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Overhyped and expensive steam baths in Laugarvatn Iceland

Once upon a time all this was free for all. Now expensive as hell. PIC Eric Pouypul

Once upon a time all this was free for all. Now expensive as hell. PIC Eric Pouypul

A few decades ago enterprising locals in the small village of Laugarvatn in Iceland came together and built a small wooden shed right over a small geothermal hot spring by the Laugarvatn lake and thus creating the most natural steam bath available. This was unique, free and wonderful for all to enjoy.

Fast forward to today and a different kind of entrepreneurs have changed this lovely place into the second most touristy place in Iceland and charges you heftily for the pleasure. Indeed, locals very much stay away from the place these days.

350% more expensive than just visiting the nearest communal swimming pool

This place is now called Fontana and while the colorful brochures promise heaven on earth the fact is that there is nothing here you cannot get in most ordinary swimming places in Iceland. There are mineral baths and hot tubs and fancy artwork to boot but no real swimming pool and no real ambiance. This place is pasteurized. But you do get thick and cozy bathrobes if requested allowing you to walk around feeling important.

Entrance to the basic services is 20€ / 28$ per person which comese out as 350% more expensive than just visiting the nearest communal swimming pool found in almost any town and village. Most of those offer most of the same things Fontana does AND a real swimming pool.

Oh, and do not be fooled by this being no.1 of things to do in Laugarvatn according to Tripadvisor. There is nothing else to do around here so the gold medal is pretty easily had 😉

More about Laugarvatn area here.


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