One of the most popular tours in Iceland is the Golden Circle Tour . This is a tour you can do with a tour company or you can visit the same places on your own if you have a car. We had a car so we deiced to visit the places on our own. The entire drive is around 3 hours round trip from Reykjavik without any stops. I would recommend a full day for this tour.
We were in Iceland in February and we had a 4 wheel drive with winter tires. Iceland weather can change suddenly and there are mountain roads that you will have to drive through to get to one of the locations on this tour. So if you are doing this tour in Winter I recommend renting a car with winter tires.
Photos by Jess G.
These are the main stops along the Golden Circle Tour:
- Thingvellir National Park
- Geysir and Strokkur geysers
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Icelandic Horses
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the first stop in the Golden Circle Tour. It is the meeting place of the valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and also the site of an old Icelandic parliament. It has some beautiful hikes as well. We were here in winter and it was snowing – this made for a unique hike.
Geysir and Strokkur geysers
Geysir and Strokkur are two geysers among many other small geysers that are near the river of Hvita River. This is the second stop in the Golden Circle Tour. A geyser is a discharge of water from the ground that erupts at a certain interval. I have personally never seen any geysers till Geysir and Strokkur and found them to be fascinating ! We spend about two hours here watching the geysers and taking photos.
Gullfoss is one of the larger waterfalls in Iceland . It is a cascading waterfall. After Niagara Falls it is probably the second largest waterfall I have seen. Definitely worth a stop over and a visit.
Between the Geysir and Gullfoss drive you will see many Icelandic Horses by the road side. There are many areas where you can pull over safely and see the horses. I highly recommend doing this. The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. They are small like ponies but sturdy and beautiful !
I highly recommend the Golden Circle Tour ! Definitely more fun if you have a car and can visit these places at your own pace.