Iceland's Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is famous for several attractions and many tourists who only have a short stopover in Iceland mostly focus on the Golden Circle. It is also the most crowded area of Iceland we have seen. If you have more time to spend in Iceland we recommend to start with the Golden Circle and enjoy after some more pacefull areas.

Starting from Reykjavik the golden circle is just above 200 kilometers and you can easily do this in 1 day. You don’t need a 4×4 as there all attractions can be reached via normal roads.

There are plenty of tours which you can book, but when you do it on your own, you decide yourself how long you stay and you can add extra stops if you want.

B. Thingvellir National Park

This national park is the only place in the world where you can stand between two continental plates. You have the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate. While visiting we have also seen quite some divers who were exploring this area. In total we have spend around one hour and a half in the national park. Next to the tectonic plates you have also the Oxarafoss waterfall, the Thingvellir Church church and the Althing which is the site of the first parliament in the world. 

C. Geysir & Strokkur

Strokkur is a special phenomenon. Roughly every 8 minutes Strokkur bursts water high in the air. Plenty of people are gathered around the whole waiting for the moment it happens. Most of them have their camera ready to capture the moment. Make sure you enjoy the moment and avoid you only only experience this through the camera lens. 

D. Gullfoss (Golden Falls)

Gullfoss or the Golden Falls is an iconic waterfall which attracts many people. In 2015 they were building a new building to accommodate the growing number of tourists. When we came back in 2022 the building is ready and it’s a store with a huge restaurant to receive big groups of tourists. 

Gullfoss power of water
Gullfoss power of water

E. Skalholt Cathedral

With a small detour you can go to the Skalholt Cathedral. Were were alone at this quiet place. It’s rather a church than a cathedral and you won’t spend longer than 10 – 15 minutes in our opinion. You can easily skip this if you don’t have time.

F. Kerid crater

The only attraction where we had to pay admission back in 2015. There was a little kiosk where we were requested to pay 2 €. Kerid is a volcanic crater lake and the caldera itself is 55  deep, 170 m wide and 270 m across. You can walk around the crater and also go down, to the water.

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