We woke up with a tinge of sadness knowing we had one final night in a place that unexpectedly brought a deep attachment to our hearts.
Nevertheless, we were looking forward to the day ahead as we had planned to visit the main sights of the Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon before heading back to Reykjavik.
Before the Golden Circle, we made a stop at Hella, a short drive from Hvolsvollur, and discovered an unexpected gem, Bakari Konditiori.
◄ Bakari Konditori ~ Suðurlandsvegur 1-3850 Hella ►
It’s located next to the Olis gas station and right along the main road, so you shouldn’t have much difficulty spotting it.
We bought a couple of donuts and eclairs to take along. They do have a range of sandwiches as well so it’s an excellent option for road trips.
Our first stop was Gullfoss, probably the most famous falls in the Iceland and the most accessible also, less than 2 hours drive away from Reykjavik. As expected, there were large crowds and it would be much worst I think in the peak months of June to August.
Gullfoss certainly warrants its reputation as one of the most beautiful falls in Iceland.
While I usually avoid in-house cafes or souvenir shops due to their heavily marked up prices, the food served at Gullfoss cafe was surprisingly good and reasonable, plus they have a pretty well stocked souvenir shop for you to bring home some memories of Iceland.
The soups at the cafe are refillable, a major plus for hungry travellers like us. We also had an outstanding chocolate cake, moist and full of chocolaty delight.
Once we were satisfied we moved to Geysir, another popular tourist spot 10km away from Gullfoss.
The main sight here is the spouting geysir, Strokkur.
You would likely have seen many videos or images before, but nothing beats watching the hot water bubble at the froth before exploding into the sky.
It takes about 10 minutes or so for each cycle, and the size of the explosion varies. You might be able to catch continuous spurts too if you are lucky.
Our final stop for the day was Secret Lagoon, the oldest hot pool in Iceland, located near the Golden Circle, in Fludir,
This was far better than Myvatn Nature Baths since the water was far warmer, the area more scenic and natural (even though it is man-made if I am not mistaken), and they had floats which you could use to just lie back and relax in the hot water. Just lying in the hot waters make you remind yourself that this truly is what living is all about.
At 2,500ISK per person, it represents pretty good value, cheaper than the much vaunted Blue Lagoon, and probably less crowds as well.
We traveled back to Reykjavik after a good 2 hour soak, and stayed in Castle House Apartments located in Skipholt, a 10 minutes walk to Laugavegur.
The apartment itself was small, but very clean and had the essentials for self catering if you wish.
Since it was our final night in Iceland, we decided to splurge on a nice dinner and we found a cute little restaurant, Resto, known to serve the best Icelandic Fish Soup in the country.
The service was attentive, beautiful atmosphere, and most importantly, excellent food. It was a lovely evening just enjoying the food and wine and recapping our entire trip.
We had a couple of hours before we departed for Keflavik Airport the next morning, so we took a early morning stroll around Reykjavik, instead of visiting the Blue Lagoon which we had originally planned.
We took the opportunity to eat the hot dogs at Baejarin Beztu one last time, as well as some crepes from Eldur and Is which unfortunately was not great in terms of both taste and price.
I could still remember saying the words “Alright let’s go” in the car with a heavy heart just before we left Reykjavik for the airport. Usually I feel a little down when the holiday is close to an end, but this time was especially sobering.
Despite it’s relatively small size, there’s actually quite a number of things to buy at Keflavik, at pretty good prices compared to the city. Some last minute shopping are Icelandic chocolate and candy, alcohol, souvenirs, and books just to name a few.
We departed for Heathrow International Airport around 4pm local time.
12 days, 11 nights, tons of mountains, waterfalls and geothermal wonders, and everlasting memories. Our itinerary worked out pretty well, and we were blessed with great weather throughout the trip, which we were very fortunate and thankful for. We met some wonderful people along the trip as well, from the owners of the guesthouses to the Icelandic people on the street, offering to help whenever we looked lost or in need of some aid.
Even though a month has passed, me and Pari still talk fondly about our trip. Iceland is well and truly a country anyone should visit once in their lives.
We’ll be back again.
Þakka þér fyrir, bless.