The Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour will walk you through history in Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Your perfect day will end up watching breathtaking aurora borealis dancing in the sky.
*Automatic 10% discount after showing the booking confirmation (received when booking this tour), valid only when buying refreshments, not at the gift shops
Taking the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour is an absolute must any visit to Iceland. You can’t say you’ve been to Iceland if you haven’t seen its natural and historic wonders. And you won’t want to pass up the chance to see the aurora borealis stretching across the night sky. Our best-experienced guides are the key to unlocking these uniquely Icelandic experiences.
Þingvellir National Park
The Þingvellir National Park is the first stop in during the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour. At this place, back in 930 AD, that the Althing, the world’s longest-running democratic parliament, was formed. It’s also one of the few places in the world where you can walk inside the rift between the North American and Eurasian plates and see amazing Öxarárfoss waterfall.
Gullfoss is one of the largest and most striking waterfalls in Iceland. It’s many tiers of rushing water that make it both majestic and a challenge to photograph in its entirety. The tier formation also means that on sunny days you can find multiple rainbows in its mist. Gullfoss waterfall is unique during any time of the year You simply have to see it with your own eyes.
Geysir Geothermal area
At the Geysir geothermal area, you’ll be treated to one of the most iconic sights in Iceland: an erupting geyser hurling boiling water up to 30 meters high every 6 to 10 minutes. It is a show you don't want to miss, the same as all Geysir Geothermal area. Don't forget that if you are touring with us, after showing your tour booking confirmation at Gullfoss Café of Glíma restaurant at Geysir Geotherm area, you will automatically get a 10% discount when buying drinks or meal.
Small Break in Between
After having fun at Golden Circle, we will drive you back to your hotel or another place where you are staying, so you can have a small break before the life experience of watching the aurora. The pick up for the northern lights will be at 20:30 at the same place.
Did you know that Gray Line Iceland was the first travel company that began with the Northern Lights tour in Iceland? The northern lights part of this tour is a moment you won't forget. Dancing aurora up in the sky? It is the time of your life. To see the northern lights, the tour will take you out of the Reykjavik city without any flashes of lightning, so you can see and enjoy the show as much as possible. Did you know that there was a man which tried to turn off the northern lights from mountain Esjan? If you never heard this story, you can read all about it here. And then just watch what nature offers.
1. Where is the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour?
The Golden Circle is situated south-west from Reykjavik city. The length is approximately 250 kilometers together in both ways. As a first stop, there is Þingvellir National Park, then it is Geysir Geothermal area and last is Gullfoss waterfall. The place for the Northern Lights part of the tour is never known since our best guides always tried to find the best place to watch on that particular day :-)
2. How long does the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour take?
The Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour takes 11 hours in total, but there is a break between the Golden Circle and Northern Lights during which you will take a moment to relax at your accommodation.
3. Can you do the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour in one day?
Yes, the tour itself takes 11 hours but it will be a day full of fun and enjoyment!
4. What does the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour include?
The tour includes bus transport, professional tour guide, tour in English, free WiFi onboard, super comfortable coaches, visit of the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal area, Gullfoss Waterfall, drop-off and pick-up in between tours, transport for northern lights hunt and unforgettable memories!
5. When can you do Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour?
The season for watching the aurora borealis in Iceland is from late August until April. This is the time we offer you to experience this awesome one day tour.
6. Where to eat during the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour?
Even it is prohibited to eat and drink in our coaches, during every stop, you can buy something to eat and drink at the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. At Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall, you can get a 10% discount for your drinks and meals. Just show your booking confirmation with us when paying.
7. Where are the pick-up locations for the Golden Circle tour?
We pick-up from all major hotels in the greater Reykjavik area where possible. In the city center where bus traffic is restricted we pick-up from designated bus stops. We also pick up from the cruise ports.
8. Do I need to know something more about the Golden Circle & Northern Lights tour?
Always be ready for the weather in Iceland. In one day it can change dramatically. So wear something comfortable, something that keeps you warm and dry and have a good winter/hiking shoes to keep your steps safe in any weather conditions.
