The golden circle route in Iceland


The golden circle route inIceland It is perhaps the most frequented by tourism that comes to this Nordic country. The reason is quite simple. In just 1 or 2 days we are able to see in a summary way everything you can offer us Iceland. From large waterfalls, through crystalline lakes, geothermal areas where geisers or mud pools and of course volcanoes can not be missing.

The golden circle route in Iceland

The golden circle in Iceland

The golden circle in Iceland is a road route of around 300 kilometers where we can visit several points of relevance. Despite its length, it is quite feasible and in fact it is something quite normal to be done in just one day. This is thanks to the long summer days where the sun never ends hiding.

To be able to enjoy it, the ideal is to do it in two days. In this way we will leave some time to practice diving in the crystal clear waters of Silfra and do some trekking where to enjoy thermal waters totally free.

The golden circle route in Iceland

The route begins in the capital of the country, Reykjavík,taking a comfortable road to the valingvallavatn lake, the largest in the country and where the water is so cold and clear that we can see tens of meters below its surface without losing clarity. This will take us around 45 minutes to travel the 40 kilometers that separates the lake from the big city and this is where we will see the first two points of the golden circle route in Iceland.

1 Þingvellir waterfall

He Þingvellir national park It is a particularly famous place to be between two continents, America and Europe. A fairly visible fault runs through the park from north to south, passing through one of the most important waterfalls in the country. Þingvellir waterfall. This is not especially high, but since it is water that comes from America and falls on Europe, it gives it something very special.

The golden circle route in Iceland

2 Diving in Silfra

Without having to return to the car, in the same national park of Þingvellir is the lakeÞingvallavatn. Right there, very close to the general car park are the groups that are going to snorkel or dive under the icy lake. Armed with a dry diving suit, the bravest enjoy unique crystalline waters, without animal life and with cracks where you can dive really unique.

Snorkeling and scuba diving activities are not exactly economical, leaving diving for about 200€. If you want more information about these activities, don't hesitate to read our article about overbuilding in Iceland.

Finished the visit to Silfra It is time to return to the car and go to the next two points, Geyser and Gullfoss, whose distance to travel is approximately 70 kilometers in about an hour.

3 Geysir geothermal zone

A few kilometers before reaching Gullfoss it's found Geysir. A place where geothermal activities are seen just leave the car in the parking lot next to a busy hotel. Here is one of the largest geysers in the country, probably the second largest. However, what really makes it important is its constant activity, spitting water in spurts every 5 minutes approximately and giving more than a scare to the most sleepy.

The golden circle route in Iceland

4 The Gullfoss waterfall

TheGullfoss waterfall It is one of the best waterfalls we can see in all of Iceland. It's withSkógafoss of the most visited in the country. It is accessed through a comfortable path that starts from a parking lot next to a large souvenir shop.


If we have more time, it is also possible to see it from the other side of the Öfusá river, but for this we will have to pull the map and travel several kilometers through a tortuous dirt track. The views are not as good as the other side, but the paths that are traveled to reach it are really beautiful.

The golden circle route in Iceland

If you continue your trip through Iceland after the golden circle, we recommend you check our article on the best waterfalls in Iceland.

5 Kerið

The last official point of the golden circle in Iceland is the volcanoKerið, especially because many tourists continue their journey to the east side of the island. It is located in an area where hot water rivers and volcanoes abound. Kerið has become the most popular site of the place by being close to the road and because in its crater there is a beautiful lake.

The Golden Circle Route in Iceland - Author: Scoundrelgeo - Origin: Wikipedia

6 Reykjadalur

First let's make it clear that Reykjadalur It does not usually enter into the tourist plans to tour the golden circle in Iceland. Still we include it because it is on the way back to Reykjavíkand because one of the best places in the country to enjoy thermal waters totally free. The only impediment is that we have to do a little trekking of just over an hour.

Hot springs in Iceland

If you want more information aboutReykjadalurDo not hesitate to review our article on free thermal waters in Iceland.

Practical data

When to make the route of the golden circle in Iceland?

The route can be done all year long since it runs along roads that are maintained throughout the year. Therefore it is possible to visit it in winter. The ideal is to do it between spring and well into autumn. In winter there are activities that can be canceled such as diving in Silfra.

How to make the route of the golden circle in Iceland?

The two main ways to do it is by using your own vehicle or by using one of the many tours that run every day. We can also use public transport by taking the bus that leaves from Reykjavík towards Gullfoss (6 / 6A lines). It usually leaves at 10:00 AM and returns at 4:00 PM, 1 daily.

From my point of view, it is best to rent a car given the freedom it provides. Here is an offer with the best rental offers search engine:

What to wear

There are not many shops on the way and the few restaurants are expensive and usually full. Ideally, take our own food because it will be necessary to buy it at service stations or at tourist stalls.

What clothes do we have to wear ... this is Iceland and it can be very cold and we can have a downpour at any time. This means that we must be prepared for everything.

Where to sleep?

It is known that Iceland's hotel offer is scarce and is usually quite expensive. Reykjavík is no exception and finding something below € 60 is complicated. These are the hotels we use on our trip:

  • Guesthouse Pavi: this was one of our choices for its price, the cheapest. The rooms are small and the bathroom is shared. Its situation is very good and if we are not going to spend more than two nights in the city it is an option to take into account.
  • The Capital Inn: another hotel we tried, with good prices and comfortable rooms. Internet and breakfast included. The downside is its location, away from the center and requiring a car to reach it.

Other recommendations

We must leave with a full tank of Reykjavík because gas stations are scarce.

Travel insurance

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