The Magnificent Valleys

The greater Mývatn area has some of the most beautiful sights in Iceland and the location is perfect to scout the north from. Have a look at some of the valleys in our area, so close to each other yet so different!

Fnjóskadalur valley

is the home to Vaglaskógur forest, the country's largest birch forest and a popular destination for Icelanders. It is one of the most beautiful forests in Iceland. Due to strategic conservation for over a century, the birch trees in Vaglaskógur forest have distinctive characteristics. The trunk is light in color, and the trees grow straighter and taller than most other birch species in Iceland. 

It's a good place for picking berries and mushrooms and the forest has many great walking trails. Birds that can be found at Vaglaskógur include redwings, wrens, common snipes, ptarmigans, common redpolls and goldcrests. There are excellent campsites in the area and there is a swimming pool and sauna at Illugastaðir (11 km away), along with a children‘s playground and a minigolf course.

Fjóskadalur valley is green and fertile with the Fjónská river running through. It is a narrow valley, thus sheltered from most wind directions. The Fnjóská river is reputed to be one of the most beautiful fishing rivers in Iceland. At the northern perimeter of the river (in Vaglaskógur forest), you will find a stone arched bridge. Built in 1908, it was the first of its kind in Iceland. Quite ambitiously, it was the longest stone arch bridge in Scandinavia at the time, 55 meters long. It is still used as a footbridge and a must to walk over it if you are in the area!

The best way to visit Fnjóskadalur is on a relaxed self drive tour. It is about 15 km from Akureyri and 60 km from lake Mývatn.

Flateyjardalur valley

is truly the place to experience the beautiful pristine wilderness of Iceland. It is the hiker's paradise and a great berry land.

Flateyjardalur is a deserted valley on the Flateyjarskagi peninsula. It stretches north from Fnjóskadalur valley, all the way to Skjálfandi bay. Flateyjardalur is named after the island of Flatey, which lies just off the shore. It is so remote and out of the way that it’s hard imagining to live there. Still, it was inhabited until 1953. There are three concrete houses, built in the late 1920s, which today are only inhabited seasonally, during summer. The valley bottom is flat and fertile and extremely colourful and beautiful during summer.

Due to extreme winters and heavy snow, Flateyjardalur valley is only accessible for a short time during summer and only by 4WD. Phone reception in the valley is little and unstable. 

Bárðardalur valley

Want to have the perfect day scouting waterfalls? Then we recommend Bárðardalur valley - the home to some of the most magnificent waterfalls in Iceland. It is narrow and shallow and one of the longest inhabited valleys in the country, about 45 km long. 

The glacier river Skjálf­anda­fljót flows through Bárðardalur. It's the 4th longest river in Iceland, 180 km long and very powerful. Goðafoss waterfall is at the north end of the valley by road nr 1. At the south end of Bárðardalur valley we have Aldeyjarfoss waterfall and Hrafnabjargafoss waterfall. You won't believe the beauty!

There are roads on each side of Skjálfandafljót and in the inner part of the valley a bridge so you can take a round trip! But to get all the way up to Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss waterfalls you need to stay on the vest side of the river. Bárðardalur is also a gateway to the highlands but be sure to have the right car for the trip and to check the road conditions before driving up to Sprengisandur. (Highland Driving - Safetravel)The best way to visit Bárðardalur is on a relaxed self drive tour. It starts at road nr 1, by Goðafoss, about 34 km from Akureyri and 45 km from lake Mývatn. 

Aðaldalur valley

is a broad lowland area at the head of Skjálf­anda­flói gulf. It lies largely on the Aðaldalshraun lava field, which comes from the Lake Mývatn area. Widespread birch bushes and strangely beautiful lava formations are characteristic of the valley. Farms are along the edge of the lava and belts of sand along the coast. 

We recommend a visit to Grenjaðarstaður. It is the site of a church and also one of the most famous turf farms in Iceland. It was home to the chieftains of the past, and it is an enlightening experience to visit the farm and become acquainted with the lives of Iceland's rich and famous in days gone by.

Laxá River is one of the best known and most popular fishing rivers in Iceland. 

Considered the fairest of rivers with its many grassy or wooded islands, deep pools and swift currents. It comes from Lake Mývatn and runs through Laxárdalur valley and Aðaldalur valley.

Laxárvirkjun is a hydro–electric station at the foot of Laxárgljúfur gorge. It was first built in 1939 but extended twice since. The gorge is deep and in places wild, with the waterfalls Brúarfossar (sometimes called Laxár­fossar) at the lower end. An interesting place and the surrounding is beautiful.

There are many accommodations in the area and it's a good location to scout north Iceland from, located between Lake Myvatn and Húsavík - the whale watching capital of Iceland. 

Laxárdalur valley

It is difficult to put the beauty of Laxárdalur valley into words, those who go there will understand. The valley is shallow and lies between low heathlands. Lava covers the valley floor and the slopes are so green that rocks and cliffs are a rare phenomenon. Laxá river is mesmerizing as it runs through the lava. Go and sit down in the pristine nature, relax and be present in the moment.

Reykjadalur valley

Laugar in Reykjadalur valley is a community which has sprung up around the geothermal activity which is a characteristic of the area. The village is home to the Laugar in Reykjadalur secondary school, besides being the administrative and service centre for Þingeyjarsveit District with, for example a bank, a shop and a restaurant. During the summer months, visitors can find accommodation at the summer hotel and campsite, or with one of the other service providers in the surrounding area. 

Laugar has an excellent swimming pool surrounded by pristine hillsides, the pool at Laugar is 25 meters long with a temperature around 30°C. There are two spacious hot tubs, one at 40°C and another around 37°C. There is also a kids' wading area and a fitness center. It is a quiet and peaceful area with a beautiful view south the valley. A dip in the pool is the perfect way to start the day like a real icelandair.