Iceland- The Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon

You may be thinking? What’s the Golden Circle? Is it a circle made of gold? Is it the sequel to the Kingsman movie? In different contexts…yes. In Iceland, no.

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland covering about 190 miles looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland. You will see more tourists on this route, than anywhere else in Iceland. If you are there in peak season (Summer months) prepare to see even more.

Depending on what tour you do, or if you are doing it solo via a rental car you will see three main sites:

1. Thingvellir National Park

The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. To its south lies Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. Þingvellir is associated with the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, which was established at the site in 930 AD. Sessions were held at the location until 1798.


2. Haukadalur

Haukadalur is home to some of the most famous sights in Iceland: the geysers and other geothermal features which have developed on the Laugarfjall rhyolitic dome. The biggest geysers of Haukadalur are Strokkur and Geysir itself, which gave us the word ‘geyser’. Strokkur is very dependable and erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, whereas the bigger Geysir nowadays erupts very rarely. There are also more than 40 other smaller hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles nearby.



Strokkur erupting.



Strokkur up close!

3. Gulfoss

Gulfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. It’s truly a wonder to behold. I was extremely lucky to capture a beautiful rainbow as the sun poked through on an otherwise overcast day.


After a long day of travel, our tour ended with a soak in the Secret Lagoon. Unlike the Blue Lagoon, which is man-made, this is a natural hot spring.

When you arrive you head to the locker rooms, take off your shoes, and head into the shower rooms (which are separated by male and female). There are free lockers for you to use to place your valuables in, and change. Fun fact: you have to shower before you get into the hot springs…naked. Yup, if you have read anything about that, it’s absolutely true. It really was not that awkward. Everyone kept to themselves, showered (including washing your hair) and changed into swim suits.

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After an hour soak, I was warmed to my inner core and headed back to the locker room to shower, change and head back to Reykjavik.

My final opinion

I booked this day tour through Get Your Guide. It’s a great website to book all sorts of activities in places all around the globe. The tour company this was through was Sterna Travel. While I throughly enjoyed the destinations of this tour, I was not excited about our guide. He was very quiet, and really didn’t offer much in terms of history, stories, etc. If you would rather sit in quiet, then this is the trip for you. However, if you are like me and want to learn about all the places and their stories you may be disappointed.

  • You can book this Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon Tour here.
  • OR I found this one through Bus Travel Iceland, which takes you to the Secret Lagoon first and then to the Golden Circle. You should book this!

The Secret Lagoon is an absolute must in my opinion, so whichever tour or way you choose to get there it’s worth the stop!

We headed back to Reykjavik, warm, relaxed and ready for my romp around Reykjavik the next day.

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Iceland- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & The Southern Island

I woke early the next day ready to explore the south of Iceland. I was picked up by Bus Travel Iceland for a 15 hour tour to Glacier Lagoon, and the wonders of the south.

I was picked up about 7:30 a.m. and introduced to our tour guide, Howser.

He was fantastic, all the way to the Jokulsarlon, he told us the history of the area, stories of vikings, the science and devastation of the volcanos, and so much more. He had us laughing and comfortable all the way to glacier lagoon.

Once we arrive, you could hear everyone’s breath hitch. The glaciers rested in the water, floating sculptures for your viewing pleasure. Each as different as the next.

Howser gave us an hour to explore the area, and explore we did. I adventured out with my new friend, Lena and we ‘oohed and aahed’ at the formations.

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A rare ice flower.

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What do you see in this one?

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A hungry ice shark!

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We hopped back on the bus, only to be taken across the way to Diamond Beach. Why is called Diamond Beach? Oh, no reason….

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Diamond Beach

Diamond Beach.

Beautiful shards of glaciers, danced in the light all around us. Some were in the water, but hundreds were along the black sand gleaming and glittering like rare jewels.

I shall only except a ring of this size from now on (just kidding).

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I do!

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Sea dragon.

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We had so much fun looking at all the formations and playing with the ice. It was truly a sight to behold!

Once we had our fill, we headed back and started making the trek back to Reykjavik, but with many more stops along the way. The first was to one of the many waterfalls of Iceland: The Side Waterfall.


The Side Waterfall.


I mean come one!

Around another corner, we stopped at the Sister’s Falls. This was on land that once belonged to a convent, hence the name.


The Sister’s Falls.


One of the best stops of the day was in Vik.


Black sand beach in Vik.

It’s summer in Iceland (despite what you may think) so the Lupine flowers are blooming. This is not a native plant, however, Howser told us that even though this is not native it is helping Iceland in a unique way. This plant only grows where the soil is not well. An amazing thing happens, the plant creates its own top soil and heals the land through its growth. When the land is healed it will stop growing. Of course, there are two sides the other being it is an aggressive plant and some Icelander’s do not like how quickly it has spread.

