Iceland’s Golden Circle in Depth

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Small group
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Discover glaciers, geysers and geothermal pools in Iceland’s Golden Circle

Visit the highlights and hotspots of Iceland’s Golden Circle on a five-day loop from Reykjavik. And when we say hotspots, we really mean it. Whether you’re soaking in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon or marvelling at the bursts of the Strokkur Geysir, this adventure is sure to be off the scale. But it wouldn’t be the land of fire and ice without visits to the Solheimajokull Glacier and a series of chillingly beautiful waterfalls. To see another side of life in Iceland, you’ll stay on a sustainable working farm and travel with an expert local leader who’ll show you what makes their country one of the world’s most inviting.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • See all the sights that make Iceland’s famous Golden Circle so celebrated, from Gulfoss Waterfall to Strokkur Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.
  • Come face to face with one of Europe’s largest ice caps during an adventurous walk over the Solheimajokull Glacier, allowing you to really appreciate its mighty size.
  • Visit a sustainably run working farm and enjoy a farm-to-table meal, and do your bit by planting a tree on the farm to contribute to your hosts’ carbon offsetting efforts.
  • There are few things more quintessentially Icelandic than soaking in a geothermal pool – experience it for yourself during a visit to the iconic Blue Lagoon hot springs.
  • Visit a geothermal bakery for a food experience like no other. Discover how rye bread is cooked beneath the ground by hot black sand and sample a delicious piece yourself.


Map of Iceland's Golden Circle in Depth including Iceland

Day 1: Reykjavik

Welcome to Iceland! Your adventure begins in Reykjavik, the world’s most northernmost capital and an eclectic place full of charm. A welcome meeting will take place at 6pm tonight at your hotel where you’ll meet your local leader and travel companions. If you arrive in Reykjavik with time to spare, why not hit the streets and explore the collection of quirky boutiques and interesting eateries. After your welcome meeting, you may like to head into town with the group and get to know each other over dinner.

Day 2: Blue Lagoon / Reykjanes / Hvolsvollur Valley

Wake up and take a moment to breath in the fresh Icelandic air before heading out towards the Reykjanes Peninsula. Make a stop at the Bridge between Continents, a bridge that spans a fissure between the North American and European continents, and visit the eerie mud pools and steam vents of Gunnuhver, named for the angry ghost that is believed to have been trapped in the hot springs 400 years ago. Pay a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by a black lava field. Its warm waters are rich in minerals and silica mud, said to cleanse and soften the skin. Sit back and enjoy a relaxing soak against a remarkable mountain backdrop. As you continue towards your accommodation for the night, visit Strandarkirkja, a Lutheran church that has been a landmark for travellers at sea since the 12th century. Finish your day at a sustainable working farm that doubles as a hotel. This farm is the leader in responsible tourism and sustainability in Iceland. Enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table dinner made using ingredients grown on the farm.

Day 3: Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Valley

Today is all about exploring Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. Head to the Geysir geothermal area to check out Strokkur and watch as the geyser swells with blue water before erupting and shooting some 20-30 metres in the air. Marvel at the immense beauty and sheer power of the Gullfoss double waterfall on the Hvita River. Pay a visit to a geothermal bakery and discover how rye bread is cooked beneath the ground by hot black sand, then sample some of this special bread for yourself with a pat of Icelandic butter with lava salt, accompanied by a selection of other Icelandic delicacies of the region. Think hakarl (shark), lamb’s head, liver sausage and dried fish. Wash it all down with the local brennivin. Return to your farmstay accommodation for the night.

Day 4: South Coast / Reykjavik

Start the day by visiting the magical Seljalandsfoss waterfall and take a walk behind its cascade for a different perspective, followed by the powerful Skogafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s biggest at a width of 25 metres and a drop of 60 metres. From here embark on a short hike to another breathtaking waterfall, Kvernufoos, hidden in a nearby valley, and unbeknownst to most. The waterfall is framed by moss-coated cliffs of lava rock, adding to it’s otherworldly appearance. After you’ve had your fill of gorgeous waterfalls, prepare to take a walk on one of Europe’s biggest ice caps – Solheimajokull Glacier. No experience is necessary to partake in the hike as you’ll be briefed on all you need to know. It’s sobering to think that the glacier is retreating due to rising world temperatures, and in some years the glacier may be gone. If you’d prefer to sit this one out, you’ll have the chance to hike to the glacier’s tongue instead.

Day 5: Thingvellir National Park / Reykjavik

Before saying goodbye to your farmstay hosts, join them in visiting their tree planting project. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place to make space for pastures, and overgrazing has then led to soil erosion. The farm owners started a tree planting project on their land to combat this, and this morning you’ll head out into the countryside to plant a tree to help support their commitment to sustainability and carbon offsetting efforts. En route back to Reykjavik, stop at Thingvellir National Park to see the Parliament Plains, the site of Iceland’s first parliament. Thingvellir also contains the Silfra fissure, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart, and the resulting gap is partly filled with fresh water and is clearly visible. Once you get back to Reykjavik, your leader will take you out on a walking tour to discover more of the history and culture of this fascinating city. Once this concludes, you will say your goodbyes and your adventure will come to an end.



4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners


Private minibus with free Wi-Fi


Hotel (1 night), Remote farmstay hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Reykjanes Peninsula – Blue Lagoon
  • Reykjanes Peninsula – Gunnuhver hot springs
  • Reykjanes Peninsula – Strandarkirkja
  • Reykjanes Peninsula – Bridge between Continents
  • Golden Circle – Strokkur Geysir
  • Golden Circle – Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Golden Circle – Icelandic Specialties Tasting
  • Golden Circle – Rye Bread Bakery Experience
  • Hvolsvollur Valley – Farm to Table Dinner
  • South Coast – Solheimajokull Glacier Hike
  • South Coast – Skogafoss Waterfall
  • South Coast – Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • South Coast – Kvernufoss Waterfall Hike
  • Reykjavik – Walking Tour
  • Golden Circle – Thingvellir National Park
  • Hvolsvollur Valley – Tree Planting Project (summer only)


Images courtesy of Intrepid Group