Northern Iceland is home to the geothermal area of Lake Mývatn, a main stop on the country's "Diamond Circle" comprised of Húsavík, the canyon of Ásbyrgi, and Dettifoss waterfall. International travelers arriving at Keflavík Airport (KEF) can either rent a car and make the trek north via the Ring Road (Route 1) or transfer to Reykjavík's domestic airport for a short (45-minute) flight to Akureyri.
Perhaps most well-known for the Jardbodin nature baths (natural hot springs), it can easily be compared to the Blue Lagoon. The village of Reykjahlíð is the main settlement for the lake and a great stop for fuel, food, and rest if needed. On the way, Goðafoss waterfall is a wonder to behold about halfway between Akureyri and Lake Mývatn, making it a great mid-way stop. The area around Lake Mývatn is fantastic for bird-watching as well.
For even more ideas when visiting Akureyri and the Lake Mývatn area, check out this article featuring an itinerary for a five-day tour of the north, which includes interesting tips for making the most of your trip.
Duration: 1 hour
Self-driving from Iceland's second-largest city to reach the Lake Mývatn area is the most popular choice in order to explore the surrounding attractions like the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, Dimmuborgir Lava formations and Kirkja, "The Church" (a lava formation resembling a church), and even a cave. Drivers will take the Ring Road (Route 1) to reach Lake Mývatn. Many day tours depart from the city of Akureyri as well.
Find out more about how to get from Akureyri to Lake Mývatn.
Duration: 6 - 7 hours (driving) or 1 - 2 hours (flying)
Travelers looking to road trip around the Ring Road (Route 1) can embark on a scenic drive to northern Iceland, taking in the numerous beautiful sights along the way to Lake Mývatn. For those with less time, it's possible to take a domestic flight from Reykjavík's airport just outside of the city directly into Akureyri's airport (AEY) and then rent a car. Multi-day tours that include the Lake Mývatn region are options as well, as many depart from the capital city.