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6 Best Reykjavik Golden Circle Tours in Iceland

6 Best Reykjavik Golden Circle Tours in Iceland

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover geysers, waterfalls, and volcanic craters in these epic Iceland Golden Circle tours you can book from Reykjavik.

If you’re seeking to explore Iceland’s magnificent natural wonders on a day trip from Reykjavik, then one of the best and most popular options is the epic Golden Circle Route.

This tourist route covers 300 kilometers of attractions, including Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and the fascinating Geysir Geothermal Area in a single day.

Before you rush out and purchase the cheapest tour, you’ll want to know that they are not all equal. In this guide, I’ve compared the top 6 Reykjavik Golden Circle tours, each offering different attractions, stops, and inclusions.

Infographic for golden circle tours from reykjavik
Map showing the different locations visited on the Golden Circle Tours

6 Best Reykjavik Golden Circle Tours

Whether it's a convenient bus tour or a more comprehensive trip with a chance to snorkel between the Eurasian tectonic plates, my below tour picks will help you choose the perfect Iceland day trip!

1. Golden Circle Classic Day Trip

If you're staying in Reykjavik and aren't hiring a car but still want to experience the Golden Circle in Iceland, you should book the Golden Circle Classic Day Trip.

On this day trip, you'll experience the three main attractions of the Golden Circle and learn about the history and geology of each site.

You'll travel from Reykjavik in an air-conditioned vehicle to see the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall, the bubbling pools and Strokkur waterspout at Geysir Geothermal Area, and the fascinating tectonic rift at Thingvellir National Park.

Along the way to each destination, you'll learn all about how Islanders use the natural steam and geothermal waters in the country to produce sustainable energy.

If you're staying in Reykjavik for a short amount of time, this guided tour is a must!

Golden circle classic day trip from reykjavik

2. Golden Circle, Kerid, & Secret Lagoon Tour

Another fantastic day trip to the Golden Circle from Reykjavik is the Golden Circle, Kerid, & Secret Lagoon Tour.

Your tour guide will pick you up on a bus from central Reykjavik and take you on a journey to some of the most famous attractions in the country.

Your first stop of the day is Kerið Volcanic Crater. Here you can marvel at the crater from all angles, including the top, along the winding path that descends into the crater, as well as the lake at its center.

The second stop of the day is the Secret Lagoon. Here you will have 90 minutes to soak and unwind in the thermal waters and take in the peaceful surroundings.

Your third stop of the day takes you to the active hot spring of Strokkur. Active every eight minutes and spouting steaming water 30 meters into the air, this is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the country.

Afterward, you'll be taken to Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. Standing there, you'll feel the spray of the glacial Hvítá River as it plummets into the 32-meter-deep crevice, a sight you cannot miss while holidaying in Iceland.

Finally, your last stop of the day is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart a few centimeters every year.

By seeing so many fantastic attractions in one day, this tour is a great one to book if you're staying in Reykjavik!

From reykjavik: golden circle, kerid, & secret lagoon tour, iceland
Golden circle tour in iceland

Tip: It's important to note that the Golden Circle trips may be subject to change due to weather and seasons so be sure to check before booking.

3. Golden Circle, Kerid Volcanic Crater, and Blue Lagoon Day Trip from Reykjavik

If you're looking into Reykjavik excursions to the Golden Circle, this tour may be the one for you!

This Golden Circle, Kerid Volcanic Crater, and Blue Lagoon day trip from the country's capital is the best way to see some of the main attractions in Iceland.

This 11-hour day tour begins when you're picked up at your hotel and taken to some of the most popular landmarks in the Golden Circle. Some of the places you will see on this day trip include

  • The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates at Thingvellir National Park
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • The geysers and pools at Geysir
  • The lake-filled Kerid volcanic crater
  • The Blue Lagoon

For an epic adventure-filled day, this Golden Circle Reykjavik tour is one of the best!

Kerid volcanic crater, and blue lagoon day trip from reykjavik

4. Golden Circle with Snorkel in Silfra

Did you know that Iceland is home to one of the top dive sites in the world? And did you know you could visit there on a day trip from Reykjavik?

Your first stop of the day will be Þingvellir National Park to see the North American and Eurasian continental plates pulling apart.

The second stop of the day will take you to Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most popular waterfalls in the country. Afterward, you will spot the erupting geyser in the Geysir geothermal area.

Finally, the last and most unique part of this day trip takes you to the Silfra Rift. Considered one of the top dive sites in the world, you can snorkel between tectonic plates floating on pure, filtered glacial water.

How about that for an epic bucket list experience?

