Golden Circle Day Tours
Hike through snowy landscapes, snowmobile across ancient ice or step inside a natural ice cave on a Glacier Activity tour. Those who are ready to wrap up warm to explore one of Iceland’s many glaciers — including Europe’s biggest, Vatnajökull — should not let these fantastic Glacier Activities pass them by. Check out our selection of frosty adventures below.
About Golden Circle Tours
The Golden Circle is a name given to a round trip route of some of Iceland’s most spectacular features; Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. This trio of destinations are open year-round and are considered an essential stop for first-time visitors to Iceland.
Þingvellir National Park is where this country’s Viking settlers would gather to settle disputes and lay the laws of the land over a thousand years ago. This assembly laid the foundation for Iceland’s parliament, Alþingi.
Þingvellir is not only culturally significant but also a geographical wonder. This UNESCO Heritage Site is located in between two tectonic plates, the North American and the Eurasian. As these continental plates move, they pull apart the land on which Þingvellir stands, creating in the process dramatic fissures and cliffs visible throughout the area.
Geysir Geothermal Area is home to countless bubbling mud pools, hissing steam vents, and erupting hot springs. Here, you’ll find Strokkur, a geyser which erupts every 5-10 minutes, reaching heights of about 15-25 metres. The word ‘geyser’ is derived from a hot spring here, Geysir, which is much larger than Strokkur but is mostly inactive.
The last natural attraction which makes up the Golden Circle route is Gullfoss Waterfall. This magnificent feature has a 32-metre drop over two steps and is fed by Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjökull.
You can read more about the Golden Circle here.
What’s included in a Golden Circle Tour
All the Golden Circle Tours on Traveo include a day trip with an English-speaking guide around Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall as well as pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation.
Often these tours include extra stops or activities. Depending on which day trip you choose, you could be snorkelling in Silfra fissure at Þingvellir National Park, Snowmobiling on the nearby Langjökull Glacier or relaxing at the Secret Lagoon Spa.
What to bring on a Golden Circle Tour
Golden Circle Tours take place outside, which is why it is important to dress in warm and waterproof clothes and wear good, comfortable shoes. The Icelandic weather is unpredictable so bring with you a hat, scarf, and gloves, even in the summer.
Lunch is only included if specified in the tour description, so bringing snacks is a good idea. However, refreshments can also be purchased at the visitor centre at all three Golden Circle locations. Here you’ll also find bathrooms and souvenirs.
If your tour includes a stop at the Secret Lagoon or other spas, you should bring a swimsuit and towel. Those can usually be rented on-site if needed. For snowmobiling tours, it is important you bring your driving license if you plan to operate the vehicle.
The use of all equipment for snorkelling and snowmobiling is included, but you should bring warm base layers to wear under the included dry-suit or overalls.
Frequently asked questions
Kerið is not a part of the Golden Circle, which is why many tours don’t stop there. However, since the crater lake is in the vicinity of the Golden Circle, some tours do take a detour to Kerið. Press any tour to read its description and see if a visit to Kerið is included.
A tour of the Golden Circle can take between 6-8 hours without any extra activities. If you chose a tour with an additional adventure such as snowmobiling or a visit to the Secret Lagoon, the tour will take around 10 hours.
The Golden Circle Route is about 250 kilometres (155 miles).
Yes, you can. The attractions of the Golden Circle are all outside and can be accessed any time of day in any weather, wind, rain, snow or shine.
Depending on the tour you choose, and where you are staying, the pick-up location is either in front of your accommodation or the nearest designated pick-up bus stop. Detailed information on pick-up locations will be on your voucher.
The Golden Circle’s name comes from Gullfoss Waterfall, which means “The Golden Waterfall” in Icelandic. It is believed that Gullfoss earned its name from either the golden shimmer it sometimes gets in the sunlight or from the rainbow which forms above it. The latter is because legend has it that a pot of gold is found at the end of rainbows.
No, the Blue Lagoon is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 90 kilometres (60 mi) from the Golden Circle. Those looking for a relaxing time while travelling the Golden Circle can check out the Secret Lagoon or Fontana Spa which are situated closer to the famous sightseeing route.