Þingvellir National Park, which is open to visitors all year round, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland and has long remained so. A study made for the Þingvellir Commission revealed data on the composition, mode of travel and various other points regarding Icelandic and foreign visitors to Þingvellir in 2001. The study showed that 67% of foreign visitors to Iceland in the summer (June-August) of 2001 went to Þingvellir and 57% of tourists at other times of the year. An estimated 290 thousand people visited Þingvellir in 2001, just under 90 thousand Icelanders and around 200 thousand from abroad, on a total of 410 thousand occasions.
In a comparative survey on the value of outdoor leisure areas among residents of the Greater Reykjavík Area, Þingvellir achieved a high and unequivocal rating despite being farther away than all the other areas in the comparison. Þingvellir is a stopping point on the so-called “Golden Circle,” which is one of the very most travelled tourism routes in Iceland: a ten-hour round-trip offered daily from Reykjavík.
In late July and beginning of August of 2010 visitors were counted for 15 days as they were walking up or down the Almannagja rift. About 35000 visitors were counted during those 15 days from 09.00-16-00 in the afternoon. This count did not include weekends. The estimate is that during three weeks about 50000 people walked the rift.
Tourism at Þingvellir is characterised by most visitors coming there for short visits. Visitors to the nominated area and Þingvellir National Park can be roughly divided into four groups, including those who come as follows:
− on their own on day trips, mainly from the capital area
− on organised group trips
− for the weekend
− due to special interests.