Circle.

This iconic route represents one of Iceland’s most popular day tours , where you can discover landscapes rich with history and folklore. And inbetween attractions you can find reasons to stop at any number of fascinating locations. Think photogenic Lutheran churches, Icelandic horse farms, and restaurants dishing up Icelandic cuisine.

  • Relax and let someone else book your hotels and plan your itinerary: choose from these  Golden Circle self-drive tours
  • Prefer someone else to take the wheel instead? Consider a private tour , a small group tour or a multi-day tour

When you're ready to hit the road, bookmark this handy guide to the route. It’s packed with insider tips on must-see attractions and handy local restaurants to help you make the most of your trip.

What is the Golden Circle?

In the strictest sense, Iceland’s famous Golden Circle is a popular route between 3 of Iceland’s most visited attractions. Starting in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, you’ll drive into the southern uplands and back, visiting Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.

You’ll find, though, that many tour routes take in extra attractions along the way. You could visit a geothermal greenhouse on one trip, or a natural hotwater spa with another.

Golden Circle map

Golden Circle map

Can you drive it in one day? How many miles is it?

The whole Golden Circle route can easily be done in one day, as the classic journey covers around 230 kilometres (140 miles to you and me). You can actually drive the route in just over 3 hours. But, of course, you need to factor in time to enjoy the attractions, take photos and stay fuelled as well.

Many guided coach tours will take the best part of a ‘9-to-5’ day to visit most stops on the route. But if you’re going self-guided, then you can choose exactly how long you want to stay at each attraction. And you can even start early or finish later for quieter sightseeing.

How to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland

While you can join a group tour of the Golden Circle, you may prefer to explore at your own pace and in your own style with a self-drive. For this, you’ll need to rent a car, or even a 4x4 if you’re planning to drive onward to the Icelandic Highlands.

Hiring a car puts you in control of your trip. You can start early (or late) and explore at times that suit you best. In summer, you could even use the long daylight hours to avoid the crowds often created by larger coach tours.

  • Find out more about our friendlier take on coach tours,  small group minibus tours , with 16 travellers at most

When you go with self-drive, though, how you experience the Golden Circle in Iceland is totally up to you.

What to see in the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle has many attractions, but it’s mainly known as the route that connects:

  • Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
  • The Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir
  • Gullfoss Waterfall.

Each has its own special charms, which we've highlighted below.

Þingvellir National Park

Discover a fascinating mixture of Icelandic history and natural beauty. Þingvellir (pronounced ‘Thingvellir’) is one of the most famous stops on the Golden Circle. It’s also Iceland’s first National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site , too. If you’re travelling the Golden Circle clockwise from Reykjavik, it’ll be your first stop.

Rosnarfoss Waterfall in Þingvellir

Þingvellir is a keystone of Icelandic cultural history. The first settlers put down their roots in South Iceland in the 9th century CE. As their society developed, they decided an assembly could help ease disputes and create a fairer society. Þingvellir was chosen as the assembly site because the region was accessible from all the most peopled areas.

In 930, it became Iceland’s -- and the world’s -- first parliament. And the nation's shared cultural heritage has grown ever since.

Then there's the landscape. Geology buffs should note that Þingvellir National Park is also the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which creates some stunning geological sights. You can admire its deep valley, the only place in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is visible on land, or the sheer cliff face that’s actually the corner of the North American continent.

Indeed, Iceland's land mass was formed from the magma that bubbled up as these two plates moved away from each other. That's why you can still see volcanic activity and landscape throughout the country. You could say these factors make Þingvellir National Park a natural starting place for your tour of Iceland.

Here's the top things to do in Þingvellir National Park:

  • Marvel at Þingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest natural lake
  • Witness Langjökull glacier
  • Snorkel between the tectonic plates at Silfra, one of the world’s top 10 dive sites
  • Hike along the North American plate and through Game of Thrones scenery at Almannagjá gorge
  • Watch the thundering waters at Öxarárfoss waterfall

Geysir geothermal area

Continue driving clockwise, and you’ll arrive at Geysir geothermal area, within the Haukadalur Valley. Your drive will take you past more volcanic landscapes of steaming vents and chimneys. As you get closer to the Geysir geothermal area, the activity becomes more dramatic.

Strokkur geyser in Haukadalur Valley

Here, against a vivid landscape, you’ll find 2 bubbling geysers of note – Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir. Great Geysir (or simply 'Geysir') is the earliest documented geyser in European literature, and has been active for around 10,000 years! Don't expect much from it now, though: Geysir is considered all but inactive, stirring only when earthquakes inspire bursts of activity for a few months at most.

For action, though, look no further than nearby Strokkur. This geyser erupts every 6–10 minutes, shooting hot water as high as 40 metres (131 ft) into the air. Just make sure you (and your camera) are waterproofed. As you walk through the surrounding Haukadalur Valley, you can also admire the many hot springs, smaller geysers and bubbling mud pots.

Gullfoss waterfall

A short drive away lies Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. Watch as water thunders over 2 drops, falling a total of 32 metres (105 ft) and admire the rainbows that shoot from the spray. From your viewpoint, you can admire the Langjökull ice sheet.

During the summer months, when there’s no ice on the ground, you can walk up to the edge of the falls and feel Gullfoss’ spray on your face. It's an incredible, invigorating experience.

While you’re here, you could also raft the Hvita river, an exhilarating experience that allows you to experience the power of the falls up-close. Or, learn about Sigridur Tómasdóttir, known as 'Iceland's first environmentalist'. This local woman campaigned to protect the falls from property development, and ultimately paved the way for the falls to be forever protected as a national conservation area.

Other Golden Circle attractions 

While Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall may be the most well-known Golden Circle attractions, there are some noteworthy detours too.

  • Fontana Geothermal Baths . Located in the town of Laugarvatn, between Þingvellir and the Geysirs, you can truly relax and unwind at the Fontana Geothermal Baths. Fontana spa uses the natural waters from the area’s hot springs to create 3 steam rooms, traditional Finnish sauna and shallow kid-friendly bathing pools
  • Kerið Crater . Kerið Crater forms a complete oval and has a small lake at the bottom. The rocks surrounding the crater have fiery reds and oranges combine with bursts of black and green while the lake below adds to the pallet with its sky-blue waters. You could take a thousand photos of this beautiful site.
  • Langjökull Glacier . For the adventure of a lifetime, head to Langjökull Glacier on a snowmobile. You can experience Langjökull Glacier at any time of year as there’s always snow. If you’re on a self-drive, you can get picked up from and returned to Gullfoss waterfall.
  • Sólheimar . On the drive from Þingvellir and the Geysir Geothermal Area, stop off at the ecovillage of Solheimar. Visiting this village allows you to learn more about how the community maximises the potential of every resident, regardless of their age or disability, and supports their cause.
  • Þjórsárdalur (Thjorsardalur) Valley . While not officially part of the Golden Circle, Thjorsardalur allows you to get off the beaten track. Here, you’ll find thundering waterfalls like Hjalparfoss, Haifoss, Glanni and Pjofafoss.
  • Skálholt . This little village is rich with history and is considered by some as Iceland’s first town. Skalholt was home to the country’s first bishop and school. It’s worth stopping to admire its quaint cathedral or visit the nearby Secret Lagoon.

Where to eat when driving the Golden Circle

Driving the Golden Circle provides plenty of photo opportunities. And if you're a fan of Instagramming your food as well -- no judgment here, honest! -- you may want to get a few pictures of some traditional and contemporary Icelandic cuisine while you're there. Along the way, eats such as Skyr yoghurt, fresh seafood like lobster tails, and locally grown farm produce could be a real feast for your senses.

Bowl of Icelandic soup

Our travel consultants recommend the following places to eat:

  • Skyrgerðin . Try traditional sky yoghurt at Skyrgerðin, housed in Hveragerði´s former Skyr yoghurt factory.
  • Friðheimar Farm . Get a light lunch of special tomato soup and home-baked bread at Friðheimar Tomato and Horse Farm. The tomatoes are all grown on-site, pollinated by imported Dutch bees in a greenhouse powered by the earth's internal heat. Non-drivers can even sample a geothermal Bloody Mary at the greenhouse bar. 
  • Efstidalur . This family farm is in the heart of the Golden Circle, on the way from Haukadalur (Geysir) to Þingvellir. Stop by for a special 'farm to table' experience, where dairy, meat and veg from the farm is served up in the farm restaurant.
  • Lindin . Indulge in chocolate desserts in a cosy setting at Lindin, located in the quaint village of Laugarvatn. Lindin also serves home-cooked Icelandic meals too.
  • Gallerý Laugarvatn . Roughly halfway between Geysir and Þingvellir, this cafe and handcraft gallery offers magnificent mountain views and the chance to pick up a handmade souvenir after you've had a snack.
  • Tryggvaskáli . Whether you like authentic Nordic dishes, seafood or burgers, this restaurant comes highly rated. Head over the bridge and into Selfoss, when you're at the southernmost point of the 'circle'.
  • Kaffi Krús . If you're thinking of a casual bite in Selfoss, rather than a restaurant meal, try Kaffi Krús. Here you'll discover warm, hearty dishes like pizza, pasta and burgers. Perfect for satisfying kids and parents alike.
  • Fjöruborðið . If you're willing to make a slight detour, Fjöruborðið in Stokkseyri is a Nordic Visitor staff favourite. Delight in langoustines in garlic butter (prepare to get a bit messy!), creamy tomato and langoustine soup, or traditional homemade cakes.

How much is the Golden Circle? Is it free?

While it doesn’t cost anything to enter the Golden Circle, you will need to rent a car and pay entrance fees at some of the sites. The total cost will depend on how long you rent a car for, the type of accommodation you stay at, how many ticketed sites you visit, and where you eat.

Where should you stay?

As noted before, you can do the whole Golden Circle in one day. Most journeys start and end in Reykjavik, where you can find hotels and guest houses to suit all budgets. With so many options to choose from, the only trick will be finding the right place to launch each day of your stay in Iceland.

At Nordic Visitor, we’ll sort all the lodgings for you. So, you don’t have to worry about researching and planning your route. We’ve carefully vetted and tested all of our chosen hotels and guest houses , which means you’ll always have a comfortable stay at competitive rates.

As a local travel agency, we have special relationships with our accommodation providers and tour organisers. So we will craft a personalised itinerary that provides a seamless getaway, with each day's activities and accommodation organised for you. We do all the heavy lifting so you can just enjoy dreaming of your Iceland trip.

When should you visit the Golden Circle?

The Land of Fire and Ice is a year-round destination, so it's really down to personal preference. Tour Iceland in the summer and you'll enjoy longer days. For a time, the sun barely sets at all, so you don’t need to worry about squeezing everything in before dark.

Top tip : self-drive in summertime means you can time your visits to avoid any coach tour crowds.

On the other hand, driving the Golden Circle in winter means you could see the northern lights or the jaw-dropping beauty of icy cliff-walls created by the freezing spray of Gullfoss. Decide how you’d like to spend your time in Iceland before you book a winter or summer break.

  • Book one of our self-drive tours with the Golden Circle included
  • Related: Driving the Diamond Circle in North Iceland

Is the Blue Lagoon part of the Golden Circle?

Technically the Blue Lagoon is not part of the Golden Circle, but you can easily visit both. Many tour companies offer a two-in-one day tour. But personally I feel this is a little demanding on your time: a trip to a spa experience should not be rushed.

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

A trip to the Blue Lagoon probably takes at least 4 hours including drive time, and you could easily spend a bit longer there. When self-driving the Golden Circle, meanwhile, you should spend at least 8 hours on the route and attractions. It just gives you more time to enjoy each attraction at your own pace. 

That's why I suggest that you'd be better off spending one full day on the Golden Circle, and another half-day enjoying the Blue Lagoon. It can often a good idea to spend half a day relaxing at the Blue Lagoon as a bookend of your trip. That is, either go there after your arrival at Keflavik, or before heading to the airport for an afternoon or evening flight home.

  • Thinking about not driving? Take a look at our Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon multi-day tour

Arrange your Golden Circle self-drive trip with us

Our dedicated travel consultants will arrange all the fine details of your self-drive Golden Circle adventure. We’ll plan your route so that driving time and sightseeing time are perfectly balanced.

When you book with us, your car rental comes with basic insurance, 2-driver allowance, a hand-drawn map, and unlimited Wi-Fi and mileage. All this, plus our 24/7 helpline, means your drive is stress-free.

  • Save time on planning: book one of our self-drive tours with the Golden Circle included  and let your own travel consultant manage all the paperwork
  • Explore a summer self-drive option with the  Golden Circle and South Coast .
  • View the winter self-drive alternative,  Golden Circle and South Coast - Winter .

We’ll also satisfy any special requirements on request. You can add extra destinations from your wishlist to your self-drive tour. Why not spend one final day indulging in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon, or cap off your trip with a city tour of chic Reykjavik, finishing with a five-star dining experience?

Check out our driving tours -- they all feature the Golden Circle.

greg blog profile

Greg Perkins is from Edinburgh, Scotland, but he adopted Iceland as his second country when Scotland (typically) managed not to qualify for football's Euro 2016 tournament. His passions include travel, English literature, and board games. Among his top travel experiences are sailing along Geirangerfjord with classically trained singers providing the soundtrack, seeing Sólheimajökull glacier up close in South Iceland, and witnessing the unspoiled beauty of New Zealand's Doubtful Sound fjord.

