Gilding the Golden Circle
Reykjavik Excursions extends it tours to include Laugarvatn’s steam baths
There seemed plenty of time when you booked your holiday at home. But now you’re here, you realise there’s so much more to see and do and so little time to fit it all in. How can you make the most of the time? You want to see all the sights, experience everything this country has to offer–all those things you’ve never found anywhere else.
This is where the specialised tours come into their own. You can focus on the experience, rather than worrying about the driving and missing many of the sights you would have wanted to see. Not only that, but the experienced guides tell you not only about each place along the way but its history, background and importance - not to mention all the anectdotes and fun stories that fill the time as you travel with memories and experiences.Smashing Plates
When people visit Iceland, whether they be a king or poor student, they almost always want to see the famous place where the Earth’s crust is cracked at the joining of the European and American tectonic plates, where the Vikings held their parliaments and where justice was executed. Here is Þingvellir, where history is still being made in this World Heritage Site. Spouting Steam
A short ride and spouts of steam can be seen blasting skywards from an amazing geothermal area where bubbling pools of hot water overflow in streams of steaming rivulets. Here is Geysir—named after the gigantic geyser that erupted for so many years. Although currently dormant, its cousin, Strokkur, erupts with almost military precision every few minutes in an awesome display of nature’s power a few metres away.
Rainbows over Powerful Falls
Water is also at the centre of the next major highlight a few miles away, with the notorious, snow-capped volcano Hekla rising in the background. The mighty, rushing Hvítá river, descending from the glacial mountains further in the interior, reaches Gulfoss, only to plunge down hundreds of feet into a narrow ravine, where its waters churn their way down towards the sea. The sun creates rainbows in the spray as the waters crash over the rocks.The Lakeside Steam Baths
Those hot springs look so inviting. A bathe would be so nice - but the warning signs are there for good reason. Now, with the re-opening of another geological hot spot at Laugarvatn, you can feel for yourself what Icelanders have enjoyed for generations: a steam bath and pools in the beautiful Laugarvatn Fontana, set at the edge of the lake of the same name and surrounded by a landscape of beautiful mountains.
Reykjavik Excursions offers two separate tours that include a stop at Laugarvatn, the full day Golden Circle tour and the afternoon Þingvellir and Fontana tour.
Tours to Fit Your Time
The day tour gives you plenty of time at each stop to explore, enjoy and film your experience. This is a full day trip, beginning with a pickup at your hotel, that is filled with experience and opportunity to see the amazing sights that have earned their place on the world’s top tourist sites. Besides the steam baths at Laugarvatn, there is plenty of time to enjoy a visit to the Gallerí, where talented artists sell their works, where you can find unusual souvenirs from the area. You can enjoy a delicious meal with fresh rye bread, baked in the hot springs and smoked fish that come from the lake a few metres away.
However, you may find your schedule is so tight that you cannot fit a full day in for the trip. Recognising this, Reykjavik Excursions runs an afternoon tour that is very popular. Leaving at 1 pm, with a hotel pick-up thirty minutes before, it takes you to Þingvellir and Laugarvatn Fontana with the same quality of service but a shorter time, as it arrives back in Reykjavik at 5 pm. This tour is memorable at any time of the year, but especially in winter. It’s quite an experience to be able to walk around the steam baths in a swimsuit while snow is falling around you and not feel the cold.
Many people come to Iceland just to see these sights and, with the addition of the new Laugarvatn Fontana, the Golden Circle just shines brighter. I have been on this tour and enjoyed it so much. It’s a trip everyone should enjoy at least once.