You’re not a regular tourist. You don’t want a posh penthouse Airbnb in the 101. Being out in nature sounds a lot more interesting. You don’t want a coach bus to cart you around Iceland with the rest of the tourists, you’d prefer the freedom of stopping and going wherever and whenever you please. You, my friend, are a Happy Camper.
There’s plenty of great guided tours available for the Golden Circle. It’s the most visited route on the island! But to be brutally honest, it’s sooooooo much better to do it on your own.
Renting a campervan is the best option for seeing it all on your own schedule. You won’t have to wait for everyone on the bus to finish taking pictures of moss, you can move on to the next stop and take even more pictures of different moss. Moss those other cameras will never see!
Note: We love moss. You love moss. Don’t be stupid like these guys, or this guy. Don’t damage the moss.
For real though, let’s talk how to do it: here’s a rundown of every stop on the golden circle, and even a few of my suggestions for “silver” and “bronze.” My suggestion is to circle clockwise, but if you take the wrong road and begin south, just follow these stops backward. Adventure!
Find the exact coordinates to each location by clicking here.
Did you know google maps has a feature called “My Maps?” It’s a layered, colour-coated, coordinate driven collection of the most perfect way to share this list. Visit Iceland and use the My Maps pages to search for all different kinds of lists.
*Stop 1: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) – Silfra, Öxarárfoss, Þingvallavatn
**Stop 2: Laugarvatn Fontana
***Stop 3: Bruarfoss
*Stop 4: Strokkur & Geysir
*Stop 5: Gullfoss
**Stop 6: Secret Lagoon in Fluðir
**Stop 7: Skáholt Cathedral
***Stop 8: Kerið
**Stop 9: Selfoss
**Stop 11: The Geothermal Energy Exhibition
**Stop 10: Hveragerði – Reykjadalur Hot Spring, Geothermal Park, Kjöt og Kúnst, Poet’s Trail, Sunnumörk Shopping
It’s quite impossible to see 11+ of these great circle locations in one day. That’s the benefit of booking a campervan! The links here and here will provide very useful information about campsites around the circle. Use any of them between stops.
My personal favourite is the campsite located near Thingvellir National Park. There’s stunning views overlooking the entire lake, the original settlement, and of course the jaw-dropping mountain ranges. It’s the best way to camp the golden circle – waking up to an amazing, golden sunrise.
Daylight will always be your biggest enemy or your biggest friend in Iceland. The summer months are full of sun and give you the chance to adventure all day and “night.” The winter months can make it a difficult feat to hit all 11 spots. For more detailed information about the sunrise/sunset times during your camping trip check this chart for estimates:
If you found my map pins useful, check out some of my other blog posts:
Follow my adventures with Happy Campers on Instagram here. If you want to follow along with my personal adventures in Iceland, follow me on Instagram @michael.ryan.mc or on Snapchat under @mmccarey.
Happy Camping! Góða ferð.