After pickup from your central Reykjavik accommodation, leave the city by air-conditioned minivan or coach, and admire Iceland’s countryside as you head toward the Golden Circle.
On route, listen as your guide sheds light on the country’s geology and history, and admire your first views of Thingvellir National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.
Stop at the park's famous tectonic rift, where the continental plates of America and Eurasia face each other over a narrow valley. Walk between the plates, and hear how they are gradually drifting apart by an average of about 0.9 inches (2.5 centimeters) per year.
Next, continue past Laugarvatn to the Geysir geothermal area. Break for lunch (own expense) here, and follow the walkways around the hot springs, steam vents, and geysers.
Watch the giant Strokkur geyser erupt, spouting water up to 65.6 feet (20 meters) high, and then travel to the Gullfoss waterfall. Formed from meltwater from the Langjökull glacier, this double-tiered fall plunges into a canyon and is astonishingly beautiful.
After taking photos here, visit the nearby Secret Lagoon at Fludir. Fed by natural hot springs seeping up from the earth, this scenic geothermal pool is clouded in steam, giving it a fairy tale-like appearance.
On arrival, use the changing facilities to don your bathing suit. Then, wade into the waters — they stay at a warm 100-104° Fahrenheit (38-40 Celsius) — and enjoy a relaxing soak, admiring the lovely countryside views as you swim.
When it’s time, hop out, change into your dry clothes, and meet back up with your guide and vehicle. Then, relax as you ride across the heathland of the Hellisheiði lava plateau back to Reykjavik, where your tour finishes with drop-off at or near to your hotel.
Please note: guests will need to bring their own bathing suit to swim in the Secret Lagoon, although towel rental is included. You are also advised to dress warmly as Iceland’s weather can change suddenly.