Welcome to The Golden Circle

The route spans roughly 300km and takes in three main sights, which are all true knockouts: Þingvellir where tectonic plates meet, Geysir where water erupts more than 100 times a day, and the roaring and staggeringly voluminous waterfall Gullfoss.

With the mega-attractions all within a couple of hours' drive from the capital, places get crowded and it can feel more commercial than other areas. Still, despite the hordes, the Golden Circle remains one of the most memorable routes on the planet. Dozens of tour buses stop here, but visiting during off-hours allows a more subdued experience. Save time for nearby activities: rock climbing, rafting and soaking in geo-pools, plus visiting a hydropower museum, fishing and exploring a 6500-year-old explosion crater.

Top experiences in The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle activities

$99.90 Day Trips & Excursions

Premium Small-Group Golden Circle Day Trip from Reykjavik

Start your tour with pickup at selected hotels and official bus stops in central Reykjavik between 9am and 9:30am and then head out for a Golden Circle Adventure. The Golden Circle includes the greatest sights in Iceland, Thingvellir, Gulfoss and Geysir. Covering about 300km looping from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back again.The highlights of the tour include:Thingvellir: This pivotal landmark connects all the major events in the founding of the Icelandic commonwealth. It is also considered the best place on earth to view the North Atlantic divergent ridge.Fríðheimar farm, which has been owned by the same family since 1995 and focuses on tomato and cucumber growing, tourism and horse breeding. Enjoy their horse show which show you the different gaits. This stop is the perfect opportunity to see the Icelandic horse up close. Lunch (at your own expense) will be held in the greenhouse where you will have the possibility to purchase local products on the menu after a visit of the stables.Geysir: The highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur geyser which spouts water 30 meters (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) is an iconic waterfall in Iceland offering a spectacular view of the forces and beauty of untouched nature. Located in South Iceland near the second largest glacier in Europe Langjokull Glacier.Kerid is a striking crater-lake filled with milky blue-green water amid stark black and deep red slopes. Geologists now believe it to be a collapsed magma chamber at the end of a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 6,000 years ago.We are always prepared to make an extra stop for photos along the way, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get to pull over to feed any Icelandic horses we pass at the side of the road.You can expect to be back to your drop off location in Reykjavik (same as pickup location) between 5pm and 6pm. There is free WiFi on board so that you can share your images with friends and family instantly!

$58 Day Trips & Excursions

Golden Circle Day Trip from Reykjavik

The Golden Circle tour allows you to visit some of Iceland’s most stunning sights, starting with the Geysir geothermal area where the Strokkur geyser shoots a column of water up to 30 metres (98 ft.) into the air every 4-8 minutes in a thrilling display of nature’s forces. The visit continues with Gullfoss (Golden Falls) waterfall, created by the river Hvítá, which tumbles and plunges into a crevice some 32 m (105 ft.) deep.The Golden Circle tour also includes the historical and geological wonder that is Thingvellir National Park, where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year.Additionally, the tour includes a visit to the idyllic Friðheimar greenhouse cultivation centre, where you can learn about the magic behind growing delicious, pesticide-free tomatoes and cucumbers with the aid of the geothermal heat that Iceland has in abundance.

$783 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Golden Circle, South Coast, and Jokulsarlon from Reyjavik

