Author: Sarah Thacker
Myvatn Lake was my favourite area we visited in Iceland, and it was the day I was most looking forward to before we even arrived in Iceland! By far I had the most fun visiting the geothermal area Hverir - read on (and check out the photos) to see why!
We left Akureyri following Route 1 east towards Godafoss. Godafoss is touted as one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, and I have to say that even though I had seen my fill of waterfalls by the end of the this trip, I did think Godafoss was beautiful. My favourite part about this waterfall was that you could hop, skip, jump over little streams and onto boulders to get quite close to the edge of the falls. This was a great place to take photos! This waterfall is definitely worth a stop on your drive to Myvatn.
I wanted to visit Hofdi because it is a forested area along Myvatn Lake, and I had been told that forests were scarce in Iceland. One thousand years ago the Icelandic landscape was 40% forested. However, in less than 300 years, settlers made Iceland one of the worst examples of deforestation in history. While I wouldn’t say forests were common in Iceland, I did notice more stands than I expected.
If you don’t love trees, you can probably give Hofdi a miss. We spent maybe 20 minutes walking the trails here. It was nice, but this is the sort of walk I could do at home.
The Dimmunborgir lava formations are a great hike! If you are curious to see lava fields, I would definitely recommend checking this spot out! We followed the marked path to the “church”. The church is a lava formation that has formed a sort of cave. A beam of light streams through into the church through a hole in the rock, which is how I assume it got its name.
Hverfjall is a 396 metre tall crater, approximately one kilometre in diameter. The hike up isn’t long (maybe 15 minutes), but it sure is steep. Once on the rim of crater, you can look down into its centre or enjoy fantastic views of Myvatn and the surrounding area. You can also choose to hike along the entire rim of the crater. I would definitely recommend this short hike! However, be aware that the gravel road leading to the base of the crater is a bit sketchy!
This was the highlight of Iceland for me! I absolutely loved this area and probably could have spent the whole afternoon here. Be prepared for horrific sulphur smells, though! Hverir is a geothermal area near the Krafla power plant. Boiling mud pots bubble to the surface, a strange blue-grey colour in contrast to the vibrant orange streaking the soil and rock. Vents spew out hot air and you can stand in the warm mist (although, be prepared for the smell). I feel this is a place better seen or experienced, so I’ll direct you to the photos below.
Krafla Power Plant
We passed by the Krafla power plant on our way to the Viti crater. There is a visitor centre at the plant, which we did not visit. Check out the interesting route they chose for this pipe.
Viti is a crater that has filled with water. Braedyn read that the water is over 35 degrees Celsius and you can swim in the lake, however we thought it would be pretty hard to get down into the crater. The crater is not as tall as Hverfjall, nor as starkly beautiful, but it is much easier to access as it does not require more than a few steps to reach the rim of the crater. Here you can walk around the entire rim of the crater. Braedyn preferred Viti to Hverfjall
Myvatn Nature Baths
After a busy day hiking and exploring around Myvatn, we both highly recommend relaxing in the Blue Lagoon of the North. The Myvatn Nature Baths is more “raw” than the Blue Lagoon - rock is exposed throughout and an algae/slime coats the rock - but with the same steep price tag.