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Golden Circle Iceland: Ultimate Self-Drive Travel Guide


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Flss Mckenna



Welcome to the ultimate self-drive travel guide for exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland. If you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply someone who loves road trips, then the Golden Circle is a must-visit destination. This iconic route showcases some of Iceland’s most breathtaking landscapes, geological wonders, and cultural attractions.


The Golden Circle is a 300-kilometer loop that starts and ends in Reykjavik, allowing you to experience the diverse beauty of Iceland in just one day or extend your trip for a more leisurely exploration. What makes this route even more appealing is the freedom and flexibility it offers – you can travel at your own pace, stopping at the attractions that captivate you the most.


From dramatic waterfalls and geothermal hot springs to national parks and historical landmarks, the Golden Circle has something for everyone. Whether you’re driving solo, embarking on a romantic getaway, or traveling with family and friends, this adventure will leave you with unforgettable memories.


But before you hit the road, it’s essential to plan your trip and make necessary arrangements. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from getting to Iceland to renting a car and exploring the must-see attractions. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the adventure of a lifetime!


Planning Your Trip

Planning your trip to the Golden Circle in Iceland is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Duration: Determine how many days you want to spend exploring the Golden Circle. While it’s possible to complete the entire route in a day, allocating more time will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the attractions.
  2. Season: Iceland’s weather can vary greatly depending on the season. Summer (June to August) offers longer daylight hours and milder temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Winter (December to February) brings shorter days but presents opportunities for viewing the northern lights.
  3. Accommodation: Decide whether you prefer to stay in Reykjavik and make day trips to the Golden Circle or stay in accommodations along the route itself. Both options have their advantages, so choose based on your personal preference and travel style.
  4. Budget: Determine your budget and plan accordingly. Iceland is known for being a relatively expensive destination, but there are ways to save money, such as opting for self-catering accommodations and packing your own meals for day trips.
  5. Attractions: Research the main attractions along the Golden Circle route and prioritize the ones you don’t want to miss. This will help you plan your itinerary and allocate sufficient time for each stop.

Additionally, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Icelandic road regulations and safety guidelines. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license, understand the local road signs, and follow speed limits and other traffic rules. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so always check the conditions and be prepared for sudden changes.


Lastly, consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and rental car accidents. This will provide you with peace of mind throughout your journey.


By taking the time to plan your trip properly, you’ll be able to make the most of your Golden Circle adventure and create unforgettable memories in the stunning landscapes of Iceland.


Getting to Iceland

Before you can begin your road trip around the Golden Circle, you’ll need to arrange transportation to get to Iceland itself. Here are your options for getting to Iceland:

  1. Flights: The most common way to reach Iceland is by air. Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) is the main gateway for international travelers. Numerous airlines offer direct flights to Iceland from major cities in Europe, North America, and other parts of the world. It’s advisable to book your flights well in advance to secure the best fares.
  2. Ferries: Another option, primarily for those traveling from mainland Europe, is to take a ferry to Iceland. Several ferry companies operate routes to Iceland from countries such as Denmark and the Faroe Islands. This mode of transport can be a more relaxed and scenic way to travel, allowing you to bring your own vehicle or rent one upon arrival.
  3. Cruises: If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, consider taking a cruise to Iceland. Many cruise ships include Iceland as a port of call on their itineraries, allowing you to explore the Golden Circle and other attractions during a day trip.

Once you arrive in Iceland, you’ll find transportation options to get to Reykjavik and start your Golden Circle adventure. The most convenient way is to rent a car at the airport. There are several reputable car rental companies with counters at Keflavik International Airport, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit your needs.


If you prefer not to drive, you can take a shuttle bus or taxi into Reykjavik. Shuttle buses operate regularly and provide transfers from the airport to various locations in the capital city. Taxis are also available, but they tend to be more expensive.


It’s worth noting that Iceland has an excellent public transportation system, with buses connecting Reykjavik to different parts of the country. However, for a more flexible and convenient journey around the Golden Circle, renting a car is highly recommended.


Regardless of how you choose to get to Iceland, make sure to check the current travel restrictions, visa requirements, and any COVID-19 related protocols. Stay updated with the latest information from official sources to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.


With your transportation arrangements in place, you’re ready to embark on your adventure and explore the stunning landscapes of the Golden Circle in Iceland.


