Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Visiting Lake Mývatn in the Diamond Circle

The Diamond Circle route is a popular tourist circuit in Northeast Iceland. It features some of the country's most well-known attractions and sights. From the beastly Dettifoss waterfall to the Krafla geothermal area and Viti volcanic crater lake near Askja, this is a part of the country that definitely merits your attention. We recommend spending several days here as there is so much to see and do in the area. Lake Mývatn is a volcanic lake known for its piercing sapphire blue waters and lava rock formations. You can spend an entire day just exploring the body of water and its environs. There are many different species of waterfowl, and the zone is a bit of a bird watcher’s paradise. The high season is May and June when migratory birds come to mate and nest.

Volcanic rock formations at Lake Mývatn volcanic lake

How To Arrive 


Driving on Route 1 (Iceland’s Ring Road) you’ll actually go straight past Lake Mývatn. In good weather, it takes about six to seven hours by car, so unfortunately, this isn’t really a day trip type of excursion.

Visitors should always start their visit to Lake Mývatn at the northeast corner. Here, you’ll find Reykjahlíð, a small village on the shores of the lake. There’s an information center for those traveling in the area. It’s a small village of 300 inhabitants, but you’ll find some basic amenities such as a gas station, a bank, a small hotel, and a supermarket. Everything to meet your needs.

The Volcanic Mývatn Nature Baths are like Reykjavik's Blue Lagoon


The Mývatn Nature Baths 


The Mývatn Nature Baths are right next to the village of Reykjahlíð and are the North’s answer to Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon. You’ll have an authentic Icelandic geothermal spa bathing experience minus all of the crowds of the famous tourist trap.

Hverir Geothermal Area 


Further up the road from the Mývatn Nature Baths is the Hverir geothermal area. This alien-like, sulfur-filled, barren landscape is like nothing you’ve seen before. The hissing fumaroles and colorful, bubbling mud pools are out of this world. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another planet. The orange, red, and off-white terrain mixed with the blueish gray hue of the mud pots are something you won’t soon forget.

Hverir geothermal area is an alien-like, barren landscape with bubbling blue mud

Grjótagjá Cave 


Iceland is known for its natural beauty. In a land shaped by fire and ice, there are new surprises lurking around every corner. Grjótagjá is an underground volcanic cave with a grotto that is filled with geothermally heated water. Although you can no longer swim here, locals used to come here frequently to bathe. This cave is also quite famous. Game of Thrones fans will recognize it from season three. This is the place where Jon Snow and Ygritte made their love official. The hot spring features a fissure within the cave and a small blue lake. Get your cameras ready!

Visiting Lake Mývatn in the Diamond Circle 


These are just a few of the things to see and do around Lake Mývatn and the Diamond Circle. Rent a car and take a few days to explore the area, you’ll be glad you did. You can either base yourself in Húsavik (further north) or find accommodation in this area. When exploring the rest of the Diamond Circle, be sure to stop off at other attractions in the zone. The whale watching town of Húsavík, the mighty Dettifoss waterfall, the horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon, mountainous Vesturdalur valley, the unusual formations at the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields, the Krafla volcanic fields and caldera, and the stunning Goðafoss waterfall should all be on your list of things to see and do.

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