Thursday, March 20, 2014

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

After an awe inspiring morning exploring The Golden Circle while bundled up against the frigid cold,
what could be better than stripping off all of those layers and lowering your cold limbs into a warm, steamy bath?

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Doing just that in the open air with these magical views of Iceland.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Throw in a glass of wine delivered poolside and I'm in heaven! 
This is exactly how we ended our day on The Golden Circle at the

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Located on Lake Laugarvatn, only about 50 minutes from Rekyjavik,
Laugarvatn Fontana is one of three natural springs located in this hot zone.
Dating from the 1920's, it was the site of historical spa facility.
These new facilities were built in 2011 and use all of this natural geothermal activity
to provide visitors with a relaxing, healing spa experience.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Our visit started with a great lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
They have a lovely little cafe offering healthy salads and soups,
as well as scrumptious cakes and coffee.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Then it was time to select our experience. Basic admission is 2.800 ISK, or about £15.
A big towel and a fluffy, white robe are an additional £10.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

We each went to our changing areas to put on our swimsuits.
The changing facilities are roomy and nice.  We were each given a key for our own private lockers.
Sinks, mirrors, blowdryers and toilets, everything you need.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

When you visit a spa in Iceland, you'll be asked to shower in the nude before putting on your swimsuit.
Most facilities don't have private showers, so leave your modesty at home.
That was a bit of a challenge for this prudish American, but luckily, I happened to have the place to myself.
Quickly, it was time to head outside which is where that big, fluffy robe came in handy.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

It was freezing cold outside, but as soon as our feet hit the warm, mineral bath
we didn't feel the cold again.  There are several pools at varying temperatures.
We went straight for Viska, the hottest one, built up on a higher level with great views.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

When the heat of Viska made us a little light-headed, we moved over to another pool,
which was big and deep enough to do a few laps.
It felt so good to just move around in the warm water after so much driving.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

There are three natural steam rooms that are built directly over the hot springs.
When you step in you can hear the water bubbling away below the slatted wood flooring.
They also have a sauna with a big window and views of the lake.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

I can't even tell you how relaxing this was.  We could just feel the stress leaving our bodies.
And those views!  Our time at this spa was one of the highlights of our trip.
We had a chance to just relax and breathe, to warm our bones after a long, cold winter.
It was quite romantic, too and a chance to reconnect.  Everything a weekend getaway should include.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Most of the baths are treated, but they have one that is just natural spring water.
The water is so warm and soft.  We lowered ourselves so that only our heads were out of the water.  It was heavenly.
With the natural lava rocks surrounding the pool and the steam rising off the water,
Matt kept joking about expecting to see the Japanese Snow Monkeys.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

After plenty of time enjoying the views and the warm water, we reluctantly changed back into our streetclothes.
Warmed from the inside, we didn't need nearly as many layers as before.
But, we had one more more experience to enjoy before we left.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

The energy from the geothermal spas is used for many things, including baking.
Our guide grabbed a shovel and took us over to an area on the banks of the lake.
As she started digging, boiling water started filling in the small pit she dug.
Each day they bake a batch of bread by burying it in this dirt overnight.
Someone else from the neighborhood had buried their own batch nearby.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

Oh my goodness, it was dee-lish!  Slathered with some creamy butter.  Yum!
The Rye Bread Experience is daily at 2:30pm and is about £8.
It was the perfect way to end our time at the Spa.

Iceland's Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

We had an fabulous time at the Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths.
This is a great addition to your tour of The Golden Circle.

Here's a tip: The tour buses show up just in time for the Rye Bread Experience.
We got there about lunch time and had the place almost to ourselves until then.
As we were getting out of the water, the tour group was just getting in.

It's open daily from 11am to 9pm.
 Even if you don't want to get wet, the Laugarvatn Fontana Cafe is a great place to stop for lunch.
It's also a stop on several excursions and tours of The Golden Circle.

Wouldn't this be perfect to visit in the evening as the sun was going down?

Have you luxuriated in a geothermal hot spot?  What did you think?


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 *We were guests of Laugarvatn Fontana for the purposes of review.
 All photos, writing and opinions are my own.
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


22 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos! Definitely looks like heaven. I would love to visit Iceland!

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  2. Lovely recap of the beautiful geothermal pools here in Iceland! I have yet to go to that one but will have to make a trip soon. I am a big fan of rye bread as well, so yummy with fish!

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  3. Food Booze & BaggageMarch 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    This looks so heavenly and relaxing! The picture of the mountains with snow is incredible.

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  4. ablondearoundtheworldMarch 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    This place looks absolutely ravishing!
    Thanks for letting us know about it!

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  5. I just LOVE these pictures!! They make me want to instantly fly to Iceland and hop into the pool....And how amazing this must be when there is snow around you!!

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  6. I've been wanderlusting for Iceland for the past 6 months! I seriously have to go! :) Great pictures!

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  7. When I was in Europe last year our tour guided raved about the geothermal spas. Looks amazing and relaxing!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com
    *100 Books to Read in a Lifestime Giveaway ends today!*

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  8. Wow, I will definitely have to bookmark this post. That all sounds absolutely divine!! xx

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  9. Iceland is amazing, Jessica! You have to visit. Also, thanks for connecting. I've followed on instagram & twitter as well as Bloglovin. Can't wait to see more of your photography!

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  10. The rye bread was kind of sweet and so moist! I can't get over that it was cooked in the ground. You will love the baths! And the food was really, really good!

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  11. I wish I was back there right now. So warm and cozy and wonderful!!

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  12. You are more than welcome. It's a great place! Thanks for reading & commenting.

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  13. Thanks so much :D There can't be anything better than relaxing in a warm pool while it's freezing outside. Not to mention those views! Thanks for reading & commenting. I've connected on Bloglovin so I can read more.

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  14. Iceland is all over the place right now, but I definitely see why. It's spectacular!

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  15. It was heavenly! Wish I was there right now.

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  16. I wasn't sure what to expect. We even considered the contingency that we wouldn't get in but just check out the facilities. I'm sooooo glad that we got in!!!

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  17. Nice review! I stumbled on this place as well and found it to be a hidden gem on the Golden Circle route. Much quieter and more intimate than the blue lagoon.

    Shaun
    www.thislifeintrips.com

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  18. Thanks, Shaun, and thanks for commenting. You're right, a hidden gem. It was very different from the Blue Lagoon. I just loved Iceland.

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  19. Geothermal heat pumps are expensive to install but pay for click here themselves over time in reduced heating and cooling costs.

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Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from you!