Golden Circle and Jet Boat Ride | Sightseeing and Adventure on the Hvita River
Join this private tour with a local driver that takes you to the Golden Circle, cruising on a jetboat on Hvítá river and relaxing in a swimming pool afterwards.
The Golden Circle is a must-do in Iceland, consisting of Geysir hot spring area, Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir national park.
Geysir lends its name to geysers all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (regularly erupting about 15-20 meters into the air).
Gullfoss waterfall "The Golden Waterfall", is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita - the same one you will ride on the jetboat.
Thingvellir national park is the largest attraction of the Golden Circle. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape. Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area. The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.
After enjoying the nature on the Golden Circle you'll go on a jet boat adventure ride with "Iceland Riverjet", the only white water jet boat company in Europe.
Speed through narrow basalt canyon, be exhilarated by 360 spins on the “milky white” river and jump the rapids like James Bond!
Iceland Riverjet operates in the white water rapids of Hvita river below Gullfoss waterfall. From the moment the accelerator hits the floor your adrenaline will hit the roof!
While onboard, you also get to enjoy amazing scenery, all from open deltas, dramatic canyons and white water rapids to rich bird life. The 40 minute river ride guarantees an adrenaline rush for both young and old.
After this unique jet boat ride there's the possibility to relax in the oldest swimming pool in Iceland (remember to take a swimsuit and a towel with you!)
A great mix of natural beauty, adrenaline fix and relaxation.
Duration: 7-10 hours
Minimum age: 8 years old.
Tour size: 4 to 14 persons (max 10 persons can go with the jetboat every ride)
- Available: May. - Oct.
- Duration: 8 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 8 years.
- Languages: English
- Highlights: Golden Circle,
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir.
See this for Golden circle tours.
Geysir is a geyser that gives its name to hot springs all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (spouting a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, regularly about 15-20 meters into the air), Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
The 'Golden Waterfall', is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita. It is Iocated about 10 km from Geysir.
Thingvellir national park
The largest attraction of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape.
Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area.
The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.Geysir,
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.Gullfoss,
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Restaurant / Cafe
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.Þingvellir,
Þingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Þingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries. Þingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagjá, which marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, Þingvallakirkja Church and Gjábakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.Reykholt,
Reykholt in Borgarfjordur district is among the most important historical places in the country.
In Reykholt is Snorrastofa, a center for medeval studies, named after historian, poet and politician Snorri Sturluson.
As well as being a powerful chieftain in his time, Snorri is most famous as the author of Heimskringla, an account of the Norwegian kings from the 10th century to the 12th and Snorra-Edda, the most important work we have about both the ancient Nordic poetry forms and imagery as well as on Nordic mythology. Snorri is also believed to have written one of the greatest and most beloved Icelandic sagas, Egils saga.
There is a lot of geothermal activity in the area of Reykholt, one of the country's oldest structures, Snorralaug geothermal pool, named after Snorri is found here. Notable hot springs nearby are Skrifla, Dynkur and Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring.
If you're looking to stay more than a day in Reykholt or nearby, there are several hotels in the vicinity, among them the the beautifully built boarding school that functions as an Edda-hotel in the summer.Flúðir
Flúðir is a small-scale village located in the municipality of Hrunamannahreppur in the Southern Region of Iceland.
The village has the river Litla-Laxá running through it into the larger river of Hvítá, and is overlooked by the mountain Miðfell. With a population of just under 400 people, its residency has grown around greenhouse activity and general horticulture, which continues to be the area's main produce.
Being located near the ever-popular destinations Gullfoss and Geysir, the village and its surrounding area are known for being exceptionally green, plentiful and warm because of geothermal activity. The aforementioned rivers are awash with trout and salmon, and the village's surrounding farmlands are acclaimed for their cultivation of plants, beef and dairy.
Sights, services and accommodation
Flúðir has long been a favoured camping destination amongst Icelanders. Visitors can camp at Tjaldmiðstöðin Flúðum or the nearby Álfaskeið, next to the farm Syðra-Langholt.
Since 1999 the particularly luxurious Hotel Flúðir has also been available for accommodation and fine dining. Because of the region's plentiful organic produce, the acclaimed hotel restaurant prides itself in serving solely locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Another advantage of the geothermal activity includes natural and age-old thermal pools. Although the minuscule Hrunalaug has undergone a great deal of damage lately due to an excessive traffic of visitors, the larger-scale Secret Lagoon at Hverahólmi has been modified to accommodate a much larger number of people, whilst still preserving its natural terrain.
The water in these hot springs stays at a temperature of 38-40° Celcius (100° Fahrenheit) throughout the entire year. Built in the year 1891, The Secret Lagoon is officially the oldest swimming pool in Iceland.
Other sights include the folk museum at Gröf, the golf course Selsvöllur, the horse rental at Syðra-Langholt and Flúðasveppir, the country's largest mushroom manufacture.
Pickup time : 08:30
Pickup and drop off at hotel, guiding service, jet boat ride
meals, entrance to the swimming pool
What to bring:
Warm clothes (depends of weather), swimsuit and towel if you want to go swimming
Good to know:
Minimum number of passengers for each scheduled tour is 4 persons and max 14 persons. 9 persons can go with the jetboat every time.
Private tours available but they cost extra, contact us and we will give you the price.