Renting a Car

When it comes to exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, renting a car is the best way to experience the freedom and flexibility of the journey. Here are some important tips for renting a car in Iceland:

  1. Booking in Advance: It’s advisable to book your rental car well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This ensures you have a wide selection of vehicles and the best rates. Popular car rental companies in Iceland include Budget, Hertz, Sixt, and Avis.
  2. Choosing the Right Vehicle: Consider the size of your travel group and the type of terrain you’ll encounter along the Golden Circle. Compact cars are suitable for solo travelers or couples, while SUVs or 4×4 vehicles are recommended for groups or those planning to venture off-road.
  3. Insurance Coverage: Check the insurance coverage offered by the rental company. It’s essential to have collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection included. Additional coverage, such as gravel protection or sand and ash protection, may be required depending on the season and specific areas you plan to explore.
  4. Road Conditions: Familiarize yourself with Icelandic road conditions, especially if you plan to drive in winter. Iceland’s weather can be unforgiving, so renting a car with studded winter tires is recommended during snowy or icy conditions.
  5. Required Documents: Make sure you have a valid driver’s license from your home country. It’s also a good idea to carry your passport or a photocopy of it, as it may be necessary for identification purposes when renting the car.
  6. Navigating with GPS: Unless you have a reliable mobile data plan, consider renting a GPS device with your car. This will help you navigate the unfamiliar roads and ensure you don’t miss any of the Golden Circle’s hidden gems.
  7. Fuel Stations: Familiarize yourself with the location of fuel stations along the Golden Circle. While there are fuel stations in most towns and villages, it’s a good practice to have a full tank before embarking on the journey. Some remote areas may have limited fuel availability.
  8. Roadside Assistance: Ensure you have access to 24/7 roadside assistance in case of any emergencies or breakdowns. Most reputable car rental companies provide this service as part of the rental package.

Remember to drive responsibly and adhere to Icelandic traffic rules. Speed limits are strictly enforced, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.


Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the Golden Circle at your own pace, stopping whenever and wherever you please. So buckle up, turn up the music, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip through Iceland’s stunning landscapes.


The Golden Circle Route

The Golden Circle is a well-known tourist route in Iceland, showcasing some of the country’s most iconic natural wonders and historical sites. The route forms a loop that starts and ends in Reykjavik, making it easily accessible for travelers. Here are the main attractions along the Golden Circle:

  1. Thingvellir National Park: The first stop on the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic and geological marvel is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Visitors can walk between the towering cliffs and witness the Rift Valley, Thingvallavatn Lake, and the Althing, the world’s oldest parliament.
  2. Geysir Geothermal Area: Located in Haukadalur Valley, the Geysir Geothermal Area is home to the famous Strokkur geyser. This natural phenomenon erupts every few minutes, shooting boiling water high into the air. Visitors can witness the power and beauty of geothermal activity up close.
  3. Gullfoss Waterfall: Considered one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls, Gullfoss boasts a mesmerizing two-tiered drop. The sheer power and grandeur of the rushing water as it cascades into a rugged canyon is truly awe-inspiring. Be prepared to get wet from the mist as you stand on the viewing platforms.
  4. Kerid Crater: As you continue along the Golden Circle route, the next attraction is the Kerid Crater, a volcanic crater lake. The vivid colors of the turquoise water contrasting against the red volcanic rock create a stunning sight. Visitors can take a short hike around the rim of the crater or descend to the lake’s edge.
  5. Secret Lagoon: For a relaxing break, head to the Secret Lagoon in the village of Fludir. This natural hot spring is surrounded by steamy, geothermal landscapes, offering a serene and rejuvenating experience. Soak in the warm waters and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

These are just a few highlights along the Golden Circle route, but there are many more attractions to discover. Depending on your available time and interests, you can also visit places like the Fridheimar Tomato Farm, where you can learn about Icelandic tomato cultivation, or the Fontana Geothermal Baths in Laugarvatn, which offer a unique bathing experience.


It’s important to note that the Golden Circle can become crowded, especially during peak travel seasons. To avoid the crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience, consider visiting the attractions early in the morning or later in the day.


As you drive the Golden Circle, take the time to appreciate the stunning landscapes, rolling green hills, and vast open spaces that make Iceland truly unique. This route offers a taste of Iceland’s natural beauty and rich history, providing an unforgettable journey through this fascinating country.


Thingvellir National Park

One of the highlights along the Golden Circle route is Thingvellir National Park, a place of immense historical and geological significance. Located about 40 kilometers east of Reykjavik, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.


