The Golden Circle

The Temple Bar district in Dublin Ireland for travel blog Brads Backpack

Before I even had my flights booked to Iceland, I had booked myself a tour with G Adventures to see the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a 190-mile route consisting of Icelands’ three most popular tourist attractions. There are a few choices on how to take this route. You can do a half-day tour, and head to the three main sites, Geysir, Thingvellir, and Gullfoss. I did a tour over three days, meaning I got to go to some of the side attractions too. 

Lots of people hope to see the Northern Lights when visiting Iceland. You have a much higher chance whilst in the Golden Circle due to the lack of light pollution. Back in Reykjavik, they were cancelling Northern Lights Tours due to the low visibility estimates. Our little lodge was so remote though we had a beautiful view. To give you the best chances, I have made a Know before you Go: Northern Lights Edition post. I have also made a Know before you Go: Icelandic Edition so your trip can go as smoothly as possible as you adopt the Icelandic way of life.

Know Before you go: Iceland Edition link image for travel blog Brads Backpack
Know Before you go: Iceland Edition link image for travel blog Brads Backpack


Geysir is the original that all other geysers are named after. Although it’s classed as inactive now, its neighbour Strokkur is stealing the limelight now. Every 5 to 10 minutes Strokkur erupts, reaching up to 40 metres in height. If you angle your camera right you can guarantee a perfect photo or video, making it a popular stop on the Golden Circle. 

Thingvellir National Park

National parks are often a place of beauty and significance. I visited Thingvellir in the middle of winter, coated in a thick blanket of snow. Thingvellir is located in the rift valley and actually sits between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. 

If you are really brave there’s the nearby ravine called Silfra. A spot on the Golden Circle beloved by scuba divers where you can dive between the two plates. The water is so clear you can see over 100 metres, giving you incredibly unique views.


The crowing view on the Golden Circle, Gullfoss waterfall is a standout on what is already a showstopping tour. Often nicknamed “The Golden Falls” due to the water taking on a goldy-brown hue in the sunlight. This waterfall is not only beautiful but powerful too. The water plummeted 105 feet down two tiers into the river Hvita. Gullfoss is often the final stop on a Golden Circle tour as it’s the furthest from Reykjavik, and it’s an incredible view to finish your day with.


The reason there is such a large range in the length of time travellers spend on the Golden Circle. That’s down to the sheer number of incredible attractions and points of interest there are to visit. I visited a few on my trip. I have listed a few of these below. These included relaxing in the calming waters of the Secret Lagoon and hiking up the Sólheimajökull Glacier. Click on the links underneath each one to reach more about my experience.

Golden Circle Guides

Link to the Strokkur Geysir travel guide in Icelands Golden Circle
Link to the Gullfoss waterfall travel guide in Iceland Golden Circle
Link to the Seljalandsfoss Travel Guide on Iceland Golden Circle

Golden Circle Guides – Detours

Link to the Gljufrabui Waterfall travel guide on Iceland Golden Circle
Link to the Secret Lagoon Travel guide on the golden circle iceland
Link to the Skogafoss waterfall travel guide
Link to the Solheimajokull glacier hike travel guide

Arranging your trip

Below I have attached links to popular booking sites like Get Your Guide and to make it easier for you to arrange your own Icelandic adventure. By booking through any of the links I may receive a commission which helps support the blog.

Booking a Golden Circle Tour

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