Iceland has become a bit of an obsession of mine this year. I took part in a fantastic trip organised by Pink Iceland at the end of January this year and this magical place is now often at the forefront of my mind.
If you’d like to find out more about Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and it’s people, customs and local gay scene, check out my first post, Iceland Guyd Part One: Hot Vikings and Pink Parties.
Iceland is a country full of natural wonders. For the sake of comparison, it’s bigger than Ireland, and it’s sitting right on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It has active volcanoes, glaciers and a lot of seismic activity. In Iceland, this means gorgeous geothermal spas.
Perhaps the most famous thermal spa in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon. When I arrived in January with the guys and girls from the Pink Iceland trip, it was coming up to 5pm and the sun was about to set. It was cold, and I could not get from the changing rooms into the pool quick enough! (Although not as cold as you might imagine that Iceland would be in January, as the island actually has a temperate climate, so it was around 1C/33F).
I was fine as soon as I hit the water and instantly started to relax. We had tokens for a special thermal mud pack, and perhaps crucially, there was a bar. Drinking cold beer in a beautiful, warm, outdoor thermal spa under the stars on a cloudless night is something I’ll always remember. I can’t wait to go back and do this again in summer with the sun still in the sky at 10pm!
Golden Circle Tour
Pink Iceland’s Golden Circle Tour is a fantastic mix of natural wonders and blissful relaxation. We saw the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, partially frozen, but still powerfully roaring, and were lucky enough to see the original Geysir (after which all others are named), pumping its steamy magic! The guys even took us to the great Atlantic rift – on one side the North American Plate, on the other, the Eurasian Plate. I was literally standing between two worlds, and it’s something I’ll never forget.
The Laugarvatn Fontana Steam Baths
Probably my favourite section of the Golden Circle Tour (if I’m honest), was the Laugarvatn Fontana Steam Baths. Surrounded by a lake and picturesque mountains, this hundred year old spa looks like an outpost on another planet. Healing geothermal heat simmers directly from the ground – it’s evident all around with bubbling pools and great plumes of steam. There are naturally heated pools of varying temperatures, and three steamy saunas. These can get HOT, but they’re totally exhilarating. I felt cleansed inside and out breathing in these vapours. The cold air outside, coupled with the breathtaking landscape, heightened the senses and added to the experience. The best part was the fruity cocktail served to us in the hot tub…
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, then Pink Iceland should be your first port of call. These guys are experts, and some of the most knowledgable and friendly people you’re likely to meet. For more information on their tours, available all year ’round, check out their website: http://www.pinkiceland.is/