Lake Myvatn is located in the northeast of Iceland near Godafoss and the whale capital Husavik. Lake Myvatn is with its almost 7 km length the fourth largest of the country and is of volcanic origin. There are almost 50 small islands on Lake Myvatn, which is only about 4 meters deep. Nevertheless, it is full of fish and is also home to many bird species. Lake Myvatn is a popular destination in the region. What you can do and experience around Lake Myvatn and which highlights you should see we tell you in our travel report.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Lake Myvatn in Iceland
Mývatn is Icelandic for mosquito lake and there are a lot of them here. During our visit we were spared from the mosquito crowd, but that was probably due to the rain & wind that prevailed at that time. Otherwise, you have to be very careful of it here. For the many birds here, however, the swarms of mosquitoes are a good food base.
The whole area around the lake is still geothermally active today, as the border between the Eurasian and the American continental plate also runs here. You can drive around the lake and visit the numerous sights. You won’t be in the car much because the roads are short, so you will have enough time to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The Myvatn sights we describe here can be experienced clockwise around the lake. Of course, you can also just pick out a few or go specifically.
Accommodation at Lake Myvatn
Chic Hotel in the Vicinity
Bungalow in the lonely nature
We rented our own wooden cabin between Husavik and Myvatn during our visit. The cabins are extremely secluded at the end of a long valley and about 30 minutes from the ring road. Super secluded, but also super beautiful. Laxárdalur Cabin
- located in a valley far from the ring road
- Own wooden cabin with own kitchen and WC
- idyllically situated on a farm
- Wooden cabin for 2 from 120 Euro
Do you prefer camping?
Sights at Lake Myvatn
There are several caves near Lake Myvatn that are filled with hot thermal water and are theoretically suitable for swimming. We would not recommend this, however, as there is no information about the water quality and possible pathogens. However, the water would be warm enough in any case.
There are two smaller caves called Stóragjá. Here warm thermal water is collected and through small openings in the cave you can also look inside. The parking lot, which holds only 3 cars, is located directly on the road (Google Maps link) and from there it is only a few meters to the area with the thermal springs.
But here you can only have a small look into the caves and unfortunately you can’t see the whole cave, for that you would have to let yourself down into the water on the existing rope (see photo). And we would not recommend that.
But much more exciting is the Grjotagja cave nearby (Google Maps link). This one is much bigger and you can walk in here and look at the clear and turquoise blue shimmering water. You could theoretically swim here too, but it’s forbidden and we wouldn’t recommend it.
For decades the privately owned cave was a very popular destination for a warm bath. But due to lava eruptions in the vicinity, the temperatures of the water have risen sharply, these are now about 46 degrees. In any case, you can take beautiful photos here if you bring some time.
Because here are always many tourists on the road, so it is not so easy to shoot a photo without other people on it. For a nice photo, it is best to use a longer exposure time or the rear view function of your phone instead of the flash. This makes the photos much more coherent.
Myvatn Geothermal Area Hverir
The Myvatn geothermal area reminds a little bit of the Hveradalir geothermal area and can be found not far from Lake Myvatn (Google Maps Link). Here hot steam comes out of the earth in numerous places and also small sulfur volcanoes can be observed here. Even from a distance you can notice the smell of sulfur in the base when the car window is open and also the steam clouds are visible from far away.
You can also take a short hike up a nearby mountain to see the area again from a different perspective. All quite impressive. You can spend 1-2 hours here. For us, the most impressive place on Lake Myvatn.
Hofdi is a small forest area directly connected to the lake. The special, apart from the beautiful walks through the forest, are the unusually shaped rocks, which are here numerous in the sea. You can reach them after about 15 minutes from the small parking lot (Google Maps link). One hour is enough to experience this place.
Lake Myvatn Viewpoint
The lake itself is not that spectacular and there are not really many points from which you have a nice view of the actual Lake Myvatn. So the highlight of Myvatn is rather the sights around it (see above) than the lake itself. But there is a small viewpoint on the northwestern shore, which offers beautiful views of the lake (Google Maps Link). But you don’t have to spend much time here either.
Nature Baths Myvatn
If you want to recover something from your exhausting trip, we can recommend the Mývatn Nature Baths*. These are comparable to the Blue Lagoon* near Reykjavik, but usually not so crowded. Since we wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon at the end of our Iceland round trip, we did not visit the Myvatn Nature Baths, but heard only good things from other tourists. The entrance fee is about 38 Euro and the bath is open every day from 12 to 22 o’clock
Our conclusion about Lake Myvatn
We spent about half a day at the sights of Lake Myvatn and found the area rather less spectacular. You can take in some sights here, but if you have little time you can skip the lake without a guilty conscience in our opinion.
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