Monday, January 16, 2017

Laugarvatn: Fontana Spa in Iceland

Laugarvatn Fontana Spa in Iceland

One experience to never miss in Iceland is an opportunity for pampering and relaxation at one of the country's geothermal spas. The Blue Lagoon is the logical choice for many travelers due to close proximity to the airport making it ideal for layovers. Additionally, it is serviced by many tours. However, I recommend venturing to other geothermal spas in more low key locations to truly unwind and relax with smaller crowds.
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa is close to Thingvellir in Iceland
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa is close to Thingvellir
We spent an afternoon at Laugarvatn Fontana Spa and left feeling totally at peace. The spa is not too far from Thingvellir, a very popular tourist destination striking geology and the site of the country's first parliament in the year 930. So, a day could combine hiking at Thingvellir in the morning and relaxation at the spa in the afternoon.
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa sits on the beautiful Lake Laugarvartn in Iceland.
Fontana Spa sits on beautiful Lake Laugarvartn.
The spa itself is surrounded by an incredible landscape. Since the bath is outside, you soak up some of the surrounding scenery while resting weary vacation legs! The spa is smaller than what you find at the Blue Lagoon but I personally found it to be cleaner with less of the inherent rush that comes with crowds. Do note that when you visit a spa in Iceland, you are expected to wash yourself before entering the spa. You do shower naked and then put on your suit after. For those that may be timid, no one is looking and chances are at a spa like Fontana, you may be able to sneak in on your own.

Therapeutic mineral waters in Fontana's geothermal baths providing healing in Iceland.
Mineral waters in Fontana's geothermal baths are therapeutic and relaxing.
The spa at Fontana is a natural geothermal spa with several baths of different temperatures. While relaxing in the baths, we admired lovely Lake Laugarvatn. The waters are mineral-rich, therapeutic and relaxing. The surroundings, calming bath and the novelty of being outside in 50 degree weather while in a pool made such a special moment. After a dip, we savored some more relaxation in the saunas. Ahhhhhhh........

Places for contemplation at Laugarvatn Fontana Spa in Iceland.
Places for contemplation.
Fontana also features tranquil areas for relaxation and a nice cafe. Iceland has some of the best bread we have ever had -- rye baked with hot black sand. At Fontana, you can actually experience the bread right from their own bakery. You can book an experience at the Fontana bakery.

Our afternoon at Fontana was both relaxing and magical. Iceland's spas truly provide a memorable experience and much needed balance in a vacation that includes hiking to explore nature's wonders!

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Adding Local Flavor to Your Vacation

Adding Local Flavor to Your Vacation

When I travel, I like to absorb the local surroundings as much as possible. Sometimes this requires a bit of pre-planning. Often, you can also find some true gems on the fly. Supporting the local businesses and treasures adds a richness to your experience while helping the local communities you enjoy so much! Here are a few ways I have learned to capture the essence of my destination to take a little piece back with me:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Weekend Windup {Trains, Ice Carving, Owls & More}

close up of owl face

Great weekend full of events ahead! Please be aware if there is no snow on the ground, there will not be snowshoeing or other snow activities. Here are my picks this weekend:

Jolane's in Glenview Serves Up Delicious Home Cooking

Jolane's restaurant in Glenview, IL

Jolane's in Glenview is a great location for a family, home-cooked meal. We have celebrated a few family occasions there and find it to be a comfortable location if we want a meal with all the trimmings but not make it at home!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

10 Chicago Area January Events for Families

Bald eagle in winter.

January can be tough here in Illinois so I have gathered a few events to keep you busy! Here are some adventures for the next few weekends:


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Travel & Adventure Show Comes to Chicago January 21-22

The Chicago Travel and Adventure Show will bring travel experts and the flavors of distant lands to Chicago.
Image courtesy of Travel & Adventure Show
Dreaming of a new adventure but can't escape Chicago any time soon? January's Travel & Adventure show will bring the travel to us! The two day event will feature seminars given by travel experts, exhibits from travel destination representatives, hands-on activities, cultural performances and travel-flavored cooking demos. Plus, there are prizes! Who can forget prizes?


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Weekend Windup: {Fitness, Critters and Trains}

Here are some fun local weekend activities for this weekend! In the winter, please always be sure to check if outdoor events are running if it is very, very cold.