The Golden Circle is beyond doubt the most popular tourist route in Iceland. Experience breathtaking geysers, stunning waterfalls and incredible vistas along the route. Here’s why the Golden Circle is a must-see while in Iceland.
When you are talking about Iceland, you are probably mentioning one of the following things: The special dinner Hákarl made of shark, the success of the Icelandic football team in the European championship in summer 2016, or the rough nature, which is claiming huge parts of the area on the whole island. If you are talking about the latter, there is a good chance you mean the most famous tourist attraction in Iceland, the so-called Golden Circle.
Many tourist in Iceland take the Golden Circle. It is an easy route that will take you some of the most spectacular natural attractions near Reykjavik. Since many of the attractions along the route are unique and breathtaking, we recommend that you make sure you have amble time on your hands to really take in the scenery.
Why the Golden Circle is famous
The Golden Circle, which is named „Gullni hringurinn“ in the language of the residents, is a route combining a variety of tourist attractions in Iceland. The sights are natural locations which welcome you to take photographs of the picturesque scenery, to be blown away by the stunning landscape or to just go back to the roots of pure wilderness.
The Golden Circle is located in the south-western region of the island and reaches from the coast to some areas in the middle of the country. This way, the sights include locations from the coast in visual range of the breathtaking shore to wide areas of nothing but green or white, depending on in which time of the year you decide to visit Iceland.
Also, on the horizon are many volcanoes and glaciers, which make the landscape even more unreal. For the engineering enthusiasts there are dams and geothermal power plants also along the way, along with many other great locations and attractions.
The major attractions
There are three major sights in the Golden Circle, which can all be visited in one day, but of course can also be combined with other tours or be gone to on consecutive days. One stop is the beautiful scenery of the Thingvellir national park. The area is stunning in every way. As a geological interesting region with rifts and volcanoes, it offers an insight in the untouched beauty of Iceland.
In Haukadalur valley you will find a geothermal hot spring area, where the mighty Geysir geysir can be found. Though the old geyser is now dormant, there are other geysers, such as Strokkur, that spray hot air high into the air every 10 minutes, so you will not leave without seeing a geyser in action.
Last but not least, the „Golden Waterfall“ Gullfoss calls for you as a sight of nature embedded in a breathtaking scenery. The two-tiered waterfall is stunning to behold and it is no wonder why this waterfall has been a favourite among Icelanders for centuries.
There are other stops along the way, such as the Kerid Crater, Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant and Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area, which we fully recommend that you stop by.
Taking the Golden Circle Tour
For most tourists, the route starts in Reykjavík. Most people come to Iceland by plane, land in the international airport Keflavik and stay overnight in a hotel in the capitol. This way, the trips can start the morning after their arrival when you are relaxed after a good night of sleep. In the morning, you have various options to take the route of the Golden Circle. You can take one of many busses which start in Reykjavík.
As a part of a group of tourists, the tour usually takes the whole day to go to the three most frequently visited locations, including stops for taking pictures. It can take up to 10 hours, depending on which tour is taken exactly. The pure time of travelling is estimated to be for to five hours.
Of course, travelling by car with your family or your friends is more individual, but also related to more stress. Golden Circle Jeep Tours offer the best of both worlds for tourists who want the freedom of travelling in small groups and an individual experience.