Minibus tour of the Golden Circle | The classic sites and Kerid crater
Join this tour for an exciting trip to the Golden Circle! See three of Iceland’s most famous sites in one day from the comfort of a minibus. A limited number of seats means that you always travel out in small groups so that your experience is as personal as it is inspiring.
You will be picked up from your hotel from 07:30, before shooting out of Reykjavik to the sights of the Golden Circle. The first stop is just forty-five minutes from the capital: Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is Iceland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its fascinating history. It was here that Icelanders founded the longest running representative parliament, starting in 930 AD, and ongoing today. It has also been the site of many of the nation’s historical developments. Iceland converted to Christianity here in 1000 AD; declared its independence from Denmark in 1944; and elected its first president in this same year.
Þingvellir, however, has much more to it than a fascinating past. It is located right in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, the valley which runs between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Nowhere else in the world is this incredible geological feature so visible or accessible. The stunning and dramatic scenery of this rift makes walking through the area a delight.
After enjoying Þingvellir, you will move to the Geysir Geothermal Area, passing through beautiful countryside and the charming village of Laugarvatn on your way. This geothermal area is famous due to the fact that it hosts the geyser that gave all others their name, Geysir itself. While it is largely inactive these days, its neighbour, Strokkur, erupts every ten minutes or so, to heights of over 20 metres (66 ft). The surrounding area is stunning, with many hot springs, mud pots, and steaming vents.
After this, you head a few minutes down the road to the third and final stop of the Golden Circle, the magnificent waterfall Gullfoss. This is Iceland’s most popular waterfall, for its accessibility from Reykjavík and its awesome power. Falling over two drops into an ancient, plunging valley, Gullfoss is 32 metres (105 ft) tall and mightily impressive. In decent weather, it is possible to reach a viewing platform right at the water’s edge, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the falls.
Following Gullfoss, you will start your return journey back to Reykjavík; but you will stop at one more lesser-known sight en route. Kerið is a huge crater, coloured vividly with orange and red rock, with a stunning, azure lake at its bottom that remains year-round. It is too beautiful to be overlooked, and acts as the cherry on top of this fantastic tour.
This classic Golden Circle tour promises to let you get the most out of these incredible destinations, in a comfortable and personal setting. So jump aboard, and see these fantastic sites with us. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Jun. - Nov.
- Duration: 8 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 1 years old
- Languages: English
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir.
See this for Golden circle tours.
Geysir is a geyser that gives its name to hot springs all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (spouting a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, regularly about 15-20 meters into the air), Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
The 'Golden Waterfall', is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita. It is Iocated about 10 km from Geysir.
Thingvellir national park
The largest attraction of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape.
Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area.
The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in Grímsnes in south Iceland. It is a popular stop when traveling the Golden Circle.
It is believed that Kerið was originally a cone volcano that erupted and and emptied its magma reserve. Once the magma was depleted, the weight of the cone collapsed into an empty magma chamber, later to be filled with water.
The Kerið caldera is composed of red volcanic rock and is around 55 m deep, 170 m wide and 270 m across. There is little vegetation in the steep-walled crater, save for one wall with a gentler slope which is covered with deep moss. This wall is fairly easy to descend.
The lake itself is fairly shallow and is striking in its beauty. Opaque and aquamarine, surrounded by the red crater walls, Kerið offers a great contrast of colours and a highly impressive scenery.
The acoustics of the crater are considered to be fairly good, and a number of concerts have been held inside Kerið. There is a small admission fee to visit Kerið, 400 ISK per person (as of 2017).
Starting time : 07:30
8 hour tour
Friendly english speaking guide
Taste of Icelandic food
Lunch is not included, but we will stop for food breaks
What to bring:
Bring Warm Clothes