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Heated by a natural hot spring, the Fontana Spa embraces the Icelandic tradition of bathing outdoors. It sits on the shore of Laugarvatn Lake, along the route of the Golden Circle. Outdoor pools as warm as hot tubs, a Finnish-style sauna and steam rooms offer a rejuvenating break for those spending the day exploring southwest Iceland’s natural wonders.
Man relaxing in the warm waters of Fontana Spa with steam rising around him.

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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

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