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About Mývatn

Get the inside scoop on Mývatn from local experts, travel creators, and tastemakers. Browse genuine trip notes, Mývatn reviews, photos, travel guides, and itineraries from real travelers and plan your trip with confidence.

What people say

"Lake Mývatn is a beautiful and geologically rich lake located in the northern part of Iceland. It is one of the country's most popular destinations due to its stunning landscapes, unique geological features, and abundant birdlife. With an area of about 36.5 square kilometers (14.1 square miles), Lake Mývatn is renowned for its diverse and otherworldly scenery. The area around the lake was formed by volcanic activity, resulting in an extraordinary landscape of craters, lava fields, and volcanic cones. One of the highlights of Lake Mývatn is the presence of pseudocraters. These unique formations are created when hot lava flows over waterlogged ground, causing steam explosions that form symmetrical craters. Visitors can explore these fascinating structures, which provide an insight into Iceland's volcanic history. The lake is also surrounded by geothermal areas, including the Námaskarð geothermal site. Here, visitors can witness boiling mud pools, steaming fumaroles, and colorful mineral deposits. The area's stark and desolate appearance has earned it the nickname "Hellscape" due to its resemblance to a scene from another world. Lake Mývatn is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 115 bird species recorded in the area. It serves as an important breeding ground and stopover site for migratory birds, including ducks, swans, and various wading birds. During the summer months, the lake teems with life, and birdwatchers can observe these winged creatures in their natural habitat. In addition to its natural wonders, Lake Mývatn offers various recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails that provide panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. Boat tours are also available, offering a unique perspective of the lake's geological features and birdlife. Nearby attractions include the Dimmuborgir lava formations, which consist of dramatic volcanic rock formations resembling an ancient citadel. The area is known for its intriguing lava pillars and caves, providing a mystical and eerie atmosphere. Visiting Lake Mývatn is a chance to immerse oneself in Iceland's natural wonders and witness the captivating interplay between volcanic activity, geological formations, and diverse ecosystems. Its unique landscapes and abundant birdlife make it an enchanting destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking to explore the extraordinary beauty of Iceland's northern region."
"If you've been racing around Iceland's Ring Road or Diamond Circle, it's time to slow down. There's a lot to see and do in Mývatn. The Lake of Midges was unfortunately named thanks to the abundance of flies that invade the lake and its surrounding wetlands during the summer. Don't let them deter you. The shallow lake (the average depth is only about eight feet) and more than fifty islets were created by a volcanic eruption. Volcanic craters, rootless cones, and lava pillars now border the water. All of this, plus the river that flows from it (the Laxá), are now a protected nature reserve. Its nutrient-rich water makes it a good home for waterbirds, especially ducks (at least fifteen species live here). While the incredibly active geothermal area has created lots of hot springs and geothermal vents. Plan a few days to hike up volcanoes, through lava fields, and around mud caldrons and fumaroles. Helicopter, horseback, Jeep, and snowmobile tours are available. You'll also want plenty of time to soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths (think the Blue Lagoon with a smaller crowd) and search for the northern lights (in the winter, of course)."
"Mývatn is a shallow lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, near Krafla volcano. It's the fourth largest lake in the country and is known for its unique beauty and diverse wildlife. "Mývatn" itself translates to "Midge Lake," and midges are probably the first things you'll notice if you travel there in summer. But don't let these tiny insects deter you! The abundance of midges is actually what makes the lake such a haven for birdlife, particularly ducks. Here's a closer look at what makes Mývatn so special:"

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