This is the most popular tourist route in Iceland departing from Reykjavík and covering a vast area of geological and historical attractions. The three main points of interest are Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and seat of the first parliament. This beautiful area with its lake, natural vegetation and visible tectonic fissures, which are popular among divers and snorkelers. This area is also a delight to walk around, soaking in history, geology and nature with every step. Another major stop is the Geysir Geothermal Area, Iceland’s very own pressure valve with Strokkur letting off steam every few minutes in a 30m high aquatic burst. This hot geothermal area is fascinating with its colours, smells and energy. The third classic stop is the mesmerising Gullfoss Waterfall. Seen from a dizzy height, this waterfall is two-tiered and plunges 32m down into the Hvítá River. Its beauty is illuminated by sunshine and rainbows but also in its winter coat of icicles and frozen spray.
There are a number of other attractions in the area that would put a personal touch to your own Golden Circle tour. They are Laugarvatn on the banks of a warm lake and sheltered by a birch-covered mountain, Kerið, a volcanic crater that has hosted floating music concerts, Flúðir, home of the Secret Lagoon. A wonderful must-stop is at Þrastalundur where you can freshen up with a delicious bite or buy some snacks to take with you.
As with everywhere in Iceland, the nature here is very sensitive and is not used to being trampled on by thrill seekers from all over the world, so please take care to stick to marked trails and walking paths, be sure to take your rubbish with you and leave any pieces of Iceland where you found them. International driving rules apply to Iceland as well. Stopping on the road to take pictures is not only forbidden but highly dangerous and can cause accidents.