If you only have a couple days to explore Iceland, the Golden Circle is a great way to see the various landscapes Iceland has to offer. The Golden Circle is a driving path that highlights some of Iceland’s best sights within proximity to Reykjavik. These are my top 4 viewpoints you should definitely include on your trip.
1. Þingvellir National Park
This national park is home to the continental divide between North America and Europe. There are tours where you are able to scuba dive and touch the 2 tectonic plates. Unfortunately, we did not have time to partake in this excursion, but I have heard it is incredible and highly recommended.
Also located in Thingvellir is Oxararfoss, a popular waterfall that can easily be reached while walking around the national park. There are plenty of signs that indicate which direction to take to get to this waterfall.
Probably my favorite waterfall in the south of Iceland! Be prepared to walk an hour one way to get to this fall. It is completely worth it as the walk is flat and you come across 2 other waterfalls before reaching Bruarfoss.
To find the parking lot for Bruarfoss, type in google maps – Bruarfoss Waterfall Official Parking. If you search up Bruarfoss Waterfall, it will lead you to a closed off gate as it is a residential area and does not allow people to enter anymore. From the parking lot, the walk begins across a field and then along the river for ~20 mins. The first waterfall you’ll come across is Hlauptungufoss. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t the fabulous Bruarfoss but the bright blue waters are definitely the same.
The 2nd waterfall you’ll come across is Midfoss, a much smaller but just as beautiful waterfall. Not far from this waterfall is the great Bruarfoss! Most people question if the bright blue water is photoshopped – it’s not! The water is so blue and milky it’s surreal.
3. Strokkur Geyser
If you’re on your way to the famous Gullfoss then take the opportunity to stop and check out the Geyser along the Golden Circle. The Geyser along the way to Gullfoss and is very close by. Unfortunately, there weren’t any Geysers that erupted while we were there, but you can see and smell all of them (the sulfur smell is strong here).
The mighty Gullfoss! This waterfall is shaped like a pie or pizza and is incredible with raging waters all plunging aggressively downstream. There are 2 parking lots to view Gullfoss, the lower parking lot provides direct access to a straight on view of the waterfall while the upper parking provides a bird’s eye view. Both views are walkable to each other; however, it is rather cold, and we found the views to be incredible from the lower parking. Be prepared with a waterproof jacket as the falls are strong and you’ll find yourself very wet the lower you go.