Day 1 The Golden Circle & Kerið Volcanic CraterSetting out from Reykjavík on the Golden circle route, first you’ll delve into the mysteries of Þingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the meeting point of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which have spread so far apart that it is possible to stroll directly between them. It is a nice feeling to stand with your right foot in Europe and the left one in America!The next stop features the biggest geysers found in the Haukadalur valley; Strokkur and Geysir. Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, is next. This is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. Finally, to add something unique to your experience, you will also visit the big volcanic crater called Kerið. At the end of the day, your accommodation awaits in Seljaland, a lovely country guesthouse located in a beautiful spot close to SeljalandsfossDay 2 South coast, the five waterfalls and black beach ReynisfjaraAfter a good night’s rest, your first stop today will be at the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is located beneath the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Close by is the beautiful but less known waterfall Gljufrabui which you will also visit.Next up is the stunning Skogafoss, a drop of 60 m (200ft) of natural raw power that must be seen to be believed. You will then have the additional pleasure of visiting the secret waterfalls of Kvernufoss and Írafoss.Then it is on to Reynisfjara, a black sand beach nestling under Mt. Reynisfjall. Black basalt has been shaped into amazing different formations, most notably the famous Reynisdrangar. Beware the might of the Atlantic Ocean which looms with its powerful waves.Day 3 Glacier lagoon and the incredible Blue Ice caveToday, you set off in the morning for a totally unique experience. A visit to a natural stunning Blue Ice cave will be the highlight of the day. After a drive through the lovely village of Vik, you stop at the Skaftafell national park where the amazing views will take your breath away! You then continue to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This famous lagoon is filled with huge chunks of ice that have cracked off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and float slowly out to sea. Some icebergs wash on shore, lying on the vivid black sand like diamonds on satin and from there, your Ice cave adventure will begin. The ice caves only form in the winter when glacial water freezes to create this unique natural phenomenon. Each season, the local glacier experts find the best caves to visit in an enjoyable and safe way. From the glacier lagoon, they drive you through the best of Icelandic highlands in a special Super Jeep to the ice cave. There you will have about an hour to explore and enjoy the magical blue caves. Please do not forget to bring your camera!

$723.86 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Golden Circle and Ice Cave 3-Day Tour from Reykjavik

Day 1 - The Famous Golden Circle routeThe Golden Circle is first on the agenda with its three main attractions; Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. Thingvellir National park, an UNESCO’S world heritage site will be your first stop. After exploring all that the national park has to offer, you will head to Geysir, geothermal area. Explore the area on your own and walk among springs of all shapes and sizes. Gullfoss, the golden waterfall, is the last attraction of the popular Golden Circle route. This magnificent waterfall with its roaring water rushing into the canyon is the most visited one in Iceland. From Gullfoss, you will drive through the fruitful agricultural area of south Iceland towards ring road nr. 1. On your way, there will be possibilities for great sights all around. Next up, you will visit Skógafoss waterfall, and Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the one you can walk behind. You will spend the night in a country hotel just out of the small coastal town of Vík where during the winter months you will have the possibility of catching the Northern lights if the conditions are in your favor.  Day 2 - Black sand beach & Jökulsárlón Glacier LagoonYour day starts with a stop at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. The Atlantic Ocean really shows its force here, so be careful to follow the instructions from your tour guide. The basalt pillars, Reynisdrangar, rising from the sea just off shore are a sight not soon forgotten. From Reynisfjara, you will continue your journey towards the east. Vatnajökull glacier dominates the area, including the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon filled with floating icebergs, which will be your next stop. After this day’s adventures, you will head to the Skaftafell area where you will spend the night. During the winter months, the group will, of course, also keep an eye out for the Northern lights that night if the conditions are right. Day 3 - Glacier Walk and Ice CavingOn the last day of your 3 day adventure, you will go on an ice cave adventure. The adventure allows you to experience the wonders of a natural ice cave. Once inside the cave, you will have plenty of time to explore the magical ice and take photos. New ice caves are formed each winter so we have to rely on nature to keep the temperature below the freezing point to make the scenery in and around the cave at its best. The weather in Iceland is ever-changing and we want to ensure that your traveling experience will be optimal. Your guide will, therefore, decide how it’s best to operate the tour each time. After your time in the cave, you will head back to Reykjavík with some stops along the way including the Fjadrargljufur Canyon. We should be arriving back in the capital between 8 and 11 PM.

