The Golden Circle is by far the most popular tourist route in Iceland. It offers a great experience, where you will see geysers, volcanoes, a stunning national park and incredible waterfalls, some of the most spectacular natural wonders in Iceland.
The Golden Circle showcases some of the most beautiful natural wonders in Iceland and will offer you a chance to experience natural attractions that are hard to find elsewhere in the world, like spouting geysers. The route is approx. 300 km (190 miles), from Reykjavik city to the southern uplands and back to the capital again. There’s a reason why this route is so popular and it is mostly due to the three following attractions.
Perhaps the single most popular stop along the route is the geothermal hot spring area at Haukadalur valley, where you can see geysers erupt, boiling mud pits and great centre offering exhibits and informative presentations all year round.
Situated at the geothermal hot spring area is the world famous Geysir, the original geyser. Though the old geyser is less active these days, it lends its name to all sprouting hot springs around the world. But don’t worry, only a stone’s throw away from Geysir is another geyser, Strokkur, which spouts water as high as 30 meters (100 ft) into the air every few minutes or so.
Gullfoss waterfall is two-tiered massive waterfall in river Hvita. The water cascades down in two stages, the first 11 meters (36 ft) high and the other 21 meters (69 ft) high, into a 2.5 km (1.6 miles) long crevasse below.
The waterfall is stunning to behold, both summer and winter. In summer the waters are blue and green, on sunny days you will be treated with myriads of rainbows. In winter the water freezes over and creates breathtaking waves of ice.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir has been a national park since 1928 and was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2004. The park is situated in a rift valley, where you can see the effects of the continental drift, where the North-American and Eurasian tectonic plates drift apart nearly 2 cm (about an inch) each year. This geological effect is not only interesting, and you can learn a great deal more about in the Park Centre, but also spectacular to behold.
Thingvellir also has a historical significance, since it was the place where the Althing, the world’s first parliament, was held in the 10th century, shortly after the Norse settlers came. It is no wonder that they chose this site for their thing or assemblies, since the unique geology of the place created a natural amphitheatre. It’s almost as if the place was created especially for public speaking.
Other attractions along the Golden Circle
There are many other attractions along the route. You will see glaciers, volcanoes and can choose from many different exhibitions, spas and centres. We are more than willing to help you plan your perfect Golden Circle tour.