The Golden Circle is a popular route between three of Iceland’s most visited attractions. Conveniently your potential accommodation, Sula Guesthouse is located right in the middle of it.

You’ll visit Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. During your drive, you can also stop at some secret attractions and well get into that below.

Can you drive it in one day?

The whole Golden Circle route can easily be done in one day, as the classic journey covers around 230 kilometres (140 miles). So you can drive the route in just over 3 hours. But, of course, you need to factor in time to enjoy the attractions, take photos and stay fuelled as well.

There are a lot of attractions and activities along the way, as well as some great restaurants and cafes. I’ll list some of the local secrets here below:

  • Fontana Geothermal Baths. Located in the town of Laugarvatn, between Þingvellir and the Geysers, you can truly relax and unwind at the Fontana Geothermal Baths. Fontana spa uses the natural waters from the area’s hot springs to create three steam rooms, a traditional Finnish sauna and shallow kid-friendly bathing pools.
  • Kerið Crater. Kerið Crater forms a complete oval and has a small lake at the bottom. The rocks surrounding the crater have fiery reds, and oranges combine with bursts of black and green, while the lake below adds to the pallet with its sky-blue waters. You could take a thousand photos of this beautiful site.
  • Langjökull Glacier. For the adventure of a lifetime, head to Langjökull Glacier on a snowmobile. You can experience Langjökull Glacier at any time of year as there’s always snow. If you’re on a self-drive, you can get picked up from and returned to Gullfoss waterfall.
  • Sólheimar. On the drive from Þingvellir and the Geysir Geothermal Area, stop off at the ecovillage of Sólheimaról. Visiting this village allows you to learn more about how the community maximises the potential of every resident, regardless of their age or disability, and supports their cause.
  • Þjórsárdalur (Thjorsardalur) Valley. While not officially part of the Golden Circle, Thjorsardalur allows you to get off the beaten track. Here, you’ll find thundering waterfalls like Hjalparfoss, Haifoss, Gianni and Pjofafoss.
  • Skálholt. This little village is rich with history and is considered by some as Iceland’s first town. Skalholt was home to the country’s first bishop and school. It’s worth stopping to admire its quaint cathedral or visit the nearby Secret Lagoon.

Here are some recommendations of places to eat.

  • Skyrgerðin. Try traditional sky yoghurt at Skyrgerðin, housed in Hveragerði’s former Skyr yoghurt factory.
  • Friðheimar Farm. Get a light lunch of special tomato soup and home-baked bread at Friðheimar Tomato and Horse Farm. The tomatoes are all grown on-site, pollinated by imported Dutch bees in a greenhouse powered by the earth’s internal heat. Non-drivers can even sample a geothermal Bloody Mary at the greenhouse bar. 
  • Efstidalur. This family farm is in the heart of the Golden Circle, on the way from Haukadalur (Geysir) to Þingvellir. Stop by for a unique farm to table experience, where dairy, meat and vegetables from the farm are served in the farm restaurant.
  • Lindin. Indulge in chocolate desserts in a cosy setting at Lindin, located in the quaint village of Laugarvatn. Lindin also serves home-cooked Icelandic meals.
  • Gallerý Laugarvatn. Roughly halfway between Geysir and Þingvellir, this cafe and handcraft gallery offers magnificent mountain views and the chance to pick up a handmade souvenir after you’ve had a snack.
  • Tryggvaskáli. Whether you like authentic Nordic dishes, seafood or burgers, this restaurant comes highly rated. 
  • Kaffi Krús. If you’re thinking of a casual bite in Selfoss rather than a restaurant meal, try Kaffi Krús. Here you’ll discover warm, hearty dishes like pizza, pasta and burgers. Perfect for satisfying kids and parents alike.

Fun Facts about Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall.

  1. In 930, Þingvellir became Iceland’s and the world’s first parliament.
  2. Here’s one for the geology nerds! Þingvellir National Park is also the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which creates some stunning geological sights.
  3. The Great Geysir is inactive, but his little brother Strokkur erupts every 6-10 minutes, shooting hot water40 meters(131 feet) up in the air.
  4. Gullfoss is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland. The average water running down the waterfall is 141 cubic metres (5,000 cu ft) per second in the summer and 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu ft) per second in the winter.

I hope you found this topic helpful, and I can’t wait to welcome you to Iceland!