Laugarvatn, a hot place

Between Þingvellir and Geysir there is a small lake, Laugarvatn, the 65th largest in the country, 2.1 km² in size. The lake is rather shallow, the greatest depth is about 2 meters. By the lake there is a village with the same name, which has been built up around the schools, first the District School (Héraðsskólinn) and then the Sports Teachers School and Menntaskólinn (highschool) by Laugarvatn, which served students from all over the South, it was founded 70 years ago, in 1953. The District School was founded 95 years ago, in 1928 in a house designed by Guðjón Samúelsson that was designated for preservation in 2003. The sports teacher training was at Laugarvatn from 1932 until 2016, when the training was moved to Reykjavík.

Since Laugarvatn lies in the middle of the popular route, there is a lot of service for tourists on site, hotels, restaurants, camping grounds and two pools. In a village with 247 people, who belong to Bláskógabyggð. A municipality that stretches from Þingvellir to Laugardalur and up to Biskupstungur with Gullfoss and Geysir and then up to the middle of Kjölur. The total population of the municipality is 1,280, which has increased by 10% since last year. From Reykjavík, it’s a one hour drive east to Laugarvatn.

The old District School (Héraðsskólinn) built in 1928, is now operating as a hotel

There is a lot of geothermal heat by the edges of Laugarvatn, it’s popular for travellers to gather there and see the water boil

Taking a swim by the piers at Laugarvatn Fontana

It could not get any more Icelandic than this, from the camping site in the village of Laugarvatn

Peace and quiet at the camping site

Looking over Laugarvatn, from the popular bathing spot Laugarvatn Fontana

The swimming pool at Laugarvatn

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Laugarvatn 19/07/2023 : A7R IV : FE 1.2/50mm GM