Find Greg on LinkedIn .

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.

GOLDEN CIRCLE & SOUTH COAST

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The 5 Best Golden Circle Tours From Reykjavik [2024 Reviews]

There’s a ton to see in the unique island of Iceland, though one of the most consistently popular routes is the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle is the most comprehensive route to take if you want to see all kinds of geothermal activity, volcanoes, waterfalls, an UNESCO world heritage site, and so much more!

While you can definitely take it yourself, if you want to make the most of your experience, we highly recommend taking a tour. The tours are put on by locals who know this area very well, and are incredibly knowledgeable about the culture and history.

So, without further ado, we bring you the top Golden Circle tours available!

Be sure to see our reviews of Northern Lights Tours , Whale Watching Tours and ATV Tours .

Best Golden Circle Tours in Iceland

Quick answer: the 5 best rated iceland golden circle tours for 2024.

  • Private Tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik
  • Private Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik
  • Golden Circle Private Tour
  • Golden Circle Iceland Tour
  • Private Golden Circle Tour by Superjeep from Reykjavik

Iceland Golden Circle Tour Reviews

1. private tour of the golden circle from reykjavik.

  • Duration: 7 to 8 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes:  Hotel/port pickup and drop-off in the capital area, private driver/guide, pure Icelandic bottled water, 4G WiFi in vehicle, Thingvellir National Park entry

The first tour on our guide offers an incredible time for everyone, regardless of age or background. If you’re looking to really see some of the most impressive natural wonders and learn about local history, then do yourself a favor and check this one out.

The Private Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik has everything covered for a convenient and memorable experience.

Lasting anywhere from 7 to 8 hours depending on traffic and weather, you’ll start off early in the morning. Hotel pickup is offered, so there’s no need to book transportation. They’ll come to you, so just be ready in the hotel lobby when they indicate.

The private guide is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, telling you all about the area as you pass by. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

The comfortable transport also comes with high-speed 4G wi-fi onboard, so you’ll remain in contact with others who aren’t on the trip and can upload photos and videos in real-time.

As this is a customized experience, you will tell your guide what your specific interests are so they can tailor the tour to them. You’ll start off driving through the magnificent Thingvellir National Park, which is famously the site of the world’s first democratic parliament, back when Vikings ruled.

Make a stop at Geysir, where you may even get to see Strokkur erupting! Have your camera ready for this show of electric-blue spray! Gullfoss, which is one of the largest waterfalls in the world, is next. After the natural wonders, stop at Skálholt, where Iceland had its first Episcopal See in 1065.

At this point, you’ve surely worked up an appetite, so stop at the Fridheimar greenhouse for a tasty local lunch.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience, other experiences you may enjoy:, 2. private golden circle tour from reykjavik.

  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Departure Time: Check with tour operator
  • Includes:  Private transportation, air-conditioned vehicle, bottled water, WiFi on board

No need to go renting a car and driving around the winding roads of Iceland to see all the beautiful nature it has to offer.

Instead be picked up from your accommodations and roam around in comfort, with a luxury 4WD vehicle complete with wi-fi, air conditioning, and bottled water. If that sounds like fun to you, check out the Private Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik .

Lasting around 7 hours, this tour packs in a whole lot of sightseeing and learning about this interesting culture!

After being picked up, you’ll start heading towards Thingvellir National Park. As you travel, your guide will offer an educational commentary about everything you pass by as well as the park.

Once you arrive, you’ll already have a pretty good idea about what it holds. However, seeing it in person is something else!

Head to the edge of the North American plate, where it sits on one side of a valley opposite the Eurasian plate and Þingvalla Lake. Check out the spot where Icelandic parliament initially assembled, as well as other prevalent historical landmarks.

Next, you’ll see two impressive natural wonders: the exploding geothermal Geysir, as well as the towering Gullfoss Waterfall and the nearby canyon. Further on, sits the gorgeous Faxi waterfall, as well as the impressive Kerid Crater.

You’ll have the chance to walk down into it if you’d like, to get a better glimpse of the lake that sits in the bottom.

After all that trekking around, take a load off at the Efsti-Dalur 2 farm, where you’ll even get to try out the process of making ice cream. It’s harder than you’d think!

3. Golden Circle Private Tour

  • Duration: 1 to 10 hours (variety available)
  • Departure Time:  Check with tour operator
  • Includes:  Bottled water, air-conditioned vehicle, private transportation, fees and taxes

While there are plenty of Golden Circle tours you can take in Iceland, many of them involve big groups of people. One of the best ways to see the area is by taking a private tour, such as the Golden Circle Private Tour .

This way, you get the guide all to yourselves for any questions you may have, and get to personalize it according to your top interests.

This one in particular is one group fee, and you can have up to 5 travelers included. This makes it wonderful if you are traveling with little ones or just want you and your family to go. The air-conditioned vehicle is very comfortable and has more than enough room for everyone.

This tour is so convenient because you get to choose your start time, within reason, of course. After all, this tour lasts quite a while and you don’t want to be driving around in the middle of the night.

Not only that, but they’ll pick you up from your hotel accommodations so you don’t have to do any driving.

Head to the fabled Thingvellir National Park, where you’ll see an old parliament site which is quite possibly the most important in all of Iceland. Also within the park are the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, where you even get to see the fault line between them!

Depending on your interests, your guide will also take you to various stunning natural wonders. The Gullfoss Waterfall should be on your agenda for the day, which is crystal-clear and enormous! As you check it out, your guide will fill you in on its history and how it came to be.

Geysir geothermal hot spring area is also fantastic to see, where the Strokkur hot spring lets loose an enormous jet of boiling water to fall through the air!

4. Iceland Golden Circle Tour

  • Duration: 6 to 8 hours
  • Includes:  Bottled water, WiFi on board, private transportation, parking fees, coffee and/or tea

No matter the time of year, the Golden Circle Iceland Tour is always a good idea! One of the reasons why it’s such a popular one, is due to their staff.

With an incredible attention to detail, great communication that begins right after booking, and vast knowledge about the country, you’re bound to have a great time.

Hotel pickup is included, so there’s no need to plan ahead in order to meet up at some other point beforehand. Lasting anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, it’s important to have a comfortable mode of transportation as you won’t always be walking around.

There’s quite a bit of sitting in-between different sites, so you’ll appreciate the padded/spacious seats. Air conditioning, bottled water, and wi-fi are all included as well so you’ll always be able to stay in touch and share your adventuring on social media.

Overall, you don’t have to worry about ever being uncomfortable or thinking, “are we there yet?!”. Your first stop of the morning will be at the gorgeous Kerid Crater/Selfoss. This crater, depending on the season, sports an array of colorful shades like dark red and green.

Sitting at the bottom is a beautiful turquoise lake, to perfectly contrast the surrounding tones. In the wintertime it is a bit more barren, but still impressive!

You’ll then see the Haukadalur valley which holds 1 of the 5 existing geyser fields on the entire planet! A wide variety of landscapes decorate the place, surrounded by steam and various hot springs full of pure Icelandic water. Some shoot water up to a whopping 30 meters high every few minutes!

After all that trekking, take a break for some local eats like their famous kjötsupa meat soup made with lamb. On a cooler day, this soup just hits the spot and recharges your adventuring battery right up.

After this, check out the impressive Gullfoss Waterfall/Golden Falls. As one of the most famous landmarks in the country, it sits in the middle of a mountain range, on a cliff. Walk through the clouds of water for the best view of the falls at the natural observation deck.

5. Private Golden Circle Tour by Superjeep from Reykjavik

  • Duration: 8 to 9 hours
  • Departure Time: 8:30 am
  • Includes:  Private tour, freedom to customize, National Park fees, transport by Land Rover Defender 4×4 Super Jeep, Jeeps equipped with leather seats, WIFI, GPS

We would be remiss to make a guide consisting of the best Golden Circle tours and not include this next gem. The Private Golden Circle Tour by Superjeep from Reykjavik is unlike any other you’ll find out there.

While you’ll get to see many of the same landmarks, traveling in a Super Jeep and with this crew is something special! Start off the day with a pickup at your hotel or accommodations. When you step out of the lobby, you’ll surely be a bit impressed at the unique form of transportation!

These well-maintained Jeeps involve massive wheels that move easily over the rugged (and often icy) Icelandic terrain. This means that your safety will never be put at risk, nor your comfort. Not to mention, they just look plain awesome!

Lasting 8 to 9 hours, you’ll get to see the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss Waterfall. We’ve already spoken quite a bit about these spots, so we won’t keep repeating the same thing.

Make sure to look out your windows and enjoy the views of rolling hills, rivers, and local wildlife. After you check out the Golden Circle’s main attractions, you’ll all make a stop for some local cuisine and have some time to relax.

After this, you’ll get to see a spot not many tourists see: the Langjökull ice cap! This is the second-largest ice cap in the country. Follow it up by seeing the small-but-pretty Faxi waterfall.

As this is all customizable, make sure to tell your guide about your specific interests and what you’d like to see most.

Iceland Travel Guide

There are many reasons the Land of Fire and Ice has seen an explosion in tourism since 2019. Not only can you see the Northern Lights, active volcanoes, glaciers, and puffins, you can also relax in a geothermal spa and even bake bread inside a pot buried underground.

What you decide to do in this fascinating country is your choice, but you should take the time to do some research before you go. This guide is here to inform you where you can go, what you can do, and how you can get there, because we want you to have the best vacation of your life in Iceland.

Airports & Entry

Most visitors to Iceland arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF). Although Iceland only has a population of 359 thousand people, in 2018 this busy airport handled 9.8 million passengers. Despite the number of visitors, there is only one terminal. You will find the check-in times minimal, with an average 20-minute waiting time at the security check.

Inside the terminal, you will find everything clearly signposted in English. Charging points for cellphones and laptops are provided in the waiting area along with free Wi-Fi.

Strollers are provided for children, and there is a dedicated kids’ play area. The usual selection of food outlets and shops are found on the upper floor of the main building. Manned information stands are located throughout the airport.

It is 30 miles from the airport to Reykjavik, the capital city. The speed limit is 55 mph, but the drive usually takes 50 minutes due to traffic. Shuttle bus services link KEF to the city, which you can book in advance online or pay for at the airport.

Some hotels offer airport collection, and you should ask about that when you book your room. You can, of course, jump in a taxi at the airport, but it will be extremely expensive compared to the airport bus service. Car rental is available at the airport, but it is advisable to book in advance.

Planning Tips

With so many exciting things to do and see in Iceland, you’re guaranteed to have a great holiday. However, things do not always go to plan, so here are 5 tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Tip #1: If you want to see the Aurora Borealis, go between September and March

It’s easier to view the Northern Lights when the sky is at its darkest. In Iceland, the nights are especially long between September and March, but the sky doesn’t grow dark enough to view this magical phenomenon during the summer months. However, do not plan a visit around a full moon, because its light can dampen the impact of this natural light display. The best days to go are around the time of a new moon.

Tip #2: Check out the SolarHam website

If you are especially interested in the Aurora Borealis and want to earn your Geek Badge, check out the SolarHam website. This techy site provides a 3-day geomagnetic forecast, which is useful for aurora hunters to select the best time to view the Northern Lights. The same site provides a satellite map of where the natural light show is right now, so you can look up if you’re near.

Tip #3: Take your time to enjoy all the attractions of Iceland

There’s so much to see in Iceland, it would be a crime not to explore and experience as much as you are able in the time you have. While you are there, do not miss the opportunity to see so many unforgettable natural phenomena in one place.

A great way to see all the national parks is with a horseback riding tour ! There is nowhere else on the planet where you can see active volcanoes, glaciers, and icebergs, all in one national park. A great way to explore is with an ATV tour of the park .

Tip #4: Book everything in advance, especially in winter

Tourism is on the rise in Iceland, and hotel rooms, tours, and attractions get fully-booked ahead of time.  Don’t miss out on seeing the Northern Lights from the best vantage point possible because all the tours were booked-up before you arrived. Many tours like the ones detailed above offer a 24-hour-in-advance free cancellation, so you take no financial risk booking. Ask about free cancellation when buying your ticket.

Tip #5: Impress your friends with quintessentially Icelandic souvenirs

The budget chain store Bonus stocks many unique Icelandic products, such as Omnom chocolate, Icelandic specialty teas, herbal sea salt blends, and licorice mixed with chocolate. At Bonus, you can pick up great, inexpensive gifts for your friends! Vinbuoin, the state-run liquor store, sells a fine selection of renowned Icelandic spirits, including Iceland’s signature tipple, Brennivin.

And if you like to sort through other folks’ debris for the hidden treasures, a special weekend market is held at Kolaportio in downtown Reykjavik where Icelanders come to sell off their unwanted goods when moving to a new house. You could find anything!

Restaurants & Eating Out

Because of Iceland’s geographical position and climate, vegetables and grains are rare in traditional foods, and many famous dishes focus on preserved seafood or meat. Also, food was scarce in yesteryears, so every part of an animal or fish was eaten. You’ll find many traditional meals involve fish or meat that is salted, smoked, dried, or fermented. Watch out for such culinary delights as baked sheep’s head and fermented shark.

Seafood restaurants are common throughout Iceland, and all serve “fish of the day”, which is usually salmon, monkfish, haddock, or cod. However, if you wish, you can seek out some of the more exotic options. Humar is a kind of lobster caught off the south coast of Iceland, renowned for its tender and tasty flesh.

