Lake Mývatn (What To See - North East)

Lake Mývatn (What To See - North East)
Lake Mývatn or the „Lake of Midges“ as it translates and its surrounding area offer some of the most spectacular and scenic attractions in Iceland. In summer there is abundance of Midges around the lake area.. They are not mosquitos but there are two types of Midges, one that bites humans and animals and another that does not bite. The flies can be annoying, especially when there are large swarms of them but the flies are important for the eco system at Lake Mývatn and are an important food source for birds and trout in the lake. Head nets are available in supermarkets and gas station in the Mývatn area and are an ideal midge protection for travelers. The Lake Mývatn area is a volcanic area with diverse geological formations, mud pools, volcanoes, lush vegetation, and mysterious lava formations. Lake Mývatn is the fourth largest lake in Iceland located in the north of the island. The lake is known for its exceptional beauty, especially in summer when the vegetation is blooming and young ducklings can be spotted taking a swim in the lake. The Lake is a great place to go bird watching due to its many bird species that nest there in spring and summer. The lake is rather shallow and the northern part is less than two meters deep. There are numerous small islands and skerries in the lake.

The Lake´s Surroundings

There are many interesting sites around the lake and to mention only a few Dimmuborgir, Skútustađagígar pseudo craters, Mývatn Nature Baths, Grjótagjá hot spring cave, Hverfell explosion crater and Námaskarđ, which is a high temperature geothermal area, located at the foot of the mountain Námafjall close to the lake. At Námaskarđ the air has a strong smell of sulfur. The strong smell may be unpleasant but is considered harmless. While exploring the geothermalk area, visitors are warned of the boiling hot water in the springs and are advised to keep to the marked paths, in order not to accidentally step into boiling hot water or mud. East of Lake Mývatn is the 300 years old Lofthellir Cave, renowned for its spectacular icicles. It is about 370 metrers long and the temperature inside the cave stays at around freezing point all year round. In order to enter the cave, one needs to crawl through the narrow opening so a visit to the cave can be challenging.


Situated on the north side of the lake is Reykjahlíđ, a small hamlet where you will find a camping site, grocery store, gas station and a swimming pool. Along the shores of Lake Mývatn you will find some cafés, restaurants and accommodation. For anyone traveling in north Iceland, Lake Mývatn area has so much to offer and is therefore a must. Lake Mývatn and the many attractions around it are a part of the so called Diamond Circle with all major attractions of north-east Iceland.

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