It's official, Iceland is one of the most popular destinations for aspiring travelers and passionate wanderlusters. There's something magical about Iceland, whether it's due to the elegant whimsy of the world-famous Blue Lagoon or if it's because of their incredible Icelandic horses. Also known as The Land of Ice and Fire, tourists who visit Iceland feel like they've landed on a different planet, and that's not a bad thing. This Nordic destination is unlike any other place in the world. It has taken away the breaths of many curious travelers who are lucky enough to visit it.
Additionally, first-timers in Iceland may embark on the Golden Circle to see some of Iceland's most famous attractions, including rushing waterfalls, dramatic continental cliffs, pristine glacial lakes, and spewing geysers. Lucky travelers doing Iceland's Golden Circle Tour can expect to find these beautiful attractions during their journeys!
8 Hustling And Bustling Tourist Crowds
The Golden Circle tour is the most popular excursion for tourists, which consists of 3 of Iceland's most iconic attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Falls, and Geysir Geothermal Area. Though the Golden circle is popular year-round, the peak tourist season is usually in the Summer months, June to September. Don't let the crowds deter you, though. There's a reason why these places are popular: they're breathtaking!
7 Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park's Iconic Lake
Like much of Iceland, the area around Thingvellir is surrounded by active volcanic fields. The result is a lake rich with wildlife, algae included. Travelers can visit the national park and even stay nearby at cottages overlooking the lake (some lucky travelers can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights here)!
6 The Remains Of Alþingi Assembly: One Of The Oldest Parliament In The World
Thingvellir is more than just a park with beautiful dramatic cliffs and ravines filled with glacial water. This Icelandic National Park was the former home to one of the oldest parliaments in the world, central to the country's governance. Also known as The Althing, this ancient parliament was established in 930 AD and paved a new way for Iceland to enter the Commonwealth Era. Though the buildings have since moved to Reyjkavik, tourists can learn all about The Althing when visiting Thingvellir, and spot some crumbled walls and ruins reminiscent of the original parliament.
5 See Two Continents At Once At The Almannagjá Gorge
Travelers interested in physically seeing (and being in the middle of) two continents at once can awe at the beauty of Thingvellir's Almannagjá gorge. Walking through this gorge is like hiking through a cliff of giant statues. Being a part of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, the Almannagjá Gorge is around 8 kilometers large. Travelers will even come across a gorgeous waterfall during their hike.
4 Silfra For Diving
Though Thingvellir is full of gorgeous ravines and water bodies, Silfra is the only area that allows recreational diving. Being a fissure between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, curious divers can peruse this majestic lake and discover its secrets. Formed from glacial water, Silfra is known for its pristine waters as clear as crystal.
3 The Majesty Of Gullfoss Falls
Niagara Falls is stunning, but there's something gorgeous about the Gullfoss Falls! Also known as the Golden Falls, Gullfoss Falls is one of many of Iceland's breathtaking waterfalls and one of the country's most iconic. Located in Southwest Iceland along the Hvítá river, the Gullfoss Falls can be found in the Haukadalur Valley. This iconic waterfall cascades majestically in "two stages." The first drop is 11 meters high, followed by the second, which is around 21 meters tall. Tourists can awe the beauty of the rushing waters crossing along the dramatic cliffs. However, it's important to note that the rocks can get pretty slippery during the winter, so travelers must remain on the trail to ensure their safety even during warmer temperatures.
2 The Gulfoss Cafe
For a warm cup of coffee or a comfy bowl of Icelandic meat soup, head to the Gullfoss Cafe, which is also known as the Gullfoss Kaffi. The cafe sits comfortably overlooking a gorgeous view of the Gullfoss Falls nearby. Travelers can happily enjoy a warm beverage while awing at Iceland's most famous waterfall. Additionally, tourists can also purchase Icelandic souvenirs and trinkets to bring back home to loved ones!
1 Geysir Geothermal Area
Usually the last stop of Iceland's Golden Circle Tour, the Geysir Geothermal Area will make tourists feel like they've landed on a different planet. Billows of smoke and high temperatures riddle this geothermal park in Haukadalur. Being one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, many tourists flock to this landmark to witness the frequent eruption of The Great Geysir, also known as Strokkur. Tourists watch in anticipation as this incredible natural beauty spews misty water out of a large geyser, as tall as 70 meters. Though Iceland is not at hot as some of the hottest deserts on earth, the geysers can get extremely hot, to a degree that safety railings are installed around The Great Geysir and other areas!