It is served fried, baked or grilled, though it can also be found as a pizza topping! Plokkfishkur is a fish stew, made to the chef’s specific recipe but usually combining white fish with onions, potatoes, milk, and flour. Harofiskur is a snack you can buy in any grocery store. It is dried stockfish, eaten with butter or straight out of a bag.

Because it is difficult to grow wheat in Iceland, there are many traditional varieties of rye bread, like flatkaka, baked in thin disks on hot stones. One variety of rye bread you should try is rugbrauo, a sweet-tasting, dark bread.

The reason rugbrauo is so interesting for visitors to Iceland is that a common baking technique is to bury a dough-filled pot near one of the many hot springs, such as Fontana Hot Springs, and use geothermal heat to bake the bread. Rugbrauo baked that way is also called hyerabrauo (hot-spring bread).

Icelanders don’t only eat fish and rye bread. Sheep are the most common livestock in Iceland, so lamb is often on the menu. Sheep wander freely around the countryside, eating seaweed, grass, and berries, which tends to make lamb tender with a mild flavor.

Smoked lamb is called hangikjöt and is often served boiled during the winter holidays. Also watch out for varieties of meat you won’t see in most other countries, like puffin, horse, and whale. Despite international concern over puffins and whales, they are still commonly consumed in Iceland.

A meal on vacation isn’t complete without dessert. Popular local sweets include rugbrauosis (rye bread ice cream), pönnukökur (Icelandic pancakes), and snuour (cinnamon bread covered in caramel or chocolate). A dairy product unique to Iceland is skyr.

It is a kind of sour milk cheese eaten like yogurt and often sweetened and flavored with fruit or vanilla.

Nightlife & Entertainment

With long, cold nights throughout the winter, it’s no surprise Icelanders love their nightlife, and much of it is centered where most of the people live—Reykjavik. Because the capital is so small, most of the clubs and bars are within walking distance of one another. In fact, many are along one street, Laugavegur, the commercial artery of downtown.

Most social venues are informal and entrance fees rare. When Icelanders go out for the night, they tend to begin late, and many clubs and bars don’t get busy until after midnight. This is in part because alcohol in bars is expensive, so locals drink at home before setting out.

Many clubs and bars stay open as late as 5 am. Cocktail bars are a recent addition to Iceland’s nightlife, but with the booming tourist trade, they are rapidly expanding.

And don’t worry too much about safety at night. In 2019, the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney ranked Iceland the most peaceful nation on Earth for the 12 th year running. Crime rates in Reykjavik are probably lower than anywhere you have ever lived.

Getting Around

Iceland is a small country covering an area slightly smaller than Kentucky. If you wanted to drive from Reykjavik on the west coast to Faskruosfjorour on the east coast, the 425 miles route would take only 8½ hours.

However, because of its small population outside of the capital, you cannot rely on public transport to go sightseeing around the country or reach the best place to view the northern lights. This leaves you with two options: hiring a car or booking a coach tour, like the 3-day Golden Circle tour detailed above.

Within the capital and its immediate area, you do have more options: bus, taxi, bicycle, or walk. The public bus service is inexpensive and efficient, and you can ask for help to find the right bus from your hotel reception. Given that Reykjavik is so small a city, taxis are affordable.

If you want a little exercise, bicycle rentals are available in many hotels, and the city is crisscrossed by dedicated bicycle paths. If you decide to walk, make sure you wrap up well. The weather can deteriorate rapidly in Iceland.

Accommodations

Over the past few years, Iceland has seen a huge expansion in tourism. With a 378% increase since 2010, hotel rooms fill up quickly. Through Christmas and summer, hotels are usually fully booked. Since 228 of Iceland’s 359 thousand citizens live within the capital and its immediate hinterland, settlements throughout the rest of Iceland are small and rooms for visitors limited. Most hotels are in the capital.

You will probably find it most convenient to stay in Reykjavik. You will find a broad range of hotels there, it is near the airport, and many of the attractions along with most of the nightlife are found there or nearby. Many organized tours to other parts of Iceland and major tourist attractions set out from Reykjavik, such as most of the Northern Lights tours detailed above.

Within the downtown and central area of Reykjavik you will find a choice of luxury hotels, like the Hotel Borg downtown and The Icelandair Hotel Marina, overlooking the harbor. If you head a little more out of the center, you’ll find more affordable hostels, such as The Capital Inn and Bus Hostel Reykjavik .

There are some popular hotels outside of the capital near to tourist attractions, such as Hotel Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park, which offers spectacular views of Iceland’s largest mountain, or Skyrhusid Guesthouse near Lake Jökulsarion in the south. Wherever you decide to stay, the important thing is to book in advance. If you don’t, you will miss out on the best rooms.

Iceland is not the place to go if you want year-round sunshine and dry weather. In fact, on 22 nd December there are only 4 hours of daylight, because that is the shortest day. That’s great if you want to see the Aurora Borealis, since it can only be seen during dark nights, but not so good for other sightseeing. In contrast, the longest day boasts 21 hours of daylight, 21 st June.

The “warm” summer period covers June, July, and August, with an average daily high of 55 0 F and a low of 46 0 F. Yes, 55 0 F is their summer high! Summers are short and cloudy. The winter period covers November through March, two months longer than summer, and is cold, wet, windy, and overcast, with frequent snow. The average daily high drops to 35 0 F in January with a low of 27 0 F.

If your main interest is the Northern Lights, you should go anytime September through March, because the sky is dark enough to view those fantastic electromagnetic displays. If the Aurora Borealis does not interest you, you’ll get the warmest weather and longer days from the end of June to mid-August.

Attractions

The Northern Lights are not the only unique and fascinating attraction in Iceland. The Land of Fire and Ice is the best place in the world to see and experience the majesty and power of two extremes in Nature: glaciers and volcanoes.

12 miles from KEF is the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Here you can laze in pools of hot, milky blue water heated by a lava flow. Nearby stands the Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant, which uses superheated water from the lava flow to generate electricity and also provide heat for a municipal water heating system.

There are geothermal spas like the Blu Lagoon throughout Iceland, so wherever you choose to stay, you can find one near you and experience the power of molten rock.

If you are there in the winter, be sure to see the migrating whales. To have the best chance of see them, that a whale watching tour . The boat captains know the best places to go to see them.

If ice and Arctic landscapes interest you, head 140 miles east from Reykjavik to Vatnajökull National Park , which is centered on Vatnajökull glacier and the surrounding beautiful landscape. This park covers 14% of Iceland and is filled with glacial rivers and active volcanoes. To fully see it, take a tour of the glaciers and be sure to see the ice caves .

Vatnajökull glacier empties into the glacial lake of Jökulsarion in the south, where you can see 100-feet-tall icebergs freshly broken away from the glacier. Jökulsarion served as a setting in several major Hollywood movies. On your drive back to Reykjavik, you can see two beautiful waterfalls around Skogar. The first, Skogafoss, is an impressive waterfall and a popular destination for Icelandic day-trippers.

18 miles west of Skogafoss is picturesque Seljalandsfoss waterfall . A path allows sightseers to pass behind the curtain of water as it falls into the crystal-clear plunge pool.

If it’s man-made cultural and historical attractions you seek, you’ll find plenty to do and see around Reykjavik. The capital’s earliest history stretches back to 874, but it only became a true city in 1785.

Around Reykjavik, you’ll find an interesting assortment of museums and tourist attractions, like the National Museum of Iceland and the Reykjavik Maritime Museum.

A famous landmark visitors flock to see is the Hallgrimskirkja Church, which is the largest church in Iceland. This unique structure was designed by a local architect to resemble the glaciers and mountains of Iceland.

Tour Guides

The Private Tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik is our Editors Choice for the best Golden Circle tour

Robert Baker

Related articles, the 5 best stonehenge tours from london [2024 reviews], the 5 best florence wine tours [2024 reviews], the 7 best vatican tours ⛪ [2024 reviews], the 5 best seine river dinner cruises [2024 reviews].

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Gullfoss waterfall on Golden Circle Tour

14 Best Golden Circle Tours In Iceland Worth Your Money

June 28, 2020 //  by  Iceland Trippers //   Leave a Comment

Golden Circle Tours are a great way to see Iceland and take the stress out of driving. If you are thinking of taking a guided tour you have come to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through the best Golden Circle Tours in Iceland so you can make the best decisions for your circumstances and budget.

The Golden Circle is a 190 mile (approx) route that takes in some of the most spectacular landmarks Iceland has to offer.  The classic route takes in the three most popular tourist attractions; Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Thingvellir National Park. However, there are lots more things to see off the popular tourist route. 

Planning your Golden Circle visit at the last minute?

Make sure to book ahead! The Golden Circle is popular and hotels and tours often sell out the closer you get to your trip. Here are our top picks for the Golden Circle!

Top Golden Circle Experiences And Tours:

  • Golden Circle Full Day Tour From Reykjavik (Likely to sell out!)
  • Golden Circle + Kerid Crater + Blue Lagoon Tour (Likely to sell out!)
  • Glacier Snowmobile And Golden Circle Tour (Unique experience)
  • Secret Lagoon, Golden Circle, And Kerid Crater (Local hot spring!)

Top Golden Circle Hotels:

  • Blue Hotel Fagrilundur (Amazing Golden Circle location!)
  • Hotel Gullfoss (With traditional Icelandic restaurant)
  • Hotel South Coast (Close to the Ring Road)
  • Hotel Geysir (Steps from the famous Icelandic Geysir)

The Golden Circle is named after its main attraction, the Gullfoss (Golden) Waterfall which is an awe-inspiring sight, especially if you are lucky to see a rainbow arch over it in the Summer.

The Thingvellir National Park is Iceland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site. As well as being the birthplace of the world’s oldest parliament, thanks to the Vikings, it’s where the tectonic plates of America and Europe collide.

Geysir Geothermal Area contains Strokkur Geyser, which erupts every few minutes up to heights of 35 meters.

Going on one of these Golden Circle tours allows you to walk in the footsteps of Vikings, see the ground gurgle and bubble and experience a glacial river cascade 32 meters into a narrow canyon.

The Golden Circle is a great way to get a glimpse of the sights of Iceland and experience the majestic scenery this country is known for. 

A Golden Circle Tour in Iceland is well worth it and you will be left with memories to last a lifetime. Get a FREE printable “Hidden Gems In Iceland” E-book by joining our private  Iceland Facebook Group  and share your photos and ask for tips and tricks.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland on the Golden Circle Tours

Why Take A Tour Of The Golden Circle?

There are many reasons you may prefer to take one of the Golden Circle tours rather than drive.

Firstly the obvious is that you don’t have to drive and you can relax and let someone else do all the work while you just sit back and enjoy the scenery. You are likely to also learn more and see more as the experienced guides escort you around the various locations.

Golden Circle tours often tend to not work out that expensive when you add up the cost of renting a car and fuel. Most of the tours leave from Reykjavik and you can often get picked up from your hotel.

Golden Circle Iceland tours are the best way for you to enjoy your holiday with none of the stress and pressure of having to organize and plan.

The Iceland weather is also very unpredictable, especially in winter and traveling on a guided tour will mean you are safe at all times and don’t have to worry about driving in bad weather or worry about exploring places that might be dangerous in slippery conditions.

Participating in one of The Golden Circle Tours will allow you to see what you need to in a relaxing, comfortable, and informative environment.

Make sure to check out our post about Where To Stay In The Golden Circle if you are planning your trip!

Geysir Geothermal Area in The Golden Circle Area of Iceland

We have listed below the best Golden Circle tours in Iceland for your perusal, some just take in The Golden Circle and some combine the Golden Circle with other attractions.

Whichever tour you decide to take we know you will have an incredible time and we can’t wait to hear all about it on your return. These are truly some of the Best Tours In Iceland!

Please note that most of the Golden Circle tour Iceland do not include food, so be prepared for that and bring some form of payment.

Also, make sure you read all the information linked to each tour. Some require you to bring particular items, such as a swimming suit, or have certain conditions for those bookings. We want you to enjoy your Golden Circle tours, so please plan ahead. 

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland visited on a Golden Circle Tours

From Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full Day Tour (6.5-7 hours)

This Golden Circle full day tour takes in all the main sites of The Golden Circle. It’s one of the best Golden Circle tours in Iceland if you want to take in the main attractions.

You will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir, see the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall and visit two geothermal geysers, Geysir and Strokkur.

You will be able to marvel at the breathtaking tectonic plate scenery of Thingvellir, feel the mist of  Gullfoss and see spouting hot springs

Transportation is on a first-class bus, starting and ending in  Reykjavik and you will have English speaking commentary throughout.

A great way to see the main sights of The Golden Circle.

Book Here: From Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full Day Tour

Female traveler at Gullfoss Falls in Iceland on Golden circle tours

Golden Circle Afternoon Tour (8 hours)

Another variation on the classic Golden Circle Tour. On the Golden Circle Afternoon Tour , you can see where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet at Thingvellir, visit Gulfoss and see the Geysir area.

You will visit the geothermal area of Geysir first and see the spouting hot springs. Then make your way to the Golden Falls, Gullfoss before finishing up at Thingvellir.

This tour offers hotel pickup and commentary.

Book Here: Golden Circle Afternoon Tour

Great Geysir lies in Haukadalur valley

Reykjavik: Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and Reykjanes Tour (11 hours)

On the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and Reykjanes Tour you visit Thingvellir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir area. You then head on to the Reykjanes Peninsula.

