Mývatn is the calm, shallow lake at the heart of a volatile volcanic area. Nature’s violent masterpieces are everywhere crazy-coloured mud pots, huge craters, and still-smouldering eruption debris. Once you’ve had your fill of all the explosive horror, mellow out with cycle rides, bird-watching (geese, Arctic terns, golden plovers, ducks and swans can be seen) and with a bathe in the north’s version of the Blue Lagoon.
Reykjahlíð (population 208), at the northern end of the lake, is more an assortment of accommodation than a true town, but it makes the best base (Skútustaðir, at the southern end, also has summer facilities). The tourist office (464 4390; 9am-9pm Jun-Aug) is in Reykjahlíð, on the main road next to the supermarket. At the time of research, low season hours weren’t determined due to the office being newly opened.
The down side to Mývatn (Midge Lake) are the dense midge clouds that appear in summer: on the bright side, they don’t bite! Also, if hiking, keep a look out for deep fissures, especially if you are travelling with children.
Last updated: Oct 21, 2008
Tips & articles
30 January 2011
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