Snorkel in silfra, iceland

Tip: I know what you're thinking IT LOOKS COLD! Don't worry you will be given wetsuits to stay warm during your underwater experience!

5. Golden Circle and Northern Lights Tour

You can't visit Iceland without seeing the famous Northern Lights. So, why not book this Golden Circle and Northern Lights Tour?

This two-part tour takes you from Reykjavik to visit the Golden Circle in the morning and the Northern Lights in the evening.

In the morning, this tour of the Golden Circle will take you to the country's two national treasures, including Þingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Afterward, you'll have a three to six-hour break where you can buy dinner before starting your evening Northern Lights tour. Only visible during the winter months, this spectacular natural phenomenon is one of the most popular drawing cards in Iceland.

During this tour, you will search for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in the incredible Icelandic wilderness.

Northern lights tour from reykjavik

6. Golden Circle and Glacier Snowmobile Tour from Reykjavik

Is going snowmobiling in Iceland on your bucket list? If so, why not tick it off on one of the best Golden Circle tours?

On this tour, you will explore Iceland's Golden Circle on a day trip from Reykjavik. You will begin your day on a bus equipped with an audio guide available in ten languages to learn more about the sights you'll see.

Your first stop of the day will take you to Þingvellir National Park, the birthplace of the longest-running parliament in the world. Here, you can also visit the continental plates of America and Eurasia pulling apart to create a rift valley.

Afterward, you'll head to Geysir Hot Springs to visit the home of the original geyser. Here, you'll see hot water sprout into the air at Strokkur Geyser.

At your next stop, you'll arrive at one of the most famous places in Iceland, the Gullfoss Waterfall. Take your time marveling at this incredible waterfall and the beautiful surrounding areas.

The last stop on your Golden Circle in Iceland tour will take you to the snowmobile base camp at the foot of Langjökull Glacier. Here you will hop on a snowmobile tour and ride across the eternally-frozen snow and ice fields of one of the biggest glaciers in the world.

One of the best ways to end your day on one of the best Reykjavik excursions to the Golden Circle!

Glacier snowmobile tour

Main Attractions along Reykjavik's Golden Circle Route

Spanning around 300 kilometers, there are plenty of things to see along the Golden Circle route.

Some of the most famous attractions you'll see include Gullfoss Waterfall, Blue Lagoon, and the Northern Lights. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to see at each location.

Gullfoss Waterfall (Golden Falls)

The Gullfoss Waterfall, also known as Golden Falls, will be one of the first attractions you tick off while exploring the Golden Circle. What makes this waterfall so unique is that it plummets 32 meters into a canyon. It's no wonder it's a waterfall at the top of many people's bucket lists!

Gullfoss waterfall in iceland's golden circle
Gullfoss Waterfall captured completely frozen

Thingvellir National Park (Þingvellir)

Iceland is divided by the Mid-Atlantic Rift, some parts of it are on the North American tectonic plate, while others are on the Eurasian plate.

As mentioned earlier, Thingvellir National Park is also home to one of the best diving sites in the world, Silfra Fissure. Here you can snorkel and dive between two tectonic plates in the pure, filtered glacial water.

This park is also home to the famous Icelandic Mink Reindeer and you can see some Icelandic Horses too.

Car at thingvellir national park
Thingvellir National Park

Blue Lagoon

Located south of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is arguably one of the most famous attractions in Iceland. But what is it, exactly?

Found in Reykjanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa known for its regenerative qualities due to the water being so rich in silica in sulfur. Silica mud is available for free on the sides of the pool for guests to enjoy a face mask.

Depending on how long you want to stay at the Blue Lagoon, there are day trips from Reykjavik or you can stay at the luxury accommodation that the lagoon encircles.

Tip: Due to the high silica levels in the Blue Lagoon it is best for those with long hair should keep it tied back as submerging it in the water can cause it to become dry & stiff.

Luxury lagoon near reykjavik, iceland
Blue Lagoon with Northern Lights

Great Geysir Geothermal Area

The Great Geysir Geothermal Area is one of the best places to visit in Iceland because it has been around for more than 10,000 years.

This area is famous for its boiling mud pits and more than a dozen exploding geysers. One of the most popular geysers is the Strokkur Geyser, which spouts steaming water 30 meters into the air every few minutes.

Iceland's geysir thermal area
Strokkur Geyser

See the Northern Lights!

Finally, you can't take a trip to Iceland without trying to see the Northern Lights. However, if you're staying in Reykjavik, it's best to get out of the city to chase down this natural phenomenon.

Due to the light pollution in Reykjavik, it makes it hard to see the Northern Lights, which is why it's recommended to head out into the wilderness where the skies are clear to see the Aurora Borealis.

