The Golden Circle is the most popular tourist route in Iceland, a 300-kilometer circular loop that takes in many of the country’s famous landmarks including Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. If you’re only visiting Iceland for a couple of days, this is the tour that you probably want to take.
The two of us took the Golden Circle Classic tour with Iceland Excursions and saw some stunning scenery as we drove around Iceland on their 8-hour tour. Our guide Erlingur knew just about everything there was to know about Iceland and kept us entertained in the process – he actually provided most of the facts for our Did You Know? – Random Facts About Iceland post.
Here are our highlights from our Golden Circle Tour.
Þingvellir is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural, historical and geographical significance. Icelandic parliament was founded here in 930 AD and is the oldest parliament in the world.
There is also an enormous geologic rift located here between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia which is quite the sight to see! Some of the rifts are full of crystal clear water and one of them, Peningagjá, is littered with coins because of a historic tradition based on European legends that is said to bring you luck if you toss a coin in.
Gullfoss, translated to “Golden Falls” in English, is a majestic 32-meter dual-folding waterfall that is the most popular waterfall in Iceland. The best part of the visit here is that you can walk so close to the falls that you can feel the spray on your face – just be careful on the slippery rocks!
Of all the attractions on The Golden Circle tour, the Geysir was the one we were most looking forward to visiting. Although it was a little smaller than expected, it was still definitely worth the stop.
Watching it churn and then erupt was very impressive and we got some semi-decent photos of it happening! The geysir Strokkur erupts approximately every five minutes but be patient – we tried to record a video only to give up just seconds before it erupted again.
One of the final stops on our Golden Circle Tour was Skálholt and the large cathedral there, a significant historical site in Iceland. For nearly 800 years it was one of the most important places in Iceland as the ancient seat of the Icelandic bishops.
Have you heard of Iceland’s Golden Circle? Would you like to tour it one day?
A huge thanks to Súsanna from ICELANDisHOT for organizing our Golden Circle Classic tour with Iceland Excursions. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.