Renting a car to make the 286 mile (461km) journey from Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik to the northern destination of Lake Myvatn is the most popular choice amongst travelers looking to explore along the famous Ring Road (Route 1).
For visitors with less time, it's also possible to take a domestic flight from the airport just outside of Reykjavik to the northern region's main airport in Akureyri, and then renting a car from there. This would allow more time in the area itself. Group tours are also an option for travelers looking to join a multi-day venture, and itineraries will vary based on length.
If choosing to self-drive, you will encounter wild beauty at every turn and have a multitude of places to stop and explore. For those with enough time, a detour for a day or two to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is highly recommended. As you venture north, Kolugljúfur canyon and waterfall, and the natural rock formation Hvitserkur are two great options. Arriving in Lake Myvatn will have you relaxing in a geothermal lagoon, exploring the Grjótagjá hot spring cave, and in the winter months, dog sledding is an option.
This 5-day self-driving tour itinerary is an excellent resource for choosing stops and activities along the way.
Duration: 10-12 hours
Driving directly to Lake Myvatn on the Ring Road (Route 1) would take just under six hours, however, it's wise to allow for plenty of extra time to stop and admire the natural attractions along the way. The Glymur waterfall hike is a fantastic first stop, followed by the volcanic landscape of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the incredibly scenic drive north to Akureyri, where you'll have plenty of opportunities for whale watching. Make sure to stop and be mystified by Godafoss, a spectacular display of nature.
Once in Lake Myvatn, a soak in the Jardbodin nature baths is in order. Other activities include hiking amongst the Dimmuborgir rock formations, climbing Hverfjall (Crater Mountain), and venturing to the electric blue crater lake at Víti in Krafla, just a little further northeast.
Duration: 2-3 hours
After a quick 45 minute flight, travelers can either rent a car or arrange for a private transfer to the lake. The drive is about an hour. See this article for more information on how to get from Akureyri to Lake Myvatn.