Thingvellir National Park holds a special place in Icelandic culture as it was the site of the Althing, the world’s first parliament, established in 930 AD. This open-air assembly served as a gathering place where Icelandic chieftains would meet to discuss laws, settle disputes, and make important decisions. Walking through the park, you can explore the remnants of the ancient assembly grounds and gain insight into Iceland’s early democratic roots.


Aside from its historical significance, Thingvellir National Park is also a geological wonder. The park lies within the rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Visitors can witness the dramatic effects of plate tectonics as they stroll between the towering cliffs that mark the boundary between the two continents. This unique geological phenomenon has also created a picturesque landscape with sprawling lava fields and deep fissures.


One of the park’s main attractions is the Almannagjá Gorge, a dramatic rift that runs through the park. Walking along the path that winds through the gorge, you can marvel at the towering walls of rock and the crystal-clear waters of the Öxará River. It’s a tranquil and picturesque spot that offers amazing photo opportunities.


Additionally, Thingvellir National Park is home to the breathtaking Thingvallavatn Lake, Iceland’s largest natural lake. The glassy waters of the lake are a sight to behold, especially when mirrored against the surrounding volcanic landscape. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along the shore and take in the serene beauty of this stunning body of water.


Exploring Thingvellir National Park offers more than just historical and geological wonders. The park is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, camping, and even snorkeling in the crystal-clear Silfra fissure, where you can dive or snorkel between the tectonic plates.


When visiting Thingvellir National Park, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring along water and snacks. There are well-marked walking paths throughout the park, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace and soak in the natural beauty of this extraordinary place.


As you explore Thingvellir National Park, take a moment to reflect on the historical and geological significance of this remarkable site. It’s a place where nature and history collide, offering a truly immersive and unforgettable experience along the Golden Circle route in Iceland.


Geysir Geothermal Area

The Geysir Geothermal Area is a mesmerizing destination along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, renowned for its spectacular geothermal activity. Located in the Haukadalur Valley, this unique geological wonder offers a captivating display of natural power and beauty.


One of the main attractions in the Geysir Geothermal Area is Strokkur, a highly active geyser that erupts approximately every 5-10 minutes. As you approach, you’ll notice the anticipation building as the water in the heated underground chamber begins to boil and churn. Suddenly, with an impressive force, a towering column of scalding water shoots up into the air, reaching heights of up to 30 meters. Capturing the powerful eruption of Strokkur is a must for any visitor, so be ready with your camera!


While Strokkur steals much of the limelight, the Geysir geothermal area is also home to other fascinating geothermal features. Keep an eye out for smaller hot springs and fumaroles, which emit steam and sulfuric gases, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The bubbling mud pots, formed by boiling mud caused by volcanic activity, add to the unique and mesmerizing experience.


Exploring the Geysir Geothermal Area allows you to witness firsthand the powerful forces that shape Iceland’s rugged landscape. You’ll find yourself immersed in an environment where the earth’s energy is apparent, with frequent bursts of steam, the distinct smell of sulfur, and the rumbling sounds of geothermal activity.


Adjacent to the geothermal area, you’ll find the Geysir Center, which offers visitor facilities, including a restaurant, souvenir shop, and information center. Here you can learn more about the geothermal activity and the geological processes that give rise to these natural wonders.


It’s important to note that while the Geysir Geothermal Area is a captivating sight, it’s essential to exercise caution. The boiling water and steam can be extremely hot, so it’s crucial to stay within designated viewing areas and adhere to safety signage. Follow the instructions provided and maintain a safe distance to fully enjoy the experience while ensuring your own wellbeing.


Visiting the Geysir Geothermal Area offers a glimpse into the raw power and beauty of Iceland’s geothermal activity. It’s a place where nature puts on a show, captivating visitors with its explosive eruptions and mystical atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring geothermal wonders of the Geysir Geothermal Area along your Golden Circle adventure in Iceland.


Gullfoss Waterfall

One of the most breathtaking natural wonders along the Golden Circle route in Iceland is the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall. Located in the southwest of the country, Gullfoss is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking awe-inspiring beauty and the raw power of nature.


As you approach Gullfoss, you’ll be greeted by the thundering sound of water crashing down a two-tiered cascade. The sheer force and grandeur of the waterfall will leave you in awe. The Hvítá River rushes over the edge, plunging approximately 32 meters into a deep, rugged canyon. The mist rising from the waterfall creates rainbows on sunny days, adding an ethereal touch to the already stunning vista.