While I can’t speak for Icelander’s, I was very enamored with the flower especially the fields growing in Vik.


The trolls & their ship.


Lupine flowers.



The church in Vik from a field of Lupine.


We continued our way back to Reykjavik, but not without two more stops. The first being to Skogafoss Waterfall. If you watch Vikings you will remember this from when Raven Floki was shipped wrecked.


Skogafoss Waterfall.


We got as close to the falls as possible, getting soaked, but our souls were rejuvenated from the fresh water spray.


Soaked and completely smitten with Iceland, we got back on our bus and headed to our last stop, Seljalandfoss. Now this is a fall you can really get to know…by walking behind it.


Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.


I thought I was rejuvenated by Skogafoss, but when I walked behind Seljalandfoss, I was reborn! There is nothing that compares to the beauty of a waterfall and seeing it from all angles. It was a magical experience that left me thankful.


Behind the falls!

How could the day be better? The answer, it couldn’t!

My final opinion

I booked this day tour through Get Your Guide. It’s a great website to book all sorts of activities in places all around the globe. You need to do this tour, and if there is a way to request Howser as guide then you should do so! He was so knowledgeable, shared amazing insights, history, music and songs, and took us to extra waterfalls. I mean, how can you argue with that?

  • You can book the tour here. Also shout out to Bus Travel Iceland. This company is extremely organized. The bus was a small 16 person vehicle, so it felt intimate and not too much like a giant Greyhound tourist vessel. 10/10 , I recommend this trip, and for only $119 USD?!

I went to sleep completely exhausted, but happy and ready for my next day exploring Iceland’s infamous Golden Circle.

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Iceland- A Solo Journey

If you didn’t know, I am a wanderlust soul.

Travel is what excites me and fills me with purpose and joy. I have such a strong desire to see the world, to experience it, and to learn about it.

Though I have been to 20 countries, I have never truly travelled solo. Until last week, when I embarked on my first real solo adventure to Iceland. Though I was based in Reykjavik I took trips to different parts of the island. But more about that later…

I flew to Iceland on Wow Airlines. If you don’t know about Wow, look into it! My round trip, non stop flight from Detroit to Reykjavik was only $400!

WOW *eyebrow wiggle.*

The flight was overall fine, and only six hours. I’ve traveled on some bad budget airlines, but I would fly on this one again. It was very bare bones,  you had to purchase any refreshments but since the flight was at 1 a.m. frankly all I wanted was to do was sleep.

Time FLEW by *eyebrow wiggle* and I got in to Reykjavik in mid morning. The airport is busy, but once through customs there is a clear path to the buses & taxis. I did not purchase my bus ticket prior and had no difficulty purchasing one at the counter. It only cost about 15 USD and was quite easy to use. They dropped us off at a bus station, where we switched buses according to the area we were going. After the exchange I was dropped off at City Hall where I headed to the meeting point for the City Walk Free Walking Tour.

This I absolutely recommend. You need to book in advance, but please note you can only book about a week in advance of your trip. Here is the link to their website/booking.

Our guide’s name was Sara, a true Icelander and local history teacher. She showed us around the city for about two hours. This was a great way to start the trip. This helps you acclimate to the city, so you have some idea of where you are and where you are going. Sara talked to us about politics, history, and gave us great tips for food, where to buy groceries, museums, etc.

We started at the main square Austurvöllur, in front of the House of Parliament (Alþingi) and ended at the Harpa Music Hall.


The Pond by City Hall



Harpa Music Hall



The weather is very changeable, so be prepared for rain, cold, wind, and sun all in one day! Layers, layers, layers, a light weight waterproof/windproof jacket and a good hat doesn’t hurt. One moment the sun came out, and the next it poured. It didn’t stop Sara or anyone from having a good time. She did find places for us to warm up/dry off for a bit, which of course was appreciated.

At the end of the tour, she e-mailed us all a link with information about Iceland and Reykjavik.  Now, in Iceland tipping is not required. HOWEVER, in this instance, this tour is donation based so you can feel free to give as much as you like. There is even a portal on their website for you to pay with credit card if you do not have cash. I tipped Sara, and headed out into the city.

My first stop was the Icelandic grocery store Bonus. I stayed in an Airbnb for the week, and was intent on saving money by making my own food. I highly recommend this! Iceland’s prices are manageable, but what really is expensive is eating out. I saved a lot of money by buying groceries and preparing most of my food at my Airbnb. I bought all the basics like:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chips
  • Frozen Meal
  • Bananas

Speaking of Airbnb’s, if you are going to be based in Reykjavik like I was, I recommend you rent a little apartment. There are lots of places you can find here, and look how cute the view is from mine!