This small group tour takes in the classic sights of The Golden Circle but adds on an optional stop at The Blue Lagoon (costs extra) and a visit of the often-overlooked alien landscape of Reykjanes peninsular.

Those that have tickets for the Blue Lagoon depart the bus to spend 2-3 hours at the Lagoon. The others explore the Reykjanes area on a sightseeing tour; this area is known for old craters, fissures, and bubbling, geothermal mud pools.

You will visit the lava rock pool Brimketill, the mud pools at Gunnuhver, and the area around Reykjanesvit. If time allows a drive towards the “Bridge Between Continents” the boundaries between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. You then return to the Blue Lagoon and head back to Reykjavik.

This tour picks up from the hotel and there will be no more than 19 people on your tour.

Book Here: Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and Reykjanes Tour.

Thingvellir National Park on a Golden Circle tours

Golden Circle Small Group Tour with Secret Lagoon Experience ( 8 hours)

This Golden Circle Small Group Tour with Secret Lagoon Experience allows you to see the main sights of the Golden Circle and bathe in a secret lagoon, so make sure you bring your swimsuit.

This tour departs at mid-morning, which often means you can visit theses natural wonders without the crowds.  

You will visit Gulfoss waterfall, one of Europe’s largest waterfalls and Iceland’s pride, stand next to Strokkur geyser as it spouts water 30 meters high, and walk between tectonic plates in Thingvellir National Park.

On this relaxed tour, you visit these attractions after the morning crowds have gone. 

After you have taken in The Golden Circle you will visit the hot spring pool where you can relax in the warm waters of a natural bath. It’s a great way to finish off this more relaxing way to see the sights.

This tour offers local hotel pick up. The secret lagoon admission is included and you will be on a small tour with no more than 19 people.

Book Now: Golden Circle Small Group Tour with Secret Lagoon Experience.

girls swimming in The Secret  Lagoon Iceland

Small-Group Premium Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik (8 hours)

This Small-Group Premium Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik comes with a professional guide and a 300km loop from Reykjavík to central Iceland and back.

This tour promises spectacular natural formations, geysers, waterfalls, lakes, and more. Just a normal day in Iceland, then. Of coarse you visit the iconic Golden Circle places but you also get to visit a traditional Icelandic horse stable and enjoy a unique show.

The tour takes in Thingvellir before a stop at Fríðheimar farm. The farm, besides growing tomatoes and cucumbers, is passionate about horses. And you get to visit the Icelandic horses close up.

After having lunch ( at your own expense) you move on to visit Geysir and it’s brother Strokkur, which erupts every 3-4 minutes with spouts as high as 30 meters. You then move onto the majestic Gullfoss and get a glimpse of Kerid, a crater filled with a lake of milky blue/green water surrounded by black and red slopes, an awe-inspiring spectacle.

Admission to all attractions is included. This is one of the Golden Circle tours with some amazing added extras. 

Book Now: Small-Group Premium Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik .

kerid crater with the vivid blue pool

Reykjavik: Golden Circle and Waterfalls Small Group Tour (9 hours)

If you like your Golden Circle tours with added waterfalls then this one is for you.

This Golden Circle and Waterfalls Small Group Tour goes off the beaten track a little taking in the Friðheimar tomato farm and Kerid crater mentioned above.

You also discover some hidden gems like Efstidalur Farm and the Laugarvatn area of Bruarfoss, Oxararfoss, and Fax.

This intimate small tour makes a great family day out.

Book Now: Reykjavik: Golden Circle and Waterfalls Small Group Tour

Oxararfoss waterfall in Iceland

Golden Circle & Silfra Snorkeling Small Group Tour (9 hours)

If you like your Golden Circle tours with some added extras this Golden Circle & Silfra Snorkeling Small Group Tour might be for you.

You will explore the Geysir, the stunning rivers, and lava fields of Thingvellir National Park and see Gullfoss but you will also get to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Silfra Fissure.

The Silfra Fissure really is an experience.  Silfra is a rift formed in the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates and the water is such a vivid blue color. It’s like nowhere else. Drysuits are provided and they will keep your warm in the 2 degrees Celsius water. A real experience for those wanting a bit more.

Book Now: Golden Circle & Silfra Snorkeling Small Group Tour

People Snorkeling swimming diving in the blue cold glacier water in famous fissure Silfra between two tectonic plates in the national park Thingvellir in Iceland. Blue transparent water, deep colors.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle Tour with Blue Lagoon Visit & Entry ( 13 hours)

If you want your Golden Circle tour to be on the more relaxing side the Golden Circle Tour with Blue Lagoon Visit & Entry is maybe what you are looking for.

This tour includes all the popular sights of the Golden Circle followed by a dip in the healing relaxing waters of the Blue Lagoon.

You get at least 45 minutes at the major stops, Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, and Strokkur Geyser. You then get a 30-minute break in Reykjavik before hitting the road to ride to The Blue Lagoon where you get to spend 3 hours relaxing in the mineral-rich water while enjoying the view.

A perfect way to end an enjoyable day. All admission included and hotel pick-up, you will also get a silica mud mask and a drink at The Blue Lagoon.

Book Now: Reykjavik: Golden Circle Tour with Blue Lagoon Visit & Entry .

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

From Reykjavik: Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobile Tour ( 11 Hours)

Visit the Golden Circle and ride a snowmobile through what is known as one of Europe’s last great wilderness areas.

Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobile Tour leaves Reykjavík early to catch the morning sun on a bus that has computer tablets in each seat. First, you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park then move onto Geysir Hot Springs. You then drive to snowmobile base camp at the foot of Langjökull Glacier where you will ride across the ice fields on one of the biggest glaciers in the world.

This tour is a real gem and a great way to experience Iceland at its best.

Hotel pick ups available and all necessary equipment included.

Book Now: Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobile Tour

snowmobile at Vatnajokull Glacier

Reykjavik: Golden Circle & Ice Cave Super Jeep Tour ( 10 hours)

A real once in a lifetime experience. You travel in a specially modified super truck and visit the famous Golden circle and a natural ice cave.

Your Golden Circle & Ice Cave Super Jeep Tour starts when you meet your jeep driver. You stop at the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and the jeep allows you to adventure off the beaten track. You then visit the ice cave in Langjokull glacier. The colors on the cave walls are breathtaking and this experience is incredible.

You can have an optional snowmobile ride to the glacier. Then if daylights and time permits you make a short stop at Thingvellir National Park on the way back to Reykjavik.

This tour is a small group and admissions are included.

Book Now: Golden Circle & Ice Cave Super Jeep Tour

Inside the Langjökull glacier, Iceland

Golden Circle and South Shore by Luxury Jeep ( 11 hours)

Golden Circle and South Shore by Luxury Jeep really does cram a lot in.

This Golden Circle tour takes in the Golden Circle and more including Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Eyjafjallajokull, Solheimajokull, and the black beaches at the South Shore.

Leaving from Reykjavik you head off to The South Shore seeing farmlands and a recently-erupted volcano.

You see a lot on this tour including Eyjafjallajökull, an ice cave with a volcano at the summit and Solheimajökull, a blue ice-colored glacier in Myrdalsjokul . Also marvel at the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, the black beach of Sólheimasandur, and all the Golden Circle Sights. One of the Golden Circle tours that really does offer a lot.

Book Now: Golden Circle and South Shore by Luxury Jeep.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall during the sunset, Beautiful waterfall in Iceland. Visited on a Golden Circle Tours

Reykjavík City Sightseeing & Golden Circle Express ( 10 hours)

If you are short of time then this Reykjavík City Sightseeing & Golden Circle Express might be the one for you. You get to see the sights of  Reykjavik city and the stunning scenery of Iceland’s Golden Circle.

You start your tour in Reykjavik visiting the Presidential Residence at Bessastaðir and Hafnarfjörður. Take in the incredible view over Reykjavík from the Perlan Restaurant 360° observation deck. You’ll also visit Hallgrímskirkja Church, the University area, and the Old Town Center, where you can see the Alþingi–Iceland’s Parliament.

After some free time in Reykjavik you go on your Golden Circle tour taking in all the sights and the incredible scenery.

Save time and see the sights of Reykjavik city and the stunning volcanic scenery of Iceland’s Golden Circle with this combined tour.

Book Now: Reykjavík City Sightseeing & Golden Circle Express

Reykjavik, Iceland city scape - lake quay in city center.

Reykjavik: Golden Circle and Black Beach ATV Tour ( 10 hours)

The Golden Circle and Black Beach ATV Tour what’s not to love. 

You will see the erupting geyser and a variety of hot springs. Learn about Vikings in the Thingvellir National Park and experience the magnificence and power of the Gullfoss Waterfall.

After seeing the must-see attractions you get behind the wheel of an all-terrain vehicle for an unforgettable ride along Iceland’s South Coast black sand beaches and dramatic volcanic landscapes.

This is a tour filled with views and adrenaline.

Book Now: Golden Circle and Black Beach ATV Tour

Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara in Iceland. Windy Morning. Visited on a Golden Circle Tours

Iceland’s Golden Circle & Whale Watching Full-Day Tour ( 10 hours)

The Golden Circle and Whale Watching Full-Day Tour has to be a tour made in heaven.  In the morning take a cruise to observe humpback whales, harbor porpoise, and white-beaked dolphin before taking an afternoon express tour of The Golden Circle.

This incredible tour shows you whales in their native environment and if you are lucky you may also see puffins, arctic terns, gannet, and many varieties of gull.

You are then picked up at the harbor for your Golden Circle Tour taking in Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the spouting hot springs of Geysir and Strokkur.

This really will be an unforgettable experience.

Book Now: Golden Circle and Whale Watching Full-Day Tour

Humpback Whale breaching in deep blue sea at Iceland in the morning on a Golden Circle Tours

We do hope you have found the perfect tour for you in these golden circle Iceland tours. Whichever one you pick you won’t be disappointed and the scenery is breathtaking. Taking one of these Golden Circle tours truly is an unforgettable experience.

You might also be interested in The Complete Guide To The Blue Lagoon Iceland and 7 Helpful Things To Know About Money In Iceland

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Icelandic Horseback Riding

Golden Circle Iceland: All the Landmarks You Need to See

When you visit Iceland, it’s possible to simply run out of time: so much beauty, splendour, and activity and so little time. The worst thing about your trip to Iceland? It ends too soon.

Fortunately, Europe’s most sparsely populated nation contains a few of its most iconic sites clustered together closely enough to visit in one sweeping day tour.

The route that spans these sites is known as the Golden Circle . And it’s a must-see excursion for any visitor to Iceland.

Travel the Golden Circle route to behold incredible open spaces and stunning geology. The three major stops for Golden Circle tours are Þingvellir National Park , Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Haukadalur Geothermal Area.

Within and around each of these primary sites, there’s a multitude of individual landmarks and activities to explore. Whether you’re a nature lover, geology enthusiast, or simply in pursuit of the perfect travel photo, the Golden Circle is sure to please.

Planning the trip of a lifetime to Iceland? Be sure to include the Golden Circle in your itinerary. Here are the basic facts on the Golden Circle route’s top points of interest.

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir National Park is a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site in south Iceland

Þingvellir National Park is the only UNESCO World Heritage site on the Icelandic mainland. While it’s often the incredible landscapes that entice visitors, the location’s cultural history is actually what earned Þingvellir its UNESCO designation.

The world’s oldest existing parliament first met at Þingvellir. The open-air gathering occurred in 930 AD and the site continued to be used as a meeting place until 1798. The national park is named for the parliamentary meetings, as Þingvellir translates to parliamentary plains .

The parliamentary group that met in Þingvellir was known as the Alþing General Assembly. During their sessions, leaders and citizens converged here from all across the country, contributing to the region’s rich cultural history that’s celebrated and preserved to this day.

At the same time,  Iceland’s fascinating geology is on full display within the boundaries of the park.

The nation is divided by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a tectonic plate boundary that separates the Eurasian and North American plates. The landscape of Þingvellir actually displays the exposed tectonic plates of the rift.

In fact, it’s the only place on earth where you can stand on dry land between two continental plates. Take it all in as you behold the unique landscape made up of picturesque rock formations and numerous bodies of water.

The national park is also home to a great variety of wildlife. Þingvellir Lake and the surrounding birch woodlands are home to trout and other fish, mink, and more than 50 species of wild birds.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Iceland day tour site: the golden falls of the Gullfoss Waterfall - natural wonders

Gullfoss Waterfall sends a tremendous surge of up to 140 cubic metres of water per second.

The waterfall and its surroundings are well-preserved, providing a pristine visual delight for visitors. However, the future of Gullfoss was once very much in question.

Back in 1907, an Englishman named Howell was leasing the land around Gullfoss. He was interested in setting up a hydroelectric plant on the falls. The landowner’s daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir , led the fight to stop the project.

Tómasdóttir hurriedly gathered the funds to hire a lawyer to nullify Howell’s contractual rights. Thanks to her passionate efforts, which included the threat of throwing herself down the waterfall, the hydroelectric plant project was eventually abandoned.

Today, Gullfoss Waterfall continues to run free, and Tómasdóttir is recognized as an Icelandic conservation hero. So remember to say a quick thank you to Sigríður Tómasdóttir when you visit the Gullfoss Waterfall.

Thanks to the downward-facing viewpoint, there’s a real majesty in standing atop the epic waterfall.

