Situated along the Golden Circle, Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths offers a relaxed encounter with the soothing warmth of geothermal springs.
Snorkel between the North American and Eurasian continental plates in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park fills with glacial water that has been seeping through underground lava rocks for decades producing the most transparent water on earth. After snorkelling, drive your rental car to the heavenly Laugarvatn Fontana spa to warm up and relax!
Experience the classic Golden Circle landmarks before heading to the healing Fontana Wellness facilities! The Golden Circle encompasses the must-see sights of Thingvellir National Park, the golden Gullfoss waterfall, and the bubbling geothermal region of Geysir. Cap off your sightseeing day with a healing visit to Fontana Wellness.
Fontana Spa Outdoor Bathing Experience
How to Visit the Fontana wellness spa Iceland
One of the best things about the Fontana Geothermal Spa is its location. It sits in the small hamlet of Laugarvatn in the middle of the popular Golden Circle route. Those hitting the sights of the Golden Circle can take a well-earned break from chasing thundering waterfalls, watching geysers explode and hiking between the continents with a session at the Fontana Spa.
You’ll find the Fontana Spa just off Road 37, on the stretch of the Golden Circle route between Þingvellir National Park (where the Eurasian and North American continental plates meet) and the Geysir area of geothermal activity. The drive from Reykjavík to the Fontana Spa takes around an hour and fifteen minutes, and it’s a further twenty-five-minute drive from Laugarvatn to Geysir. Many people hire a car and explore the Golden Circle under their own steam. A self-drive adventure gives you the freedom to spend as much time as you like bathing at the Fontana Spa. But there are also plenty of guided day tours of the Golden Circle that include a stop at the Fontana Spa or Secret Lagoon. Slipping into the gloriously warm water and watching the ice-cold lake stretch before you is the ideal addition to a day of exploring Iceland’s great outdoors.
How to spend your time at the Fontana Spa
Before entering the spa, you’ll need to shower and change into swimwear. There are men's and women’s changing rooms and showers and lockers to store your valuables while you bathe.
There are three outdoor pools of varying temperatures at the Fontana Spa, all heated naturally by a hot spring beneath the ground. The main pool stretches the length of the spa and is furnished with bubbling fountains and places to sit. There’s also a hot tub-sized pool and a smaller, shallow pool overlooking the lake. The temperature of each pool varies slightly: from a balmy 32 degrees Celsius to a boiling-lobster-hot 40 degrees in the ‘hot pot’.
You can spend all your time soaking and padding between each geothermally-heated pool, or you can embrace the old Icelandic tradition of plunging into the ice-cold water of Laugarvatn Lake before warming up in one of the heated pools again. A small wooden pier leads from the spa to the lake to help you embrace this tradition. There’s also a steam room where you can hear the hiss of the hot spring beneath you and a Finnish-style sauna to warm up if you’ve taken the plunge into the freezing cold lake water.
While you can easily spend a couple of hours soaking and unwinding at the spa itself, the reykLaugarvatn Fontana Spa has a unique attraction on-site. Here, you’ll find a rye bread bakery where the natural heat from the hot spring means traditional Icelandic rye bread is baked in the ground. Tours of the bakery are on offer and you can try your hand at baking rye bread yourself with a baking experience. There is also a café that serves up either a buffet or a la carte meal of hearty Icelandic soups and locally-baked rye bread.
Adding the Fontana Spa to your Golden Circle adventure
As it sits along the route of the Golden Circle, there are plenty of activities and experiences you can combine with a trip to the Fontana Spa. The most popular option is to incorporate a visit to the spa with a day sightseeing along Iceland’s most popular day route. The main sights of the Golden Circle include Þingvellir National Park, where the Eurasian and North American continental plates meet at a dramatic chasm across the landscape. The Fontana Spa is a twenty-five-minute drive from Þingvellir, making it the ideal stopping point between the first big sight of the Golden Circle and the second – the Geysir area of geothermal activity. From the Fontana Spa, it’s a further twenty-five-minute drive to Geysir where you can watch the dramatic eruption of Stokkur geyser go off like clockwork every ten minutes. Then it’s just a ten-minute drive to Gullfoss Waterfall to complete the highlights of the Golden Circle.
Combining the Fontana Spa with other activities
One way to experience the extremes of the Land of Ice and Fire is with a hot and cold water experience. Joining a guided day tour from Reykjavík, you can enjoy a snorkelling session in the ice-cold water of the Silfra fissure where crystal clarity allows you to see the ethereal rock formations between the continental plates over 100 metres away. After experiencing some of Iceland’s coldest water, you move onto the geothermally heated baths of the Fontana Spa to warm up before heading back to Reykjavík.