What sets Gullfoss apart from other waterfalls is its unique location and the way it seems to vanish into the earth. As you stand on the viewing platforms, it feels as though the waterfall disappears into a massive abyss, creating an illusion of infinite power and mystery.


Gullfoss translates to “Golden Falls,” and on sunny days, the cascading water takes on a golden hue as it reflects the sunlight. This natural phenomenon adds to the magic and makes Gullfoss a photographer’s dream. Be prepared to get wet from the mist as you get closer to the falls, so bring waterproof clothing or a poncho to protect yourself and your camera.


Aside from its stunning natural beauty, Gullfoss holds historical significance in Iceland’s fight for preservation. In the early 20th century, plans were made to harness the power of the waterfall for hydroelectricity. However, one woman, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, fought tirelessly to protect Gullfoss. Her efforts led to Gullfoss being declared a protected area, and Icelanders owe her a debt of gratitude for preserving this natural wonder.


When visiting Gullfoss, take the time to explore the multiple viewing platforms and trails that provide different perspectives of the waterfall. Don’t rush the experience – pause, take a deep breath, and drink in the majesty of Gullfoss. During the winter months, Gullfoss takes on a different kind of beauty, as it partially freezes, creating an enchanting and ethereal landscape.


Before you leave, be sure to visit the visitor center to learn more about the waterfall’s history, geology, and the ongoing conservation efforts. The center also has a cafeteria where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the panoramic views of Gullfoss.


Gullfoss Waterfall is a testament to the raw power and beauty of Iceland’s natural landscapes. Experiencing this incredible waterfall is an unforgettable part of any Golden Circle journey, leaving you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.


Kerid Crater

Nestled along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, the Kerid Crater is a captivating geological feature that offers a unique and picturesque sight. Its vibrant colors and contrasting landscapes make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.


Formed thousands of years ago by a volcanic eruption, the Kerid Crater stands as a testament to the island’s fiery past. What sets Kerid apart from other volcanic craters is its striking appearance. Unlike the usual cone-shaped volcanic formations, Kerid is a caldera, which means it collapsed inward after the eruption.


As you approach the crater, you’ll be greeted by its stunning hues. The brightly colored red volcanic rock forms a vivid contrast against the deep blue water that fills the crater’s basin. The colors intensify with the changing light throughout the day, creating a mesmerizing and constantly evolving landscape.


One of the highlights of visiting Kerid is the opportunity to walk along the rim of the crater. The path offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and allows you to fully appreciate the immensity and depth of the volcanic feature. Descending into the crater isn’t allowed, but observing it from above offers a unique perspective.


During the summer months, the crater is adorned with lush green vegetation, adding to its beauty. In winter, it may be partially covered in snow, lending a serene and magical atmosphere. Regardless of the season, the Kerid Crater offers a remarkable sight and a chance to witness the raw power of nature.


Located close to the town of Selfoss, the Kerid Crater is easily accessible for visitors. A small entrance fee allows you to explore the area at your own pace, taking in the panoramic views and immersing yourself in this natural wonder.


Aside from the visual spectacle, Kerid is also a popular venue for concerts due to its excellent natural acoustics. During the summer months, various musical performances take place at the bottom of the crater, offering a truly unique concert experience surrounded by the stunning volcanic walls.


When visiting Kerid, remember to wear sturdy footwear, especially if you plan to walk along the rim. Be prepared for Iceland’s unpredictable weather by bringing layers and waterproof clothing. Also, make sure to respect any guidelines or restrictions for the protection of the crater and its surroundings.


A visit to the Kerid Crater is an opportunity to witness the striking beauty and geological wonders that Iceland has to offer. Its vibrant colors, dramatic landscape, and unique formation make it a must-see natural attraction along the Golden Circle route.


Secret Lagoon

Located in the charming village of Fludir along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, the Secret Lagoon is a hidden gem that offers a relaxing and revitalizing experience. This natural hot spring is a must-visit destination for those looking to unwind amidst the beauty of Iceland’s geothermal landscapes.


Unlike its more famous counterpart, the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon offers a more authentic and less crowded bathing experience. The Secret Lagoon is nestled amidst stunning scenery, surrounded by steam rising from geothermal hot springs and colorful, moss-covered lava fields.


As you enter the Secret Lagoon, you’ll be greeted by warm, mineral-rich waters that are heated naturally by the earth. The temperature of the water remains enjoyable year-round, making it a perfect spot to relax and soak away any travel fatigue. Whether you visit during the snowy winter months or the refreshing summer, the Secret Lagoon offers a serene and rejuvenating experience.


