Thingvellir National Park is a remarkable volcanic landscape of gorges, waterfalls, lakes, and more, and is a favorite stop on Iceland’s Golden Circle Tour. The park offers endless recreation opportunities, from hiking and camping to snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
Thingvellir is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, and as the plates continue to pull apart, they create new geological wonders. Highlights in the park include the hike to the Oxararfoss Waterfall, the views in Almannagja Gorge, fishing in Thingvallavatn Lake, and snorkeling at Silfra.
Thingvellir is also the birthplace of Iceland’s parliament, and you can visit the remains of the former parliament sites. Visit as part of a Golden Circle Tour or as part of a multi-day tour of Iceland’s natural attractions. To have more flexibility, visit on a hop-on hop-off tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Plan to spend a whole day at Thingvellir as there’s much to see and do.
- You can visit the park for free, but drivers must pay to park vehicles.
- Thingvellir has a small cafeteria.
- If you want to fish in the park, you’ll need to get a permit at the service center.
- If you want to stay longer than one day, book a spot at the on-site campground, which has bathrooms, showers, washing machines, and outdoor grills.
Thingvellir National Park is located about 28 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Reykjavík, just off Route 36. The roads and trailheads inside the park are clearly marked, and there are plenty of scenic stops where you can park and enjoy the views. There is no public transportation to the park, so the easiest way to get to Thingvellir is by renting a car or booking a Golden Circle tour that includes transportation. When to Get There
Thingvellir is one of the most visited parks in Iceland, and it gets crowded during the summer. In July and August, visit first thing in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the masses. Fishing season runs from early May through mid-September, and northern lights viewing is best in late fall and winter.
Iceland’s Golden Circle Tour
The Golden Circle Tour is a popular sightseeing loop from Reykjavik through Iceland’s southern uplands. This 190-mile (300-kilometer) route includes many of Iceland’s most scenic sights, such as Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Haukadalur geysers. You can see the Golden Circle in a day with a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or drive yourself and go at your own pace.