Experience Iceland’s Golden Circle – from the air!
Helo is an Icelandic helicopter tour company promising passengers “scenic helicopter flights with comfort and style”. Iceland Monitor was invited to sample the delights of one of Helo’s specialist tours – the Golden Circle Experience.
The tour takes passengers on a bird’s-eye tour of the sights of the famous Golden Circle circuit of sights, combined with a couple of stops to stretch the legs and admire the surroundings. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours and includes complimentary transport service to and from your departure point.
Passengers are welcomed at the Helo departure lounge and escorted out to the Bell 407 helicopter. Our pilot for the day was Helo Director of Flight Operations Eggert Akerlie.
At the controls, Eggert gave the passengers a constant commentary of the sights to be seen along the route, nuggets of interesting historical, geological and social information, and practical pointers for our safety and comfort.
We took off from Reykjavik City airport and flew straight over the imposing Esja mountain, which overlooks Iceland’s capital, on our way to the majestic Langjökull glacier. Our route took us over Glymur, Iceland’s highest waterfall, which glistened with winter ice in the February sun.
Our first stop was on the glacier itself, where the dry cold penetrated to the bone but exhilarated the spirit. Back in the air, Eggert made low-level sweeping passes over the snow-capped blue-ice crevices which characterise the glacier – giving passengers spectacular views and the opportunity to take some unique shots of the landscape.
From there, we flew on to Iceland’s famous Gullfoss waterfall, where – as always – Eggert made every effort to bank his craft left and right to enable all passenger to gain the best views.
Our next landing was on Hengill, an active volcano featuring numerous hot springs and fumaroles. The heat of the rising steam, combined with the bitter cold of the wintry volcano-side, gave us a quite unique sensation of the forces of nature.
The journey back to Reykjavik took in volcanic craters and sinkholes and the spectacle of a large Icelandic sun setting slowly over the urban areas of the capital.
The Golden Circle Experience is currently advertised at ISK 125,400 (approx. €880, $990) per person, for a minimum of two people. Private-tour fees are also available.
Helo’s Tours page sets out the full range of tours operated, with something on offer for most tastes and budgets. Helo’s contact details can be found here. Other helicopter tours operators are also available.