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Golden Circle Holidays

Home to Iceland’s most iconic itinerary

Head west out of Reykjavik and you’ll soon trade city lights for spectacular landscapes – something the Golden Circle’s got in spades. With more than its fair share of natural wonders, this is a place that’s got a penchant for drama – think thundering waterfalls and erupting geysers. And it’s all within a couple of hours’ drive of Reykjavik. 

Extraordinary excursions

The Golden Circle itself is a 300-kilometre-long route that ticks off three of Iceland’s most iconic natural landmarks: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Geothermal Area. But there’s plenty more to see and do here if you venture a little (or a lot) off the beaten path. From caving and kayaking to snowmobiling and hiking, holidays here are as varied as they are memorable.

Wow-worthy wilderness

If you’re all about getting back to nature and retreating to the wilderness, then a stay in the Golden Circle could be right up your street. Petite towns and villages have sprung up along the route, so you needn’t worry about being too remote, but after dark you’ll see the night sky as you’ve never seen it before. Thanks to the low light pollution, on a clear night you’ll be treated to a blanket of stars overhead – and maybe even a chance to spot the Northern Lights.

Explore our map of Golden Circle

Your Golden Circle questions, answered

The Golden Circle is located in southern Iceland, within 25 miles of Reykjavik. 
As long as you like. You can hit all three of the main sights in one day, and many day trips do, but if you stay in the area you can relax and explore at your own pace. 
The Golden Circle is a year-round destination, so it really depends on what you’re after. You’re most likely to see the Northern Lights between October and March, so definitely factor that in if they’re on your list. A lot of other trips and excursions in the area run throughout the year, and if you visit in the summer you’ll be treated to daylight that stretches into the wee hours. 
Totally up to you, but it can be super useful if you prefer to explore solo. If you're happy to book planned tours and excursions then a car is less necessary, but still handy depending on how rural your hotel is. 

Thingvellir National Park is less than an hours’ drive from Reykjavik, while Gullfoss, which is the furthest point west of the traditional Golden Circle route, is less than two hours’ drive from the city. Hotels are dotted around the area, and some in quite rural countryside spots, but you'll never be too far from civilisation. If you don’t fancy renting a car don’t worry, there are plenty of organised tours and excursions in the area.

Plenty! Once you’ve ticked off the main attractions you’ll still have plenty of ways to pack out your schedule. Visit Thjórsárdalur Valley and you can expect to see dramatic waterfalls, hot springs, and lush forests full of native wildflowers. If it’s a geothermal experience you’re after on the other hand, head to the Secret Lagoon and take a relaxing dip in the soothing waters.

Hotels in Golden Circle

Borealis Hotel
89 reviews
Fosshotel Hekla
null reviews
Hotel Grimsborgir
1,047 reviews
Ork Hotel
864 reviews