The Golden Circle is the most popular tourist route in Iceland. For only about 90USD, you can get a day tour that fits perfectly into most people’s 24-48 hours in Iceland, from one of the many providers that send buses on the route.
Due to our style of traveling, we hadn’t yet been in our two months living in Iceland.
But now we’ve gone! (Disclaimer: to most of it!)
The Golden Circle is highly promoted in Iceland. It’s accessible, and easy. The sights are impressive, especially Gulfoss. It’s definitely better to do this via hitchhiking (yes, it’s possible!) or with your own driving to have the most flexibility.
However, having spent a significant amount of time here at this point, I can’t honestly say that it’s the best Iceland has on offer. There are so many beautiful places to experience in Iceland that give the Golden Circle a run for its money, or surpass it. The Westman Islands. Thorsmok. The Westfjords. Lake Myvatn. Gulfoss is really cool, but so are the other major (and hidden) waterfalls in Iceland.
We are lucky enough to have the time and ability to see places in Iceland beyond the Golden Circle, which is something most visitors to Iceland cannot say. The Golden Circle gives you a lot of what is best in Iceland, and you could also tack onto it a short hike to Reykjadalur (the Hot River) outside Hvergardi. I’ll be posting about that soon!
The best summary I could give is:
See the Golden Circle if you have no time to see anything else, and come back to Iceland to explore more than once!
Contact me if you are interested in hearing about how we managed to live in Iceland over the summer.