Explore the caves, craters, lava fields and curiously shaped rock formations at this volcanic wonderland in the north of Iceland.
Discover a lunar-like landscape of craters, geothermal caves, bubbling mud pools, sulphur springs and twisted rock formations when you explore the area around Lake Myvatn. This large body of fresh water was formed more than 2,000 years ago by a massive eruption, and the surroundings are still volcanically active.
Take the Hofai Lakeside Walk, stopping at viewing points to see lava formations submerged within the lake. Stroll through Leirhnjúkur, a smoke-billowing active lava field. Walk around the edge of the charred black Hverfjall Crater, which is located on the east side of the lake.
See the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir. They are so called, because they formed when lava flowed over wet ground, unlike a true crater which is created when lava explodes from a vent. Head over to the Dimmuborgir Lava Formations, a field of eerie-looking black lava stacks and caves. The café here sells fresh bread made in geothermal ovens.
The lake and its surrounding wetlands shelter a rich diversity of birdlife. Go bird spotting for numerous duck species, whooper swans and red-throated divers. A good place to spy on the lake’s birdlife is Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum. It provides birdwatchers with telescopes and access to bird hides located close to the wildlife. A remote camera displays live images of birds from one of the lake's islands.
After your day’s exertions, soothe tired limbs in a lagoon of geothermal water at Myvatn Nature Baths. Then unwind in the steam baths, which sit on top of a geothermal area, allowing steam to enter through holes in the floor. Nearby are the Grjótagjá and Stóragjá geothermal caves, which have been featured in the international TV hit Game of Thrones. There is also bathing here in the caves’ warm waters.
Although you can drive around the lake area's 14 square miles (37 square kilometers), reach some of the points of interest by bike. These can be rented from the lakeshore village of Reykjahlíð. Then consider stopping by other nearby natural wonders such as Goðafoss Waterfall and Dettifoss Waterfall, said to be Europe's most powerful cascade.