Lake Myvatn, in the northeast of Iceland, is packed with volcanic and geothermal wonders. Here are a few short hikes to explore pseudocraters, lava formations, craters, mud pools, and nature baths.
Best of Lake Myvatn
Geothermal activity aside, the Lake Mývatn region is well situated for discovering northern Iceland. The pretty town of Húsavik is Iceland's whale watching capital, and if you come from June to August, you're almost certain to see some of the 11 species that come to feed in the Iceland Sea (by winter, cruises focus on viewing the northern lights). There are also some great hikes in the area, particularly inside Vatnajökull National Park, one of the largest protected nature reserves in Europe (and home to the largest glacier outside of the Arctic).
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Lake Mývatn Essentials
The North of Iceland may be the country’s best-kept secret. While crowds of tourists populate the South and Golden Circle, visitors to Akureyri and Lake Myvatn can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and wonderful volcanic areas all to themselves.
Northern Iceland is a special region offering unique experiences not experienced by those who only visit the country's southern and western portions. In the north, you'll find an idyllic stretch of the famed Ring Road, passing through places like Húsavík, Iceland's whale-watching capital. In addition, you'll discover less-crowded alternatives to the popular Blue Lagoon and can explore Askja, one of the country's wildest regions. But don't worry, the north also boasts waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, and thermal baths!
Winter in Iceland offers many unique activities that you can't always experience in other seasons. Make the most out of the limited daylight with wintry adventures, such as kayaking amongst icebergs, exploring electric-blue ice caves, dogsledding with a pack of Huskies, snowmobiling atop glaciers, hiking in the snow, or tracking the country's wild reindeer population during their annual migration.
Iceland's hot springs are world-famous, as many travelers flock to the country to soak in the hot and healing geothermal pools. You'll find hot springs in every corner of the country, including popular baths like The Blue Lagoon and Fontana near Reykjavík. Or, you can venture out of the west and visit unique pools like Vök Baths and GeoSea. If you want a true adventure, you'll also find baths that require hikes, like the scenic Seljavallalaug pool.
Route 1—known as Iceland's famed Ring Road—loops around the entire country, allowing you to see all the sights, east to west, north to south. A road trip along the Ring Road features some of Iceland's most popular destinations, like the Blue Lagoon, the canyons and glaciers of the South Coast, the famous Gulfoss waterfall, black-sand beaches, and geothermal areas. In addition, the route is packed with excursions like glacier hikes, river rafting, hiking, and (of course) soaking in hot springs.
Lake Mývatn Itineraries
For a unique Iceland experience, avoid the crowds of the south completely. This trip has it all: volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, nature baths, whale watching, fjords and more. Below are 2 great ways to experience the north: all the highlights with only a fraction of the people. You can maximize your time by taking a domestic flight over the beautiful highlands of the interior to Akureyri, or you can drive one way and fly from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.
New visitors and returning travelers who’ve experienced the Golden Circle and South Coast can enjoy the best of Northern Iceland—without the crowds. First, explore Glymur Falls in West Iceland, followed by visits to turf houses, the Hvitserkur rock formation, and geothermal pools along the Arctic Coast. Next, tour Akureyri, the stunning Goðafoss Waterfall, and Lake Mývatn at length. Then, go whale watching in Husavik, before heading back west to discover the highlights of Reykjavík and the Reykjanes Peninsula, with a relaxing grand finale at the Blue Lagoon.
Take a different route—past the large crowds in the south—on this quick and scenic, five-day road trip. This itinerary is especially enticing for those who have been to popular areas, like the South Coast and Golden Circle, as it incorporates different regions. In West Iceland, hike to Glymur Falls, then head to the Artic Coast to check out turf houses, basalt formations, and the geothermal pools. Tour and spend two nights in Akureyri, along with discovering Goðafoss Waterfall and Lake Mývatn’s highlights, before enjoying time in the capital and a soak in the Blue Lagoon.
This 5-day self-driving itinerary is a great way to get away from the crowds of the south and explore the more remote areas in the north of Iceland. Maximize your time exploring with a one-way domestic flight from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.
This 9-day self-drive adventure is a great alternative to the full Ring Road loop, especially during summer months when Iceland tourism hits its peak. With more than a week, you'll experience a range of incredible landscapes all over the island, like rugged peninsulas, hot springs, volcanoes, lava fields, small fishing towns, and waterfall hikes with only a fraction of the crowds. To shorten this itinerary, skip the East Fjords and fly back to Reykjavík from Akureyri.
