The Golden Circle is a must-see for everyone visiting Iceland either for the first time, or returning visitor. It's ideal place for those who are only in the country for a short time. Thanks to the family-friendly surroundings and paved walking paths, people can travel to some of those treasured Icelandic sites making this a golden memory forever. Many people have traveled the famous Golden Circle going to the most popular sites, but few have taken advantage of all the hidden gems along the way. The farmlands and horse farms that are passed through are an important aspect of Iceland's past and present. It has rich historic beauty at every stop, through dramatic mountain scenery to mystifying thunderous waterfalls. There is limited entry fees to these locations, as these landmarks are well maintained, and it is critical that visitors pay their respects.
Located in Iceland's central-southern area, a 300 km/186-mile circular route from Reykjavik taking the Route 36 road sets you on this adventure, and could be driven in just 3 hours. However, this route will lead you straight through some of the most significant and best-known landmarks located on Iceland's south coast. The whole circle takes at least a day to complete as there are so many interesting stops along the way that it is impossible not to get carried away exploring each point of interest.
The road's inspiration came from Gullfoss, which means "golden waterfall" in Icelandic.
Gullfoss, which means "golden waterfall" in Icelandic, was the inspiration for the road. This waterfall is just one of many magical waterfalls along the road. The path from the parking lot passes a gift shop, bistro and restrooms. The This walkway to the lower pathway is accessible to the public throughout the summer, spring, and autumn seasons. During the winter, the path will be restricted to prevent mishaps on an already slippery path.
Kerið (KER-ITH) Volcanic Crater, a 3,000-year-old caldera filled with a beautiful lake that serves as a mirror, with panoramic vistas and striking blue water. One of the only locations that you have to pay an admission for entry fee of 400 ISK . This goes towards preserving and protecting the area. For this small fee you are free to stroll about and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings for as long as you like. You are even available to swim in this 55 meters (180 ft.) deep waters. The ring around the crater is a rocky path but there is a built staircase that leads you to the belly of the volcano crater.
The hidden gem a short distance away is Friðheimar (Freh-th-hey-mar) greenhouse and farm is a perfect stop for delicious food, refreshments and entertainment. This family own business has cultivated growing tomatoes with the highest quality of taste, growing tomatoes all year round with green energy technology. Beside the restaurant, the greenhouse offers tours, and entertainment of the Icelandic horse. In the stable outside guests can pet and learn more of these adorable beasts from the expert staff.
Geysir Geothermal Area is one of the most visited locations in the circle route. This is where the world's oldest recorded geyser has changed the landscape for thousands of years. Now restaurants, hotel and camping grounds are located around the location that provides a explosive views. Though its popularity the walking paths are paving and fenced to prevent any dangerous mishaps. The water trickling from the geysir is extremely hot and the lines have been put up after accidents have happened. Unlike Kerið, there is no entry fee.
Thingvellir National Park is a historical site and national park where the ancient Icelandic Parliament was first established around 930 AD. Thingvellir literally means 'Parliament Plains'. The site marks the location where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart. the magnificent Almannagja gorge which is flanked by two enormous and awe-inspiring glaciers on either side. This rift valley, which is unique to Iceland, was created during the Ice Age and it has some of the clearest running water in the country.
Understandably why the most popular tourist sites in Iceland, the Golden Circle route is a very rewarding experience for those who decide to go there. These places also offer numerous recreational activities and can be visited all year round.