The Golden Circle - Iceland

Tourism in Iceland is booming in the winter despite temperatures that dip below zero, and the meagre five hours of daylight each day. The green hills and jet-black lava fields that are visible in the summer transform into surreal sheets of snow in the colder months. Everything – right from the landscape to the activities and temperature – change in the winter season. But the best route during this time has got to be the Golden Circle, which features iconic sights like the Gulfoss Waterfall, the Great Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park.

The Gulfoss Waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. Here you’ll see the water of the Ölfusá River cascading down in two levels, and in winter months the water is often frozen. However, the respite from the harsh weather is the beautiful setting of the Northern Lights – perfect for a photo op. The Great Geysir, discovered back in the 13th century, is the first geyser discovered by the Europeans. It is known to thrust boiling water over 70 metres into the air.

Meanwhile, Thingvellir National Park sits in the valley separating North America from Eurasia. The park becomes a field of white snow in winter, when vibrant freshwater streams transform into slowly winding frozen streams.

Best time to visit: Although temperatures are low almost throughout the year in Iceland, the winters are quite bracing. While some may enjoy the country in summer, others who like the winter chill would prefer a visit in the colder months, from November to February. Another plus point of visiting in winter is the fact that crowds at the main attractions tend to
be smaller.

How to get there: The best way to visit the Golden Circle is by driving though. You can take one of the numerous tours or drive it yourself. The drive-through is approximately three hours and you can complete a visit to all three attractions in a day’s time, or else take your time and spend a few days.