Introducing Mývatn Region
Undisputed gem of the northeast, Lake Mývatn (mee-vawt) and the surrounding area are starkly beautiful, an otherworldly landscape of spluttering mudpots, weird lava formations, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters. The Mývatn basin sits squarely on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the violent geological character of the area has produced an astonishing landscape unlike anywhere else in the country; this is the Iceland you’ve always imagined.
The lake is encircled by a 36km sealed road (Rtes 1 and 848), with the main settlement of Reykjahlíð on the northeast corner. A handy information centre is located here, as are several sleeping options for every budget.
Most of the points of interest are linked by the lake’s looping road, including the diverse lava formation in eastern Mývatn, the cluster of pseudocraters near southern Mývatn, and the bird-friendly marsh plains around western Mývatn.
In northern Mývatn, the Ring Road (Rte 1) veers east, away from Reykjahlíð, and takes you over the Námaskarð pass to the Hverir geothermal area. Then, a turn-off to the north (Rte 863) leads to Krafla, 14km from Reykjahlíð.
With your own vehicle this whole area can be explored in one day, but if you’re using the bus or a bicycle allow two days. If you want to hike and explore more distant mountains and lava fields, allow at least three.