Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland: A Complete Guide for a Self-Drive Tour
Are you planning a road trip to Iceland and want to experience the best of the country's natural beauty in one day? If so, you should definitely consider driving the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that covers some of Iceland's most breathtaking sights, including geysers, waterfalls, and hot springs. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to drive the Golden Circle in Iceland on your own.
Planning Your Golden Circle Tour
The Golden Circle route is approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) long and takes about six to seven hours to complete without stops. To make the most of your trip, it's important to plan your route in advance, including your stops and the estimated time for each one. Here's what you should include in your itinerary:
Thingvellir National Park: This is the first stop on the Golden Circle and the location of Iceland's first parliament. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular spot for hiking and snorkeling.
Geysir Geothermal Area: This is one of the main highlights of the Golden Circle and home to the famous Strokkur geyser that erupts every few minutes.
Gullfoss Waterfall: This is one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls and a must-see on the Golden Circle tour.
Driving Tips for the Golden Circle
Rent a car: Renting a car is the best way to explore the Golden Circle at your own pace. You can rent a car at the Keflavik International Airport or in Reykjavik. Make sure to book in advance to get the best rates.
Get a map: Make sure to get a good map of Iceland or download an offline map on your phone. This will help you find your way around the country and ensure you don't get lost.
Stay on the main roads: The roads in Iceland can be challenging, especially in winter. Make sure to stay on the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts.
Respect the speed limits: The speed limits in Iceland are lower than in most countries, and it's important to respect them to stay safe on the roads.
Be prepared for the weather: The weather in Iceland can change quickly, so make sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly.
Fill up your gas tank: Gas stations are few and far between in Iceland, so make sure to fill up your gas tank whenever you have the chance.
What to See and Do on the Golden Circle
Thingvellir National Park: This park is a must-visit on the Golden Circle and a great place to hike, snorkel, and take in the stunning views.
Geysir Geothermal Area: This is one of the main attractions of the Golden Circle and home to the famous Strokkur geyser. You can also see other geysers and hot springs in the area.
Gullfoss Waterfall: This breathtaking waterfall is one of the highlights of the Golden Circle and a must-see for any visitor to Iceland.
Kerid Crater: This volcanic crater lake is a popular stop on the Golden Circle and a great place to take in the stunning views.
Skálholt: This historic town is home to a former bishopric and is a popular stop on the Golden Circle. It's a great place to learn about the history of Iceland and visit the Skálholt Cathedral.
Friðheimar Greenhouse: If you're interested in agriculture, make sure to stop at the Friðheimar Greenhouse. It's a unique greenhouse that grows tomatoes and cucumbers year-round and offers tours and tastings.
Secret Lagoon: If you're looking for a unique hot spring experience, make sure to stop at the Secret Lagoon. It's a natural hot spring that's less crowded than some of the more popular ones in the area.
There are a few more things to keep in mind when driving the Golden Circle in Iceland:
Check road conditions: Road conditions in Iceland can change quickly, especially in winter. Before you start your journey, check the road conditions and make sure you have the necessary equipment, such as snow tires, if needed.
Pack warm clothing: The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, even in summer, so make sure to pack warm clothing and waterproof gear.
Bring food and drinks: There are not many dining options on the Golden Circle route, so make sure to bring enough food and drinks for the day.
Respect the environment: Iceland is home to some of the world's most pristine natural environments, so make sure to respect the environment and leave no trace behind.
Get travel insurance: Travel insurance is always a good idea, especially when traveling to a foreign country. Make sure to get comprehensive travel insurance that covers any potential medical expenses and trip cancellations.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your Golden Circle road trip is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.
Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland is a must-do for any traveler to the country. With its breathtaking natural beauty and rich history, it's a great way to experience the best of what Iceland has to offer in one day. Just make sure to plan your trip in advance, respect the speed limits, and be prepared for the weather to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Happy travels
This blog post should provide you with all the information you need to know about driving the Golden Circle. Good luck with your road trip!