In a hurry to cover all the top destinations and activities in Iceland? Start with this enthralling combination tour of the Golden Circle and Northern Lights. If you are planning a trip to Iceland in winters then you must already have both these things on your Iceland bucket list. Make the best out of both and cover them in a single day by completing the Golden Circle tour in the daylight and hunting the northern light when the night falls. Starting the day with the tour of Iceland’s most traveled and visited route and ending it with one of the top things Iceland is known for – if that isn’t ‘a day spent’ well, what is?
From Historic to Mystic – The Golden Circle Tour
Your journey will start with the tour of the famous Golden Circle and make three stops along the way. The first stop will be at Þingvellir National Park. The only UNESCO world heritage site in Iceland, Þingvellir National Park is located on two different tectonic plates – the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is reported that these two plates have been moving away with an average of about one inch every year. This drift has caused the ridge which is known as Silfra fissure to form. After exploring the park and getting to know about some historical facts about it, you will drive to the next location.
The next stop on your tour will be the Geysir Geothermal area, a place filled with over a hundred geysers erupting and releasing loads of water and steam into the air. You will spot the rising steams from miles before you finally reach the destination. There you will see two of the main geysers – Geysir (after which the destination has been named) and Strokkur. Geysir has been dormant for some years now but Strokkur shoots up water in about every 10 minutes that goes up to 30 meters high in the air. It is in records that when Geysir was active, it used to shoot water that went up to 120 meters in the air – fascinating and fiery.
The last stop will be the one and only – Gullfoss waterfall. This 32-meter high waterfall is a sight to behold in every way possible. The powerful cascading waters fall in the gorge raising a thick mist, the lush green and brown surroundings complementing the white and blue foamy waters, and the vibrant colorful sky on the top of it all create scenery that looks straight out of a Tolli painting.
Hunting the Aurora at Nightfall
You will head back to Reykjavík after the Golden Circle tour and get some free time before the nightfall to kill in the city. You may have anything between 3-6 hours depending on how early you start the Golden Circle tour. You can use this time to cruise around in the city, grab something to eat or fit some other destinations in the schedule from around as well, like the Harpa Concert Hall.
You spend most of the time out in the open to spot the lights so, dress well for the occasion. Wearing proper layers of clothes is strongly advised as you will be spending a night outside in the open in the winter season of Iceland – it is going to crisp, windy and cold.
About the Golden Circle & Northern Lights Tour
The tour will start at Reykjavik Terminal where you will board a Smart bus. Make sure that you reach the pick-up point 15 minutes before your boarding time. If you have booked a pick up from your accommodation then please be there 30 minutes before the pick-up. The bus contains free Wi-Fi, a USB charger, and an audio guide that will keep you posted about everything in 10 different languages for your benefit.
In-bus audio guide with a choice of 10 languages
Professional Local Guide
Sightseeing and admission to the sights
Free use of camera tripod
Photo memory of you and the northern lights (when aurora can be seen)
Wi-Fi & USB-charger for ever seat
Free use of astronomical telescope, for moon and stargazing
Instructions about how to set up your camera to capture northern lights and the night sky
Photo memory of you and the northern lights (when aurora can be seen)
What to bring
Good to know
- This tour has in bus audio guide with a choice of 10 languages – English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Finnish.
- This tour is operated in a coach that holds approximately 40-65 people. The coach is very spacious and comfortable. It is featured with lavatory facilities as standard. The bus offers free Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.
- This tour is only available with a pick up from Reykjavik.
- You can bring snacks and beverages on the tour if you like.
- We only have a few tripods and many people come on the tours, if you own please bring it along.
- If you go on the tour and do not see the northern lights, you may re-book the tour and continue coming back on subsequent tours until you have a night of successful northern lights.
- If during your stay in Iceland the northern lights portion of the tour is cancelled due to bad weather and you have no subsequent chance to reschedule, then this portion the tour will be refunded.
- Lunch is not included in the tour. At Geysir & Gullfoss there are shops where you can buy food and drinks. After the Golden Circle tour we recommend taking the time to grab dinner in Reykjavík before we pick you up for the Northern Lights Tour
- The Northern Lights are only visible over the winter months and departures are highly dependent on weather conditions. If you are traveling to Iceland during the summer time, you can join the Golden Circle part of the tour.
- We are working with Iceland’s most talented Northern lights hunters to find the best places every night. It is never a guaranteed that we will see northern lights, however, we do our best to maximize our chances by picking the best locations. Since it is never guaranteed to see aurora, we will make sure you get the chance to see them. In the event of a unsuccessful hunt, we offer you the chance to re-book as many times as needed until you partake in a successful northern lights hunt.
- Scheduled departures from 24th of August to the 15th of October & 15th of March until the 15th of April at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00 or 12:00 for Golden Circle and 22:00 for Northern Lights. From the 15 October to 14 March, every day at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00 or 11:00 for the Golden Circle and 20:00 or 21:00 for the Northern Lights.
- Total travelling time is around 10 hours, including a minimum 30 minute stop at Geysir Hot Springs, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park and a 3 hour approx. Northern Lights tour. Please note there is a break of 3-6 hours in Reykjavík between the Golden Circle Tour and the Northern Lights Tour.
Interesting locations in the area
Most frequent questions and answers
For tours that state that they pick up from Reykjavík, we ask all our customers to send their pick up location at least 24 hours prior to the departure of their tour. We cannot be responsible if you do not provide your pick up location, we won’t be responsible if you miss your tour.
Please be at your chosen pickup location 30 minutes before the departure of the tour. Look for the Green Smartbus™ which will be outside your accommodation at within the 30 minutes of pickup.
Due to regulations of Reykjavik City, tour companies are allowed to stop at certain designated bus stop locations in the city centre to pick up passengers. It is stated on your voucher whether we will pick you up directly from your accommodation or from the bus stop.
Find the closest designated pick up location using the map below:
Please show up at Reykjavik Terminal – Skógarhlíð 10, 15 minutes prior to the departure time.
The tours stops a minimum 30 minutes at Geysir Hot Springs, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park.
Approximately 3 hours.
You will receive a full refund if the tour gets cancelled due to weather.
If you go on the tour and do not see the northern lights, you may re-book the tour and continue coming back on subsequent tours until you have a night of successful northern lights.
There are stops in Geysir & Gullfoss where you can buy food and drinks.
Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks on the tour.
There is a break of 3-6 hours in Reykjavík between the Golden Circle Tour and the Northern Lights Tour.
We recommend that you grab a dinner between the tours.
Scheduled departures for the northern lights part of the tour is:
- From 24th of August to the 15th of October at 22:00
- From 15th of March until the 15th of April at 22:00
- From15 October to 14 March at 20:00 or 21:00
English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Finnish