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Thursday, June 30 update: Secret Lagoon, Minilik Ethiopian, Bragginn (again!) and Footgolf(!)

Today we headed to the other “fancy” spa in the Golden Circle area: Secret Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon just opened in 2014 as a spa, although 125 years ago, this was actually Iceland’s first swimming pool.

secret lagoon wide 2

The Secret Lagoon is cheaper than Laugarvatn Fontana, at 2800 krona per adult; kids 16 and under are also free at Secret Lagoon, but Fontana charges you something for kids 13-16. So most families with 2 adults can get in to the Secret Lagoon for about $45.

See our thoughts about Fontana in this post.

This is a much more natural experience than any of the other spas. Fontana has one untreated pool, but it’s still a concrete shell with geothermally heated water pumped in. Secret Lagoon has a rocky floor, with an occasional huge slimy rock that can easily scrape an ankle. The water is also a warm 38 or 39 degrees celcius; Fontana offers options at 32 and 34 that my kids seem to prefer.

In keeping with the natural theme, Secret Lagoon is in an active geothermal area, as you can see:

secret lagoon wide

Straight back in the above picture, there is actually a little geysir. It erupts every 5 or 7 minutes or so. This is no Strokkur: sometimes, the water spurts out 2 or 3 feet high; other eruptions can send water maybe 6 or 8 feet up. Still, it’s a nice diversion for the kids, and it shows a lot of natural Icelandic features in one place.

The water is about 4 feet deep throughout most of the lagoon. Some of the edges offer shallower areas, but you’ll have to get through the deeper areas first to get to them. Like every pool and spa in Iceland, they have water wings available for children to use.

The Secret Lagoon is an interesting option, especially if you have older kids. Younger kids may find the lagoon too deep, too hot, and/or too rocky to enjoy for more than 15 minutes. Also note that there is no substantial food available, at least while we were there. They only offer drinks and a handful of candy bars:

secret lagoon drinks

If you do head to The Secret Lagoon with older kids, you may also consider the Ethiopian restaurant a couple of minutes down the road, in the main area of Flúðir. Called Minilik, the restaurant is run by an Ethiopian woman who moved to Iceland about 9 years ago.

minilik ethiopian outside

Note that, even though the ads we saw said the restaurant was only open for dinner, it seems they are also open for lunch in the summer, but it might be worth calling ahead.

The menu offers unique options, and the prices seem very reasonable. Here is number 22, the vegetarian combination:

minilik veggie platter

That costs 2200 krona, or just under $18; you can pay that much for fish and chips at a gas station.

Two things to note. First, the food is made fresh, and service is slow; our food took 35 minutes to arrive after we ordered, and there was nothing on the table except for water until then. Second, most dishes do not come with utensils; you are expected to use pieces of bread (called injera) to lift up bites of food. This could be fun for littler kids, if they are willing to wait.

For dessert, we headed back to Bragginn. For more information about Bragginn, see this post from a couple of days ago. I don’t have much to add, other than to note that we don’t return to all that many places. But they really do a nice job with desserts:

bragginn scone

Later in the afternoon, we headed to play Footgolf. The course is a few minutes south of Flúðir. I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, and my expectations were well surpassed.

footgolf 2

This is an 18 hole “golf” course, that is played with a soccer ball. You take your soccer ball to the tee box, and try to get it in the hole in as few kicks as possible.

The course is well manicured and well maintained. There are 2 cuts of rough. There are some doglegs. There are some shorter par 3s, just like you would find on a regular golf course. Many of the par 4s are 100 yards or longer.

We played in the rain, and the kids still enjoyed all 18 holes. The little ones didn’t keep score, and just had fun kicking the ball ever closer to the hole. It was nice how adaptable the game was to any skill level. The price was also nice for younger kids: 2000 krona for anyone over 16; 1500 for 12-16, and free for 11 and under. They also charge 500 krona to borrow one of their soccer balls.

Supposedly, the hours are only from 1-4. So call before you go (or e-mail well before you go). Or, if nothing else, call when you get there, as the owners live just a couple of minutes away.

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Thursday, June 30 update: Secret Lagoon, Minilik Ethiopian, Bragginn (again!) and Footgolf(!) was last modified: September 6th, 2017 by Eric