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AH12  Golden Circle Classic Tour All year round

Tour highlights
  • Þingvellir National Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Tectonic plates of Europe and North America
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Geysir and Strokkur hot springs
  • Skálholt medieval church
  • Nesjavellir Geothermal field*
The Golden Circle tour showcases some of Iceland's most popular tourist attractions including the country's best known natural, cultural, and historic sites. 

Golden circle tour description

From Reykjavik the Golden Circle tour takes you via Nesjavellir geothermal field* up to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the tectonic plates of Europe and North America meet and one of the world's oldest parliament was founded in 930 AD. 

You‘re then treated up close and personal to one of Iceland‘s largest personalities: Gullfoss (Golden Falls). Majestic and thunderous, the force and beauty of this two tiered waterfall will be something your camera wants to linger on.
 
Geysir hot spring on the Golden Circle tour

Lunch break is usually at Gullfoss Cafe near Gullfoss waterfall, but in some cases a stop is made for lunch at the Information Center by Geysir geothermal area.

Next up is Geysir geothermal area, home of the famous Geysir and Strokkur hot springs. The Strokkur hot spring erupts every 5 minutes or so, making it one of the most active geyser.

From Geysir area the trip continues to Skálholt Church which was the seat of religious power in Iceland for centuries and where some of the most dramatic events in Iceland's history took place.

On the way back to Reykjavik you'll get a chance to visit Hellisheiði Power plant at the foot of Mt. Hengill Volcano where earth's most brutal forces are harnessed and converted to clean energy for space heating.

Our guides

Our guides on the Golden Circle are educated professionals with excellent storytelling abilities.

Tour details

Included
Bus
Tour guide

Excluded
Lunch. You are welcome to bring lunch with you or buy lunch at Gullfoss café during our stop at Gullfoss waterfall.
Admissions fee to Hellisheiði geothermal power station

Booking online
Up to 90 minutes prior to tour departure.

Guide languages

English
Every day all year round.

Scandinavian
Fridays all year round.
 
German
Saturdays all year round. 
 
French
Mondays all year round.
Also Thursdays and Sundays in June, July and August. 


Note
*During winter season weather and road conditions dictate visits to Nesjavellir geothermal field.
 

Want to take the Golden Circle tour in the afternoon or in the evening? 
Have a look at our AH11 Golden Circle afternoon tour and AH13 Golden Circle evening tour .


Tour details

Days of week:
 
 
Departure times
08:30 / 10:30
 
Free hotel pick-up service
Pick-up: 08:00 / 10:00
 
Duration
8,5 hours
 
Travelling with children
Child (0 - 11): FREE
Youth (12 - 17): 50% off
 

Price: 9.500 ISK
location of tour
Customer reviews

Average rating:
Pages: 1 2 3 

Simpson wrote:
A very interesting & well conducted tour. I do however have one important criticism. When we visited Nesjavellir Geothermal power station we were told that there was an exhibition upstairs explaining the history and working of the power station. WE WERE NOT TOLD THAT WE HAD TO PAY EXTRA FOR THIS. The fact that this was an optional extra was NOT stated in the tour description. On a tour such as this, any entrance fees should be included - it is rather mean and misleading not to do so. If not, this should be clearly stated in the tour description. --- Iceland Excursions --- Thank you for your review and comments. The last visit before heading back to Reykjavik is the visit to the power plant of Hellisheidi, as mentioned in our online description of the tour as well as in our brochure " On the way back to Reykjavik you'll get a chance to visit Hellisheiði Power plant at the foot of Mt. Hengill Volcano where earth's most brutal forces are harnessed and converted to clean energy for space heating. "  The visit to the exhibition is optional and costs 600 ISK per person and the guide on tour should mention this at all times. Passengers who do not wish to see the exhibition but visit the building and make use of the toilet facilities and café can do so without any charge.
Rating:

Greg wrote:
The Golden Circle is frequently mentioned as one of the main tourist routes in Iceland, so we felt we should go on it. It's a very interesting tour, with the rift valley, Gullfoss, and the geysers being particular highlights from my point of view. Contrary to some reviews there are no extra charges to see the geysers. The visit to the geothermal plant was really interesting, and it was worth the extra 600ISK to have the presentation and guide. I felt the church stop was not essential, however that might just be me as I'm more interested in the scenery. This is a large group tour, and in general I found that this makes them slower and less social than the smaller tours (in fact two people on our tour got lost, somehow, and we had to drive around looking for them for a while before we could continue).
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Simpson wrote:
A very interesting & well conducted tour. I do however have one important criticism. When we visited Nesjavellir Geothermal power station we were told that there was an exhibition upstairs explaining the history and working of the power station. WE WERE NOT TOLD THAT WE HAD TO PAY EXTRA FOR THIS. The fact that this was an optional extra was NOT stated in the tour description. On a tour such as this, any entrance fees should be included - it is rather mean and misleading not to do so. If not, this should be clearly stated in the tour description.
---
Iceland Excursions
---

Thank you for your review and comments. The last visit before heading back to Reykjavik is the visit to the power plant of Hellisheidi, as mentioned in our online description of the tour as well as in our brochure "On the way back to Reykjavik you'll get a chance to visit Hellisheiði Power plant at the foot of Mt. Hengill Volcano where earth's most brutal forces are harnessed and converted to clean energy for space heating. "  The visit to the exhibition is optional and costs 600 ISK per person and the guide on tour should mention this at all times. Passengers who do not wish to see the exhibition but visit the building and make use of the toilet facilities and café can do so without any charge.