Visitors walk a narrow path towards a ledge that provides a downward view of the falls. There, the water crashes down two cascades of 11 and 21 meters towards a crevasse below.

Gullfoss translates to golden falls . That’s where the entire Golden Circle gets its name.

And if you visit on a sunny day you’ll see a full array of colours. Thousands of tiny rainbows appear where the sunlight meets the mist—a sight you won’t soon forget.

Haukadalur Geothermal Area

Geysir geothermal area in southwest Iceland, Iceland’s golden circle tour region

Fans of geologic phenomena won’t want to miss a visit to Haukadalur. It’s a geothermal valley , just west of the Gullfoss Waterfall, home to hot springs and geysers.

Some of the most famous sites in Iceland are found in the Haukadalur valley. These include its two biggest geysers, Strokkur and Geysir.

Geysir, sometimes called The Great Geysir, is the source of the English language word geyser . The name comes from the Icelandic verb geysa , meaning “to gush”.

So all of the famous gushing eruptions around the world that we know as geysers have Iceland’s Great Geysir to thank for their name.

Geysir doesn’t erupt too often these days—it’s been active for 10,000 years and it’s slowing down. Strokkur, on the other hand, is incredibly dependable, erupting every five to ten minutes.

That’s quite a bit more frequent than Old Faithful, the famous geyser of Yellowstone National Park in the United States.

In addition to the geysers, you’ll find over 40 hot springs, fumaroles , and mud pots . Fumaroles are steam-emitting openings in the earth’s crust, while mud pots are acidic, bubbling, muddy hot springs.

All in all, with the earth opening up and exhaling all around you, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled to the edge of the earth, or into another world entirely.

Travelling the Golden Circle Route

golden circle in Iceland, Thingvellir national park along the golden circle

The Golden Circle is just a few hours from Reykjavik . It makes for an easy day trip from the capital.

Driving the Golden Circle route in its entirety, hitting all of three of the main destinations, can be done in around three hours.

However, there’s a lot to see, so you might prefer to make a full day of it. To spend more time at each, take individual day trips to the different sites.

Golden Circle Tour Group or Rental Car Excursion?

So, what’s better—travelling in a guided tour group or renting a car and going on your own? Well, that depends entirely on your preferences, because both options are great.

There are lots of excellent Golden Circle tours leaving regularly from Reykjavik. Be sure to check out our guide on Iceland’s best tours to get a feel for what’s available.

With a guide, your day is simplified. You don’t have to worry about planning your route or managing a vehicle. Most importantly, you’ll benefit from the presence of someone that’s an expert on the Golden Circle, helping to inform you and make your visit more enjoyable.

That said, a self-guided tour is totally manageable, if that’s your thing. The route is not too long and it’s relatively simple. The entire loop, starting and ending in Reykjavik, totals about 300 km.

You’ll have the freedom to stick around at sites you enjoy and do a bit of exploring on your own.

However you choose to visit the Golden Circle, you’ll get to experience a truly remarkable region of one of the planet’s most fascinating countries.

Learn More About Iceland’s Greatest Landmarks and Attractions

The Golden Circle is Iceland’s most visited tour route and contains some of the nation’s most iconic spots. It’s close to the capital and easy to visit, so it makes for a great first day tour when you’re newly arrived in Iceland.

Of course, a day trip to these landmarks is just the beginning of your Icelandic adventure. There’s so much more to see. It’s always best to plan ahead so that you can experience everything that appeals to you.

Be sure to read up on standout attractions such as the Blue Lagoon and Black Sand Beach as well as things to do in Iceland (northern lights hunt!) and the best time to visit Iceland .

Read more from Iceland.org to keep learning about the spectacular nation of Iceland.

Featured Image from: Flickr by Frank Hukriede

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YOUR ICELAND ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Best golden circle tour from reykjavik: geysir, gullfoss and thingvellir, exclusive iceland golden circle iceland adventure: private tour, explore golden circle & langjökull on a monster truck, snowmobiling and golden circle iceland super jeep tour, what our customers say.

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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.

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

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

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

I would do it again & take more time at the geyser & the Fontana Thermal baths.Restroom / WC stops at all locations.Food & snacks too.Geyser, National Park Falls & Thermal Spa were all top notch & bucket list items.Just no chain hotels close, except for school during the summer, or yerra we saw on the way 99 minutes outside of Reykjavik to get back to hotel.

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Franklin from Your Day Tours drive and guided all day today, and it was an amazing and enjoyable moment. Great job Franklin. Much appreciated

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Professional tour operator with comfortable bus and also expert tour guide. I highly recommend you to visit Golden Circle as your first priority on your Iceland tour.It took less than 8 hours and it will be great if you finish your day by swimming in Sky lagoon.

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

This tour consists of 3 natural splendors namely Thingvellir National Park,Gullfoss Waterfall and Iceland Geysers. This tour is worth the time and money spend. Highly encourage this tour on your next visit to Reykjavik in Iceland.

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Really well put together tour, the Geysors, waterfalls and the history behind the two tectonic plates

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Marvelous tour. Smaller group +++ Secret lagoon was 🍒 Waterfall and geysir 👌 …

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Nice tour plenty to see on the coach for a good few hours.Been on the tour twice now, better when there's snow as it looks more picturesque.Would recommend as a good day out.

Golden Circle Day Tours Review

Great service and an even better stay.

Things to do in Iceland

Top locations to visit, join the best golden circle tours with us.

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Golden Circle Iceland in 2 Days – Self Drive Tour & Map

Map with route and stops on the Golden Circle of Iceland

The Golden Circle in Iceland normally takes you from Reykjavik to 3 highlights: the waterfall Gullfoss , Þingvellir National Park , and Geysir in the Haukadalur geyser basin . In this itinerary, we want to introduce you to the other highlights along the Golden Circle of Iceland. These highlights will allow you to extend your drive along the Golden Circle in Iceland to 2 days or 3 days.

Map with route and stops on the Golden Circle of Iceland for a 2 days itinerary

If you’re interested in just the highlights of the Golden Circle, or if you’re short on time, check our 1-day itinerary along the Golden Circle.

Check our guide: The Golden Circle in Iceland in 1 day

2-Day Itinerary for Extended Visit to the Golden Circle

Our itinerary below will take you to all the main stops on the Golden Circle of Iceland. But next to that, we also added some other stops we admired during our travels to Iceland. Details on those stops can be found further down in this article.

This tour around the Golden Circle of Iceland took us 2 days to complete. But the days were quite full, so if you want to take more time, you can take 3 days. In the tables below we’ll give you the details on what we did on each day. If you have any questions, please drop us a comment so we can get back to you. If you used our itinerary, we’d love to hear from you!

Day 1: Þingvellir and Reykjadalur Valley

We did the Golden Circle of Iceland at the beginning of our road trip along the ring road of Iceland. After we arrived in Iceland, we stayed at Reykjanesbær, close to the airport. We start our itinerary from there, but you can also start from Reykjavik.

Day 2: Nesjavellir, Kerið, Bruarfoss, Gullfoss, and Geysir

On our second day along the Golden Circle in Iceland, we did quite a lot of stops. It was a wonderful day, but to be fair: this day was quite heavy. At the end of the day, we were really tired and our feet were sore. If you want to be more at ease, you can leave out the hike at Nesjavellir or take 2 days to complete this itinerary.

Main Stops on the Golden Circle in Iceland

There are 3 main stops that everyone is doing, along the Golden Circle in Iceland. Those 3 are the Gullfoss waterfall, the geysers Strokkur and Geysir, and Þingvellir National Park. Those stops are discussed in detail in our article about the Golden Circle. So check that article for details.

Poster Reykjavík

Avoiding the Crowd with Other Sights

In this post, we’ll focus on the other stops along the Golden Circle. These are less popular with tourists, but still worthy of your time. If you want to take a break from the crowded Reykjavik or one of the main 3 stops, you can take a visit to one of those less-visited stops.

Reykjadalur Valley Poster

Reykjadalur Valley Hot Springs

Reykjadalur Valley means valley of steam. And that’s no lie. You start from the parking lot walking uphill. On the way up you’ll cross steam vents, geothermal pools, and mud pots. But that’s not all! After about an hour of hiking you’ll reach a thermal river where you can bathe, so don’t forget your swimming clothes 👙.

Steven and Elke bathing in the Reykjadalur geothermal river

Discover the Reykjadalur Valley and the thermal river in our article on Reykjadalur Valley. We’ll explain where to park, how to hike to the river, point you to a hidden waterfall at the end of the valley and give you tips.

Itinerary, parking, hiking and where to bathe: Reykjadalur Valley Itinerary

Kerið Crater

The crater Kerið is a volcanic crater located next to the Golden Circle of Iceland. At the bottom of the crater, there is a volcanic lake. You can hike around both the crater and the lake, making this an ideal quick stop on your trip.

Kerið Crater lake from the trail

There is a small entrance fee if you want to visit Kerið Crater, but parking is free. There are no restrooms though, so keep this in mind. If you’re interested to learn more, check our article on Kerið crater.

Entrance, hiking and visiting details: Guide to visiting Kerið Crater lake

Bruarfoss Waterfall and Midfoss

Bruarfoss and Midfoss are two waterfalls that are located close to the Golden Circle. The parking lot to start the trail is on the road directly next to the Golden Circle, but the location of the waterfalls is more remote. To reach the waterfalls, you’ll have to hike for about 1 hour (1-way).

Elke at Bruarfoss waterfall in Iceland

The hiking trail is worth it though. On this trail, you’ll see two beautiful waterfalls that aren’t visited a lot. If you plan a visit or want to learn more, check our article on Bruarfoss and Midfoss waterfalls.

Full details in our article: Waterfalls Bruarfoss and Midfoss

Nesjavellir Geothermal Area

Nesjavellir is a geothermal area in the south of Iceland. The area is known because of the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant, the second biggest geothermal power plant in Iceland. But the area is also a great destination for hiking.

Nesjavellir geothermal area in Iceland

On the hiking trail we did in Nesjavellir, we experienced a variety of different landscapes. You’ll see all colors of rocks and earth, mosses and plants and steam coming out of the ground. Check out the itinerary of our hike in our article on Nesjavellir.

Golden Circle Iceland Map & Route

On our map below you can find the route and all the stops along the Golden Circle mentioned in the article above. You can use this map as a base for your travel plans to the Golden Circle of Iceland.

Save Golden Circle Iceland in 2 Days for Later

Like our post on visiting the Golden Circle of Iceland in 2 days? Save it to Pinterest for later. Or share it on social media.

Golden Circle in Iceland poster with map of our 2 days itinerary

Hi there 👋! My name is Steven. I write for our travel blog and focus on the technicalities behind the blog (hosting, SEO…). My focus is to provide useful information I found lacking when preparing our own travels. That’s why I love making maps to enhance the articles. I hope you find what you seek on our website. And if there is something I can help with, make sure to reach out 🙂!

14 comments

Steven, I found this very helpful with the maps and how much time to allow for each attraction. thanks, Marie

Thanks a lot for your nice comment :). I’m happy to hear you found it useful!

Hi Steven. I am planning a tour of the golden Circle and have found your article very helpful. However, I wish to do this for 4 days, a road trip. So if i incorporate the main3 : Gullfoss waterfall, the geysers Strokkur and Geysir, and Þingvellir National Park and then i include the extended sites you have mentioned, will that allow me to stretch this to 4 days:Reykjadalur Valley Hot Springs, Kerio Crater and Bruarfoss Waterfall and Midfoss.

Any advice you can provide will be very helpful.

Hi Arafat, sorry for my late reply. Somehow I missed your comment. Indeed, if you extend the trip, it’s perfect for a 4 day road trip. We did it in 2 days, but it was really heavy and we had to rush a bit and one of the days we were out until 8 PM. So 4 days gives you more time to enjoy each of the sights.

We’d love to do this two-day tour by car. Do you recommend a hotel half way through the trip?

Hi Wayne, yes a hotel would be great. We stayed in Geysir when we did the Golden Circle.

I find car rentals expensive. Is an SUV required or can the circle be done in atypical rental car?

Hi Mike, sorry for the late answer. Seemed that I missed your comment. But a regular car is fine for the ring road. If you want to go to one of the more rural areas, I’d recommend an SUV. Indeed rental cars are expensive in Iceland :(.

Which month have you done the trip? Greetings Franziska

Hi Franziska, we did our trip to Iceland in June 🙂

thank you so much for the information. It is very useful in the planning stages of our trip in July.

I’m happy to hear our information is useful to plan your own trip 🙂

Which hotels did you stay at? and do you recommend them? I don’t see the names listed, but maybe I missed it!

Hi Susan, we stayed in an Airbnb in Reykjavik, but I don’t remember the name. Then we stayed in Litli Geysir Hotel, which is really good but not that cheap. Hope this helps you :).

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tour of golden circle iceland

Book These 10 Best Iceland Tours To Uncover The Wonders Of The Land Of Fire And Ice

I celand is a magical destination that can be life-changing. From the incredible colors of the Northern Lights illuminating the night sky milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, there is no shortage of memorable experiences to enjoy here. The Land of Fire and Ice is full of natural wonders that can be discovered as part of a guided tour. Whether travelers are driving the Icelandic Ring Road or basing themselves in cozy hostels in Reykjavík for day trips, these are some of the top sights and tours to experience.

