Lake Mývatn Wilderness
The water in Lake Myvatn has a particularly high level of biological activity due to the very high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients. This has promoted an abundance of plants and algae, with the plants and algae doing battle to see which can become dominant!
This is an important bird protection area and many species of duck and other water birds can be seen here. One of the rarest and sought-after sightings would be of Flórgoði or e. Horned Grebe which during spring carry their babies on their backs around the lake.
Myvatn, in its current form, was created about 2000 years ago when a series of volcanic craters erupted in Þrenglaborgir and Ludentsborgir at a range of 12 km (7,4 mi). The lava field that came up during this eruption was named Laxárhraun yngra or Salmon-River-Lava-Field The Younger.
The lava field is about 220 sq km and is the biggest lava field from the beginning of the Mývatn county. Laxárhraun yngra forms the bottom of Lake Myvatn and stretches all the way down the valleys Laxárdalur and Aðaldalur, and down to the ocean at Skjálfandi.
Fun Fact: Lake Myvatn is the 4th largest lake in Iceland about 39 sq km but only about 4 meters (13 ft) deep at its deepest level.
Where is Lake Myvatn located?
Lake Myvatn is located in North Iceland, 90 km (55 mi) from Akureyri, 175 km (108,7 mi) away from Egilsstaðir and 475.2 km (295 mi) from Reykjavík. It is easy to find, right off the famous Ring Road 1 – its blue water and incredible nature scapes are hard to miss.
GPS coordinates of Myvatn: 65.6039° N, 16.9961° W
How to get to Lake Myvatn
There are a few ways of going about visiting Lake Mývatn. There are dozens of wonderful tours, there is always the option of taking a road trip and there are flights available to nearby airports such as the one at Akureyri or at Húsavík or you can catch a public bus to Reykjahlíð.
Driving from Reykjavík to Lake Mývatn will take about 6 hours and will take you past some of the most charming sights and attractions Iceland has to offer.
Sights include: Borgarfjörður, the seal watching at Húnaflói, Glaumbær Turf farm and Museums, the lovely Skagafjörður, Akureyri, and Goðafoss waterfall. Note: We don’t recommend doing the drive in one day, there is just far too much to be seen!
Driving from Akureyri to Lake Mývatn shouldn’t take more than 1 hour 15 minutes and is a scenic drive to take, going further along Eyjafjörður and into the fertile Fnjóskadalur valley, past Lake Ljósavatn, Laugar village and Lake Másvatn.
Driving from Egilsstaðir to Lake Mývatn should take a little over 2 hours. It is a lovely drive through stellar landscapes and past historical sites, over the famous lake Lagarfljót and past Námskarð, Námafjall and Hverir area, the active Krafla Caldera and its power plant.
Things to do at Lake Myvatn
Dip into the Mývatn Nature Baths
A visit to Myvatn Nature Baths is a very special experience! Bathing out in nature is supremely relaxing and magical. Each season offers a different experience to visitors, sparkling frosts, snow and the northern lights in the winter, a temperate climate and the midnight sun in the summer.
The bathing lagoon is filled with water from a borehole in Bjarnarflag. This water is alkaline and it is enriched with many minerals, its composition makes chlorine or other chemicals unnecessary.
The trace elements in the water often help skin problems. Two steam baths have been built directly over the top of a geothermal area. Sulfur and odor-free steam simply rise up through the vents in the floor, usually with temperature is around 50 C.
The changing rooms at Mývatn Nature Baths can accommodate up to 300 guests at a time and you can safely store your belongings the lockers provided with an entrance ticket. Valuables are though asked to be left in the reception with staff members.
The parking lot at Mývatn Nature baths is free for visitors and is quite large for a location such far North.
There is a restaurant with panoramic views offering drinks, meals and a wide range of tempting treats. Lake Mývatn deserves a place on your bucket list!