The Golden Circle is a circular loop that starts and ends in Reykjavik or the airport area. It is a popular and convenient way to see some of the most famous landmarks and historical places in South Iceland. It can be done in half a day by renting a car.
Even if you’ve been on a Golden Circle tour before, you might want to drive it again by yourself to explore the secondary locations along the way that the tour buses often skip. Self-driving the Golden Circle is a great way to see everything at your own pace. First, you’ll need to find a rental car. In the summer, you might want to consider a camping car rental (a car with a tent on its roof) and spend a night at the campsite in Thingvellir National Park.
The classic journey covers around 230 kilometers (140 miles). You can actually drive the route in just over 3 hours. But, of course, you need to factor in time to enjoy the attractions, take photos and stay fueled as well. Many guided coach tours will take the best part of a ‘9-to-5’ day to visit most stops on the route. But if you’re going self-guided, then you can choose exactly how long you want to stay at each attraction. And you can even start early or finish later for quieter sightseeing.
Do you need 4×4 for Golden Circle Iceland?
You’ll want to rent a four-wheel drive, jeep, or SUV if you plan on visiting during winter. Four-wheel drive is important to your safety on the road when there’s heavy snow on the ground.
During winter it is mostly to keep an eye out for icy roads. I recommend always checking the weather and road conditions in Iceland as it changes drastically from hour to hour. Gas or Diesel is not cheap in Iceland in comparison to the United States, but a full tank should be more than enough for you to complete the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle tour of Iceland is a great way to see some of Iceland’s most popular attractions in one day. The tour is relatively easy to do on your own, and a must-do on your trip to Iceland.