The powerful Gullfoss, the explosive Geysir, and the historic Thingvellir National Park. Choose from a wide variety of tours to the Golden Circle and visit Iceland's most popular destinations featuring incredible waterfalls, breathtaking tectonic plates, and bursting geysers. Rich in culture, riveting history, and spectacular nature, a visit to the Golden Circle will create memories that last a lifetime. See below for all of the essential information on the Golden Circle.
Golden Circle Tours
Visit the essential sights and learn about the riveting history of the Icelandic Golden Circle with our best professional guides.
Combining the Golden Circle and Sky Lagoon, this breathtaking tour takes you on a wondrous journey through Iceland’s staggeringly raw beauty. It ends with the ultimate Icelandic indulgence: a luxurious soak in Sky Lagoon, a geothermal spa where the ocean meets the sky. Go on a journey that brings you the experiences of walking among geologic marvels, witnessing an erupting hot spring, discovering a magnificent waterfall, and unwinding in an outdoor geothermal spa.
Visit some of Iceland’s most significant landmarks along the Golden Circle with a knowledgeable Iceland Tour Expert leading the way and your friends & family besides your on this private tour.
An amazing Golden Circle & Reykjavik City Sightseeing Tour that combines Reykjavik‘s top attractions and the Golden Circle with visits to Perlan, Höfði House, Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and more.
Enjoy one of the best attractions in Iceland! Morning spends by whale watching, an afternoon exploring Golden Circle - Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall!
Enjoy two adventures in one day on this ATV Trail Ride of Mt. Hafrafell and Golden Circle tour exploring Iceland’s natural and historical landmarks
Ride an Icelandic Viking Horse in an idyllic landscape before visiting Thingvellir park, Gulfoss waterfall as well as Geysir and Strokkur hot springs on our Golden Circle & Viking Horseback Riding Tour.
Come for the Golden Circle and stay for the Northern Lights. Join us on this day and night combo tour and discover the essence of Iceland.
Combine the best sightseeing and excellent tasting Icelandic delicacies on this Golden Circle Private Food Tour at Efstidalur dairy farm, Fridheimar greenhouse & the Icelandic Turf House meanwhile discovering all beauty stops of the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle is the name given to the route taken to the most popular sites in Iceland — Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss (Golden Falls), and Geysir geothermal area. Hit all these spots, and you’ve done the Golden Circle.
Thingvellir became Iceland’s first national park in 1930. It is also a designated UNESCO world heritage site due to its historical, cultural, and geologic significance to the Icelandic people and the world. To walk through Thingvellir is to walk the fields where one of the oldest parliaments in the world first convened in 930 AD. Thingvellir lies in a rift valley created by the tectonic plates of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, slowly drifting apart. It is also home to Iceland’s largest natural lake, Thingvallavatn.
Gullfoss (Golden Falls) is a waterfall and gets its name from the golden color of its water as it churns up silt and sediment. The magnificent waterfalls lie in the Hvitá river and are fed by Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier. In total, Gullfoss is 32 meters high, falling two tiers that are 11 and 21 meters high, respectively. Gullfoss is also at the center of one of Iceland’s most famous acts of environmental activism. Back in the early 20th century, developers wanted to damn the mighty waterfall to generate electricity, but through the will and determination of Sigriður Tómasdóttir, Gullfoss was saved. Thanks, Sigriður!
Geysir geothermal area is located in the Haukadalur valley and is the scenic home of the infamous Geysir hot spring. To visit is to pay your respects to the progenitor of all geysers as Geysir is the geyser for which all others are named. Geysir doesn’t erupt often but is surrounded by bubbling cauldrons of superheated mud, steaming pools, and Strokkur, a geyser that erupts every 6-10 minutes. The smells, colors, and eruptions at this popular destination are a window into all the geothermal activity happening across (and beneath) Iceland, making all those hot tubs, swimming pools, greenhouses, and geothermal energy possible.
The Golden Circle is in southwest Iceland, just outside of the city of Reykjavik. The nearest site Thingvellir National Park is only 43 minutes (47.4 km/29.4 miles) away from Reykjavik, and Gullfoss waterfall is the furthest out at 1 hr 44 min (125 km/77.6 miles) away. The site's proximity to Reykjavik makes touring the Golden Circle a perfect day trip.
Gray Line Iceland has several Golden Circle tours to choose from that will take you to the main attractions, so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery instead. We’ll get you there and back again, and all of our tour guides are Golden Circle experts—full of stories and fun facts on the region.
Iceland is a photographer’s paradise. Everywhere you turn, there’s another stunning vista. But if you want to really be in the moment and only take out your phone or camera for the best shots, we’ve compiled a list of the most Instagram worthy photo ops on the Golden Circle tour.
● Almannagjá gorge leading down to the fields of parliament
● Thingvallakirkja, the church at Thingvellir
● The Icelandic flag flying in the middle of the areas of parliament
● Öxarárfoss waterfall
Gullfoss is a broad tiered waterfall, falling two “steps” before plummeting into the gorge below. But thanks to viewing platforms and a path that goes from the top of the falls to the bottom so you can hit all the angles.
● View from the top
● View from the bottom
● Rainbows on top of rainbows (if it’s a sunny day)
● Steaming Geysir (Geysir last erupted in 2016, but you might get lucky)
● Strokkur erupting (every 10 minutes or so)
● The mineral deposits in this geothermally active area can come in some pretty exciting colors and make for cool abstract photos.
Anytime! But many visitors like to make several trips around the Golden Circle at different times of year to bear witness to the changes in the Icelandic landscape throughout the seasons. Thingvellir National Park, in winter, is often snow-covered. In the spring, its trees are budding, and its wildflowers are in bloom. Come summer, everything turns green, and in fall, the trees put on their fiery autumn colors. Just don't forget that Icelandic weather can change three times in 10 minutes, and so, always have a good and warm clothes with you.
All the seasons bring out something uniquely beautiful in the Golden Circle sites. When to visit is really up to your personal preference. Please note that daylight is limited at the height of the midwinter, and there is 24-hour sunlight in midsummer.
Wearing layers is rule number one for dressing in Iceland. You can experience all the seasons in one day, that is just as the weather in Iceland is. A good rule of thumb is always to wear three layers:
Those more susceptible to cold may want to add wool leggings and a thermal undershirt. Warm socks, waterproof hiking boots, gloves, and hat are also a must.
Looking for a Golden Circle tour with a little extra? Gray Line Iceland has a variety of Golden Circle tours to choose from, making it easy to find the one that’s perfect for you.
● Golden Circle Classic is perfect for families
● Nature lovers & honeymooners will enjoy soaking in a geothermal pool out in the Icelandic landscape on the Golden Circle & Sky Lagoon Tour
● Whale Watching & Golden Circle Tour and Viking Horse & Golden Circle Tours are ideal for animal lovers who want to get to know the animals of Iceland
● Culture mavens won’t want to miss the chance to get to know more about Reykjavik, Iceland’s largest city, on the Reykjavik City Sightseeing & Golden Circle Tour
● Adventurers will love our ATV Sightseeing Trail Ride on Mt. Hafrafell and Golden Circle Tour
● Bundle up couples, and get a dose of the ethereal Northern Lights with your Golden Circle experience on the Golden Circle Classic & Northern Lights Tour
● Golden Circle Private Tour is great for groups
● Delicious Golden Circle Private Food Tour is crafted with the discerning tastebuds of epicures in mind.
Traveling the Golden Circle is an exciting way to get to know Iceland. Join us!