The Amazing Mývatn Area

Now this area in Iceland is my all time favourite and should not be missed while visiting the country. The Mývatn area is called Mývatnssveit, but we Icelanders always refer to it as going to Mývatn.

In Mývatn you can see bubbling mud pools by Mt. Nàmafjall and visit the area called Hell's kitchen.  Go for a hike in the mud pool area of Leirhnjúkur by the Krafla volcano. Walk by a crater filled with the most beautiful blue lake, called Víti or Hell. Walk on pseudo craters by Skútustaðagígar, see beautiful lava pillars by Lake Mývatn. Walk through amazing lava formations in Dimmuborgir - Dark Fortress, bathe in the geothermal lagoon referred to as the Blue lagoon of the North.

Visit the place where the lava flood stopped right by a church. Camp in a lava field, hike on Mt. Hverfjall and many, many more things, which I am going to show you in my the Amazing Mývatn Area in North-Iceland I-IV series.

Skútustaðir pseudo craters

Skútustaðir pseudo craters in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

As you enter the Mývatn area the first place of interest are the Skútustaðir pseudo craters. 

This natural phenomena is formed when lava flows over wet ground and pushes the ground down. This causes a lot of steam to be trapped under the weight of the lava which then causes a lot of pressure.  When the pressure becomes too much it causes steam explosions and the formation of these beautiful pseudo craters. These pseudo craters are often called rootless craters as they have no end to them as do normal craters.

Skútustaðir pseudo craters in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

It is possible to walk on the rim of the pseudo craters. The view from there of Lake Mývatn and the surrounding areas is very beautiful.


Lake Mývatn and the lava pillars

Lava pillars in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

Lake Mývatn is Iceland's 4th largest lake and was created in a basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago. There are so many wonderful lava formations in this area, including the lava pillars by and in Lake Mývatn.

The lake is 36,5 km2, the depth is 3-3,3 meters and there are ca 40 islands in Lake Mývatn. It is protected as a nature reserve. There is a very diverse waterbird-live here, including at least 15 species of ducks, and nowhere else on earth are there as many duck-species than in Mývatn. There is a very good bird-museum by Lake Mývatn, the Sigurgeir's Birds Museum, which I visited last summer and have added a special blog on.

Lava pillars in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

There is a lot of midge/blackfly at Mývatn, and the name of the lake literally means The Lake of the midge/blackfly. Because of the midge the fishing here is very good and Mývatn is filled with trouts and lake-char weighing up to 20 pounds. The farmers by Mývatn net thousands of trout in the summer time and fishing through ice is popular in winter time.

The very rare Moss balls can be found in Mývatn. The only other lake where Moss balls are common is in Lake Akan in Hokkaido Japan. 

Lava pillars in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

Kálfastrandavogar is the name of the place where the most beautiful lava pillars in Lake Mývatn, in my opinion, can be seen. There is a gravel road leading to Kálfastrandavogar and from there you can walk to see the lava pillars. But they can be seen up close from Höfði peninsula as well.

These are the lava pillars depicted on the postcards of Mývatn.

The amazing Mývatn Area in North-Iceland - Part I

Due to increasing traffic to the lava pillars in Kálfastrandavogar the area closest to the lava pillars has been fenced off.  It is still lovely visiting them, but one cannot peek through the holes in the pillars as I used to do when I was younger.

The amazing Mývatn Area in North-Iceland - Part I

I do understand that they have to be fenced off as too much traffic could ruin this landmark of Mývatn.  Better to be safe and sorry here and keep this wonderful pearl of nature for the future generations to enjoy.

Höfði peninsula

Höfði peninsula in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

Höfði is a beautiful peninsula in the Mývatn area. You can enter a gate at the parking lot and walk to the top of Höfði and have a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Mývatn and the surrounding areas. It is so beautiful up there, I do recommend stopping there.

The Höfði peninsula used to be barren until the proprietor of the peninsula and his wife started planting thousands of trees and plants during their summer holidays. They carried out this work for decades. After the husband died the wife donated Höfði to the county. Thanks to these hard working people Höfði is now open to public and we get to visit this beautiful green peninsula with a lot of vegetation, flowers and extraordinary views.

Höfði peninsula in the lake Mývatn area

There are paths around the peninsula and from the furthest point of Höfði you will see the most beautiful lava pillars in Mývatn - the lava pillars of Kálfastrandavogar. 

There is a private house on Höfði and such beautiful gardens here. 

There are several guided tours to Mývatn, f.ex. Around Iceland - Akureyri, Mývatn & JökulsárlónMývatn Super Jeep tour, Myvatn Sightseeing and Hot Springs Tour from AkureyriMyvatn Sight Seeing Tour and Hot Springs with FlightNorthern Lights Holiday by Lake Myvatn | 5 Day Trip and Mývatn is included in the ​7 Day Self Drive Tour | North Iceland & Mývatn.

To get to Mývatn you can rent a car in Reykjavík and drive up here in a day or two.