Your Guide to Driving the Golden Circle
Golden Circle Iceland
6-8 hour day trip
The Golden Circle is a great day tour from Reykjavik offering you to see and do a lot of things in just 1 day.
We recommend driving through the Nesjavellir geothermal area first, It's a beautiful road and offers you great scenery which you simply won't get by doing a normal bus excursions tour. (only available during summertime)
You start off by driving the ring road 1 south and take an exit shortly after you hit the ring road on your left-hand side, saying Nesjavellir . Stop at the end of the road at the viewing ramp and take in some of the amazing views over lake Þingvallavatn.
You'll continue on, driving alongside the coast of the lake Þingvallavatn.
The next stop will be by Öxarárfoss waterfall just before you get to the national park of Þingvellir.
Go back to the road and continue driving into the national park, you want to take the next exit to the right and park your car in the parking lot there. Take a walk around the park and walk over the bridge of almannagjá which shows the 2 tectonic plates of Europe and north America splitting apart, growing roughly 2cm every year!
After Soaking in this historical landmark of Iceland's first parliament, drive through the national park of Þingvellir following road 37
After about 30 minutes, you'll get to Geysir hot springs. It's relatively easy to find parking in the area.
Geysir in Haukadalur, as it is called, is a Hot spring that today no longer is as active as it used to be, although being the most famous hot spring in the world, there are however more hot springs in the area of Geysir, which are called: Strokkur, Smiður & Litli-Strokkur.
The name of the hot spring, Geysir, can be related back to 1647 which is when it got its name, back then it would go off regularly, it would blast 60-80 meters up in the air up to the 1900s, where it would go as high as 170 Meters!
After that, it started slowing down due to the surface of the hot spring being too big.
Locals tried to do what they could to bring it back to life and even put 100 kgs of hand soap into the hot spring, thinking it might solve its problems.
But after the big earthquake on the south coast in the summer of 2000, it got a bit active but is slowing down again.
Once you continue back onto road 37, in about 10 minutes, you will see the Gullfoss waterfall.