Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon

I'm pretty sure that every country has its own tourist "trap" and the Golden Circle is Iceland's. It covers three spots that are in a big loop when I was looking at all the different tours, the secret lagoon caught my eye. I would have loved to do one of the more adventurous ones but I wasn't sure how things would be with my vertigo. 

I decided a nice soak in the lagoon would be a good way to end the day. I booked the tour through Arctic Adventures and we had a great driver/guide called Jorge who was actually from Greece.

First stop was Thingvellir National Park, which is famous as it is the first democratic parliament in the world, sat on the edge of a beautiful lake and between two tectonic plates, the North American and Euro-Asia Plates.






Game Of Throne fans, this is for you, apparently, some of GOT was filmed here, I can't tell you any more because I don't watch it and have absolutely no idea!




The guide dropped us off at one car park and we walked through the national park, down to the church and then up to the second carpark. The whole place is so beautiful, clean, clean water and gorgeous fresh air! On our way, we accidentally took the wrong route! We saw a black fox which was hunting, that was pretty exciting too!




Once we were done there we headed to the Geysir, the big one goes off every 7 minutes or so... going...


going...


gone!




Next up was the Gullfoss waterfall, voted as one of the top 10 beautiful waterfalls in the world! It's pretty impressive. We also stopped here for lunch, we had an hour to eat and take a look around.




The scenery is stunning and the photos don't do it justice at all! It reminded me very much of Lord Of The Rings and I can see why it was first choice for filming here.


After lunch our tour split in two, one group went off to do rafting and our group went to the secret lagoon, so-called because until 2 years ago, only the locals in the town knew about this place.

It is a natural hot spa but unlike the Blue Lagoon which was a pleasant hot in the hottest places, this one had some hot spots that were waaaaaay too hot to stand by! The system was much simpler too although you still have to wash before putting on your bathers, it was much smaller and laid back.



I did get out rather red in the face due to a combo of the water and the sun! Luckily I didn't burn!



You can walk around the outside of the pool but you need to be very careful and kids should be held onto because there are holes of boiling water dotted around and the dangerous sections have just a rope to keep you off them, so easy for a little one to duck under!

The locals also take advantage of the hot water and use it to power and heat greenhouses to grow veg in, which is quite ingenious!

Our guide said that this pool is amazing in the winter, in the snow with the Northern Lights, he told me that this is his favourite tour. I can see why since he gets a couple of hours of soaking in the lagoon on work hours!




We finished at the secret lagoon by about 4pm then we were taken to another waterfall and dropped of whilst the guide went back to pick up the rafting group. It was a really pretty spot, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

It was getting late by the time we got back so we just had a quick bite to eat and collapsed into bed!


If you happen to go, I can recommend Arctic Adventures, it was easy to book, they have loads of different options and the prices were reasonable. Our guide, although not Icelandic was very knowledgeable about the places we visited and funny too.

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