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).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Reykjanesfólkvangur Reserve attractions

1. Seltún

2.97 MILES

The volatile geothermal field Austurengjar, about 2km south of Kleifarvatn, is often called Krýsuvík after the nearby abandoned farm. At Seltún, the main…

2. Grænavatn

3.62 MILES

Just to the north of the Seltún hot springs, this lake is an old explosion crater filled with gorgeous teal water, caused by a combination of minerals and…

5. Sívertsen Húsið

9.76 MILES

In the 19th-century, merchant Bjarni Sívertsen lived in this beautiful home. He was the most important man in Hafnarfjörður and the house is decked out…

6. Bookless Bungalow

9.78 MILES

No, not a house without books, but the former home of Harry and Douglas Bookless, Scottish brothers who ran a fisheries operation here in the early 1900s…

7. Beggubúð

9.78 MILES

Built in 1906, Beggubúð was a household goods shop on the town's main street. It moved to its current site in 2008 and is laid out as it was in the early…

8. Siggubær

9.82 MILES

With its tiny rooms, tin walls and everyday items dotted around (sewing baskets, armchairs), Siggubær provides an insight into life for a fisher's family…