Tucked away in northeast Iceland is Lake Mývatn, a popular destination among tourists and locals alike. The volcanic lake, with hues of turquoise and azure, is part of Iceland’s Diamond Circle route. While many visitors make their way along the south shore on their trip to Iceland, those who take a full trip around Iceland’s Ring Road are in for a special treat. This geothermal area is one of the must-see stops on any Iceland road trip. So what is there to do and what makes it so special? Let’s find out.

Colorful turquoise waters of Lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland

What is Lake Mývatn?

This stunning body of water is the fourth largest lake in Iceland. It’s not very deep (2.5m or 8.2 ft on average) and this allows for its sapphire color to shine through, much like the shades and tones found in Caribbean waters. The majority of people who come to visit this lake use Reykjahlíð village as the base for their explorations. This stop-off is located on the northeastern shore and has an information center for would-be travelers. While it is a small town, you do have some basic amenities such as a gas station for filling up your tank, a small supermarket, a bank, and a hotel. Assuming the weather is good, Reykjavik is around six to seven hours by car. For this reason, we recommend finding accommodation in Lake Mývatn and staying in the area for a few days. This territory is part of the Krafla volcanic system, so take full advantage by visiting the Askja volcanic lake and the Viti crater during your holidays in Iceland. 

Askja caldera and Viti crater lake are close to Lake Mývatn

The Lake Mývatn Nature Baths

About a five-minute drive east of Reykjahlíð are the Mývatn Nature Baths. Much like the Blue Lagoon south of Reykjavik, this lagoon is naturally heated and man-made. The baths also feature mineral-filled waters with many health benefits. This is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that this is such a popular destination among people coming to Iceland on vacation. Nothing is more relaxing than a steamy soak in the healing natural waters of a hot spring.

Natural Attractions and Things To Do at Lake Mývatn

Another cool area close to Lake Mývatn is the Námafjall Geothermal Area. This zone also goes by the name of Hverir. The colorful cauldrons of bubbling mud pools, hissing steam vents and fumaroles spewing sulfur look like something out of an alien landscape. Laying at the foot of Námafjall mountain, this volcanic wasteland is completely surreal. One of the first things you notice about colorful and changing terrain is the complete lack of vegetation. You’ll feel as though you’ve landed on Mars when exploring Hverir.

The Mars-like landscapes of Hverir geothermal area near Lake Mývatn

A Haven For Nature Lovers

The surrounding area is a nature reserve, which means there is plenty of flora and fauna. The biodiversity found here makes it an ideal destination for those who love the great outdoors. There are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and for hiking lovers. In addition to the birdlife, there are also fish and other aquatic species in the lake.  

A Visit to Lake Mývatn Geothermal Area

Not only is it an extremely popular destination for its biodiversity, it also has those natural wonders that Iceland is famous for. Careening waterfalls, stunning lake vistas, and an active geothermal area will surely make Lake Mývatn a favorite stop on your trip to northern Iceland.

4 COMMENTS

    • Hi Linda, yes it’s possible. The Lake Mývatn geothermal area is located just off Route 1 (the Ring Road), which means you can explore it in a regular car. You’ll only need a 4×4 vehicle when traveling on mountain roads (f-roads). Have an amazing trip!

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