A geothermal region with boiling sulfuric mud springs and steam vents, Námaskarð is located at a short distance from huge volcanic mountain Krafla. Námaskarð, Hverarönd is an expanse of fumaroles, hot springs, mud pools, and mud pots. In this stunning arctic dessert, you will find boiling water and lands. Due to the hot surface, there is no vegetation found at Námaskarð geothermal area. The constant emission of acids has made the surface completely sterile and acidic. The presence of colorful minerals at this site provides an amazing panoramic view. Natural black rivers and boiling pools emitting steam and smoke lay in this colorful landscape are breathtaking. Everything at this acidic land is permeated with Sulphur, even the air, making the area quite distinct.
Attractions Near Mývatn
Námaskarð is a slender geothermal pass between Námafjall and Dalfjall mountains in North East Iceland. At the east of Námaskarð, you will witness Hverarönd that is also known as “The Geyser Strip,” where fumaroles and mud springs scatter the landscape in a mixture of colors. The largest mountain in the geothermal area is composed of rhyolite that adds extraordinary colors such as pink, green, bright yellow, gray, and blue to the terrain. You can get a glimpse of these vibrant colors on the ground, in the mud springs and hillsides. While exploring this acidic terrain, you must be cautious. Follow the instructions and signboard and walk on the dedicated path only. Though you will barely find pure water spring in this delightful geothermal site, the splendor of the colorful minerals confronts all comparison.
The Námaskarð area is also historical as volcanologists have gathered to this geothermal region for centuries. The nearby Krafla crater which is 10 kilometers in diameter has recorded 29 eruptions in history. It is home to the Viti crater and many other fissure vents that have devastated some farms in the region. Since 1977, there is a power station at the Krafla that has a capacity of 60MW.
If you are planning to explore this area in North Iceland, take a short hike to reach Leirhnjúkur lava fields that is one of the best places to appreciate the colossal geothermal power of North Iceland. Enjoy the amazing views of Lake Mývatn, Goðafoss Waterfall, Grjotagja Cave, Dimmuborgir lava fields and Dettifoss waterfall while exploring North Iceland
How to Get There
Located on the north side of Mývatn Lake, about 400 meters above sea level, Námaskarð can be accessed without any hassle. It is situated at a distance of around 493 kilometers from Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland and 105 kilometers from Akureyri. The distance of Námaskarð, Hverarönd from Egilsstaðir is about 160 kilometers.
If are starting from Reykjavik, drive towards clockwise on the Ring Road 1 and pass through Borgarfjörður, over the Holtavörðuheiði heath, through Borgarnes and Skagafjörður. Keep driving on Ring Road to cross the capital of North Iceland, Akureyri and Lake Mývatn. After driving for some time on the route, you will reach Námaskarð. Though drive takes more than 6 hours, you should make halts at the naturally protected attraction on the way to make the journey memorable.
Best Season to Visit Námaskarð
Námskarð is as beautiful in summer as it is in winter. In the months of winter, all the geothermal heat, and energy covering the area blends with the snow in the surrounding cold spots and mountains. In winters, you may find it difficult to reach there as the roads get covered with snow. You can visit this geothermal site easily in summer. If you are exploring North Iceland, you can plan to stay at hotels or guesthouses in Mývatn.