9. How much does a trip to see the northern lights cost?
It doesn’t cost anything to see the northern lights. However, knowing the best spots to see the aurora borealis when they are visible takes knowledge of Iceland, which our expert guides have acquired over time. Additionally, tours like our Northern Lights Mystery tour, allows you to focus on capturing the best photo of the northern lights. At the same time, we do all of the driving and share the science behind the mysterious lights that appear in the sky.
10. Where can I see Northern Lights this winter?
Northern lights season in Iceland is from late August until late April. The darker and brighter the skies, the better for seeing the aurora borealis. With that in mind, February, March, October, and November are your best bet to see northern lights in Iceland this winter.
11. Do the Northern Lights happen every night?
You need to have a clear dark night to see the aurora borealis, and so, it’s not guaranteed you will see them every night.
12. How long do the Northern Lights last?
Northern lights season (the time when they are most likely to be visible) lasts from late August to late April in Iceland. As for how long they last, when they appear in the night sky can vary significantly from just a few minutes up to hours at a time. During those few minutes to hours, the lights can also vary in intensity.
13. Where is the best chance to see northern lights?
Outside of the city lights, with a bright dark sky.
14. Do northern lights look white?
The aurora borealis can appear in white-gray color even the most common color is green.
15. How do I plan a trip to the Northern Lights?
You can easily book a Northern Lights tour with us, where we take you to the best spot out of Reykjavík to watch the aurora borealis.
16. What is the best month to see Northern Lights in Iceland?
The best months are February, March, October, and November, but the northern lights last from late August until April.
17. How do I take pictures of the northern lights with my mobile phone?
You’ll need two things to make sure you capture the northern lights perfectly: a camera (even your smartphone will do) and a tripod. Neither your camera nor your tripod need be top of the line. You need to know how to get the most out of them. If you’re using your smartphone, these tips will help you get a great shot of the lights. If you’re using a regular camera you’ll need to keep these things in mind:
Make sure your camera has a manual setting. Set both your camera and lens to manual mode so that you can manually change the aperture and focus.
A wide-angle lens is preferable but not necessary. Having a wide-angle lens is a plus as it will allow you to capture the full scope and grandeur of the lights.
Turn OFF your flash.
Turn off image stabilization.
Use a remote, self-timer, or an app to release the shutter remotely. Because you will be using a long exposure, even the slight movement caused by pressing the shutter can blur your image.
And then use these simple settings to get started photographing the northern lights:
Set the lens’ focus to infinity. Because the lights are so far away, you’ll want the camera to be focused on the furthest possible point. This can be a challenge in the dark, so it’s best to do this before it gets dark out.
Using the manual mode on your lens, focus to infinity. If need be, use tape or a marker (brightly colored to show up in the dark) to mark the setting. If you end up having to do this at night, pick the furthest light source around (you can use a flashlight for this too) and focus on it.
Be careful not to change the focus setting while waiting for the lights.
As for metering, different cameras work best using different modes. For Nikon, you’ll want to set it to a matrix or center-weighted average metering, and for Canons use evaluative metering.
Using manual mode, set the lens aperture or f-stop as wide as possible, that is the lowest f-number that your lens can go.
Set your exposure according to the movement of the lights. For particularly active lights, 5-10 seconds will do, but for more subtle and/or slow-moving lights, you can try 20-25 seconds.
Your ISO setting will depend on the intensity of the lights. If the lights are quite bright, start with ISO 800 and go up from there should the lights be dimmer or begin at ISO 1600 if they are dim and go down from there.
In order to capture the colors of the lights as accurately as possible, custom set your white balance to Kelvin 3,000 or so and adjust accordingly.
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Please present your electronic travel voucher / ticket at the time of tour departure.
Tour departure point
Bus stop 6 which is close by from our Gray Line Sales office at Hafnarstræti 20 is the central departure point for our tours.
Pick up and drop off
Pick up from hotels, guesthouses and designated bus stops starts 30 minutes before the tour departure time stated on your voucher.
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