The essential tour for all visitors to Iceland. See history and nature collide with sights like the Thingvellir national park, the great Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall.
The Golden Circle is not only the most popular day tour we run here at BusTravel Iceland but perhaps also the most popular trip that leaves Reykjavik.
We will combine all of the famous sights with a few extra stops to make your day as special as we possibly can, this means you will get to see Þingvellir national park, the geothermal wonders of Geysir and the golden waterfall Gullfoss. At BusTravel Iceland though our motto is “More nature, more fun” so we also make some additional stops at Kerið volcanic crater and Faxi waterfall. You should expect a packed day full of adventure!
Geysir geothermal area
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
Kerið volcanic crater (entrance fee included)
Our fantastic day tour starts with our fast and efficient pickup service. We do all the hard work here, all you need to do is let us know where you are staying or your nearest pickup point and we will come and collect you.
Once we have all of our guests it’s time to sit back and relax as we journey away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head out into the tranquility of the Icelandic countryside, heading towards our first destination of the day which will be Kerið volcanic crater.
Kerið is, in fact, one of several crater lakes in the area which have become an incredibly popular tourist destination due to the vivid contrast between the red lava rock that surrounds the deep blue water below. These breathtaking colors are caused by the various minerals that are abundant in the surrounding soil and it makes for a photo opportunity that you will not want to miss.
While many believe that Kerið is a simple crater that was created during intense volcanic activity, a recent study is starting to conclude that Kerið was, in fact, a volcano itself! The reason why it is a crater today would be that the volcano was part of some intense activity that resulted in it expelling all of its magma reserves and then collapsing in on itself.
When we have finished up with the crater lake we will move onward to the first of our waterfall stops today which will be Faxi. Compared to some of the other places you will be stopping today Faxi can be considered something of a serene stop, a quiet location where you will be able to simply enjoy this wide and shallow waterfall that is fed from the Tungufljót river. Its appearance is quite striking with its turbulent motion contrasting with the relatively flat surroundings. This is a great place to simply allow yourself to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the slower pace of life that Iceland offers to both its residents and its guests.
From one great waterfall, we head directly to another in the form of Gullfoss which will be our third stop for the day. Gullfoss is known both as the golden waterfall (a direct translation of its name) and is the most visited waterfall in Iceland. The cascade falls an astonishing 32 meters over two separate stages where a golden shimmer can be seen in the water from the minerals that are carried along the river bed that feeds it. The water originates all the way from Iceland's second largest glacier which is called Langjökull. From the observation decks, you are not quite able to see the bottom of the waterfall so you also get the added visual effect of the water seemingly falling into an endless abyss.
The fourth stop on our day tour will be the Geothermal wonderland of Geysir where you will not only be able to see exploding hot springs but also where we will be stopping for lunch. The area is known as Geysir thanks to the “Great Geysir” that sits here, this geyser is one of the first of its kind to be widely mentioned in print across Europe and is in fact where we get the English word ‘geyser’ from. Sadly Geysir is no longer able to erupt without external assistance but thankfully it’s sister geyser Strokkur is very close by and has an eruption every 5-10 minutes so you are sure to be able to see an amazing display. There is also a large visitors center here where you will be able to buy food and souvenirs for people back home.
Last but most certainly not least comes the final stop of our Golden circle, the Thingvellir national park. This site is the location of not only the first parliament to be established in Iceland but what is also widely believed to be the first parliament in the whole world. While here you will have the opportunity to take yourself back in time and fully immerse yourself in the very essence of Iceland. Its rich history and phenomenal nature will unfold in front of you as you journey through this ever-changing landscape. Þingvellir is also the location of the Silfra fissure, a popular diving spot that was created as the Eurasian and American tectonic plates began to separate.
Silfra is in actuality one of only two locations on the earth where you can safely dive between two tectonic plates but is the only location that is easily accessible.
After the National park, our tour is sadly concluded, but you will still be able to enjoy the sights of the Icelandic lava fields as we drive you back to Reykjavik so that your Icelandic adventure can continue.
The duration of the tour is approximately 8 hours
There is no food included on this tour but there will be stops where you are able to purchase food.
For a more intimate experience we have a small group option that will take you along the Golden Circle route whilst also making additional stops via our "Iceland Intro: Golden Circle" Premium minibus tour.
For those who want to start their tour a little later in the day why not consider the "Golden Circle Afternoon" tour that does all of the stops (besides Kerið) in a shorter amount of time and leaves later in the morning. Or for those looking to add a stop to a geothermal lagoon to their trip, look no further than the "Golden Circle & Secret lagoon" option. Don't forget your bathing suit!
Make sure to note down your pickup times and Departure Times. Pick up can take up to 30 minutes starting from the time on your ticket. Please wait at your hotel / guesthouse in this time span. We collect our guests with several mini buses, so please be aware that you may need to change busses at a meeting point before the tour begins!
Entrance fees to Kerið Volcanic Crater
Pick-up and drop-off from Tour Bus Stop 12, Höfðatorg (Þórunnartún)
Warm, water- and windproof clothing are always useful in Iceland.
All tickets are e-tickets so there is no need to print them out.
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