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Tuesday, June 28 update: Laugarvatn Fontana and the ice cream barn at Efstidalur

Today we headed to Laugarvatn Fontana, one of the two “fancy” thermal pools in the Golden Circle region. The other is the Secret Lagoon, which we will visit in a couple of days. (Update: Here is our visit to the Secret Lagoon.) I didn’t really have a great picture in my head of what Fontana looked like. As it turns out, there are 4 separate pools / hot tubs. You can see parts of all of them below:

fontana long pool

There’s the long skinny one that makes up most of the picture; a hot pot up the stairs in the upper right; a smaller pool on the near left; and a natural pool area in the back left. You can see the last 2 better below:

fontana other pools

Prices are 3800 krona for adults ($31 or so), 2000 for kids 13-16, and free for kids under 13. This is less expensive than the Blue Lagoon, and also slightly less than Myvatn Nature Baths. But it’s still pricey, though it works better if all of your kids are under 13.

I liked that the temperature of each pool was clearly marked; from 32 and 34 (Celsius, of course!) for each the two treated pools to 38-40 for the other 2. Overall, I thought that Fontana was … nice? It was pretty, and the setting right by Lake Laugarvatn was lovely. But it’s also kind of small- there’s no sense that you can spend a lot of time exploring like we could at Myvatn Nature Baths.

One interesting note is that there is a door you can go through that leads to the lake. You are exiting the pool facility, and heading to a public area. If you walk down the shore, the water gets warmer and warmer; eventually, the water will be hot enough to burn you, or cook rye bread.  The latter is exactly what Fontana does with their Rye Bread experience. This seems to be popular with tour groups, and so it was not available the afternoon we were there. You will definitely need to book ahead if you are interested in this.

But, back to the lake. Presumably, you could just go bathe in the lake. The rocks in the water are slippery, and remember that this is not a part of the Fontana facility; you’re on your own. But you should be able to find a nice warm spot in the lake to bathe in, free of charge? Has anyone done this?

fontana lunch buffet

They offer a lunch and a dinner buffet, which you can see listed on their web site here. The price as 2900 krona for adults ($23.50 or so) and … well, I’m not sure how much for kids. One person told me it was free for under 7 and just the price of soup for older kids (1200 krona, or just under $10). Another told me it was the full price for everyone. If there is a discount for kids, this can be a nice option, consistent with our belief that buffets in Iceland are a very good deal for families.

The day we were there, the main course options were a white fish, vegan lasagna, chicken (which the kids loved), and they also had plokkfiskur (fish mash) along with smoked fish, various salads, and soup options.

Next it was on to the ice cream barn at Efstidalur, which is about 10 or 15 minutes down the road. Yes, there is ice cream:

ice cream barn ice cream

and yes, it is in a barn:

ice cream barn barn

That image makes it look like that’s a painting of cows, or maybe a TV screen, but that really is a window into the barn where you can see the cows that provided the milk for your ice cream.

A scoop of ice cream was 400 krona, or about $3.50. It’s not a huge serving, but it’s plenty, and this seemed like a good value for Iceland. The kids liked seeing the cows– that’s an added bonus!

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Tuesday, June 28 update: Laugarvatn Fontana and the ice cream barn at Efstidalur was last modified: January 8th, 2017 by Eric