Golden Circle Iceland 2022 (Travel hack)

The Golden Circle in Iceland is one of the most popular activities in Iceland.

And for good reason!

It’s incredibly beautiful and very accessible.

But there’s an issue…

The crowds! Because The Golden Circle is so popular it’s very hard to skip the crowds.

Which is why I wrote this blog!

In this post, I’ll go over some travel hacks that will get you away from the crowds and – hopefully – make the experience even more enjoyable than it already would have been!

So let’s dive right into it!

Golden Circle Iceland: Which way to drive?

The crowds can be bothersome. This is why you should go the other way or start earlier!

Most Golden Circle tours begin at 9 am and they all go this way. 

Golden circle Iceland

So you have two options;

Start Earlier

You leave Reykjavík at 8 am and ‘beat’ the traffic and crowds by being there before them. 

You might even want to start earlier than 8 am since you’ll want plenty of time at Þingvellir and some of the bigger tours only stop there for about 45 minutes. 

Geysir is a small place and you don’t ‘need’ a lot of time there. Unless you want the perfect picture, then you can spend the entire day there.

Strokkur golden Circle iceland

The goal here is to be a little ahead of the larger tours. 

That means that you’ll have more space.

Go the other way

So as I mentioned, most tours go clockwise.

And that’s why, you go the other way.

Golden circle Iceland other way

That way you can completely skip the queues and crowds.

You can go earlier to Friðheimar.

Friðheimar golden circle

And Secret Lagoon.

Secret lagoon golden circle

You’ll have a lot more privacy and quiet.

Then, after that, you can make your way to Geysir.

Geysir golden circle iceland

The tours should be at Geysir around 12 pm. 

So if you make sure to be there either before that or a few hours later, that way you might miss the big buses.

Then, you can make your way to Gullfoss.

Gullfoss golden circle iceland

And then Þingvellir

Þingvellir golden circle iceland

And because you’ll be at Þingvellir later in the day, you’ll definitely miss the big crowds.

Now one thing to be aware of…

Is winter.

winter in iceland

As we get closer to winter, we lose daylight.

So from November – March, you really can’t help being a part of the crowd. Since it’s either that or going in the dark, which is not as much fun.

But for the rest of the year, you can easily spend the entire day doing the Golden Circle.

And there’s more!

Golden Circle Iceland – Midnight tour

Now, this is a bit out there, but hear me out.

During the middle of summer, Iceland experienced ‘no night’. The sun is out all day and night. 

And so, why not use that time to experience the Golden Circle all alone?

There are a few things to think about though.

This can only really be done between the 15th of June – the 10th of July.

This is when the days are the longest.

summer in iceland

 

With the summer solstice on the 21st of June. 

Also, nothing will be open (obviously!) 

Therefore you need to bring all the food and drinks with you. 

Even though it´s in the middle of the night, Þingvellir, Gullfoss, and Geysir will be open since there is no way to close them.

Of course, you don’t have to go in the middle of the night, starting the trip at around 10 pm or 11 pm is just as good.

The benefit of doing a midnight tour of the Golden Circle is you’ll escape all of the crowds. There will always be someone, but mostly, you’ll be alone. 

One of the few crazy people doing the Golden Circle in the middle of the night! 

Golden Circle – Tips and tricks

Here I’ll go over some tips and tricks that you can apply to your Golden Circle trip.

Geysir

strokkur golden circle

Geysir is a very straightforward stop.

Geothermal water bubbling to the surface. It looks cool and if you time it right, you can get a super cool photo with Strokkur (that´s the one that erupts)

My main tip is…

Don’t underestimate the heat of the water. 

On a windy day, if your hat or beanie is blown into the water. 

Be very careful. 

The water is hot hot hot!

Þingvellir

You want to spend plenty of time in Þingvellir.

Þingvellir iceland

It’s a beautiful national park and there’s lots to do and see.

I’d recommend doing a snorkel tour there and leave plenty of time so you can walk around.

Silfra Iceland

Take a brochure

Before you leave the city. Stop by a tourist information center and grab a Golden Circle brochure. 

Tourist information

In it, you can find lots of places that you might not have known about. 

Snacks

You should stop in Bónus or Krónan for some quick bites.

These are the two cheapest supermarkets in Iceland.

You can find everything you need there!

Selfoss

While doing the Golden Circle you get the opportunity to pass through the town of Selfoss. 

While there, I recommend you stop at Huppuís. 

Ice cream store
Huppa, Ís, ísbúð, sól, sumar, veður

An Icelandic ice cream store.

And I recommend you get ‘Bragðaregur’. 

ice cream

Similar to a blizzard from Dairy Queen, it’s filled with candy.

You can choose from 3 types of candy that they mix into the ice cream.

My recommendation is that you get the old ice cream.

Then add berries, for example, Strawberries or blueberries.

strawberry

Choose 2 types of chocolates and you’re ready to go.

The old ice cream is difficult to explain. It’s more watery than your normal ice cream, not as much cream.

Somewhere between creamy ice cream and sorbet. Almost like a slushy, but…not.

Slakki petting zoo

Slakki petting zoo is a small zoo in the Golden Circle. It’s only open during the summer and you can find the opening hours here.

What makes Slakki petting zoo special is that they only have baby animals!

petting zoo

Puppies, kittens, rabbits, pigs, ducks, parrots, foxes, and much more! 

They’ve also got minigolf, an outside playground, and a restaurant. 

A great stop if you’ve got the time or children in tow! 

They’re open from April – September. 

Good clothes

And of course, the final pro tip is to wear good clothes.

outdoor clothing

If you plan on enjoying your time in the Golden Circle then you’ll want to be wearing good clothes. 

Restate the problem and start the solution. Step by step. Go into detail, and give examples. Testimonies and such.

Final words

That’s it! 

I’ve gone over a few ways you can escape the crowds and tips and tricks while traveling the Golden Circle Iceland.

If you follow my advice, you’ll be all set to enjoy and make the most out of your Golden Circle trip.

If there are any tips that I’ve missed please send us a message at icelandcover@icelandcover.com and I just might add it in! 

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