The Fontana Spa fits in well with lots of multi-day itineraries across Iceland. Adventure tours that include days of glacier hiking, ice cave exploration, hunting for the Northern Lights and walking the trails of Iceland’s wilderness sometimes include a rejuvenating stop at the Fontana Spa. If you are embarking on a self-drive adventure across Iceland and you’re hitting the highlights of the Golden Circle, glacier hiking at Langjökull or snorkelling at Silfa, consider adding a relaxing pause at the Fontana Spa to your plans.
All About Fontana Geothermal Spa Iceland
The water in the pools at the Fontana Spa is heated by a natural hot spring and the steam in the stream rooms is created by the hot spring beneath. The entire spa is built on top of a natural hot spring and there is even an on-site bakery that makes rye bread using the naturally-heated water.
It’s not the biggest or the most popular of Iceland’s many geothermal spas and lagoons, but if you’re spending the day driving the Golden Circle, it is definitely worth taking a mid-day pause at The Fontana Spa. Walking between the continents at Þingvellir and chasing waterfalls can be tiring, so The Fontana Spa offers a chance to recharge and rejuvenate right in the middle of the Golden Circle. Entrance to the Fontana Spa is also significantly cheaper than the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon, so it’s a great way to experience Iceland’s bathing culture if you are on a budget.
Kids are very welcome to experience the Fontana Geothermal Spa. In fact, children under the age of 12 can access the spa and join the tour of the bakery for free when accompanied by an adult. Unlike the Blue Lagoon, which does not permit children under two years old, you will see a lot of local visitors to the Fontana Spa with their children enjoying the bath-warm pools by the lakeside. The spa provides water toys for kids in the coolest and shallowest of the three pools.
There are a few things to do around the small hamlet of Laugarvatn in Iceland. The main attraction is the Fontana Spa itself, where you could easily spend a couple of hours changing, bathing, relaxing in the steam room and getting ready to hit the road again. There’s also a rye bread bakery where the bread is heated by the same hot spring as the spa water. A tour and sampling session at the rye bread bakery takes around half an hour. There are a few accommodation options at Laugarvatn if you wish to spend the night here and a cafe at the spa which serves Icelandic soups and the rye bread that is baked on-site.
The Laugarvatn Fontana Spa is right in the middle of the Golden Circle route in the southwest of Iceland. It sits on the banks of Laugarvatn Lake, so it’s a picturesque spot. From Reykjavík, it’s a 78-kilometre drive (48 miles), taking around an hour and fifteen minutes. The location of the Fontana Spa is what draws visitors to the geothermally-heated waters. It sits conveniently between Þingvellir National Park and the Geysir area of geothermal activity – two of the biggest attractions along the Golden Circle.
There is no limit to how long you can spend at the Fontana Spa. Once you’ve paid the entrance fee, you can spend as long as you want dipping in and out of the heated pools and detoxifying in the stream rooms and sauna. Of course, you can only stay during opening hours. The Fontana Spa is open daily between 11am and 9pm.
As there is no time limit to your stay at the Fontana Spa, you can enjoy a bathing session, then pause for lunch before getting back into the baths again if you so wish. There is an on-site cafe serving a buffet or a la carte array of Icelandic soups and rye bread baked by the hot spring.
Both the Fontana Spa and the Secret Lagoon are geothermal outdoor bathing experiences just off the popular Golden Circle route. Which one you choose depends on the kind of experience you are looking for. The Secret Lagoon is considered Iceland’s oldest swimming pool and, as a result, has a spartan and slightly haunting feel to it. There are indoor changing facilities, a bar and a café at the Secret Lagoon, but the experience at the Fontana Spa is a little more luxurious. The look is sleek and modern, with a glass building overlooking two heated outdoor pools with crystal-clear turquoise water (as opposed to the Secret Lagoon’s slightly murky denim hue). The Secret Lagoon is a little more basic than Fontana Spa as the latter has steam rooms and a sauna for the ultimate relaxation.
Most of the showers at the Fontana Spa are shared – one set of showers in the men’s changing room and one set in the women’s. However, in the women’s changing room there is one shower with a curtain for those seeking extra privacy. Unlike larger spas like the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, there are no fully private changing and showering facilities at the Fontana Spa.