Golden Circle tours and attractions
The Golden Circle is a tourist route located in southern Iceland that covers over 190 miles, looping from Reykjavik into the southern uplands and back...In the top 5 attractions for Reykjavik
The inside story
The Golden Circle is a tourist route located in southern Iceland that covers over 190 miles, looping from Reykjavik into the southern uplands and back. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and takes about a day to complete a full visit in each of the three primary stops. These stops along the Golden Circle include: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park,Geysir Geothermal Field, and the Gullfoss waterfall.
Thingvellir National Park is one of Iceland's most significant historic and geological sites. The national parliament of Iceland (Althing) was founded in 930 AD where the park is currently located. At Thingvellir, you can see where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet as well as how these plates have continuously drifted apart over time. It was declared a national park in 1930 and in 2004, the park was added to the list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only one in Iceland.
The Geysir Geothermal Field is known for its hot springs and you will surely experience the areas underground volcanic activities. The two most well known hot springs in the area are The Great Geysir and Shokkur (The Churn). The Great Geysir is the oldest documented geyser in Europe that dates back to the 13th century. When it was active, the geyser used to erupt with heights of around 400 feet but has been dormant for many years. Shokkur is currently the most active hot spring in Iceland and erupts about every 5-10 minutes, reaching heights of 30-60 feet usually, but has reached up to 130 feet. If you get hungry while visiting this part of the Golden Circle, you can stop by the Visitor Center where you can enjoy some local dishes and shop for unique souvenirs that were created by the locals.
The last stop on the Golden Circle is the Gullfoss Waterfall. The name Gullfoss means "Waterfall of Gold" or "Golden Falls" and refers to the golden color of the water on a sunny day. This majestic waterfall is one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls and has two huge "steps", one 36 feet and the other 71 feet. When standing near the falls, you will be able to feel the spray of the water on your face, and if you are lucky and visit on a sunny day, a rainbow just might appear!
The Golden Circle is definitely a place worth visiting on a trip to Iceland and has much more to offer than just these three great sites. You can go snorkeling in between the tectonic plates, go whale watching, see the northern lights, and much more!