South Coast Full Day Tour

Go beyond the capital city of Iceland with this full-day tour of Iceland’s south coast from the capital, Reykjavík . Top attractions that the tour visits include the famous waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Sólheimajökull glacier. Travelers can also spot puffins and glimpse Eyjafjallajökull Volcano during the excursion. Transportation is included, but travelers should bring cash for buying lunch and snacks throughout the day since meals are not part of the ticket price for this tour.

  • Tour: South Coast Full Day Tour by Minibus from Reykjavik
  • Cost: From $112.00
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • What’s Included: Wi-Fi on the bus, hotel pick up and drop off, and an Icelandic treat.

Book this tour

Golden Circle Day Trip From Reykjavík

The Golden Circle is a must-do day trip from Reykjavík when visiting Iceland. The tour encompasses three natural wonders of Iceland which are the Gullfoss Waterfall, Strokkur at Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park. The full-day tour includes bus transportation from a hotel in Reykjavík and allows travelers time at each stop to appreciate the incredible scenery, take photos, and ask the tour guide questions. Meals are not included in this full-day tour, so budget cash accordingly for lunch and snacks at stops along the way.

  • Tour: Golden Circle Classic Day Trip from Reykjavik
  • Cost: From $79.30
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • What’s Included: Professional tour guide, bus transfer, Wi-Fi on board

Related: Midnight Sun And Hot Springs: 10 Best Places To Relax In Iceland

Snorkeling Between Continents

Iceland offers the unique opportunity to swim between two continents at the Silfra Fissure. This waterway occurs where the North American and European tectonic plates meet and is located inside beautiful Thingvellir National Park. Travelers can show up ready for an adventure with no prep work on their part. All necessary gear is provided to stay warm and dry while swimming and snorkeling in this cold waterway. The views of the clear blue water from below are exceptional and are captured through GoPro photos during the tour. There is no additional fee to receive these photos.

  • Tour: Snorkeling Between Continents in Silfra with Photos Included
  • Cost: From $168.79
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • What’s Included: Professional English-speaking Guide, snorkeling tour in Silfra Fissure, GoPro photos from the tour, help from a Certified PADI dive / Dive-master, drysuit, snorkeling equipment, hot drinks, and cookies

Local Foodie Adventure

Enjoying the local cuisine is one of the best ways to learn about a destination, so why not take a food tour while in Reykjavík? This tour allows travelers to sample food from a variety of eateries and food trucks in the city, tasting an array of traditional Icelandic foods. Guests will try Icelandic street food, homemade ice cream, and the famous Icelandic hot dogs. The small group tour is limited to 12 people to ensure a personalized experience that allows travelers to ask questions.

  • Tour: Reykjavik Food Walk - Local Foodie Adventure in Iceland
  • Cost: $119.00
  • What’s Included: Tour guide, 4–5 stops, 8+ dishes to try

Related: Discovering The Unusual: Top 10 Weird Foods To Eat In Iceland

Blue Lagoon Ticket And Transport

The Blue Lagoon is a staple for travelers visiting Iceland. The hot, inviting mineral water is an otherworldly shade of blue, and the in-water bar is a fun feature of the experience. Relaxing here for a full day is worthwhile, especially for the tour price. Book in advance to avoid disappointment since this attraction is so popular among tourists. The package allows travelers to book the Comfort or Premium ticket for the Blue Lagoon and add a bus transfer if necessary. The Comfort ticket includes a towel, one beverage, and a silica face mask, while the Premium ticket also includes a bathrobe and algae face mask.

  • Tour: Blue Lagoon Ticket with Optional Transportation
  • Cost: From $169.43
  • What’s Included: Bus transfer, Premium or Comfort Entrance Ticket

Lake Myvatn, Hot-Springs & Godafoss Waterfall Tour

Travelers who find themselves in northern Iceland in Akureyri have a whole new set of attractions to explore in this part of the country. The half-day tour includes a chance to soak in the Myvatn hot springs and view the incredible cascades of Godafoss waterfall. The tour also stops at the craters of Skútustaðir and the lave fields of Dimmuborgir. The tour ticket price also includes a packed lunch. This is a great opportunity to explore the northern highlights of Iceland in a single day.

  • Tour: Lake Myvatn, Hot-Springs & Godafoss Waterfall Tour from Akureyri
  • Cost: From $154.00
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • What’s Included: Transportation and Wi-Fi on the bus

Whale Watching Tour From Reykjavík

Whale watching is a top thing to do in Iceland, so travelers can embark on this exciting adventure to look for majestic creatures off the coast of Reykjavík. The peak season for whale watching is from June to August. While companies can never guarantee that travelers will spot whales while on the tour, the success rates for this tour is extremely high, with 95% success during the summer months and 80% success in the winter. Guests are provided with the necessary gear to remain warm and comfortable on board the ship in every season.

  • Tour: The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik
  • Cost: From $87.00
  • What’s Included: Live guide, overalls, raincoats, blankets, admission to Wildlife Exhibition, free Wi-Fi on board

Related: 10 Best Iceland Hotels That Showcase The Charms Of The Land Of Fire And Ice

Icelandic Horse Back Riding Tour

The Icelandic Horse is a unique creature that is the only horse breed in Iceland. Among their many interesting and unique traits is the ability to perform one or two additional gaits: Tolt and, sometimes, pace. Riding through the Icelandic countryside on horseback is a magical experience that will stay with travelers for a lifetime. Before getting on the horse, guests of the tour are fitted with helmets for safety and briefed on how to ride. The tour is suitable for all levels of experience.

  • Tour : Icelandic Horseback Riding Tour from Reykjavik
  • Cost: From $118.94
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • What’s Included: Helmet, boots, rain gear, tea or coffee

Hike Inside A Volcano

See the inside of Iceland’s dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano on this small group tour that is limited to a maximum of 18 guests. The tour is led by an expert travel guide and takes guests to the Blue Mountains of Iceland where they will journey inside the volcano to see the geological remnants of an eruption that took place 4,000 years ago. Hotel pick-up and drop-off is included as part of the package price.

  • Tour: Inside the Volcano: Small Group Thrihnukagigur Hike and Tour from Reykjavik
  • Cost: From $367.02
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
  • What’s Included: Hotel pickup and drop-off, a professional guide, helmet, harness, and safety equipment, light refreshments

Northern Lights Sightseeing Tour

Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland is a bucket-list activity and travelers can do their best to have this experience by booking a guided tour. There is never a guarantee of seeing the lights, but they are best seen from November to March when skies are dark and days are short. The tour takes travelers outside the city, away from light pollution, to improve the chances of spotting the phenomena. Guests also enjoy delicious homemade hot chocolate made from real Icelandic chocolate to help keep warm.

  • Tour: #1 Northern Lights tour in Iceland from Reykjavik with PRO photos
  • Cost: From $141.60
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • What’s Included: Professional local driver and guide, hotel pickup and drop-off, Wi-Fi on board, cinnamon buns, wool blanket, professional photos

Book These 10 Best Iceland Tours To Uncover The Wonders Of The Land Of Fire And Ice

Protect Your Trip »

How to see the northern lights in iceland in 2024.

Increased solar activity means 2024 is a prime time to see the northern lights in Iceland.

Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland

Person watching northern lights in Stokksnes, Iceland.

Tom Archer | Courtesy of Hidden Iceland

While Iceland isn't the only place in the world to view the northern lights, the Nordic country's prime location near the Arctic Circle means the light show can be visible for more than 100 nights per year. And 2024 in particular will provide prime viewing opportunities.

"Interestingly, the sun is reaching its solar maximum (increased activity that's conducive for northern lights) over the next few years, so 2024, 2025 and 2026 are prime years for getting a great light show," explains Ryan Connolly, co-founder of tour operator Hidden Iceland.

While you're never guaranteed to see the northern lights in Iceland, a little planning and forethought can pay off. Read on to discover the best time of year to visit, the most scenic places to go, unique tour options and more.

The best time to see the northern lights in Iceland

Northern lights forecast for iceland, tips for exploring on your own, the 5 best places to see the northern lights in iceland, iceland northern lights hotels, iceland northern lights tours.

Two people hike around a lake under the northern lights in Iceland.

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According to the country's tourism authority, the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April, between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. – and particularly around midnight.

Within that September to April period, there's some debate about the optimal time to see the lights. Connolly cautions against a visit between late March and mid-April as well as in early September "so you don't have to stay up too late to watch the sun set." He and other experts recommend the following timeframes:

  • November to January: You're generally more likely to catch the northern lights during these darkest months. The sun barely rises around this time of the year, and the extremely long nights mean a longer window for the phenomenon to appear each day.

Spring and fall equinoxes: Although midwinter probably offers the best chance of catching the aurora, some people recommend viewing it around the spring or fall equinoxes – that is, around March 19 and Sept. 22 (these dates change slightly each year). The science behind this timing is complex: In short, there tends to be more geomagnetic disturbance around the equinoxes, leading to stronger auroras. But don't forget that the nights at these times are shorter than in midwinter, so your daily window for seeing the northern lights will also be shorter.

"We loved visiting in the fall for the opportunity to see the northern lights and for how few tourists there were," says U.S. News Travel digital producer Leilani Osmundson , who has visited Iceland in the fall. "Sometimes it felt like we had the whole country to ourselves!"

  • New moons: Moonlight can make it harder to spot the light show if the aurora is already faint – so serious aurora chasers may want to plan their visit to coincide with a new moon.

During the rest of the year, Iceland experiences near-constant daylight, meaning there isn't enough darkness for the aurora borealis to appear. Put simply, if you visit in late spring or summer, you will not be able to see the lights, even if you go to the best viewing locations.

Colorful northern lights over flat landscape in Iceland.

These are the most reliable resources for determining the likelihood of spotting the northern lights in the coming days:

  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office: On the Icelandic Met Office's website , forecasts show the Kp index, which measures disturbances in Earth's magnetic field on a scale of zero to nine; the higher the number on the index, the stronger the aurora activity. The Met Office site also shows the cloud cover across Iceland, helping you determine whether you'll actually be able to see the lights.
  • Iceland's Aurora Forecast: Iceland's Aurora Forecast , which is run by locals with expert knowledge of the aurora, offers a similar forecast on a slightly more user-friendly site.

Unfortunately, longer-range predictions (for example, weeks or months in advance) are less reliable. There are 27-day forecasts available, but take note that solar activity can occur rapidly and may not factor into such predictions. However, due to the sun's rotation cycle, if a strong aurora appears, it is considered more likely that the lights will appear again 27 days later, so this type of forecast may still be worth checking.

Person watching northern lights by the Jokulsarlon glacier in Iceland.

While it requires some extra planning, you can easily explore Iceland on your own. If you're considering this route for your trip, take these expert travel tips into account:

  • Avoid chasing the lights: "Once you are in an area with clear skies, you just need to wait, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and hope for the best," Connolly says. "Driving around aimlessly rarely provides any benefits and isn't much fun."
  • Manage your expectations: "The northern lights don't necessarily always appear to the naked eye as we see them in photos," Osmundson explains. "On our trip, they looked super green through the camera, but silvery and very faded to the naked eye."
  • Consider a self-drive tour: Several tour companies offer customized itineraries for travelers who want to explore on their own.
  • Opt for four-wheel drive: Rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive for safety and peace of mind on wintry roads.
  • Heed road restrictions and conditions: Regardless of when you visit, don't go off the beaten track – off-roading is strictly illegal. You'll also want to check road conditions via the Icelandic government's official portal to avoid weather-related accidents.
  • Consider travel insurance: An international travel insurance policy can provide car rental protections, medical care coverage and more.

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Northern lights over snowy Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland.

The most basic rule for catching the northern lights is to go somewhere dark – and with Iceland's sparse population, there's no shortage of places that fit the bill. From fjords and glaciers to mountains and black sand beaches , these are some of the most notable places to see the northern lights in Iceland.

Jökulsárlón

This glacial lagoon is adorned with icebergs, which break off from the huge Vatnajökull glacier to the north. It's also populated by crowds of seals, making Jökulsárlón a stunning place to commune with nature and a formidable backdrop for the shimmering aurora. You can also watch the light show from Diamond Beach, a black sand beach right where the lake drains into the Atlantic.

Reynisfjara and other black sand beaches

Reynisfjara, near the southern village of Vik, is a popular tourist spot, and it won't be hard to see why once you take in the basalt columns dotted along this black sand beach. You might be able to find yourself a quiet corner either here or on another stretch of shoreline nearby, and you'll be surrounded by beautiful scenery while you wait for the light show.

Be on alert around the water – you must pay attention to your surroundings on the beaches, as so-called "sneaker waves" can cause injury or death. Consider stopping off at the spectacular 200-foot high Seljalandsfoss waterfall on the way; it's about 40 miles from Vik, on the main road from Reykjavik.

Snæfellsnes peninsula

About 130 miles northwest of Reykjavik, the Snæfellsnes peninsula centers around a huge volcano called Snæfellsjökull. There's plenty of impressive places to view the lights here – consider staking out a spot near the unusually pointy Kirkjufell mountain or on Djúpalónssandur beach, with its black sand and craggy rock formations. You can stay overnight in a number of villages in the area.

Reykjanes peninsula

Reykjanes has plenty of naturally beautiful backdrops for catching the lights. Kleifarvatn, a large and tranquil lake ringed by small mountains, sits about 20 miles south of Reykjavik, while another option is Krýsuvík, a geothermal area with hot springs south of the lake.