$166.69 Outdoor Activities

Golden Circle & Horseback Riding

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productTours depart from the Reykjavik Terminal located at Skógarhlíð 10. Please be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to departure along with a printed or digital copy of your ticket/voucher.If you have booked a hotel pickup with SmartBus™, please be at your chosen pickup location 30 minutes before the departure of the tour. Look for the Green SmartBus™ which will be outside your accommodation at within the 30 minutes of pickup. Duration: 30 minutesLocation: Reykjavik TerminalLocated on the northern shores of Þingvallavatn (Iceland's largest lake), Þingvellir (anglicized as 'thingvellir') is the national pride of Iceland and our first National Park. It is, for one, a key location in Icelandic history as the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. For this reason, Þingvellir has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is, therefore, a protected national park due to its unique geology and natural features. From the viewing area, the Almannagjá canyon between two tectonic plates can be seen, a visual representation of continental drift.As the first stop along the tour, you will have an opportunity to walk through the park and use the restroom if needed.Duration: 45 minutesLocation: Thingvellir National Park, Thingvellir, South RegionA favourite stop along the Golden Circle is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 meters (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.The area became active more than 1000 years ago and comprises more than a dozen hot hot spring holes. Although one can only see steam emerging from the surface of Geysir these days, its name was adopted to represent spouting hot springs all over the world.Along the tour, the newly opened Geysir Center offers guests and travellers a chance to use the restroom and to catch some refreshments as well as lunch.Duration: 45 minutesLocation: Geysir Hot Springs, Geysir, South RegionAs one of the most popular attractions in all of Iceland, Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in the southwest of the country. The beautiful Hvítá river rushes southward in three steps into a narrow canyon with a breathtaking roar and grandeur. Furthermore, on clear days the magnificent Langjökull glacier, Iceland's second largest glacier, can be seen in the distance.Guests and Travelers may use the restroom and purchase food and refreshments at this location as well.Duration: 1 hour 5 minutesLocation: Gullfoss, Blaskogabyggd, South RegionHorseback Riding at EldhestarThe last stop along the tour will be at Eldhestar, where you will have the chance to get closeer to these majestic animals. Along with getting acquainted with the Icelandic horse, you will also have a taste of the countryside around Hveragerði. Children can be lead by staff at Eldhester if needed. Enjoy the day with Iceland's famous and charming animal. After a 1 hr ride, you will be brought back to Reykjavik by the Eldhestar staff.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesLocation: ELDHESTAR

$1181.69 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Reykjavik to West Iceland 5-Day Tour with Northern Lights Hunt