This itinerary packs a lot into 8 days, but if you have limited time and have your heart set on driving the entire Ring Road, then this guide will be your best friend for the journey.
This photogenic self-drive adventure along the Ring Road travels from Iceland's capital to its 2nd largest city on the sunnier north coast, with stops in lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. This all-season itinerary is especially ideal for anyone interested in the unique geological features of Iceland, with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools, not to mention cool cultural sites and Scandinavian cuisine.
On this scenic road trip, you'll skip Iceland's busier south coast in order to explore the lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula and northern beauties of Akureyri, Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. This all-season itinerary is especially ideal for anyone interested in the unique geological features of Iceland, with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools—all there for the taking.
This scenic road trip traverses highlights along Iceland's west and north regions at a more relaxed pace. Starting from Reykjavik, you'll explore the Golden Circle, the lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and continue northwest to Akureyri (Iceland's 2nd biggest hub), Husavik and Lake Myvatn for lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and natural hot springs.
Discover Iceland's wilder side with this whirlwind, seven-day road trip that takes you through the highlights of the country's north and west. Ideal for active families with older kids, experience thundering waterfalls, glacier volcanoes, geothermal hot springs, and ice caves as you journey from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to the shores of Lake Mývatn. With exhilarating excursions aplenty, create treasured memories and enjoy quality family time while uncovering the land of ice and fire.
For road trip enthusiasts, it doesn't get much better than encircling Iceland along its infamous Route 1 (Ring Road). This quick-paced, self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with plenty of detours to work the leg muscles and camera batteries. With a bit more than a week, you'll experience a variety of landscapes, like geysers, hot springs, black sand beaches, volcanoes, lava fields, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks.
Summer means fun in the sun and time spent outdoors and at beaches—even in a far-north country like Iceland. It's the perfect time for a road trip, and on this 13-day self-drive tour, you'll experience this Nordic nation's volcanic marvels, natural hot springs, shimmering ice caves, and breathtaking waterfalls. The adventure begins with a hike to an erupting volcano and continues with Zodiac boat rides and whale watching before ending on Iceland's famous black-sand beaches.
With 10 days on the road, you can discover a variety of regions and landscapes as you loop around Iceland's famous Route 1 (Ring Road). This moderately paced self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with stops in its two biggest cities, as well as volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers, as well as major attractions in the Golden Circle. This is going to be one gorgeous ride!
Nothing compares to Iceland in winter, and this 10-day self-drive tour takes you to some of its most breathtaking natural wonders and historic sites. Visit Þingvellir National Park for snorkel tours of the Silfra fissure and gushing geysers, then see the Streiti Coastline via Jeep, where you'll traverse remote roads and cross unbridged rivers. Hike the winter shores of Lake Mývatn, completing your trip with a spa day at the Blue Lagoon, where you'll soak in mineral-rich waters and enjoy a mud mask.
Perfect for families with energetic older kids, this exhilarating 10-day road trip takes in the best of the country's natural wonders as you tour Iceland's famous Ring Road. Discover the beauty of the Golden Circle before hiking the black-sand beaches and waterfalls of the South Coast. Explore the wild Eastfjords and raft glacial whitewater in the north as you adventure among volcanoes, canyons, glaciers, and lava caves to create family memories that will last a lifetime.
This 10-day, self-guided tour of Iceland's winter landscapes combines the natural wonders of waterfalls, mountains, and volcanoes with plenty of wildlife and marine life viewing. Start in North Iceland, where you'll soak in the healing waters of Mývatn Nature Baths. Then, it's off to Húsavík for whale watching tours and the East Fjords to search out reindeer herds. Conclude your travels in the city of Reykjavík for more whale watching and an evening cruise to view the vibrant and colorful northern lights.
Leave your cares behind you on this rejuvenating 10-day Icelandic family adventure that kicks off in the iconic Blue Lagoon Spa and ends with a journey into the icy heart of the Langjökull glacier. Along the way, discover Norse mythology, waterfalls, and lava caves among the wild beauty of Borgarfjörður and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Go horseback riding, whale watching, and puffin spotting along the northern coast, then head for the myriad charms of Reykjavík via the geothermal wonders of Lake Mývatn.
This 10-day driving itinerary is great for the summer when the crowds of the south coast and golden circle area are at their peak and accommodation can be hard to find. Instead, escape to the more remote areas of the country to experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with few other people to share it with.
