Mývatn

  • Falcons at Lake Mývatn
  • Mývatn

Mývatn is a lake in the northeast part of Iceland and one of the largest lakes in the country approximately 36 square kilometers. The lake is not deep, and the deepest part is only four and a half meter.  It is and has been for a long time, one of the main tourist attractions in the country renowned for its beautiful small islands, exceptional shore, exceptional flora, and abundant birdlife. The area has a dreamlike and mysterious quality and was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago. Dominating the surrounding landscape are volcanic landforms, like lava pillars and pseudo-craters, Dimmuborgir lava being the best known.

Like many places in Iceland an active volcano is a neighbor

The area surrounding the lake lies on the western border of the volcanic zone cutting across Northeast Iceland and is an extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is still active; indeed the Krafla volcano is located in the neighborhood.  A volcano that was very active only a few decades ago when series of eruptions created some serious concerns in a nine-year period between 1975 to 1984.  Many of the islands on the lake have one or more craters.  And most of the mountains in the lake's vicinity were formed by eruptions under ice during the Ice Age glacial period.  Like many similar places in Iceland, it is a geological wonderland with fascinating stories to those who can read the landscape.

Birdwatchers paradise

Lake Mývatn and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds. Indeed, it is a birdwatcher's paradise. Apart from thirteen types of ducks, you will find the Slavonian grebe, red-necked phalarope, great northern diver, red-throated diver and the whooper swan.  Occasionally it is possible to see the gyrfalcon, the Icelandic Falcon.  The locals around Lake Mývatn have a long tradition of harvesting duck eggs for domestic use. To ensure sustainability, the collection follows strict age-old rules of leaving at least four eggs in each nest for the duck to incubate.

Residents very protective of nature

Maybe one of the most amazing aspects of the Lake Mývatn area is how mindful the locals have always been of its delicate beauty.  It is not the easiest places to cultivate and live on as the altitude is almost 300 meters. Their respect is apparent everywhere you go and inhabitants have fought serious battles to protect their nature, even blowing up dams with dynamite, which is almost unheard of in peaceful little Iceland.

A wonderful place to have as a center for activities in the north east

Myvatn is one of the fascinating places to stay if you want to explore the north east and all its magnificent natural wonders.  You can visit waterfalls like Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and Aldeyjarfoss or the hot spring area at Námaskarð or go whale watching in Húsavík  It is also a good choice if you want to take day tours into the mysterious highland and visit Askja and Herðubreið.  The area offers good campgrounds and good accommodation with fine restaurants and many exciting activities.  It is a good place to stop when on a family vacation and explore the nearby natural wonders and take some excellent hiking tours. 

Tours and things to do in the North Region in Iceland

Find an interesting tour in the North Region. A tour from Akureyri or Húsavík to Jökulsárgljúfur. A whale watching tour, a tour to the highland and much more.

River Rafting in Iceland

A rafting tour on a whitewater glacial river floating through a canyon is probably something you can not experience in many places.  Floating in a raft on the strong stream through a magnificent landscape is likely to be once in a lifetime experience for most people. This trip is ideal for those who want to enjoy some adventure but still have a relaxing trip and inhale some breathtaking scenery and landscape as part of the river is quite calm.  For family rafting, the West Glacial River is the best and is classed 2-3. 

River Rafting in Bakkaflöt in the Northern Region

Whale Watching in Húsavík

At Húsavík town in the Northern Region, you are in the whale watching capital of Iceland and possibly the world. This whale watching tour is unique as you take the tour on a traditional Icelandic sailing boat. It is an experience quite unlike any other taking the course under sails aiming to see the magnificent animals of the ocean. It is a combination of adventure and anticipation. 

Whale Watching in Húsavík

Húsavík in the Northern Region is the whale watching capital of Iceland and possibly the world.  North Sailing has operated their tours for more than two decades and is the most experienced whale watching company in Iceland.  It was our first choice when looking for a partner to offer a whale watching tour on Hit Iceland.