ItineraryDay 1: West Iceland Day 1Stop At: Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring, Reykholt, South RegionDuring this first day you will be exploring Deildartunguhver hot spring, the most powerful hot spring in all Europe. Here you can relax at Krauma Geothermal Baths (optional extra) or stop by a nearby farm where you can have the chance to pet Icelandic horses! Whilst the surroundings are very picturesque, make sure to always stay on the pathways.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Snorralaug, Reykholt, West RegionHistorical hot spring pool Snorralaug, treasured as the bathing spot of Iceland’s most famous poet and politician, Snorri Sturluson. Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Hraunfossar, Husafell, West Region"The Lava Waterfalls" is a collection of smaller waterfalls cascading through the cracks of lava formations.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Barnafoss, Reykholt, West RegionOn the river Hvítá in Borgarfjörður. Hraunfossar flows out of a lava field into Hvítá near Barnafoss, creating a stunning scenery from the waters that flow from Langjokull Glacier.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Gerduberg basalt columns, West RegionThe day ends with Gerðuberg, a cliff of dolerite, a coarse-grained basalt rock, located on the western peninsula of Snæfellsnes. This amazing wonder was created from ancient flowing lava being cooled against the sea water.Duration: 1 hour 15 minutesNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Accommodation providedDay 2: West Iceland Day 2Stop At: Hellnar Church, Hellnar, West RegionAfter a filling breakfast at our hotel, we continue westwards. Making our way through alpine scenary we will arrive at our first stop Arnarstapi. It is a quaint fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell and you will get the chance to check out it's surrounding area.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Cave Vatnshellir, Snaefellsbaer, West RegionWithin Snaefellsnes National Park is Vatnshellir Cave, an 8,000 year old lava cave. You will have the chance to be guided by an expert explaining all the features relating to its formation and history.Duration: 50 minutesStop At: Djupalonssandur Beach, Hellnar, West RegionCharming village where we will stop for lunch. Then we'll continue to the beautiful black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur. This beach is isolated from the rest of the coast surrounded by tall, rugged cliffs facing the Atlantic Ocean.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Kirkjufell Mountain, Grundarfjorour, West RegionTo cap off the day we will head to the photogenic Kirkjufell Mountain with stunning views.Duration: 1 hour 40 minutesMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Accommodation providedDay 3: The Golden CircleStop At: Thingvellir National Park, Thingvellir, South RegionFirst on our list of stops of the Golden circle, we will arrive at one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Thingvellir. Given this status for its magnificent historical and geological importance. Explore this wonder that is the site of the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Thingvellir is also home to the longest-running parliament in the worlds, the Althingi. Don't forget to look our for the largest natural lake in the country, Thingvallavatn.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: StrokkurContinuing deeper inland we will arrive in the geothermally active area of Haukadalur. Home to Geyser of which all others are named after. Although it erupts infrequently it's neighbour Strokkur, 50 metres next to it, erupts every 5 minutes as reliable as clockwork. Water erupts from 20 metres to as high as 40!Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Gullfoss, Blaskogabyggd, South RegionGullfoss is located a 5 minute drive from Geysir. The waterfall is located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall. There you traverse a narrow path that provides close-up views of the massive, two-tiered waterfall below.Duration: 45 minutesPass By: Volcano Hekla, South RegionA view to the infamous volcano Hekla opens up as we drive to our next stop, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.Stop At: Seljalandsfoss, South RegionSeljalandsfoss is situated along the Seljalandsá river where the waterway plummets 40 metres over a cliff face. Seljalandsfoss is unique among waterfalls, as the shape of the cliff over which it falls allows visitors to walk behind the chute via a footpath at the base of the falls.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Skogafoss, Skogar, South RegionSkógafoss is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.Due to the amount of spray the cascade produces, at least one rainbow is present any time the sun emerges from behind the clouds.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, South RegionReynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík.Witness the enormous Renisdrangur basalt stacks and roaring waves coming from the Atlantic.The day will be finished with a hunt for the Northern Lights and continuing on to our hotel close to Vík.Duration: 45 minutesMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Accommodation providedDay 4: Ice Caving and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoonStop At: Vatnajokull Glacier, Vatnajokull National Park, East RegionToday we’ll commence upon our glacier adventure portion of the trip, exploring a natural ice cave in Vatnajokull Glacier. The magical stroll in the ice cave will take about 45 minutes. Your guide will point out some awe-inspiring features, you’ll learn how the cave was formed and the story behind its brilliant blue color. Make sure you have your camera with you’re sure to catch some truly inspiring photo opportunities throughout your hike.Duration: 3 hoursStop At: Glacier Lagoon, Jokulsarlon, East RegionJökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. Its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Diamond Beach, Jokulsarlon, East RegionThe Diamond Beach is a strip of black sand belonging to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, located by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on the South Coast of Iceland.Here, the icebergs which fill Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon wash up on shore, standing dazzling and defiant in stark contrast to the black sand beach. It is, therefore, a favourite amongst photographers, nature-lovers, and wildlife-enthusiasts. Many seals call this beach home, and it is one of the best places in the country to see orcas from the shore.If the forecast is favorable, we’ll keep our eyes out for the Aurora Borealis before we head to our accommodation in Skaftafell.Duration: 40 minutesMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Accommodation providedDay 5: The South Shore and Glacier WalkStop At: Vatnajokull, IcelandAfter breakfast, our specialist guide will select the best route for your hike on the glacier. Before you make your way you will be provided with all the necessary glacier equipment, some of which you will have used in the ice cave.Our guide will provide expert insights about the glacial expanse beneath your feet.We will get a chance to visit some more highlights of the south coast (daylight / time permitting) before we get back to Reykjavik.Duration: 5 hours 30 minutesNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

The Golden Circle in detail