Kleifarvatn

Lake in Reykjanesfólkvangur Reserve

This deep, brooding lake sits in a volcanic fissure, surrounded by wind-warped lava cliffs and black-sand shores. A walking trail runs around the edge, offering dramatic views and the crunch of volcanic cinders underfoot. Legend has it that a wormlike monster the size of a whale lurks below the surface – but the poor creature is running out of room, as the lake has been shrinking ever since two major earthquakes shook the area in 2000.

For a macabre fictional book on this event, seek out Arnaldur Indríðason’s thriller The Draining Lake (2004).