Golden Circle Route in Iceland
Visiting Iceland is incomplete without doing the Golden Circle route. The Golden Circle tour covers a distance of around 240 kilometres encompassing through some of the most spectacular landscapes of Iceland. I had heard and read so much about the Golden Circle tour that I had to include it as part of my 8 days travel in Iceland.
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About Golden Circle Route
The Golden Circle route is an amazing route to cover some of the best glaciers and geysers. The route is a circular loop and it covers a distance of 240 kilometres in Southern Iceland, that can easily be covered in a single day. It is a very popular route and the attractions can get a bit crowded during the peak season.
The trip can be done by a self driven car easily. But because I had not hired a car, I took a tour that also included the pick up and drop from my hostel in Reykjavik.
- Name of the tour: Golden Circle Classic Day trip from Reykjavik.
- Provider name: Gray Line Iceland.
- Cost: AUD 77.
Places to visit on the route
Thingvellir National Park
The Thingvellir national park, one of the popular tourist attractions in Iceland, lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The park was founded was in the year 1930 and was added to the World Heritage site in 2004. There is no entrance fee to the national park.
There are many other things that one can do at the national park:
- The continental drift between North American and Eurasian plates.
- Hiking trails. There are a few hiking trails, the famous one being Execution trail.
- Scuba diving or snorkeling at Silfra.
Gullfoss, also called as the Golden Falls, is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvita River in Southwest Iceland. There is a short hike of 2 kilometres from the parking lot. It is believed that the waterfalls was formed as part of the glacial floods at the end of Ice age. There is no entrance fee to the waterfalls.
Do not forget to capture the rainbow over the waterfalls. Sometimes you can see up to 3 rainbows at the same time.
The Great Geysir, Geothermal area
The Great Geysir, or just the Geysir, is in the Haukadalur Valley. The eruptions can hurl up to 70 metres in the air. The name Geysir is derived from the Icelandic verb called geysa, which means to gush. The research shows that Geysir has been active for approximately 10,000 years. There is an entrance fee of ISK 600 per person.
Fakasel, Icelandic horse farm
A spectacular horse farm to meet the most beautiful Icelandic horses is the Fakasel. Iceland horses are the best looking horses in the World and the country is extremely proud to show them off. The horses are muscular, with thick hair and were brought over to the island by the first Vikings. In Iceland, there have been no other horses that have been introduced and even the Icelandic horses cannot leave the country and be back.
Watch a 50 minutes theatre show involving the horses.
Safety for solo female travelers
Iceland, in general is a very safe country for all travelers including the solo female travelers. I traveled to Iceland alone and I had a great time in the country. I had no issues whatsoever. The people are very friendly and it is one of the most safest countries to travel in. However, it can become very isolated after the sunset. So be cautious and know your surroundings at nights.
I recommend doing the Golden circle of route when visiting Iceland. It is definitely a very scenic and beautiful route with plenty of photographic opportunities. The Golden Circle route is not at all disappointing! For other pretty spots, refer my post, Iceland, a traveler’s paradise.