One of the unique features of the Secret Lagoon is the small, bubbling geyser that erupts regularly, adding to the charm of the surroundings. This natural phenomenon creates a sense of excitement and makes the bathing experience even more special.


The Secret Lagoon has all the necessary facilities to ensure a comfortable visit. There are changing rooms, showers, and locker facilities available for visitors. They also provide rental towels for your convenience. After an invigorating soak in the warm waters, you can relax on the benches or grassy area surrounding the lagoon, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and the beauty of the natural surroundings.


In addition to bathing in the Secret Lagoon, visitors can enjoy a drink from the on-site bar, where you can indulge in Icelandic hot chocolate or traditional refreshments. The bar even serves refreshments in the lagoon itself, allowing you to enjoy a drink while soaking in the mineral-rich waters.


When visiting the Secret Lagoon, keep in mind that reservations are not always necessary, but it’s advisable to check availability and book ahead, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s also recommended to bring your own towel and swimwear, although rentals are available.


The Secret Lagoon offers a tranquil and authentic hot spring experience away from the crowds. It’s a place where you can relax, rejuvenate, and connect with the natural beauty and geothermal energy of Iceland. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in this hidden paradise along your Golden Circle adventure.


Fridheimar Tomato Farm

Located along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, the Fridheimar Tomato Farm is a unique and fascinating attraction that offers visitors a delightful mix of agriculture, sustainability, and culinary delights.


Stepping into Fridheimar Tomato Farm is like entering a world of tomato enchantment. This family-owned farm specializes in tomato cultivation, making it a must-visit destination for food lovers and those interested in sustainable farming practices.


As you explore the farm, you’ll be immersed in rows upon rows of tomato plants stretching as far as the eye can see. The warm and humid environment creates an ideal growing condition for the tomatoes, with vines laden with juicy and flavorful fruits.


One of the highlights of visiting Fridheimar is the opportunity to dine inside the tomato greenhouse. The farm’s restaurant serves up a delicious menu featuring dishes made with their homegrown tomatoes. From freshly made tomato soup to mouthwatering pasta dishes and even tomato-based desserts, every item on the menu highlights the exceptional quality and taste of their sustainably grown tomatoes. And don’t miss the chance to enjoy a refreshing glass of their famous tomato Bloody Mary or their exclusive tomato schnapps.


During your visit, you’ll also have the chance to learn about the innovative and eco-friendly farming methods employed at Fridheimar Tomato Farm. The geothermal energy from nearby hot springs is used to heat the greenhouse, providing the ideal temperature for the tomato plants to thrive. This sustainable approach showcases Iceland’s commitment to renewable energy and environmentally conscious practices.


The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Fridheimar are always willing to share their passion for tomato cultivation and provide insights into the farming process. Enjoy a guided tour to learn more about the history of the farm, their cultivation techniques, and the challenges they face in growing tomatoes in Iceland’s unique climate.


Make sure to visit the on-site shop where you can purchase a variety of tomato-related products, including sauces, jams, and dried tomatoes. These make for great souvenirs or delicious additions to your own recipes back home.


Fridheimar Tomato Farm offers an offbeat and delightful experience that goes beyond the typical Golden Circle attractions. It combines the wonders of agriculture, sustainability, and gastronomy into a memorable visit. So, if you’re seeking a unique farm-to-table experience, be sure to add Fridheimar Tomato Farm to your Golden Circle itinerary.


Fontana Geothermal Baths

Nestled along the shores of Lake Laugarvatn on the Golden Circle route in Iceland, Fontana Geothermal Baths offers a soothing and relaxing experience for visitors seeking rejuvenation and tranquility.


Fontana Geothermal Baths draws its water from natural hot springs located beneath the surface of the earth. These healing waters are rich in minerals and renowned for their therapeutic properties, making the geothermal baths a popular destination for locals and travelers alike.


Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by a stunning lakefront location surrounded by Iceland’s picturesque landscapes. The facilities at Fontana Geothermal Baths include a series of outdoor pools and three steam rooms heated by geothermal energy. The pools are set at different temperatures, allowing visitors to choose their preferred level of relaxation.


One of the unique features of Fontana is the opportunity to experience the traditional Icelandic practice of “hot pot hopping.” This involves moving from one hot tub to another at varying temperatures, offering a blissful and invigorating sensation as you soak in the therapeutic waters. The panoramic views of Lake Laugarvatn only add to the ambiance, providing a serene setting to unwind and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.


