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Golden Circle

Golden Circle route in Iceland

The Golden Circle Route is a beautiful route along various highlights in Iceland. This is the perfect day trip, so you can take this route even if you are only staying on the island for a few days. If you have more time, you can also take two days for the route so that you can enjoy all the beauty that you encounter during the route at your leisure.

By car or an organized tour

The Golden Circle route officially has three stops: Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir (Þingvellir). However, you can also add a number of other special stops to the route if you drive it independently by car. In Reykjavik you can rent a rental car from various car rental companies for one or more days. Especially in the summer months, driving in Iceland is doable because the weather is good. In general, there are also few other motorists on the road. If you don’t like to drive yourself or if you visit Iceland in winter and prefer not to hit the road yourself, you can also book an organized tour. You will depart by bus from the bus terminal in Reykjavik along the three highlights of the route. An English-speaking guide will also accompany you who can tell you all about the sights.

Golden circle

The first stop: Geysir geyser

From the Icelandic capital, it takes about 1.5 hours to drive to the first stop of the Golden Circle: the impressive geyser area around the Geysir. Here you will experience the pure power of the geysers. The 1000-year-old area contains several active geysers that seem to be alive due to the continuous bubbling. The Stokkur is the only truly active geyser in Iceland that injects boiling water up to 30 meters high into the air. This happens every few minutes so you are sure to experience this natural phenomenon. Very impressive and special to see and capture in the photo. There is also an interesting visitor center where you can learn more about Icelandic geysers.

Gullfoss in Iceland

The second stop: Gullfoss waterfall

From the geyser area it is only a 10 minute drive to the imposing waterfall that is the second stop. Gullfoss is the best known and, according to many, the most impressive waterfall in all of Iceland. The water plunges down from a great height and the waterfall is no less than 20 meters wide and 70 meters deep. The entire gorge that follows the waterfall is 2.5 kilometers long and this creates several waterfalls where the water cascades downwards. Because of the floating mist, this waterfall is also called the golden waterfall, because it can create beautiful rainbows. Several paths have been laid out along the waterfall and you can get all the way to the edge of the body of water. It is very special to see the water up close with enormous speed and force.

Pingvellir national park in Iceland

The third stop: Þingvellir National Park

You go again for an hour on the road to visit the last stop. The National Park Thingvellir is a beautiful nature reserve to walk through and a historically important place. This is the place where the oldest parliament in the world stands: the parliament of the Vikings. In addition, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place where the North American and Eurasian Plates meet. These tectonic plates slowly drift apart, causing a subsidence 6 kilometers wide and 40 kilometers long. This subsidence increases by one centimeter every year. You can walk through the beautiful nature reserve. Be sure to go to the Silfra gorge to go diving or snorkeling in good weather. Pingvallakirkja to visit.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Expand route with the Blue Lagoon

If you have the freedom of your own means of transport, you can extend the route with several stops. If you want to completely unwind after an active day, or if you want to add a relaxing second day to the day trip, it is certainly recommended to visit the Blue Lagoon. These natural hot springs contain beautiful white to light blue water. Let your muscles relax and enjoy the beautiful view. It is extra special to go to the Blue Lagoon for a day when it is chilly outside. The water then feels extra warm and soothing. You can also let yourself be pampered here with a nice facial mask.

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