What is the Golden Circle in Iceland?

travel guide
Stokkur in Iceland erupting in a sunny day, people on a tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides

Iceland is emerging as a hot tourist destination and one of its most popular tours is called the Golden Circle. This blog post will explain just what the Golden Circle actually is. Read on.

First, the Golden Circle is actually a loop that leaves from Reykjavik. Further, it’s a day tour that runs all year round and lasts approximately 8 hours. The classic Golden Circle tour takes people to three main attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, and Geysir. Some tours may offer other stops but, the core of the Golden Circle are those three.

If you are interested in taking this tour, you’ll have three general options:

By bus - Seats many. This is the cheapest option but also the least intimate. Runs on a fairly tight schedule. Minimal interaction with the tour guide due to the higher volume of people.

By van - Seats generally 12 people. A slightly more intimate experience.

By super jeep - Seats 5. Much more intimate and personal experience. Lots of interaction with the tour guide; a great way to learn more about what you are seeing. Includes some off-roading so it is more adventurous and you’ll get to see more of this part of Iceland.

A little more about the three main attractions that make up the Golden Circle:

Gullfoss Waterfall

This is one of Iceland’s most famous and beautiful waterfalls. Gullfoss means, “gold falls.” Visitors can walk down a pathway that leads all the way to the edge of the falls and really experience its power first hand.

Gullfoss in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park

This is the site of Iceland’s original parliament going back to 938 AD! It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park itself is located in a rift zone and has a pretty waterfall and river that drains into a large lake called Thingvellirvatn (Lake Thingvellir).

Þingvellir National Park
Jan Zelina

Geyser Hot Spring

Located in Haukadalur, which is home to the very reliable Strokkur geyser that erupts every few minutes or so. This area also has lots of bubbling geothermal pools that are beautiful and interesting.

The geyser Stokkur erupting
Arinbjörn Hauksson

About the Author

IMG Staff Writer

IMG Staff Writer

An anonymous but well informed member of our team that enjoys sharing their knowledge of Iceland & Greenland’s stunning nature.

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