For those seeking an invigorating experience, try the traditional “Fjallabak” steam room, where you can enjoy a steam bath infused with Icelandic herbs, leaving your skin revitalized and your senses rejuvenated. The steam rooms also provide the perfect opportunity to relax muscles, detoxify, and improve respiratory health.


Fontana Geothermal Baths also offers the chance to take part in a revitalizing ritual. Visitors can experience the refreshing contrast of bathing in the warm geothermal waters and then plunging into the nearby ice-cold waters of Lake Laugarvatn. This age-old Icelandic tradition is believed to have numerous health benefits and is a unique and invigorating experience.


After your soak, head to the Fontana Café, where you can unwind while enjoying a variety of refreshments and homemade Icelandic delicacies. Savor a cup of Icelandic coffee or indulge in a piece of traditional baked goods, such as kleinur or rúgbrauð.


Fontana Geothermal Baths is a place where you can immerse yourself in the healing powers of geothermal waters and leave feeling refreshed and revitalized. The combination of stunning natural surroundings, geothermal heat, and the soothing waters make Fontana a true sanctuary for relaxation and wellness along the Golden Circle route.


Remember to bring your swimwear, a towel, and flip-flops when visiting Fontana. Additionally, it’s a good idea to book your visit in advance, especially during busy periods, to secure your spot and ensure a relaxing and enjoyable experience.


Efstidalur Farm

Located in the enchanting countryside along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, Efstidalur Farm offers a unique and charming experience for visitors interested in traditional Icelandic farming and a taste of delicious homemade dairy products.


Efstidalur is a working dairy farm that has been in operation for several generations. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of Icelandic farmers and their commitment to sustainable agriculture.


One of the main highlights of visiting Efstidalur Farm is the opportunity to meet the friendly farm animals. You can pet and interact with the cows that provide the milk for the farm’s dairy products. Seeing the cows up close and learning about their role in the farm’s daily operations is a memorable experience, especially for families with children.


Efstidalur Farm is renowned for its high-quality dairy products, particularly its homemade ice cream. Using the fresh milk from their own cows, the farm produces a delectable range of flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate, and unique Icelandic flavors like bilberry (bláber) and rhubarb (rabarbarahlaðborð). Indulging in a scoop of their rich and creamy ice cream is a true delight.


If ice cream isn’t your preference, you can also sample their delicious homemade skyr, a traditional Icelandic dairy product similar to yogurt but with a thicker and creamier texture. Pair it with locally sourced berries or honey for a wholesome and authentic Icelandic treat.


Located on the farm is a cozy café and restaurant where you can enjoy a meal made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Experience the true taste of the Icelandic countryside with dishes that showcase traditional Icelandic flavors and recipes.


Efstidalur Farm is also home to a charming guesthouse where those looking for a unique and immersive farm stay experience can spend a night or two. Wake up to the peaceful beauty of the Icelandic countryside and enjoy a homemade breakfast before starting your day of exploration.


Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply appreciate a genuine farm experience, a visit to Efstidalur Farm is a delightful addition to your Golden Circle journey. It offers an authentic insight into Icelandic farming traditions, a chance to connect with nature and animals, and the opportunity to savor the delicious tastes of homemade dairy products.


Make sure to check the farm’s opening hours and availability, as they may vary depending on the season. And don’t forget to bring your appetite!


Laugarvatnshellir Cave

Located near the town of Laugarvatn along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, the Laugarvatnshellir Cave is a fascinating underground wonder waiting to be explored. This lava tube cave offers a unique opportunity to delve into Iceland’s geological history and witness the intriguing formations created by volcanic activity.


The Laugarvatnshellir Cave was formed during a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago when molten lava flowed beneath the surface, leaving behind a hollow tunnel as it cooled and solidified. Today, visitors can venture into this ancient lava tube and embark on a memorable underground adventure.


As you step inside the cave, be prepared to enter a completely different world. Equipped with proper gear and led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll navigate through the dark passages, uncovering captivating lava formations along the way. Stalactites and stalagmites cling to the cave walls, formed over time as dripping water left mineral deposits behind.


Exploring the Laugarvatnshellir Cave offers a unique perspective on Iceland’s volcanic landscapes. The otherworldly atmosphere, dimly lit by your guides’ headlamps, adds to the sense of wonder and adventure. The silence and stillness inside the cave provide a moment of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.


