Bathing in a spa is a custom that dates back thousands of years. We’ve all heard of Turkish baths and the healing power of a well-deserved spa-day. I want to take you on a little journey to Fontana: a lovely lakeside geothermal wellness experience in Laugarvatn, Iceland. I keep calling it a spa, while it actually is not, and I’ll explain why in a bit. For me, Fontana embodies the true spa experience of ultimate relaxation: not only does it nurture the body, but it lets your mind float freely – and that’s something we don’t often get in our busy lives.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
Fontana is not just some regular ol’ spa. They don’t offer an endless selection of facial treatments or massages, no. At Fontana you get to experience a spa in the real, natural way. The location of the geothermal baths is quite spectacular. Fontana sits on a geothermal area on the shore of lake Laugarvatn. And it’s conveniently in the Golden Circle, the most famous Icelandic tourist route, not far from the capital, Reykjavik. Locals have been harnessing the benefits of this location since 1929. With steam coming out of the Earth nearby, sitting in a hot-tub, overlooking the lake and the volcanoes Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull in the distance: there's no better way to relax on your vacation in Iceland.
Fontana features a variety of geothermal mineral pools, both natural and just geothermally heated, at different temperatures: three geothermal steam baths, a Finnish sauna, and a cool dip in the lake. There’s something for everyone. I find it fun that the heat of the steam baths varies with the weather – every day will be unique. The Finnish sauna was a nice additional touch and a different experience from hot steam. The quiet location just adds to the experience of ultimate relaxation. It’s not a place to just go swimming, but rather a place to go and soak all your tired muscles in hot water for hours and hours, breathing in the fresh mountain air.
Fontana Geothermal Baths in Laugarvatn, Iceland #Savant
Hot baths and steam saunas can take a toll on your body, though, so make sure to use their water fountains for some refreshing hydration in between. When you want to cool off, just take a dip in the lake. It’s a bit cold at first, but nothing too terrible for someone from the North like myself. The Fontana spa offers a range of shower and beauty products from Sóley Organics, an all-natural Icelandic skincare brand (which we have tested out already, so stay tuned for that!). Their products are just an icing on the cake, bringing a relaxing scent to your bathing experience and leaving your skin and hair refreshed.
After soaking all your worries away, you might want a bite to eat. Not to worry – Fontana has got you covered. They serve a range of delicious meals and beverages at their café area. The best part, however, is the freshly baked dark rye bread, also called ‘lava bread’, which they make inside the ground nearby. Because the earth is so hot there, it cooks the bread perfectly. Combined with fresh local butter, it’s truly a treat. Fontana offers a special experience, for those interested, to go and observe the bread being taken from the ground – hot and scrumptious.
Fontana truly made me feel at peace even after leaving their facilities. And with super soft skin and hair! So not only are these geothermal baths beneficial for your body, they soothe the mind as well. And that is a big part of wellness: being able to relax your whole self. Oftentimes no amount of massages or skin treatments can provide you with that. If you ever have the opportunity, take a dip at the Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths and let your soul be released from everyday stress.