After a long day of travel, I made myself some food and plopped into bed. My tour the next morning left at 7:00 a.m. for the south side of the island, and it was a day I would never forget.

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Life’s a Picnic

If I was a print I would be gingham. Why you ask? To me it is the print that emulates class, style, and sophistication.

So when I find a gingham dress I have been dreaming of, I have to celebrate with a picnic & my favorite books.

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This fit & flare gingham dress is something everyone needs in their wardrobe. It’s  will never go out of style because of its classic construction. The feminine & flirty details can take you from picnic in the park to night on the town. Just switch from woven sandals to strappy heels and you are ready to be CHECKED out. *Face palm*

Gingham Dress | Sandals 

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This afternoon, I was just happy to enjoy the summer breeze with my good friend Shakespeare. But now, it’s time to pack up and put on our dancing shoes. Who is with me?

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Hopeless Wanderer

The early summer is fantastic. The days are hot, everyone has a slight golden glow, music seems to be blowing through the air (Mumford & Sons has been on repeat),  and the urge to dance is overwhelming.

It’s pretty great right? How could anything compare or be compatible?

Well,  this yellow polka dot two piece from Lulu’s certainly holds up.

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Yellow Polka Dot Two Piece | Mules (similar) | Floppy Hat

This dress is perfect for the summer. It’s light and airy without feeling too thin or heavy. The peekaboo mid-drift is a great way to feel sexy and the ruffles are perfect for emulating the ‘Red Dress Girl emoji.’

Paired with some colorful mules and a floppy hat, its festival chic meets summer time glam.

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“She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot two-piece.”

What do you love about early summer?

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Love & Lilacs

The other day at work, a coworker played a podcast about happiness. Happiness is something we all talk about, strive for, and something we seek. But what is it?

“Happiness is the joy we feel striving towards our potential.” Beautiful right?


My happiness? I am striving toward being vulnerable & continuing to be an advocate for being your best self.

I am going to be honest, this past week has been extremely stressful. However, there are always situations that will try to rob you of what you’re moving towards. Always remember, you are in charge of how those thoughts or situations effect you.

I stumbled across a fantastic quote that is the perfect analogy, “The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is – to bloom.” -Yevgeny Zamyatin.

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Royal Wedding in a Secret Garden

Who else is still glowing from Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding?!

*Waves hands furiously in the air*

Yes, I woke up at 5 a.m. to watch it. Yes, my dear friend Emma and I had a pajama tea party. Yes, I got emotional a few times. Yes, Meghan looked STUNNING. Yes, Harry was adorable. Yes, it was perfect.

Let’s get real for a minute, this wedding was a beautiful example of diversity, inclusion and pure love. If you didn’t watch it, please watch Bishop Michael Curry’s amazing sermon on love. Then watch the gospel choir that scooped us up in love with their version of ‘Stand by Me.’

Heck, please just watch their wedding! You will not regret it!

If you haven’t guessed, I have always been enamoured with the Royals.  It seems despite my *cough obsession cough* my invitation to the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s wedding was misplaced…


…so I decided to dress for the event and throw my own celebration in an enchanted secret garden.


This detailed soft pink dress glides on creating a romantic silhouette. The piping lines your curves, flattering your figure and the black detail adds the perfect contrast. Paired with my big flower fascinator, this is an outfit fit for a true British Lady.


The fluttered sleeves add the perfect formal feminine touch for any royal wedding.


Teardrop earrings and pearls pull this all together, and my transformation is complete.


“Someday my prince will come…” Feeling enchanted? I certainly feel like a Disney Princess!


Pink Dress- TJ Maxx Find (Similar here & here) | Blush Heels | Fascinator (similar) | Teardrop Earrings | Heart Bag 


The heart-shaped bag is my little nod to the late Princess Diana. Known as the Queen of Hearts, she truly is one of my biggest inspirations and aspirations. She was a glowing example of always being herself, and doing the right thing. She was a bright light and she would be so proud of both her son’s.

Wedding facts for you!

  • Meghan’s bouquet had flowers which Harry hand-picked from Diana’s private garden.
  • Harry left a seat open for Diana at the ceremony.
  • One of the Hymn’s they sang was sung at Diana’s funeral.

Are you crying yet?! I AM. AGAIN.


All in all, whether you like the Royals or not there is something about love. Seeing such a wonderful representation of love is memorable. Isn’t it funny how much more powerful love is than hate? Think of one time you were angry, then think of another time you felt surrounded by love. Which was better?

I’m going to answer that for you. Love. Every time.

So whether you watched it or not, here’s what you can take away from it.

“If humanity ever captured the energy of love, it would be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.” -Bishop Michael B. Curry

Did you watch the wedding? What did you think?

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