Hit Iceland classic Golden Circle private tour
This tour is operated by Hit Iceland and offered to visitors in Reykjavík and neighboring towns. The Golden Circle is a name for the most popular sightseen tour in Iceland, and there are many good reasons for its popularity. It is easily doable in a day from Reykjavík where most of our visitors begin their journey in Iceland. It is a tour that offers a stunning scenic drive and view of fascinating natural wonders. With a knowledgeable local guide, it is also a journey through our remarkable history from the settlement, an introduction to the Sagas and Iceland's unique geology. It is a tour that is an excellent introduction to Iceland and takes you on a scenic drive through valleys by mountains, to interesting lakes, rifts, lava fields, geysers, volcanos, geothermal mud pools, spectacular waterfalls, rivers, and glaciers. Because of the importance of history and geology in Iceland, we take you to Eyjafjallajökull and Seljalandsfoss in the second part of our tour before we drive back to Reykjavík.
It is also important to know that our guides are professional drivers and we only use new large and convenient modified 4X4 vehicles sufficiently equipped for winter driving, so you don't need to worry about driving on slippery and difficult roads during winter in unpredictable weather.
Þingvellir National Park is a great place to visit in autumn
Þingvellir National Park and tectonic plates
The tour begins in Reykjavik and the Capital City area, and our first stop is roughly 40 minutes into the drive at Þingvellir National Park – which, by the way, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main reason Þingvellir lives at the heart of every Icelander is the fact that it is the home of Alþingi, the world’s oldest Parliament. Alþingi is a place that had a legislation role as well as a place where disputes were settled in Iceland for centuries after settlement. The first parliament session was held back in 930 A.D. Annually, chieftains gathered in Þingvellir in the summer month of June to discuss matters of concern in the chiefdoms, carried out sentences but above all, established rules and regulations to govern the land.
The National Park is also located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia meet, forming fissures and crevices along with Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn. The fissures of the valley are a must see for all visitors to Iceland and is one of two places in the world where the tectonic plates are visible on land. Overall Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is a beautiful place surrounded by interesting geology by the largest natural lake in Iceland, ÞIngvallavatn.
Geysir and Strokkur Hot Spring
From Þingvellir our tour continues to the hot spring at the Geysir area (the geyser from which the English word is derived). Although the hot spring Geysir has been relatively dormant in recent years, its neighbor to the south, Strokkur, spews hot water every ten to fifteen minutes, allowing plenty of time to set up for the next photo. Just over a hundred years ago, Geysir erupted every hour or so, but an earthquake rendered it dormant. Regardless of its inactivity, the geothermal area around Geysir is still one of the most exciting places to see when traveling around Iceland. In addition to the geyser and hot springs, it has considerable geothermal activity and is located in the historically significant place Haukadalur where many important chieftains and their families lived throughout the centuries after settlement.
Strokkur geyser erupts at Geysir in Haukadalur
From Geysir, we continue our tour to the powerful waterfall Gullfoss or Golden Waterfall. The waterfall has been a tourist attraction for more than a century, and in the past it was the prime place Icelanders took distinguish visitors and guests, to show the best the island could offer in terms of natural wonders and landform. This spectacular waterfall in the Hvítá River is as magnificent when partly frozen in the winter as it is in the summer. It also has a history of struggle and disputes around ideas of building a hydroelectric powerplant in the canyon below, and sink the waterfall in a reservoir. It is not only the most spectacular waterfall in Iceland but continues to find its way on most lists presenting the most beautiful waterfalls on planet earth. It is indeed a magnificent site.
Gullfoss waterfall in early spring - April 2017
Tour location :
- Southern region
Starting place / town :
What to bring:
Warm cloth and a camera