Hringvegurinn is the national road that connects Reykjavík to the more remote areas (1,332km total distance). Tackling this route in one day is not possible, so check out the just as popular Golden Circle route. There are endless options for organised tours or you can self-drive if you’d like more flexibility.
So, what is the Golden Circle? The short answer is that it's a popular route between three of Iceland’s remarkable natural attractions – National Park Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. The distance is just under 230km roundtrip. The scenery is awe-inspiring and you may have some bonus sightings along the way, including Icelandic horses. Plus, if you’re visiting during summer, it doesn’t get dark at night, so you can visit the locations under the midnight sun if you wish.
Geysir is the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur and home to many hot springs. The Strokkur geyser, spouts every five minutes or so and is a spectacular sight.
Gullfoss Waterfall is the most famous waterfall in Iceland. When up close, you can feel the might of the glacial water.
Thingvellir National Park and Öxarárfoss waterfall holds great historical importance and remarkable geological features. Tectonic plates meet here and Althingi (the Icelandic parliament) was formed on these rocks in 930 AD, making it the oldest parliamentary site in the world. There’s a beautiful waterfall nearby as well. Öxarárfoss and Thingvellir are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and were also the stomping ground of the White Walkers and the trail of the Wildings from North of the Wall in Game of Thrones.
After a day exploring on foot, you might feel like a nice soak in the geothermal waters, so head to Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths. The waters here are said to have healing properties. After unwinding, stop by their geothermal bakery to watch bread baking in the bubbling ground (and devouring after).