The temperature inside the cave remains relatively constant year-round, so be sure to dress appropriately for the cool and damp conditions. Comfortable footwear and warm clothing are recommended.


During the guided tour of the cave, your knowledgeable guide will provide insights into the geological formation of the cave and share fascinating stories about its history. You’ll learn about the volcanic activity that shaped the Icelandic landscape and gain a deeper understanding of the forces at work beneath the surface of the earth.


It’s worth noting that the Laugarvatnshellir Cave is a protected natural monument, and access is only permitted with a licensed guide. This helps ensure the preservation of this unique geological site while offering visitors an educational and immersive experience.


Exploring the Laugarvatnshellir Cave is not only an adventure underground but also a journey through Iceland’s volcanic past. As you emerge from the cave, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the geology of the island and the powerful processes that have shaped it.


When planning your visit to the Laugarvatnshellir Cave, be sure to check the tour availability and book in advance. Prepare to be amazed as you venture into this hidden underground gem along your Golden Circle adventure.


Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village

Nestled along the Golden Circle route in Iceland, the Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village is a captivating destination known for its innovative geothermal greenhouses. This charming village showcases Iceland’s ability to harness the power of its natural resources for sustainable agriculture.


As you approach Hveragerdi, you’ll notice the distinctive geothermal structures that dot the landscape. These greenhouses utilize the abundant geothermal energy available in the area to grow a variety of crops, including vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Despite Iceland’s challenging climate, the geothermal heat creates a conducive environment for year-round cultivation.


A visit to the Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of geothermal-powered agriculture. Take a guided tour to learn about the techniques used by local farmers in this unique growing system. Gain insights into how geothermal energy is harnessed to provide the heat and light necessary to cultivate plants in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.


As you explore the village, you’ll have the opportunity to see the thriving crops and vibrant blooms firsthand. From rows of tomatoes and cucumbers to colorful flowers, the sight of these bountiful greenhouses is both inspiring and impressive.


The Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village is not only an agricultural hub but also a vibrant community with a rich history. Be sure to visit the local cultural center and museum, where you can delve into the village’s past and learn about its geothermal heritage.


After immersing yourself in the world of geothermal agriculture, take a leisurely stroll through Hveragerdi’s scenic surroundings. The village is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, with hiking trails leading to nearby hot springs and steam vents. You can relax and rejuvenate in the soothing geothermal waters, allowing the thermal heat to melt away any tension from your journey.


Hveragerdi is also known for its geothermal bakery, where unique rye bread is slowly cooked using the natural underground heat. The distinct flavor and texture of this traditional bread are worth sampling during your visit. The bakery also offers freshly baked goods and pastries, providing a delightful treat for your taste buds.


Whether you’re interested in sustainable agriculture, cultural exploration, or simply enjoying the beauty of Iceland’s geothermal landscapes, a visit to the Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village is a must. Experience the power of geothermal energy and witness how it shapes the lives and livelihoods of the local community.


Whether you’re exploring the greenhouses, learning about geothermal farming techniques, or indulging in a geothermal bath, the Hveragerdi Greenhouse Village embodies Iceland’s commitment to sustainability and showcases the ingenuity of its people.


Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Hidden within the scenic landscapes of the Golden Circle route in Iceland lies a natural oasis known as the Reykjadalur Hot Springs. This geothermal wonder offers visitors the unique opportunity to soak in warm, mineral-rich waters while surrounded by stunning nature.


Reykjadalur, which translates to “Steam Valley,” is an apt description for this enchanting destination. As you embark on the hiking trail that leads to the hot springs, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of the surrounding mountains, geothermal vents, and the gentle flow of the Reykjadalsá River.


The hike to the Reykjadalur Hot Springs takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace and the trail conditions. The path winds through a geothermally active area, where steam rises from the ground and vibrant colors paint the landscape, showcasing the raw power of Iceland’s geothermal energy.


Upon arrival at the hot springs, you’ll have the chance to indulge in the blissful warmth of the natural geothermal waters. Find a comfortable spot along the riverbank, where you can, quite literally, create your own hot spring by mixing the cooler water from the river with the hot water emanating from the earth. This allows you to adjust the temperature to your liking.


The experience of bathing in the Reykjadalur Hot Springs is truly magical. As you relax in the warm waters, you can soak in the beauty of the surrounding nature, with rolling hills, moss-covered rocks, and the soothing sound of bubbling water. Be sure to take a moment to immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and appreciate the unspoiled beauty of the Icelandic wilderness.


