Iceland is known for almost all tourists not only waterfalls, geysers and glaciers but also the typical hot springs and baths that you will find around Iceland.
In addition to the Blue Lagoon, Laugarvatn Fontana or Secret Lagoon is one of the places you can visit during a day trip from Reykjavik, such as a trip to the Golden Circle.
After my visit to both places, I have prepared for you a comparison of Secret lagoon vs Fontana baths in Laugarvatn.
About Laugarvatn Fontana
Laugarvatn Fontana baths are baths in the small town of Laugarvatn (located next to the lake of the same name), which you will most likely pass through on your trip to the Golden Circle.
Fontana baths itself are located on the shore, right by the lake and offer several opportunities for experiences.
Similar to the Sky Lagoon, it is possible to go through the ritual of a hot bath in one of the pools, enjoy a steam bath, a hot Finnish sauna and end everything with a refreshing dip in a cold Icelandic lake.
About Secret lagoon
You will find the Secret Lagoon in the small town of Flúdir (check what to do in Flúdir), which you will probably drive through if you are doing a Golden Circle tour.
Flúdir is very close to the famous Gullfoss waterfall and the famous Strokkur geyser, where you can observe the eruption of the largest natural geyser in Iceland.
The Secret Lagoon (Icelandic Gamla laugin) is one of the oldest lagoons in Iceland and has retained its simplicity and naturalness throughout.
You will find only one pool for everyone, with a water temperature almost the same throughout the pool.
Around the pool you can find a smaller geyser and the atmosphere there is probably the most natural of all the Icelandic lagoons I have visited.
What is the difference between Secret lagoon and Fontana?
Although Secret Lagoon and Laugarvatn Fountain are the cheaper hot baths in Iceland, the two places offer a different experience.
What can you find in Secret Lagoon?
As I mentioned, the Secret Lagoon offers simplicity and naturalness. In the Secret Lagoon you will find the main building with a reception, where it is possible to pay for the rental of towels or a swimsuit in addition to the entrance fee.
This is followed by showers, divided into two departments – for men and women. You will not find the opportunity to use private showers here, so it is always a shared shower with other visitors to the Secret Lagoon.
There is one large swimming pool, which is usually not crowded, so you do not feel the number of tourists, such as the Blue Lagoon. The secret lagoon is smaller, but also less well known and less visited.
What can you find in Fontana baths?
In the Laugarvatn fountain you will find slightly more modern facilities, but the services are almost the same.
In addition to the entrance fee, they can also offer you a towel or bathrobe at the reception for an additional fee.
As in Secret Lagoon, the showers are divided into only two sections and you will not find private showers here.
However, the baths in the Laugarvatn fountain are much more diverse. You will find several pools of different depths and temperatures, so you can change them at will depending on how you feel or how overcrowded the place is.
In addition, there are two types of saunas in Fontana baths. There is a steam sauna where you can relax with the sounds of hot springs flowing under the sauna and then a hot Finnish sauna.
For the hardy there is a possibility to take a dip in the cold lake Laugarvatn, just next to the baths.
Which one is cheaper? Secret lagoon or Fontana baths?
Prices in both lagoons are 2-3 times cheaper than in the famous Blue Lagoon or in the new Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik.
- Admission for adults to Secret Lagoon is ISK 3,000
- Admission for adults to Laugarvatn is 3950 ISK
Admission to the pool is available in the Secret Lagoon for children (accompanied by an adult) under the age of 14, and in Laugarvatn for children under the age of 12.
Even though these hot baths are usually not completely full, it is always better to book your tickets in advance if you already know your plans and know when you will visit the lagoon.
What and where to eat nearby?
I don’t know about the others, but I’m always hungry after visiting a hot bath. Therefore, I am interested in what the dining options are around these places.
Dinning near Secret lagoon
In front of the covid, right next to the Secret Lagoon reception, was fast food, where you could have fish and chips.
However, due to the lack of tourists, the place is currently closed, so you have to look for restaurants directly in Flúdir or nearby in Reykholt (about 5-10 minutes drive from the Secret Lagoon).
There are two restaurants in the center of Flúdir.
- Restaurant Minilink
- Restaurant Grund (belongs to the local guesthouse)
For the less demanding or if you are in a hurry, there is a small gas station in Flúdir where you can buy sandwiches or fast food.
I prefer restaurants in Reykholt. There is a very famous restaurant in the greenhouse – Fridheimar with absolutely amazing tomato soup. There is also the Mika restaurant, which they mostly visit.
Dinning near Laugarvatn Fontana
In Laugarvatn, the menu is slightly smaller. Directly in Laugarvatn baths you can buy local bread, which is baked underground, during lunch.
However, this dish is only on the menu between 11-14, so if you are in Laugarvatn at dinner time, I would prefer the local restaurant Lindin or try the food from the very popular farm restaurant Efstidalur, where they make amazing homemade ice cream.
How to get there?
Most travelers are interested in how far the Secret Lagoon and Laugarvatn are from Reykjavik. The answer to this question is similar in both cases.
How far is Secret lagoon from Reykjavik?
Secret lagoon in Flúdir in South Iceland is exactly 105 km from downtown Reykjavík. It will take 1 hour and 30 mins with normal driving speed 90 km/h (when the weather is not crazy).
How far is the Laugarvatn Fontana from Reykjavík
Laugarvatn Fountain is 78 km from Reykjavík. This distance takes 1 hour and 10 mins driving average speed of 90 km/h.
As you can see, Laugarvatn Fontana is 37 km closer to Reykjavik, than Secret Lagoon. But for most of the turist distance don´t matter in this case, because almost everybody drives through Flúdir during the Golden circle trip.
If none of those lagoons interested you, you can read my other articles about hot springs in Reykjavík (Sky lagoon), Grindavík (Blue lagoon) or go further east or north and try Krauma baths or Mývaln nature baths.
Unfortunately, you will not find almost any natural hot springs in the vicinity of the Golden Circle, there is only a smaller, but even more amazing place Hrunalaug.
Hrunalaug is a natural pool about 10 minutes away from the Secret Lagoon and there is a voluntary entrance fee of 1000 ISK / person.
If you want to enjoy a real experience and take a bath in the hot spring in the middle of nowhere, Hrunalaug hot springs are the best option in the Golden Circle.
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