If you take just one day trip from Reykjavik, make it a tour of the Golden Circle – Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route. This private full-day tour checks off all the highlights, including the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, the Thingvellir National Park and the volcanic crater of Kerið, but also includes a swim in the hot springs of the Secret Lagoon.
Begin your full-day adventure with pickup from your hotel in central Reykjavik, and soak up the scenery as you leave the city and head inland into the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park. As you pass through the ancient lava fields, listen as your guide explains Iceland’s fascinating geology, and the park’s unique location, at the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Hop out to admire the dramatic landscapes, caused by the drifting of the plates, and pay a visit to the site of the world’s first parliament, at the heart of the national park.
Continue through the mountainous landscapes, past Lake Laugarvatn, to the Geysir geothermal area, where you’ll have chance to admire the original ‘geysir’ – the geyser after which all others were named. Even more impressive is the neighboring Strokkur geysir, which erupts every few minutes in a spectacular burst of water and steam.
A short drive brings you to another awe-inspiring natural wonder – the mighty Gullfoss waterfalls, where you’ll have ample time to snap photos of the dramatic landmark.
After an action-packed morning, it’s time to venture off the beaten track and pay a visit to the beautiful Secret Lagoon. Located in the small village of Fludir, the lagoon is a perfect example of Iceland’s famous natural hot springs, with waters reaching temperatures of up to 104˚F (40˚C). Take time to relax and unwind in the steamy pools (don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!), before going back to the car for the return journey.
On the way back to Reykjavík, make two final stops, to admire the volcanic crater of Kerið and visit the garden village of Hveragerði. Back in the city, your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel.