Renting a car is the best option for travelers looking to go from the famous Golden Circle to the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, a great base for several day tours and activities. The 157-mile (253 km) journey along the southern coast is an exciting one, filled with abundant waterfalls, viewpoints, and hiking opportunities.
It is possible to book a private tour, however, group tours from this location wouldn't be an option. The route will have you visiting Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss before making your way towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur, where you'll be able to experience Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and stop at wonders like Seljalandsfoss falls and Dyhrolaey—a promontory famed for its South Coast views, historic lighthouse, and photogenic archway worn into the rock.
For more ideas of what to see on this route, check out the Best of Iceland's South Coast and Golden Circle. You'll find lots of great suggestions, some of which include hiking around Kerid Crater, experiencing the powerful Urridafoss waterfall, and the village of Vik.
Duration: 8-10 hours
Depending on which attraction in the Golden Circle main trio that travelers depart from, a straightforward drive to Kirkjubæjarklaustur would take approximately four hours. This would have you missing out on many of the amazing attractions along the way though, so it's wise to allow for extra time; a full day of exploring is doable but busy. Taking Route 30 south to the Ring Road (Route 1) will have you on the right track to Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
After seeing all the Golden Circle has to offer, set out on your journey to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, stopping at various highlights like Skogafoss, Seljavallalaug (one of the oldest hot spring swimming pools in Iceland), and Reynisfjara black sand beach near Vik. For travelers looking to get more off the beaten path, Edljá Fissure is a volcano and canyon, containing the stunning Ófærufoss waterfall. Drivers will need 4WD to access this area.
By Private or Group Tour
Duration: 10-12 hours
It's possible to hire a driver and make the trek by private tour, however, it will likely be more expensive. It can be done within a full day if based near one of the Golden Circle highlights but it might feel less rushed if it's done as a multi-day journey. Since most group tours depart from the airport in Keflavik, or downtown in Reykjavik, it wouldn't be possible to start and end in the Golden Circle.