Thingvellir

This volcanic national park is located on the rift between two continental plates. About a 30-mile drive east of Reykjavik, Thingvellir – written as Þingvellir in Icelandic – offers varied scenery from volcanoes to lakes to famous Iceland waterfalls . Take note: As part of the Golden Circle tour route, Thingvellir is a popular spot for aurora viewing, so you may not be alone.

Northern lights over Hotel Rangá and water in Iceland.

Kristján Pétur Vilhelmsson | Courtesy of Hotel Rangá

If you're planning a self-guided visit, book an Airbnb or hotel that caters to aurora spotters. Below is a sampling of hotels that offer special viewing locations and wake-up calls if the lights appear after you go to bed.

Hotel Rangá

Tucked in a charming timber building near the south coast of Iceland , this hotel specializes in aurora viewing, with an observatory on its roof and an aurora wake-up service. The hotel also lends out snowsuits for those who want to spend time outside and boasts a 24/7 bar with hot drinks to seal the deal. Guests have praised Hotel Rangá's incredible service, calling it the kind of luxury place that's relaxing and not too formal.

The Retreat Hotel and Silica Hotel

The Blue Lagoon's geothermal waters would be a formidable place to spot the northern lights, but daytime visitors can't stay past late evening – before the aurora tends to appear. However, guests in the two on-site hotels don't have to stress about this timing. Offering ultra-chic minimalist rooms, access to private lagoons and otherworldly views, The Retreat Hotel and Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon resort offer a true luxury experience, with prices to match. Despite the price, guests rave about the beauty of this hotel's location and its stylish design.

Hótel Húsafell

Located on a former farm in the Icelandic wilderness, this hotel says it gets an average of three aurora sightings per week in the winter months. Hótel Húsafell also offers a complimentary aurora wake-up service so you don't miss the show. Its location near the Langjökull glacier means stellar views during the day too. Recent visitors enjoyed the range of activities on offer around the hotel in addition to the restaurant, noting that although the menu options are limited, the food is divine.

Panorama Glass Lodge

There's no need to go out in the cold to see the northern lights when you're staying in an all-glass cabin. Hot tubs and heated floors at the Panorama Glass Lodge make the views over the rocky tundra all the more cozy. Guests have plenty of compliments for this lodge's scenic setting, as well as the luxury and comfort of its one-of-a-kind design.

Hótel Búdir

A rustic building now plays host to this stylish yet homey hotel on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, with aurora wake-up calls; fine dining sourced from local purveyors; and stellar views that span glaciers, lava fields and the Atlantic. According to past guests, the old-timey charm and restaurant and bar are serious highlights at Hótel Búdir (also written Búðir).

Skálakot Manor Hotel

This luxury lodge is located on a horse farm in remote southern Iceland – the perfect place to spot the aurora. In addition to tours on horseback, the hotel offers cozy guest rooms, a fine dining restaurant and a spa. Recent visitors, many of whom visited to enjoy the resort's amenities for a day, note how stunning the location is.

A group of people under the northern lights on the Jökulsárlón glacier in Iceland.

Northern lights tours with a guided expert may increase your chances of spotting the natural phenomenon, but remember: Seeing the northern lights is never a sure bet, and as such, tour operators have various policies to account for this. Below are some of the best tour options.

Multiday tours

  • Hidden Iceland: Hidden Iceland offers an immersive, private Must See 6+ Day Private Tour Winter Itinerary that combines daytime activities like discovering a blue ice cave with overnight stays in remote locations that are ideal for spotting the northern lights. Recent travelers praise Hidden Iceland, especially the tour guides.
  • Arctic Adventures: Arctic Adventures offers a two-day tour focused on the aurora and the Snæfellsnes peninsula north of Reykjavik, including sights of waterfalls and a black sand beach. A six-day tour with Arctic Adventures explores the south of the country, including an ice cave and a black sand beach, as well as a northern lights boat excursion from Reykjavik. Take note, though, that this tour does not accept children younger than 8, while the age minimum for the two-day tour is 6 years old. The company has received generally good feedback for its organization – negative reviews tend to come from customers who didn't get to spot the aurora.
  • GJ Travel: Another reliable bet is GJ Travel, which has been showing visitors around Iceland for more than 90 years. This tour operator has garnered high praise for its "jam-packed" itineraries and extremely experienced guides. GJ Travel offers multiple northern lights tours that also stop off at key sights around Iceland. Choose a five-day tour or an eight-day trip , and know that these excursions may carry up to 40 people.

Northern lights tours from Reykjavik

  • Iceland Everywhere
  • Reykjavik Outventure
  • Special Tours
  • Elding Whale Watching

For more options, check out our list of the best Iceland tours .

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the northern lights can be visible from Reykjavík . "It's a myth that it's impossible to see them in the city," Connolly says. "If you find yourself stuck in Reykjavík each night, don't be disheartened – there are still plenty of places with wide-open views of the ocean and away from direct light, such as along the harbour downtown." Other local viewing spots include:

  • Öskjuhlíð: This hill on the south side of Reykjavík offers decent views of the northern lights from the top. While you're up there, you can visit the spectacular glass-domed Perlan, a museum and restaurant offering an immersive aurora documentary in its unique planetarium, as well as spectacular views over Reykjavik. Although it's possible to see the lights from Perlan, the museum typically closes midevening, before the best viewing hours for the aurora.
  • Seltjarnarnes peninsula: Located on the western edge of the city, this area's top viewing spot is the Grótta lighthouse, which provides scenic vistas of the night sky just far enough from the city lights.
  • Mount Esja: If you have a car but want to stay close to the city, consider driving less than 20 miles out of toward snow-capped Mount Esja, which provides a splendid backdrop for the light show (but note that hiking on the mountain is not recommended during aurora season due to icy conditions).

Yes, though it's less likely as the Blue Lagoon typically closes in the late evening during the winter and early spring, which is often too early to see the northern lights.

Iceland's weather can be unpredictable. Because there's no easy way to plan around the changing forecasts, it's best to book a longer visit to the country. A two-day jaunt could easily be ruined by one patch of cloudy weather; if you stay on the island for a week, however, your chances of catching clear skies are much better.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Packable Jackets
  • How to See the Northern Lights in Alaska
  • The World's Best Places to See the Northern Lights
  • The Best Travel Insurance for Europe

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On a self-drive tour, you will have the freedom to explore Iceland at your own pace.

10-Day Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland with Top Attractions & Snaefellsnes

Dyrhólaey was once an island of volcanic origin, whilst today, this natural promenade makes for one of the best vantage points in Iceland.

Best 1-week Summer Self-Drive Tour of the Ring Road of Iceland & Golden Circle

Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall are a stunning sight to behold at sunset.

Iceland Full Circle 10-Day Self Drive Tour

The midnight sun shines its gorgeous light upon the Diamond Beach in South Iceland.

Unforgettable 6-Day Summer Vacation Package with Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Geyser geothermal area is home to numerous stunning geological features, including Strokkur geyser.

Epic 14 Day Self Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland & the Westfjords

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is often overlooked, but easily found on Iceland's South Coast.

One Week Summer Self-Drive Tour of Iceland’s West & South Coasts with Waterfalls & Glaciers

An Icelandic puffin pops its head out of a field of flowers.

Epic 13-Day Self-Drive Tour of Iceland's Complete Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Westfjords

The amber light of the midnight sun fills the air during Icelandic summer nights.

Amazing 5-Day Summer Vacation Package in Iceland with Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Golden Circle

Godafoss waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls of north Iceland.

7-Day Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland

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Best Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajokull Glacier Starting from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Helicopter tour over the live volcanic eruption on the reykjanes peninsula from reykjavik, snorkeling tour between continents in silfra with free underwater photos & snacks, the katla ice cave tour, inside the volcano thrihnukagigur tour with transfer from reykjavik, skaftafell glacier hiking tour on vatnajokull, family-run husavík whale watching tour, 1-hour zodiac boat tour of jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, newest tours.

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Exciting 6-Day Adventure Around Iceland via Ring Road from Reykjavik

Golden circle tour from reykjavík harbour - a private tour for cruise passengers, puffin express: 1-hour close encounter with adorable birds, whale watching & aurora reykjavik exhibition: a celestial and aquatic adventure, whale watching & hvammsvík hot spring: coastal excursion and thermal retreat, whale watching & flyover: aerial excursions and oceanic encounters, rib whale expedition: 2-hour high-speed adventure, sunset fishing in faxaflói bay: 2.5-3 hour excursion, whale wonders: morning expedition, dog sledding near reykjavik, private 11-hour diamond circle tour from akureyri, enchanting 9-hour sightseeing tour to godafoss, lake myvatn, and dettifoss from akureyri.

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Vacation Packages in Iceland

Self drive tours in iceland, tour calendar, nature tours in iceland, adventure tours in iceland, cheap bus tours in iceland, top tour destinations in iceland, all you need to know about tours in iceland.

Iceland offers a wide variety of tours and experiences, each with its own unique charm and adventure. However, there are a few tours that stand out as the most popular among travelers to Iceland.

1. Self Drive Tours

Self-drive tours in Iceland are a popular option for those who want to explore the country at their own pace and on their own terms. These tours allow visitors to rent a car and explore Iceland's unique natural beauty and attractions without the need for a guide or a fixed itinerary. Here are some features and benefits of self-drive tours in Iceland:

One of the main benefits of a self-drive tour is the flexibility and independence it offers. Visitors can create their own itinerary and explore Iceland's unique landscapes at their own pace, choosing which attractions to visit and how long to stay at each location. This allows for a more personalized and authentic experience of Iceland.

Iceland is known for its stunning natural beauty, and a self-drive tour allows visitors to explore, visiting attractions around the country. From waterfalls and geysers to glaciers and black sand beaches, there is something for everyone on a self-drive tour.

Self-drive tours in Iceland provide the opportunity to discover hidden gems and less-traveled locations. Visitors can venture off the beaten path and explore the lesser-known places and natural wonders that make Iceland so special.

Self-drive tours in Iceland can be a budget-friendly option compared to guided tours. Visitors can save money by staying in budget accommodations, preparing their own meals, and avoiding expensive guided tours. At Guide to Iceland, you can find a wide variety of different self-drive tours which explore different regions of the country and can range from just 2 days to multiple-week adventures.

Driving in Iceland is relatively easy, with well-maintained roads and clear signage. Most rental car companies offer GPS navigation systems, making it easy to navigate around the country. For more information, check out the itineraries for five of our most popular self-drive tours in Top 5 Best Road Trips in Iceland .

Overall, self-drive tours in Iceland are an excellent option for those who want to explore the country's natural beauty at their own pace and on their own terms. With flexibility, independence, the opportunity to discover hidden gems, budget-friendliness, and easy navigation, it's easy to see why self-drive tours are such a popular choice among travelers to Iceland.

2. Vacation Packages

Vacation packages in Iceland are a convenient and stress-free way to experience all that the country has to offer. These packages typically include a combination of accommodations, transportation, and guided tours, allowing visitors to enjoy a comprehensive and hassle-free experience without worrying about logistics or planning.

At Guide to Iceland, our vacation packages are available in a variety of options, catering to different interests and preferences. From northern lights packages to summer self-drives around the Ring Road, there is a package available for everyone.

Most vacation packages in Iceland include the services of professional guides who are knowledgeable about the country's unique culture and natural beauty. These guides provide an immersive experience, sharing local legends, folklore and stories which ensures that visitors get the most out of their time in Iceland.

Booking a vacation package in Iceland is convenient and stress-free. The package typically includes all the necessary arrangements, such as accommodations, transportation, and tours, providing visitors with a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

Vacation packages in Iceland can be a cost-effective option compared to booking everything separately. Package deals often include discounts on accommodations, transportation, and tours, providing visitors with value for money.

Overall, vacation packages in Iceland are an excellent choice for those who want a convenient way to experience all that the country has to offer without having to worry about logistics. With a variety of options, professional guides, convenience, and value for money, it's easy to see why vacation packages are such a popular choice among travelers to Iceland.

3. Golden Circle Tours

Golden Circle tours  takes you through the most iconic sightseeing route in Iceland and brings visitors to some of the most famous destinations in the country. These include the geothermal area of Geysir, the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, and the historic Thingvellir National Park. This tour is ideal for those who want to experience Iceland’s stunning natural beauty and learn about its rich history in one day.

The Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Tour offers visitors the chance to explore the attractions of the Golden Circle, before relaxing in the peaceful waters of the Secret Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon's natural hot spring water in its beautiful surroundings offer a more intimate and less crowded experience than the Blue Lagoon.

For those wanting something adventurous and daring, the Golden Circle and Silfra Snorkeling Tour is a great option. This tour takes visitors to the famous Silfra fissure, where they can snorkel between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in crystal-clear water. After the snorkeling experience, visitors can explore the natural wonders of the Golden Circle.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the Golden Circle and Snowmobiling Tour is an excellent option. This tour takes visitors to the three iconic locations of the Golden Circle before strapping riding on fast snowmobiles to explore Langjokull glacier. This way, you'll get to experience Iceland's glacial landscapes while also being part of a thrilling adventure.

Our Golden Circle Tours offers a variety of options that cater to different interests and preferences. Whether you want to relax in a hot spring, go off-road in a Super Jeep, or explore the underwater world, there is a Golden Circle Tour option for you.

4. South Coast Tours

The picturesque  South Coast tours provide another option for sightseeing and take visitors along scenic South Iceland, showcasing breathtaking views of glaciers, waterfalls, and black sand beaches.