Greg wrote:
The Golden Circle is frequently mentioned as one of the main tourist routes in Iceland, so we felt we should go on it. It's a very interesting tour, with the rift valley, Gullfoss, and the geysers being particular highlights from my point of view. Contrary to some reviews there are no extra charges to see the geysers. The visit to the geothermal plant was really interesting, and it was worth the extra 600ISK to have the presentation and guide. I felt the church stop was not essential, however that might just be me as I'm more interested in the scenery. This is a large group tour, and in general I found that this makes them slower and less social than the smaller tours (in fact two people on our tour got lost, somehow, and we had to drive around looking for them for a while before we could continue).

Spencer Johnson wrote:
We spent 3 days in Iceland, two of which were on Gray Line tours. The first tour we did was the South Coast with waterfalls and glacier hike. If your looking for a glacier hike DO NOT take this tour. The glacier part was more of a very slow picture taking walk. They let you put on crampons and carry an ice axe however for as slow as you walk you do not need them. We were rushed from one spot to another spending more time on the bus then at the actual places. We found ourselves running on multiple occasions to make it to the bus in time before being yelled at by our guide. The waterfalls were beautiful and the locations we visited were great however we barley had any time to explore them. The guide was very friendly (other then rushing us along) and very informative. The second tour we did on our last day in Iceland was the Golden Circle Classic. The day started out with pretty crappy weather but we made the best of it. The tour started to go downhill when going to the geyser we were informed it was going to cost extra to view them. This was a big surprise because it was not mentioned anywhere in the brochure. After paying extra to see the geysers we sat waiting for the bus to depart and it went nowhere. After waiting 30 minutes on the bus the guide informed us the bus was having problems and we were going to have to wait at least another half hour for another bus to get there. We waited at least that and then got back on the same broken bus. The guide then told us we were going to be skipping the last few stops because they didn't trust the bus. Then after riding for a ways the guide said we would be stopping at the geothermal plant (another stop that cost extra, this one was mentioned in the brochure). However making this stop got us back into the city over an hour later then expected leaving us unable to do other things we had planned. I would NOT recommend Gray Line Tours to anyone and will never take a tour with the company again.
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Iceland Excursions:
---
Thank you for your review of our tours. The tour of the South Coast and Waterfalls with glacier hike is a day tour with the intention to introduce the visitor to a short glacier walk. Most of our passengers have never even seen a glacier, let alone walked on one. The guides have to show extreme caution and a fast and far hike is not an option on this tour. Very sorry to see you had different expection. The distance covered in this tour is also rather long and many places covered in order to make the most of the tour. the stops at each site is considered adequate for most of our passengers.
As for the Golden Circle tour, an unfortunate unilateral decision of the landowners of the areas surrounding Geysir hot springs was to start charging entrance of visitors on the day of your visit. The dispute is ongoing and does unfortunately affect our passengers who want to get a closer look at the hot springs. The view from the road is clear but not as close up as we are used to.
All our buses are relatively new and a breakdown is rare during our tours. Our sincere apologies for this inconvenience and delay that resulted of one hour. The Skalholt bishop´s church was the only missing part of the tour, all other areas listed in our tour description were visited.
We can understand your frustration for the unforeseen request for entrance charges to the footpath leading to the hot springs, which was a surprise to us as well.

Ian & Anne wrote:
We spent 5 days/4 nights in Iceland from 26th to 30th December 2013 and all our excursions were booked through Grayline. Punctuality is second to none, friendliness and courtesy amazing and knowledge and information phenomenal.The Golden Circle tour was great despite the very cold weather and treacherous underfoot ice. The Gulfoss Falls looked amazing against the snow and ice, The Geysir was terrific and the scenery around it magnificent. Unfortunately due to a storm we were not able to visit the Pingvellir National Park and were very disappointed.Our guide, Dee Dee, was truly wonderful and is a great asset to Grayline.
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Iceland Excursions:
--
Thank you for your comments and review. We have only missed visiting Thingvellir National Park once in the year 2013 and it seems it happened on your tour. The sudden icy roads became hazardous even for our well prepared vehicles that are equipped with special tires that tackle most conditions. Safety of our passengers is most important and therefore the park visit was cancelled. Glad to see that you enjoyed the trip and we will surely let our guide Dee Dee know of your compliments.

Mark wrote:
We did the Golden circle tour on 20 November and had such a fantastic day. We were so lucky with the weather (recent snow and clear blue skies: we had been told that November was the worst month of the year to visit Iceland!) but in any case the tour was packed with things to see and Dee Dee filled every quiet moment with a great mix of information, insight and humor.  A wonderful day: thank you!
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