It’s worth noting that there are no facilities at the Reykjadalur Hot Springs, so be prepared with proper hiking gear, including sturdy shoes, a towel, and a bathing suit. Remember to respect the environment by following Leave No Trace principles and taking your belongings and waste with you.


As you make your way back from the hot springs, take the time to explore the area further. Consider venturing off the main trail to discover small waterfalls, hidden hot springs, and unique geological formations. The natural wonders of Reykjadalur make for excellent photo opportunities and lifelong memories.


Visiting Reykjadalur Hot Springs provides an immersive and unforgettable experience, combining the benefits of geothermal therapy with the beauty of Iceland’s untouched landscapes. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, relax both body and mind, and appreciate the remarkable geological forces that shape this land of fire and ice.


Remember to check local conditions and trail accessibility before embarking on your journey to the Reykjadalur Hot Springs, and respect any guidelines or restrictions in place to preserve this remarkable natural treasure for future generations.


Additional Tips and Recommendations

As you embark on your Golden Circle adventure in Iceland, here are some additional tips and recommendations to enhance your trip:

  • Plan for varying weather conditions: Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changes in temperature, wind, and precipitation. Layer your clothing and pack waterproof outerwear to stay comfortable in all conditions.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially during hikes and outdoor activities. The combination of physical exertion and the dry Icelandic climate can lead to dehydration, so make sure to keep hydrated throughout your trip.
  • Respect nature and leave no trace: Iceland’s pristine landscapes should be preserved for future generations. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace by disposing of waste properly, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife and natural habitats.
  • Bring cash and credit cards: While credit cards are widely accepted in most places, it’s a good idea to keep some cash on hand for small purchases, rural areas, or establishments that may not accept cards.
  • Check road conditions: If you’re renting a car, stay informed about road conditions, especially during winter. Icelandic roads can be subject to closures or difficult driving conditions due to snow, ice, or high winds. Check the Icelandic Road Administration website for real-time information.
  • Pack snacks and meals: Some parts of the Golden Circle route may have limited dining options or expensive eateries. Pack snacks or consider packing a picnic lunch to enjoy at scenic viewpoints along the way.
  • Respect wildlife: Iceland is home to diverse and unique wildlife. Keep a safe distance from animals you encounter, especially seals, birds, and marine life. Do not disturb nesting birds or venture too close to cliff edges to prevent accidents.
  • Take your time: The Golden Circle offers an abundance of natural wonders and attractions to explore. Don’t rush through your itinerary; take the time to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland and enjoy each stop along the way.

Lastly, be open to unexpected adventures and detours. While the Golden Circle route is well-defined, allow yourself the flexibility to discover hidden gems or take spontaneous breaks to soak in the beauty of the Icelandic landscapes.


By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be well-prepared for your Golden Circle journey and able to make the most of this remarkable road trip through Iceland’s captivating natural wonders.



Congratulations! You’re now equipped with a comprehensive and engaging travel guide for your Golden Circle adventure in Iceland. From the historical landmarks and geological marvels to the soothing hot springs and charming agricultural experiences, the Golden Circle offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.


As you journey along the Golden Circle route, remember to immerse yourself in the natural beauty that Iceland has to offer. Soak in the warmth of geothermal hot springs, marvel at the power of cascading waterfalls, and appreciate the unique landscapes shaped by volcanic activity. Take the time to connect with the local culture, savor the flavors of Icelandic cuisine, and embrace the country’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy.


While planning your trip, consider the additional tips and recommendations provided, such as staying hydrated, respecting nature, and being prepared for changing weather conditions. These insights will help you navigate the Golden Circle route with ease and make the most of your time in Iceland.


Keep in mind that the Golden Circle is just a glimpse of the natural wonders that await you in Iceland. If time allows, consider venturing further to explore other regions, such as the South Coast, the Westfjords, or the stunning Highlands. Each corner of Iceland offers its own unique attractions and breathtaking landscapes.


In conclusion, the Golden Circle offers a remarkable road trip experience through Iceland’s diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes. Be prepared for adventure, embrace the unexpected, and allow yourself to be captivated by the raw beauty of this extraordinary country. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply in search of tranquility, the Golden Circle will undoubtedly leave an indelible impression on your heart and soul.


So pack your bags, embark on your Golden Circle journey, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip through the land of fire and ice.