Iceland might not be the biggest island out there but it is definitely full of nature, marvelous places and magic landscapes no one should ever miss. One question we constantly get asked as Icelanders is, where should we go? Or what places do you guys recommend? We will talk today about the famous Golden Circle.
So, we thought, why don’t we just make a list of those wonderful spots we believe everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime? We are then creating a series that will lead you to Iceland’s wild beauty; today we are going to start off directly from most popular spot in the south.
The Golden Circle
This is considered by far, one of the most beautiful areas in Iceland. You only need to have a look around to understand why: impressive geyser, black sand beaches, amazing waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers. So, if you want to be out in nature, this is the place to go because that is what Iceland is all about.
It is by far, the most popular tour in Iceland and it is not too far out from the capital but it offers a wide enough variety of what Iceland has to offer. It is also a fantastic option for those travelers whose schedule is kind of tight.
This is going to be our first stop. This is a well-known waterfall whose name translates to “Golden Falls” because during the summer time the sun reflects on the water giving it subtle golden brown tone. It is situated in the upper part of the Hvitá river and it is divided into two drops; the highest one is 32 meters.
This is a fantastic area for Bird watching and light walking.
Also known as “The Great Geysir”. the English word geyser comes from the Icelandic and it means “water gusher”. Walking around this incredibly active geothermal area makes you realize how alive the underground underneath your feet is! It is full of geysers that can blast hot water into the air as high as 80 meters!
This National Park has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This natural wonder is where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. It is fundamental to Iceland’s history as it is the birthplace of this nation. Here, the first parliament was assembled back in 930AD.
Snorkeling trips to Silfra are available here, you can literally swim between two continents!
Horseback riding activities can also be booked at Laxness Horse Farm close to route 36.
On your way back to Reykjavik you can visit Sólheimar Ecovillage: This Eco-Village offers accommodation and outdoor activities for those who wish to stay in contact with nature while learning about sustainability.
How to get to the Golden Circle?
There are several day tours available for this area, most of them are guided, but in our opinion a Self-Drive option is the way to go! Renting a car will allow you to freely wander around, enjoy extra activities and just experience this land in a relatively short trip.
To get out of Reykjavik, you would just need to take the Ring Road (Route 1). This road is split into North and South, you can drive the circle North-South or vice versa is absolutely up to you! You can also take a highland route from Gullfoss (Golden Circle).