Mývatn Lake – Shallow Volcanic Lake in North Iceland


Basic Information

Created by the basaltic lava eruption thousands of years ago, the lake Mývatn is one of the natural beauties of northern Iceland. This shallow lake is one of the fourth largest water bodies of Iceland that makes it unique and magnificent. Spread across an area of 36.5 square kilometers, it draws attention from tourists throughout the year. The Mývatn Lake and surrounding wetlands are home to many water birds especially ducks. Lava pillars, rootless vents, and the volcanic land forms around this majestic lake provide an amazing view. Visiting this place not only provides you with the view of this large lake, but also many geological features. The flora and fauna of this place will leave you mesmerized.

Unlike other regions of Iceland, the lake does not have glaciers and mountains around it. If you are fed up to go high on the mountains and want to feel the deepness of nature, Mývatn is an ideal place for you.

Skutustadagigar in Lake Myvatn North Iceland

Attractions Near Mývatn

Myvatn are is known for endless of attractions and activities. The variety in the landscpae in this part of Iceland is magnificent. Here you can find volcanic craters, geothermal areas, hot springs and everything in between. 


The Dimmuborgir lava formations are one of the most popular attractions in the Lake Myvatn area. The lava formations are made of volcanic caves and rock formations. It has a collapsed lava tube that was shaped after an old lava lake. 


Take a bath in Myvatn Nature Baths, the naturally heated water is full of minerals that is good for your skin. The volcanic eruptions at this place lead to hot water which is full of nutrients and minerals. You can plan for a day tour of the complete diamond circle to view all these beautiful attractions.


Grjótagjá hot spring is another popular tourist attraction and became world famous after one of the most best known shot from Game of Thrones took place in the hot spring cave. 

Don’t forget to visit Hveravellir geothermal area, Hverfjall Mountain and Skútustaðagígar Craters. 

Diamond Circle

You can find many natural attractions with a short drive from Lake Myvatn. They are all part of the popular Diamond Circle. The Ásbyrgi canyon, a lush green deep forest that is 3.5 km long and more than 1 km wide is located on the Diamond Circle road. It is divided by the 25 meters high rock that provides a spectacular view. On the diamond circle road, you will cross Dettifoss waterfall, Goðafoss waterfall, and Hljóðaklettar rocks.

The Húsavík town is also a part of the Diamond Circle is a picturesque and colorful place where you can capture the beauty in your camera. Húsavík is known for its whale-watching site so you can witness the whales by taking a boat. On the right side of this town, you will witness the beautiful views of the bay of Skjálfandi.

Lake Myvatn in north Iceland

How to Reach There

Reykjahlíð is the only town found in the Mývatn lake area. At Reykjahlíð, you will find basic amenities like a gas station, supermarket and other services so you can stay at this place according to your plan. Since, the Mývatn is located at a distance of over 450 kilometers from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, reaching this place from Reykjavik will take around 6 hours. Drive on the Ring Road route number 1 to the north and you will reach your destination under 6 hours. We recommend that you make it a multi day trip and make halts at the beautiful attractions on the way including Glymur waterfall, Snaefellsness Peninsula and Akureyri

For a long trip, you can book hotels and guesthouses located around this area. If you want to make your travel adventurous, try staying at campsites and cottages. Since the Mývatn area is sparsely populated, you will not find many grocery shops here. You can travel to the town Húsavík, Reykjahlíð or Akureyri to buy groceries or you can book the food from hotels.

Though, it is good to visit the place during any season of the year, visiting in the winter season will give you a different experience when taking a dip in the hot water. Bring the clothes according to the season and a pair of hiking shoes if you want to go adventurous.

Map of Lake Myvatn

Interesting locations in the area

Hotels & Restaurants

More Nearby Locations

Þjófafoss waterfalls in Iceland

Þjófafoss – A Milky White Small Waterfall On Þjórsá

Rjúkandi waterfall in East Iceland

Rjúkandi Waterfall in the Valley of Jökuldalur

Laufás Turf Houses in north Iceland

Laufás Turf Houses | Exploring the Stunning Turf Houses in North Iceland

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