Highlights of these tours include visits to Skogafoss waterfall, known for its immense power and beauty, and Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has a cave behind it, allowing you to walk behind the waterfall. The tour then takes you to the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach, where you can admire its distinct hexagonal basalt columns and the mysterious Reynisdrangar sea stacks from the shore.

The South Coast Glacier Hike Tour takes visitors to Solheimajokull glacier, where they can hike across the ice and explore its unique formations. The tour provides all the necessary equipment and a knowledgeable guide to ensure visitors' safety while exploring the glacier. This tour also stops at all the main attractions along the south coast, including Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and Reynisfjara beach.

The South Coast and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Tour takes visitors on a scenic drive along the South Coast, visiting waterfalls and black sand beaches, to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, one of Iceland's most unique natural wonders. Visitors can witness the stunning blue ice caps floating on the lake and observe the seals that call the lagoon home.

Overall, the South Coast of Iceland offers a variety of beautiful destinations to explore. From waterfalls and black sand beaches to ATV rides and glacier hikes, there is something for everyone on the South Coast.

5. Northern Lights Tours

Northern lights tours are a must-do for those visiting Iceland during the winter months. These tours take visitors to locations outside the city, away from light pollution, to see the spectacular natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis. With a bit of luck, visitors will be able to witness the lights dancing across the night sky in a display of vibrant colors.

Due to the northern lights being natural phenomena that can not be guaranteed or called upon, many multi-day northern light tour packages are available. The most popular ones are this 2-day south coast winter tour , this great value  3-day south coast tour with glacier hiking and ice caving , this adventurous  5-day winter package with ice caving , this comprehensive  7-day northern lights self-drive tour , and this epic  one-week road trip package  for those that want the full winter experience.

6. Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing Tours

For those seeking a bit of adventure, glacier hiking and  ice climbing tours offer opportunities for some thrilling experiences. These tours take visitors to Iceland’s glaciers, where they can hike across the ice and even climb its frozen walls. For those who prefer easier tours without ice climbing, then this glacier hiking tour in Skaftafell provides a thrilling experience of traversing Iceland's majestic glaciers. For those who would like to try ice climbing, this glacier hiking and ice climbing tour would be the best choice.

7. Blue Lagoon Tours

A  Blue Lagoon tour  is the perfect choice for those who want to relax and unwind. The Blue Lagoon is a hot spring spa with warm, mineral-rich geothermal waters that provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, surrounded by the moss-coated lava fields of Reykjanes peninsula.

You can either book a ticket to the Blue Lagoon and reach it by yourself if you have a rented car. You can also book a Blue Lagoon tour that includes pickup from your hotel in Reykjavík , or even a Blue Lagoon tour with pickup from the airport , so it can be your first experience in Iceland!

8. Ice cave tours

Last but not least, Ice Cave tours are also a very popular activity in Iceland, especially during the winter months. These tours take visitors to explore the natural ice caves that form inside the glaciers. Here are some of the popular ice cave tours in Iceland:

The Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave Tour takes you into the largest glacier in Iceland, which is home to some of the most stunning ice caves in the world. This tour takes visitors deep inside the glacier to explore the unique formations, the vivid blue ice, and the otherworldly beauty of the insides of an ice cave.

The Langjokull Glacier is the second-largest glacier in Iceland and is located in the central highlands. The Langjokull Ice Cave Tour  takes visitors inside the glacier to explore a man-made ice cave and learn about the unique geological features of the area.

The Katla Ice Cave Tour takes visitors to Myrdalsjokull glacier, where they can explore the natural ice cave formations and learn about the unique geology of the area. Visitors will also have the chance to see the nearby active volcano, Katla, which last erupted in 1918.

Overall, Iceland has too many natural wonders to count, and exploring them on organized tours is a great way to experience them in person. The tours listed above are some of our most popular and highly rated and we recommend them for visitors to Iceland. There is a wide range of different tours available, with various fun activities and amazing destinations, which you can explore and book on our website.

On Guide to Iceland, you will find the largest selection of tours and activities in Iceland, and you can easily book them with a best-price guarantee. You also get free cancellation and a full refund up to 24 hours before the tour starts, so you can easily plan your entire trip in one place. Explore our wide selection of tours and we hope you have a wonderful time in Iceland!

Frequently asked questions

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COMMENTS

  1. The Best Golden Circle Tours in Iceland

    A classic Golden Circle tour has three stops, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir hot springs, and Gullfoss waterfall. However, many tour companies have their own twist on the Golden Circle, and some of them include a visit to the Secret Lagoon, such as this 10-hour tour of the Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon, starting from 111 USD.

  2. Iceland's Golden Circle: A Detailed Guide, Itinerary and Map for Your Trip!

    The Golden Circle is a circular route in southern Iceland that stretches for around 300 km / 186 miles and starts and ends in Reykjavik. The route is popular, either as a day trip from the city, or as a precursor to exploring Iceland's south coast. Often, instead of returning to the city, travellers continue along the south coast and then on ...

  3. The Ultimate Guide to Iceland's Golden Circle

    This 3-day tour is the best way for you to make all of the must-see Golden Circle stops and fit in two of Iceland's most iconic activities: exploring the famous ice caves and hiking across expansive glaciers. 3. Small-Group Golden Circle Tour with a Visit to an Ice Cream Farm and Transfer from Reykjavik.

  4. How to Drive Iceland's Golden Circle: A Complete Guide with Maps

    This tour has all of the best Golden Circle attractions for travelers on a budget and looking for adventure. It includes a visit to the Langjokull Glacier - the second-largest glacier in Iceland - and an excellent spot for a snowmobile trip! 4. Three-Day Northern Lights Tour of Iceland's Golden Circle & South Coast with Ice Caving & Glacier Hiking

  5. The Golden Circle

    The Golden Circle is the most famous of all scenic routes in Iceland and combines stunning landmarks and historically significant places in a circular sightseeing tour. Its proximity to Reykjavík and the airport area, as well as the short drive between the sights make it convenient for everyone, to include the Golden Circle tour into their ...

  6. Driving Iceland's Golden Circle Route: Perfect Itinerary [2024]

    The Golden Circle route is a 246-kilometer (153 miles) loop from Reykjavik that can easily be driven in a day. The route will take about 3.5 hours to drive without stops, so if you account to time spent at each attraction, you can see there is easily enough time in one day.

  7. 22 Top-rated Attractions on the Golden Circle of Iceland

    Helgufoss Waterfall. While Gullfoss Waterfall is the most famous waterfall around the Golden Circle, the route boasts a number of other superb falls too. Tucked away from the main road, these hidden jewels are well worth a stop when driving yourself around the loop. Helgufoss Waterfall is one such cascading beauty.

  8. Complete Guide To The Golden Circle Iceland (+ Map & Tips)

    The Golden Circle is a popular driving route in Iceland that easily collects 3 of the country's biggest landmarks in just a few hours from Reykjavík. As one of the best things to do in Iceland , the Golden Circle is the perfect introduction to the country; a teaser to what the land of fire and ice can deliver on a longer itinerary in Iceland .

  9. Gray Line Iceland

    Golden Circle Tour. From: € 68 € 83. Duration: ~ 7,5 hours. Discover Iceland's stunning natural wonders on our most popular guided tour of the Golden Circle! Explore the spectacular split between two continents, learn about Viking history at Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, and gaze in wonder at the gorgeous gushers of the Geysir ...

  10. Iceland's Golden Circle

    Definitely a good way to get to know the Golden Circle of Iceland with a tour from Reykjavik. 4. Golden Circle & Snorkeling in Silfra Combo Tour. Highlights: Snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Duration: 10 hours.

  11. Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater

    Full description. See the best of southwest Iceland on an 8-hour Golden Circle tour by bus from Reykjavik. Visit the spectacular Geysir area, and go to the cascades of Gullfoss Waterfall. Discover where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Þingvellir National Park. Travel to the geothermal area of Geysir.

  12. Iceland's Golden Circle Tour

    Gullfoss or the Golden Falls are next up on the itinerary. It's one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland. The cascade plunges slightly over 30 m (98 ft) and has two drops. Gullfoss has been locals' favorite since the Viking times, and now it's your time to explore it. Another spectacular attraction on this tour is Kerid (Kerið) crater lake.

  13. Golden Circle Tours in Iceland

    Golden Circle & City Sightseeing - Hop On Hop Off. 12,999 USD. MULTI-DAY TOURS. 3 Day - Golden Circle, South Coast, Ice Cave & Jökulsárlón. 0 USD. MULTI-DAY TOURS. 6 Days Around Iceland Adventure. 0 USD. HOLIDAY TOURS.

  14. Golden Circle Iceland Tour

    Blue Lagoon Transfer And Golden Circle Tour Iceland. Meet on location or pick up. 11 hrs. From. kr. 12.990. Book Now. The Golden Circle is an extremely popular route in South of Iceland. The Golden Circle Iceland covers the most beautiful landmarks, historical places and attractions.

  15. Driving Iceland's Golden Circle: All You Need to Know

    How to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland. While you can join a group tour of the Golden Circle, you may prefer to explore at your own pace and in your own style with a self-drive. For this, you'll need to rent a car, or even a 4x4 if you're planning to drive onward to the Icelandic Highlands. Hiring a car puts you in control of your trip.

  16. The 5 Best Golden Circle Tours From Reykjavik [2024 Reviews]

    Private Tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik Private Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik Golden Circle Private Tour; Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off included: Hotel pickup and drop-off included: Hotel pickup and drop-off included: Start: Variety Available: Check with tour operator: Check with tour operator: Duration: 7 to 8 hours: 7 hours

  17. 14 Best Golden Circle Tours In Iceland Worth Your Money

    Small-Group Premium Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik (8 hours) This Small-Group Premium Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik comes with a professional guide and a 300km loop from Reykjavík to central Iceland and back. This tour promises spectacular natural formations, geysers, waterfalls, lakes, and more.

  18. Golden Circle Iceland: Ultimate Self-Drive Travel Guide

    Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland. Self-driving the Golden Circle is a popular day trip for visitors to Iceland. The 300 km (190 mi) route covers many beautiful landmarks, perfect for those on a layover in Reykjavik. Renting a car and driving the Iceland Golden Circle Route in a single day is a great alternative to Iceland's much longer ...

  19. Golden Circle Iceland: All the Landmarks You Need to See

    Travel the Golden Circle route to behold incredible open spaces and stunning geology. The three major stops for Golden Circle tours are Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Haukadalur Geothermal Area. Within and around each of these primary sites, there's a multitude of individual landmarks and activities to explore.

  20. Best Grand Golden Circle Tour

    The Golden Circle day tour is one of the most popular trips in Iceland, as it covers the most iconic and diverse attractions that the land of fire and ice has to offer. The Golden Circle in Iceland refers to the three primary sights along a 300-kilometer (186.4 miles) route, with many other delightful, smaller-scale attractions scattered in ...

  21. Golden Circle Travel Guide

    The Golden Circle is a 190-mile (300 kilometers) route of Iceland's three most popular natural attractions: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. With its popularity, the trail is featured in many guided packages, including this immersive 6-Day Winter Package , and self-drive tours, such as this 10-Day ...

  22. Golden Circle Day Tours

    Find the best day tours and activities on the Golden Circle Day Tours | Iceland Travel! Book online and enjoy our guaranteed lowest prices! ... Snowmobiling and Golden Circle Iceland Super Jeep Tour. Tour Starts: Reykjavik. Starting Time. 8:30. Duration. 10 hours. Tour Type: Glacier, Classic. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5 (1204) From . ISK. 44000.

  23. Golden Circle Iceland in 2 Days

    The Golden Circle in Iceland normally takes you from Reykjavik to 3 highlights: the waterfall Gullfoss, Þingvellir National Park, and Geysir in the Haukadalur geyser basin.In this itinerary, we want to introduce you to the other highlights along the Golden Circle of Iceland. These highlights will allow you to extend your drive along the Golden Circle in Iceland to 2 days or 3 days.

  24. The Ultimate Guide To Driving The Golden Circle

    The Golden Circle is one of Iceland's most popular tourist routes, offering an incredible showcase of the country's diverse natural beauty and geological wonders. This approximately 300-kilometer (186-mile) loop from Reykjavik takes travelers through three of Iceland's most iconic attractions, each providing a unique and memorable experience.

  25. Iceland vacation packages

    We have a long history of working with many different partners across Iceland, from hotels and car rentals to restaurants and various tour operators. ... Golden Circle and Northern Lights Day Tour $ 159. Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon $ 136. The Blue Lagoon - Premium Experience $ 237. The Blue Lagoon - Comfort Experience $ 210. South Coast ...

  26. Book These 10 Best Iceland Tours To Uncover The Wonders Of The ...

    The Golden Circle is a must-do day trip from Reykjavík when visiting Iceland. The tour encompasses three natural wonders of Iceland which are the Gullfoss Waterfall, Strokkur at Geysir, and ...

  27. Northern Lights in Iceland 2024: How to See Them

    GJ Travel offers multiple northern lights tours that also stop off at key sights around Iceland. Choose a five-day tour or an eight-day trip , and know that these excursions may carry up to 40 people.

  28. Best Tours & Vacation Packages in Iceland

    3. Golden Circle Tours. Golden Circle tours takes you through the most iconic sightseeing route in Iceland and brings visitors to some of the most famous destinations in the country. These include the geothermal area of Geysir, the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, and the historic Thingvellir National Park.