Iceland’s Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that showcases the country’s stunning natural wonders. The 300-kilometer loop takes you through rugged landscapes, geothermal areas, and majestic waterfalls. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, exploring the Golden Circle should be on your Iceland itinerary. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your Golden Circle adventure.

Thingvellir National Park

The first stop on the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This geological wonder is located in a rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Take a stroll through the park to witness the dramatic landscape of rugged cliffs and deep fissures. The park also has several hiking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and serene lakes. Don’t miss the chance to snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters of Silfra, a fissure filled with glacial meltwater.

Geysir Geothermal Area

Next on the itinerary is the Geysir Geothermal Area, home to the famous Strokkur geyser. Watch in awe as Strokkur shoots a plume of hot water up to 30 meters high every few minutes. The area also boasts several bubbling mud pools and steaming vents. Take a walk around the geothermal park to explore this unique landscape and immerse yourself in the power of nature.

Gullfoss Waterfall

A short drive from the Geysir Geothermal Area is Gullfoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s most iconic attractions. The two-tiered waterfall drops into a deep canyon, creating a mesmerizing display of mist and rainbows. You can admire the waterfall from the viewing platforms or take a trail down to the base of the falls for a closer look. Gullfoss is particularly spectacular in winter when the falls freeze over, creating an otherworldly landscape.

Kerid Crater

The final stop on the Golden Circle is Kerid Crater, a volcanic crater lake located in the Grimsnes region. The crater is approximately 3,000 years old and is filled with bright blue-green water. Take a walk around the rim of the crater for panoramic views or descend to the bottom of the crater to explore the lake up close. The area surrounding the crater is also a popular spot for hiking and horseback riding.

Tips for Exploring the Golden Circle

  • Rent a car to explore the Golden Circle at your own pace.
  • Pack warm layers, waterproof clothing, and sturdy shoes for the unpredictable Icelandic weather.
  • Start early in the day to avoid crowds and make the most of daylight hours.
  • Bring snacks and drinks as there are limited food options along the way.
  • Respect nature and follow Leave No Trace principles by taking your trash with you and staying on designated paths.


Exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the country. From the geological marvels of Thingvellir National Park to the roaring majesty of Gullfoss Waterfall, the Golden Circle offers a glimpse into the raw beauty of Iceland’s natural wonders. Make sure to plan your trip ahead and bring the necessary gear to make the most of your adventure. Happy exploring!