The Golden Circle of Iceland: Main Stops

waterfall in the thingvellir park

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Waterfalls, volcanoes, lagoons, geysers… Iceland is nature in its purest form and the best way to see it is by taking a tour of the so-called Golden Circle.

This is one of the most popular routes in the country that is usually done by car and to which you can add more or less stops depending on the time you have available during your trip to Iceland.

Here are the main stops on the Golden Circle so you can prepare for your next road trip.

Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park, located 40 km from the capital Reykjavik, has been a World Heritage Site since 2004. Its name in English means “esplanade of the assembly” as it was here that the first Icelandic and world parliament was founded in 930 AD.

It is one of the main tourist attractions of the Golden Circle, as it is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates separate. In fact, you can swim between them if you take the Silfra Snorkelling tour through the fissure caused by these plates over the years.

divers in the silfra crack

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most beautiful and impressive waterfalls in Iceland, also known as the Golden Waterfall, is situated on the course of the Hvítá River.

The riverbed continues perpendicular to the waterfall, which creates a very special visual effect, as the river seems to disappear into the depths of the earth.

overview of the gullfoss waterfall

Geysir and Strokkur geothermal area

The Haukadalur Valley is better known as the Geysir Valley of geysers or Geysir geothermal area. Here is located, as its name well indicates, the Geysir, the first geyser to be discovered.

And although this one has been inactive for quite some time, you can see another one in action, the one called Strokkur, just 400 meters from the first one. It shoots jets of steam and water at 90 ºC (194º F) up to 30 meters every 5 or 10 minutes. Isn’t it amazing?

active strokkur geyser

Kerid Crater

It is not every day that you can see a crater of a thousand colors in which in its interior a lake of greenish waters has formed. This is the Kerid crater, a real jewel of nature.

Its perfect circular shape, the reddish tones of the earth, and the green moss around it make it a unique place that you can admire during your route through the Golden Circle.

views from above kerid crater

Secret Lagoon

Considered to be Iceland’s oldest pool, the Secret Lagoon is one of the most popular thermal pools in the country.

Its waters are almost touching 40º year-round, so you’re sure not to get cold. In addition, the views from there are impressive since if you are attentive, you will even observe a small geyser in action while you take a bath.

people having a bath in the secret lagoon

What do you think of all these places? Undoubtedly all the stops of the Golden Circle in Iceland look like snatched from another planet… Have you already prepared your camera?

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