Driving directions Golden Circle Tour
The Golden Circle is perfect If you are visiting Iceland for only 2-3 days. (Photo by: HarmonyRae)
Day 1 - Keflavík and around
Home base of the day is Keflavík and the big area around the international airport. Immediately, we get introduced to some of Iceland’s natural phenomena.
We will start the day with the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal lagoon that is approximately 20 km (about 20 minutes) away from the airport. Take Route41 towards Reykjavík. Turn right after 11 km towards Grindavík / BláaLónið (Highway 43) and after about 8 km take the Blue Lagoon (BláaLónið) exit.
Next stop is Krýsuvík Seltun, one of the most active spring areas in southern Iceland. Krýsuvík is approximately 35 km from the Blue Lagoon. From the parking lot of the Blue Lagoon, take the road to Grindavík. Then take Route427, then Route42.
For our next points of interests, we go back towards Keflavík. Drive back to Grindavík via Route 427 and then take Route 43 to the intersection with Route 41. Go left towards Keflavík. Drive past the airport and take Route 45 to Garður town. Then take Route 402 to the lighthouses.
Bridge of Continents
The last stop of the day before returning to Keflavík is the Bridge of Continents. This special place is located about 35 km from Garðskagi. Take Route 402 back to Route 45. Turn right in the direction of Sandgerði, and continue to follow Route 45 until you come to Route 44. There, turn right in the direction of Hafnir. Then take Route 425 towards Sandvík. Take the exit towards Miðlína.
It is roughly 20 km from Miðlína back to Keflavík, where we spend the night.
Day 2+3 - Keflavík to Selfoss
Today there is a lot on the program, perhaps so much that you might not want to do it all in one day. It could easily be split over two days.
Þingvellir National Park
The first stop of the day is Þingvellir National Park, which is of great national importance for the Icelandic people. It is about 90 km from Keflavík. Take Route 41 towards Reykjavík. Drive from Reykjavík on Route 1, and then follow Route 36.
About 60 km away from Þingvellir National Park, you will find Geysir. The name probably already gives away the type of natural phenomenon we will visit here.Follow Route 36. After approximately 17 km, take Route 365. Follow this for 14 km, after which you take Route 37 (2nd exit) in the direction of Geysir. Drive 24 km more on Route 37. Then in Laugarvatnsvegur, take Route 35 in the direction of Geysir.
About 10 km from Geysir, you will find the Gullfoss waterfall. Keep following Route 35. Helpful hint: about 300 metres to the parking at the cafeteria, on the right of Route 35, you will find a narrow road to the parking lot near the waterfall. This is mainly used by buses, but it can also be useful when you do not wish to climb the (steep) stairs towards the waterfall.
Approximately 56 km from the Gullfoss waterfalls (or 39 km from the Secret Lagoon), you find Kerið, one of the many volcanic craters that you will encounter during your trip. From the Gullfloss waterfall, take Route 35 towards Selfoss. Follow this road for about 56 km (you will have to turn left at some point towards Selfoss). The crater is located on the left side of the road.
24 km from Kerið past Selfoss lies the small town of Hveragerði, famous for its thermal springs and horticulture. Continue on Route 35 towards Selfoss (a city we will visit later) and then take Route 1 towards Reykjavík. Turn right after 14 km towards Hveragerði.
From Hveragerði, it is about a fifteen minutes’ drive to Selfoss. Take Ring Road 1, and you will arrive in the town after about 13.5 km. Selfoss is one of the largest towns in Iceland. It is the ideal place to stop and buy stuff in the local supermarket or to eat something in the evening. In Austurvegur Street you can find supermarkets, banks and some restaurants.
We spend the night in Selfoss or around.
Then at this point you can go back towards the airport (96 km).