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Frequently Asked Questions

About Golden Circle Tours

The Golden Circle is Iceland’s most famous sightseeing route, consisting of three equally stunning locations in southwest Iceland: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. Each as spectacular as it is unique, these sites are renowned across the world for their natural beauty and cultural significance.

1. What is Thingvellir?

Þingvellir is a national park east of Reykjavík. It is known for having been the site of Alþingi, Iceland's parliament, between the 10th and 18th century. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates and is home to Silfra, one of the world’s most sought out diving and snorkelling sites.

2. What is Geysir?

Geysir is a famous hot spring that gives its name to geysers all over the world. Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, it has a neighbour by the name of Strokkur, which spouts vast amounts of water 15-25 meters into the air every 5 to 10 minutes.

3. What is Gullfoss?

Gullfoss is a waterfall in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most iconic natural attractions.

4. Is a visit to Kerid crater included in Golden Circle tours?

Although Kerið crater is not officially a part of the Golden Circle sightseeing route, some tours include Kerið as an extra stop. View the "Highlights" or your tour's description to see if it includes a visit to Kerið.

5. How long is the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle is just under 225 km (140 mi) long.

6. How long does it take to drive the Golden Circle?

Driving the golden circle without stopping takes about 2.5 hours. The route, however, is often traversed in a full day so that travellers have ample time to take in the sights.

7. Can you traverse the Golden Circle if the weather is bad?

The weather in Iceland is extremely volatile and can change in an instant. Icelandic sights and landscapes are, therefore, explored in almost any weather. Most tours around the Golden Circle will remain operational except in the rare instances when the weather poses a safety risk.

8. Can I get a full refund if I cancel my booking?

Yes, you can book and cancel day tours up to 24 hours before departure.

9. Where are the pick-up locations for Golden Circle tours?

Pick-up locations for most tours departing from Reykjavik are situated across the city. Normally, you will find a pick-up location very close to your accommodation.

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Travelling the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is widely known to be the most popular sightseeing route in Iceland, in large part due to the capital city’s proximity to three of the country’s most inspiring natural attractions; Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal valley and the mighty waterfall, Gullfoss (“The Golden Falls”).

Other attractions en-route, though not part of the Golden Circle itself, include Kerið volcanic crater, Efstidalur farm and ice cream store and the fascinating Sólheimar Ecovillage. If you hope to see these extra attractions, please make sure that the tour you are interested in includes them as part of the scheduled itinerary. 

What is less known, however, is the sheer variety of methods in which visitors choose to undertake this route, the most popular of which is taking a guided tour on a coach or minibus; this is a cost-effective means of experiencing the Golden Circle while also providing your party with a learned and experienced tour guide.

Guides on the Golden Circle are able to focus in on each attraction, teaching you about their history and importance to Icelandic culture, as well as pointing out lesser-known sites of interest, such as shooting locations for the HBO fantasy series, ‘Game of Thrones’, of which there are a number to be found in Þingvellir National Park.

Another means of experiencing the Golden Circle could include a helicopter tour, making this one of the more VIP undertakings of your holiday. While no doubt pricier that sightseeing at ground-level, flying from attraction to attraction allows you to cut down your tour time from 8 hours to a solitary one, making this the most time-effective, unique and exhilarating method on the market.

Another option is to drive the Golden Circle route yourself. This option provides you with the most freedom over your day, allowing you to spend just as much time at each attraction as you would like. And while this option lacks the knowledge and know-how of a professional tour guide, it is more than made up for with the company you choose.

Finally, the Golden Circle allows for many bonus activities that can but heighten your experience. These activities range from horse-riding to snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier to snorkelling in Silfra Fissure.

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