Northern lights in iceland
Northern Lights in Iceland

More Highlights Along the Reykjavik Golden Circle Route

Did you know there is a lot more to see along the Golden Circle route? Here are a few more attractions you can see along the way!

  • Secret Lagoon - You've heard of the Blue Lagoon, but have you heard of the Secret Lagoon? Known locally as Gamla Laugin, the Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and is known for its rich natural resources of warm water coming from the hot springs.
  • Selfoss - Selfoss is the largest town in South Iceland and is the perfect place to stay if you want to be near the Golden Circle.
  • Sólheimar Ecovillage - If you love living an eco-friendly life, then you must visit the Sólheimar (Home of the Sun) Ecovillage. This village is famous for its devotion to sustainability, community living, and artistic ethics.
  • Faxafoss (Faxi) - You've heard of Gullfoss Waterfall, but what about Faxafoss? This wide, serene, and lesser-known waterfall is located in South Iceland and is worth a visit.
  • Skálholt - If you're into history and religion, Skáholt is a must-visit. The town is a popular tourist destination and features a large evangelical Lutheran Church that was built between 1956 and 1963.
  • Langjökull Glacier - At 935 square kilometers, Langjökull Glacier is the second-largest glacier in Iceland. Jeep and snowmobiling trips, as well as skiing and hiking, are popular here.
  • Kerid Crater - Located in the Grímsnes area of South Iceland, Kerid Crater is approximately three thousand years old and home to one of the most unique lakes in the country.

Do you want to experience the beauty of Iceland's glaciers? Don't miss these epic Ice Cave tours in Iceland (with two you can book all year round).

Golden circle trip from reykjavik
Olly on the Golden Circle Trip

My Tour Selection Process

  • Tour Criteria: I only choose high-value tours run by experienced guides with high safety & sustainability standards. I look for variety, locations, prices & high reviews.
  • My Experience: After traveling extensively in Iceland & booking many tours myself, I've handpicked options that visit my epic locations & hidden gems.
  • Top Reviews: All tours on this list have earned a high customer rating of at least 4/5 stars on travel sites like Viator & GetYourGuide. I have included links to book the best price for each tour.
  • Local Insights: I've met many locals, tour guides, & travelers during my time in Iceland. Many options on this list come directly from recommendations and my own experiences.

Read more about how I review & select tours & experiences.

Years Traveling
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler since 2018. Each tour in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

Where to Stay in Reykjavik for Your Golden Circle Trips

If you're smart and plan your trip to Reykjavik in advance (I recommend at least a month), you'll have some great options to choose from. The best area is generally the city center, close to most of the attractions, and serves as a great base to explore the city and surrounding higlights.

Below are my top 3 Reykjavik accommodation picks for various budgets. For more, read my guide on where to stay in Reykjavik, or this rundown of the top luxury hotels.

Lounge area at night with views at the reykjavik edition

1. The Reykjavik Edition Luxury

This is a spectacular hotel that offers its guests the ultimate relaxation and luxury. From its beautiful interior design to its incredible onsite restaurant, it ticks all of the boxes.

Apótek hotel large bedroom with lounge and table

2. Apótek Hotel Mid-Range

A true historic experience can be had at this 1917-built hotel. It offers its guests comfortable beds and great views over the surrounding city.

Kex hostel dorm room with beds

3. Kex Hostel Budget

One of the best hostels to stay in Reykjavik known for its calm atmosphere for meeting new people and its prime location within the city.

City skyline of reykjavik, iceland

FAQs About Touring Iceland's Golden Circle Route

Can you drive the Golden Circle route by yourself?

Of course, renting a car is one of the best ways to travel in Iceland, since you'll have more flexibility to see the natural attractions in your own time. The benefits of booking a tour instead are that you can enjoy a more convenient itinerary with a local guide.

How long does it take to do the Golden Circle in Iceland?

You can easily complete the Golden Circle in three hours. However, to spend more time at each location, you could spend a few days touring the route.

Does the Golden Circle include the Blue Lagoon?

While not directly on the Golden Circle route, the Blue Lagoon is a popular side trip from Reykjavik and is still visited on most Golden Circle tours.

Is the Secret Lagoon free to visit on the Golden Circle?

While the Secret Lagoon isn't free to visit, it's a lot cheaper than the famous Blue Lagoon.

Road on the golden circle in winter
The road along the golden circle route

I hope that you've enjoyed this comprehensive Iceland travel guide to picking the ultimate Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik!

While you're here, check out some of my other guides below for more inspiration and unique travel ideas for your visit to the Land of Fire and Ice!

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Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.