The Golden Circle

Behind the Þingvallabær farmhouse, Þingvallakirkja is one of Iceland’s first churches. The original was consecrated in the 11th century, but the current wooden building dates from 1859. Inside are several bells from earlier churches, a 17th-century wooden pulpit and a painted altarpiece from 1834. Independence-era poets Jónas Hallgrímsson and Einar Benediktsson are buried in the cemetery behind the church. Use the car park at the end of Rte 363, cross the Óxará river bridge and follow the footpath on the left.

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Nearby The Golden Circle attractions

1. Búðir

0.02 MILES

Straddling both sides of the Öxará river are the ruins of various temporary camps called búðir (literally 'booths'). These stone foundations were covered…

2. Þingvallabær

0.02 MILES

The little farmhouse in the bottom of the rift, Þingvallabær was built for the 1000th anniversary of the Alþing in 1930 by state architect Guðjón…

3. Alþingi Site

0.17 MILES

Near the dramatic Almannagjá fault and fronted by a boardwalk is the Lögberg (Law Rock), where the Alþingi (Parliament) convened annually. This was where…

4. Tectonic Plates

1.03 MILES

The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are tearing away from each other at a rate of 1mm to 18mm per…

5. Þingvellir National Park

1.85 MILES

The world’s oldest parliament, Althingi (pronounced ál-thingk-ee; also called Alþing) was uniquely situated at this monumental site where two tectonic…

6. Þingvallavatn

2.03 MILES

Filling much of the rift plain, Þingvallavatn is Iceland’s largest lake, at 84 sq km. Pure glacial water from Langjökull filters through bedrock for 40km…

7. Glymur

10.03 MILES

At the head of Hvalfjörður, and up Botnsdalur valley, lies Glymur, Iceland’s highest waterfall (198m). From the trailhead, it’ll take a couple of hours to…

8. Ljósafoss Power Station

11.8 MILES

The 1937 Ljósafoss Power Station catches the outflow of lake Úlfljótsvatn and turns it into electricity. In 2016, an elaborate state-of-the-art multimedia…