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The Golden Circle: navigating Iceland's most touristed route

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Boiling hot geysers , a spectacular waterfall , the magical national green of Þingvellir... all inside a days drive - there's a argue that the Golden Circle is the most touristed route inward Iceland.  Here are some tips to soak upwardly the beauty without beingness knocked close past times crowds.

I should start amongst the basics.  The 'Golden Circle' is marketed inward a diverseness of ways - but it ever includes Geysir , Gullfoss and Þingvellir (which you lot mightiness meet written phonetically similar Thingvellir).  If you're looking at tours , many include the Blue Lagoon as well as Kerið too.  I'm going to tell you lot avoid tours similar the plague.  No , really , trust me.  

The map inward a higher house shows the route that Nicholas as well as I did.  We started at Hverageði , thus made our agency some the circle ending inward Reykjavik.  The driving part took 3.5 hours , as well as the entire circular trip took ix hours , including soaking inward the hot river at Hverageði.  Allow a solar daytime for the circular trip.

If you lot go inward summertime , allow a night.

The hot river at Hverageði simply earlier midnight

If , similar most people , you lot conception to view Republic of Iceland inward summertime , there's no ameliorate agency to brand the most of 24 sixty minutes sunlight than to halt past times the top tourist spots inward the middle of the night.  Iceland's scenery is the materials legends are made of , but it's difficult to live on mystified past times bubbling volcanic pots as well as dwarfed past times powerful waterfalls when you're looking over mortal else's shoulder.

I'm non exaggerating either - at whatsoever given daylight sixty minutes , you're jump to meet multiple tourist buses.  Sometimes you'll meet to a greater extent than than 6 or vii at a time. 

Don't bother adjusting your slumber cycle.  Just alternative upwardly a motorcar as well as pass the black driving.  

Kerið - the crater lake

Make the journeying from Hverageði to Kerið , where you lot tin walk the perimeter of this beautiful crater lake.  Err on the side of caution hither - sometimes it tin live on unopen off subsequently hours.

The smoking pools close Geysir

Geysir is literally THE geyser that made geysers geysers.  It's non really active anymore , but that's totally ok because Strokkur - Geysir's next-door-neighbour - goes off every few minutes.  Some eruptions are to a greater extent than spectacular than others , thus it's worth hanging some for a skillful one.

Some pools are completely inactive (but however hot , thus don't touch!) as well as are almost illuminated amongst an intense brilliant blueish light.  They're really pretty spectacular.  Don't throw coins inward them , though - a) the signs tell non to , b) that's a waste matter of perfectly skillful coins , as well as Republic of Iceland is pricey.

Your adjacent halt volition in all probability live on Gullfoss. Once upon a fourth dimension , Republic of Iceland were going to utilise its ability for liberate energy , but they didn't , as well as straightaway you lot tin larn admire it.  It's been described every bit 'Iceland's Niagara Falls' , as well as for skillful reason.  It's a beautiful waterfall , amongst 2 broad falls , as well as its falls are shrouded inward folktales.   

Not far from Gullfoss is the UNESCO-listed Þingvellir , situated inward the centre of its national park.  Þingvellir was listed every bit a UNESCO site inward 2004 , for its historical as well as geological significance.  Historically , Þingvellir is the place of the offset parliament of Republic of Iceland (also where they drowned witches).  Geologically , Þingvellir is where the Eurasian as well as North American tectonic plates are drifting apart.  If you're upwardly for something genuinely unforgettable , try scuba diving or snorkelling between the plates of the Silfra canyon.

The stance from Þingvellir

Öxarárfoss , in Þingvellir National Park

As nosotros were driving dorsum to Reykjavik - simply earlier 9am - nosotros passed Mossfellskirkja , which is i of my favourite churches we've seen inward Iceland.  It simply looks completely infinite historic catamenia as well as out of house amongst the surrounding mountains.  I advise you lot halt as well as marvel at this bizarre slice of architecture.  Even this early on inward the morn , tour buses filled amongst people were passing us the other agency (headed toward Þingvellir) , as well as nosotros were feeling really glad to live on finishing upwardly for the black as well as convey the whole circle completely to ourselves.  

Ok , nosotros saw i mink scurrying some close Geysir , but I don't intend he counts.

The Golden Circle was a pretty fantastic eventide trip , but wouldn't convey had the same magic to it if I'd been surrounded past times tour buses total of people! If you're headed to Republic of Iceland as well as it's on your to-do listing (it in all probability should be) , start planning a night-time route trip.

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