Skip to Content

Exploring the Golden Circle: A Memorable Day on Iceland’s Iconic Route

This is where Ring Road meets the Golden Circle.

Here we come! For this day we planned to drive from Skogafoss to Reykjavik.

Map From Skogafoss to Reykjavik

Map From Skogafoss to Reykjavik

If you are in Reykjavik and you have a free day do not…I repeat … do not hesitate and take this tour. You can choose to book a tour with a travel agency or go by yourself. It will be one memorable trip, for sure!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall ring road

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall from inside

A very popular day trip from Reykjavik is GoldenCircle tour with a total length of 237 km.

You can rent a car and explore the area by yourself, being your own guide and stop whenever you want!
The cost of renting a car starts from 30 euros per day for a small car which is exactly what you need for this part of the country during the summer period.

If you travel from late autumn to early spring, then we recommend you to rent a SUV with winter tires for your safety.

Get the best price for your car rental today

If you choose to book a tour from Reykjavik to explore the area, I suggest you try Reykjavik: Golden-Circle Full Day Tour with Kerid Crater or Reykjavik: Golden-Circle & Secret Lagoon Full-Day Tour.

Both tours are from Reykjavik and last for the whole day. Both tours will offer you the unique opportunity to see the Gullfoss Waterfall, the geothermal area and the Thingvellir National Park. The difference between these two tours is that the first one will lead you very close to a volcanic crater, while the second one includes a bath in a geothermal pool.


Both are really great tours but is up to you what you prefer to do in the end: see a crater or bathe in a geothermal pool.

Golden Circle of Iceland

This part of Iceland, known as Golden-Circle is more touristic and more crowded than the rest of the country and it is normal because of the beauty of the places.

The only minus I found was food and restaurants. In my opinion, the food is not as traditional as on the north side.

You will find a lot of burgers, pizza, pasta, and even the traditional food is adapted to tourists’ taste and the accommodation is much more pricey than in the north.

Hotel Skogafoss Iceland entrance _

Hotel Skogafoss Iceland entrance _

Our accommodation was right near the Skogafoss waterfall in a hotel with the same name Hotel Skogafoss.  When we woke up in the morning and we opened the curtains the spectacular Skogafoss waterfall appeared in front of our eyes!

Our room at hotel Skogafoss Iceland

Our room at hotel Skogafoss Iceland the Ring Road

Skogafoss waterfall is very impressive: it has almost 60m drop and 25 m width!

Breakfast vith a view to Skogafoss Waterfall

Breakfast with a view to Skogafoss Waterfall

We started to realize how big is when we headed up to it. As we get closer to it we could feel its force! What an incredible experience along the Golden Circle!

The view is even more beautiful from above the waterfall. For sure worth the effort of climbing the stairs to see Skogafoss from above! So, if you have time do not hesitate and climb the stairs. Worth the effort!

visit Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

visit Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland Ring Road

The good part is that the day had just begun!  Many more impressive places were to be discovered by us on that day!

Next stop for the day was to another beautiful waterfall: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.

This waterfall is famous and representative thanks to many music videos like “I’ll show you” by Justin Bieber, “Diamond Heart” by Alan Walker and movie scenes filmed there like the ones from Game of Thrones.

What makes this waterfall so special is that you can walk behind the water curtain!

We did not want to miss this opportunity so we brought with us our raincoats and we walked behind the water curtain for an unforgettable experience!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Thanks to our raincoats we did not get wet so we were ready for the next planned stop on Golden Circle tour: Gullfoss Waterfall.

Gullfoss waterfall is a must-see place in Iceland.

It is located in a canyon and it did not impress throw its elevation but throw its power and volume.

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland Golden Circle

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland Gold Circle Ring Road

Gullfoss waterfall plunges in two stages and the volume of water running down the waterfall is massive, around 140 cubic meters per second.

The way how water shapes the canyon is incredible! We could feel its power and force just walking on the paths near it!

Each waterfall is unique and has its own beauty! We visited 3 waterfalls in the same day but none resembles other!

If I had to pick just one to visit it would be impossible because each waterfall has its own beauty! All these 3 waterfalls are must-see places in Iceland.

Another must-see place in Iceland and also a must-see place on Golden-Circle is Strokkur Geyser.

Geysir Golden circle Iceland

This is one of Iceland’s most famous geyser which erupts every 6-10 minutes. The water thrown by the geyser can reach 30 m high and the temperature of the water is more than 100 degrees.

Strokkur Geyser is in the geothermal area beside the Hvítá River. Around the Strokkur Geyser, you can find mud boiling pits and exploding geysers.

This place reminded me about Namaskard area near Myvatn Lake! It is just amazing!

Geyser Iceland Amazing Water Geysr

Geyser Iceland Amazing Water Geyser

We spent a lot of time here waiting for Strokkur Geyser to erupt again and again! It is such a fascinating image!

All the people were gathered in a circle around the Geyser searching for the best place to take a memorable photo when the Geyser throw water.

Geyser Blue water hole

Geyser Blue water hole

If you want to have a tour from Reykjavik to explore the area, I suggest you try Reykjavik: Golden-Circle Full Day Tour with Kerid Crater 

The tour starts in Reykjavik and lasts for the whole day.

This private tour will offer you the unique opportunity to see the Gullfoss Waterfall, the geothermal area and the Thingvellir National Park as well as Geysr area.

Good to know that by doing this tour you will actually see a volcanic crater. 

After we got some very good shots we decided to leave the geothermal landscape behind and head up to Thingvellir National Park to see where the two tectonic plates, Eurasian and American come together.

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland The rift

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland The rift

Here, in this park from the Golden Circle is one of the most incredible diving places in the world. It is a unique place where you can dive and touch both of your hands at the same time both tectonic plates.

The place is called Silfra and as I said, it is world-famous. We strongly recommend you a tour with hotel pick up from Reykjavik Silfra: Drysuit Snorkeling with Pickup and Underwater Photos or a simple diving tour Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos.


The times past so quickly and the night was coming really fast. We headed up to Iceland capital, Reykjavik where was our next accommodation.

We book two nights at Midgardur By Center Hotels . The hotel looks very nice and is right in the heart of the city.

Reykjavik attractions could be reached on foot, the food is good and the rooms are really clean and warm. We were very happy with it!

Center Hotel Midgardul Reykjavik Iceland

Center Hotel Midgardul Reykjavik Iceland

Next day on our Journey we have spent an entire day in Reykjavik. Continue reading our Iceland adventure here:

We wrote some more detailed articles on this subject here:



Friday 21st of February 2020

Hi Sonia, I just came back from my trip to Iceland and I couldn't agree more The Golden Circle is a memorable trip. p.s great post.

Alex Hash

Friday 21st of February 2020

Hy Nadia, I am glad you like our article on The Golden Circle in Iceland. Iceland is always beautiful and we can't wait to visit it again, because even though we did a 10 day itinerary trip we feel like there is so much more left to be seen. We also had a memorable time.