The Golden Circle Classic tour
“A glorious day ́s adventure magically weaving together Viking history and spectacular natural wonders”
Departure time: 8:00
Duaration: 7 hours
Type of group: Small group
Avalabillity: All year
Pick up: Anywhere in Reykjavík
Drop off: Anywhere in Reykjavík
What do I need to bring?
Warm Clothes: Scarf, a winter hat, gloves and warm socks
Waterproof jacket and pants
Good sturdy shoes
Dress according to weather and remember that the wind factor can be considerable in Iceland.
National park entrance fee
Professional local guidance in English
Pickup and drop off on selected places (see detail)
Food & drinks
Tip or gratuity
Bookings are non-refundable. All sales are final.
The Golden Circle Classic Tour
Included in the tour
Thingvellir national park and UNESCO site and a birthplace of a nation
Geysir, hot spring that erupts
Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, Queen of Icelandic waterfalls
The Golden Circle tops the list of must-see places when visiting the wonderful Land of Ice and Fire, that is Iceland.
This full day´s adventure will have you walk in the footsteps of those hardy Viking settlers as you visit the hallowed site of their ancient national assembly.
It will have you marvel at breathtaking natural wonders that include thundering waterfalls, a spouting geyser, and a dramatic continental divide.
Our Golden Circle Classic tour is actually comprised of three amazing places: the beautiful Þingvellir National Park, the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, and Iceland´s most active geyser, the spectacular Strokkur.
The classic route
Þingvellir National Park – the birthplace of a nation
Our first stop is the Þingvellir National Park. In the Visitor Centre we view the exhibition entitled “Heart of Iceland” – the perfect introduction to the history and nature of the park.
Stepping outside to the nearby Viewing Platform we get a super panoramic view of the park, its surroundings, and the country´s largest natural lake.
You are now standing on the very edge of the American tectonic plate, while in the distance is the Eurasian plate. Below and stretching out before you is a broad rift valley that has opened up as the two plates pull apart. Pretty dramatic stuff!
Strolling down through the main gorge we stop at the most revered place in Iceland, the Law Rock. This is where in 930 AD the early settlers forged the destiny of a nation by establishing a national assembly of free men.
It was from atop this sacred rock outcrop that laws were declared, and sentences passed by the assembly´s most esteemed member, the Law Speaker.
Continuing on, we come to the Drowning Pool. After Iceland became Lutheran in 1550 the Danish crown was now responsible for upholding public morality. Public punishments and executions became customary at Þingvellir as a way of deterring would be transgressors. Women were drowned while men were hanged, beheaded, or burned. The gruesome practice of drowning would continue right into the 18th century.
Þingvellir is steeped in history. All the major events in Iceland´s history have taken place here, from the adoption of Christianity in 1000 AD to the declaration of an independent republic and the election of Iceland´s first president in 1944.
Because of its great historical and geological significance, Þingvellir was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.
Geysir – a geothermal wonderland of steaming fumaroles, bubbling mud pots and an erupting geyser
Leaving the National Park, we drive to the famous Geysir Geothermal Field. The billowing clouds of steam rising here and there from the ground bears witness to the powerful forces at work right beneath your feet.
The central attraction of course is the geyser Strokkur (the Churn), spectacularly spouting boiling water and steam 20 meters (60 feet) skywards. No worries as to nailing that perfect picture, it erupts every seven to eight minutes.
Other special features are the bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles. The mineral rich water rising from deep within the earth also creates some vivid colors as it leaches across the surface of the ground.
Gullfoss - the Queen of Icelandic Waterfalls
Just a ten-minute drive up the road from Geysir is the magnificent two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall. Located on the glacial river Hvítá, its waters plunge 30 meters (90 feet) into a deep canyon.
The fall´s stunning beauty and raw power have earned it the title “Queen of Icelandic Waterfalls” and it has been rated one of the top ten waterfalls in the world.
In summer, the rising spray is sometimes caught by the sun´s rays to create a beautiful rainbow arched across the falls, adding even further to its magical allure.
In the early 20th century Gullfoss could well have disappeared when some British speculators intended to harness its energy for a hydroelectric power plant. But thanks to the single-handed opposition of a local young woman, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the plan was abandoned. The story goes that she even threatened to throw herself into the falls once construction began. Recognized as being Iceland´s first true environmentalist, there is a memorial to Sigríður down by the falls.
Gullfoss is indeed a waterfall for all seasons. In winter it is no less beautiful and fantastic when it freezes over into undulating waves of sparkling ice.