You might stifle a yawn at the thought of the Golden Circle Tour gracing your Iceland itinerary. But don’t make that decision too quickly – Reykjavik Excursions has lengthened the experience and added a touch of elegance to the tried and true to make it infinitely more pleasurable.
Yes, you will see Skálholt Church, Þingvellir National Park, and Gullfoss waterfall, where environmentalist Sigríður Tómasdóttir threatened to drown herself if her father didn't help her to save it. But on this leisurely nine-hour tour, you will take a small van to the demure sister of the Blue Lagoon – the new Fontana Steam Bath and Spa. There you will enjoy several saunas, small pools, and a stylish cafe that overlooks a lake warmed by geo-thermal heat.
After your spa visit, walk to the lake’s edge and watch as your host digs up rye bread baked in the earth. Then enjoy Viking beers on a lovely terrace, with smoked trout, dried trout, and the ever-present Icelandic butter accompanying the sweetest, most moist pumpernickel-style bread imaginable.
Ask for “Hershey” as your guide, a remarkable man who is a descendent of Helga Sigurdardottir, the mistress of the bishop Jon Arason. His clever planning allowed us an extra waterfall visit and a stop to pet a herd of tame Icelandic horses that tossed their punk rock-like manes just inches from our cameras. Let the tourists take the traditional tour on the big bus – and revel in your experience as the sophisticated traveler.
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