On this spectacular self-drive itinerary, you'll hit the four cardinal points of Iceland as you loop clockwise around the famous Ring Road. Stop to explore volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, and glaciers from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and beyond. Finish the adventure with a rewarding soak in the Blue Lagoon before you depart.
Two of Iceland's more remote and scenically stunning yet lesser-visited regions—Westfjords and North Iceland—are the focus of this scenic 12-day active self-drive adventure, which also includes the mesmerizing Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The non-stop experiences range from clifftop hikes and wildlife viewing to helicopter flightseeing, as well as visits to many of Iceland's iconic and less familiar but equally spectacular sites.
Drive your 4WD in a clockwise loop of the entire island on this 11-day active itinerary packed with exciting adventures for a complete and quintessential Icelandic experience. You'll thrill to whale watching off the North Coast, steering a snowmobile across the Langjökull Glacier, snorkeling (or even scuba diving) in the Silfra fissure, and sleeping under the Northern Lights in a bubble. Along the way, you'll explore the top sites of the Snæfellsnes and Vatnsnes peninsulas, plus the Diamond Circle and Golden Circle.
The best of eastern and southern Iceland awaits on this 11-day self-drive adventure that follows the Ring Road and explores the top sites of Lake Mývatn, the Eastfjords, the South Coast, and the Reykjanes Peninsula. You'll thrill to such fun activities as whale watching from Húsavik, hiking on Skaftafell glacier, and snorkeling the Silfra fissure. Plus, you'll have time to discover Reykjavik and Iceland's fascinating cultural history dating back to the Viking era.
This epic 12-day road trip is a perfect way to absorb Iceland as you traverse all four corners of the country. You'll visit popular spots along the famous 828-mile Ring Road, and head off the beaten path to detour through the Westfjords (great for mountain biking and kayaking). The self-drive loop also includes stops in Iceland's two biggest cities, and numerous natural sites like volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, glaciers, and more.
This off-the-beaten-path road trip is especially great during summer months when peak crowds head for Iceland's south coast and Golden Circle (and accommodations can be hard to find). Instead, you'll escape to more remote areas of the country, traveling from Reykjavik all the way to its sunnier north coast with stops in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Westfjords (by way of car ferry), Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. There's plenty of time to experience unique geological features along the way with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools, not to mention cool Scandinavian culture and cuisine.
Make a complete circle of Iceland, plus explore the Westman Islands, on this 12-day self-drive itinerary that takes in a vast wealth of geological wonders, exciting activities, and cultural highlights. From whale watching, snorkeling the Silfra fissure, and a boat journey on the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon to soaks in the Mývatn Nature Baths and Blue Lagoon, you'll experience Iceland in all its facets, north, south, east, and west.
Follow an arc from eastern to western Iceland via the north coast on this 12-day active self-drive adventure. You'll pack in many of the country's most iconic sites, from Godafoss waterfall and the volcanic wonders of Lake Mývatn to the dizzying Látrabjarg cliffs and world-famous Kirkjufell mountain. Plus, you'll thrill to mountain hikes, "Super Jeep" adventures, and even snorkeling in the Silfra fissure of the Mid-Atlantic Rift.
Packed with exciting activities from the off-beat to iconic experiences, this 12-day self-drive adventure also explores a long wishlist of Iceland's top sites, from Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and the geological wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Gullfoss, Dettifoss, and Godafoss waterfalls. You'll thrill to ziplining, rides by ATV and horseback on black-sand beaches, hiking in Þórsmörk and Fjaðrárgljúfur canyons, and soaks in geothermal lagoons and even a beer-filled hot tub.
Spend 12 days discovering the beauty of Iceland with this guided and self-drive combo tour. Start in the city of Reykjavík to discover classic and modern Icelandic cuisine in a true foodie's paradise. Then it's off to Fagradalsfjall to walk among ethereal lava fields and see rivers of flowing lava from the active volcano. Hike the blue glacier ice of Skaftafell, see whales and other marine life in their natural habitat, and close your trip with a cliffside trek through the rocky crags of Gatklettur.
See it all on this adventure that covers the highlights and hidden wonders of Iceland. There's no time to waste, as right when you arrive you'll visit the waterfalls, glaciers, fjords, and beaches on the Golden Circle and South Coast. Continue the journey halfway around the island as you travel north to historic landmarks, coastal cliffs, and volcanic landscapes, before returning to the mother of all hot springs, the Blue Lagoon.
Drive Iceland's famous Ring Road on this quick, seven-day trip designed for warmer travel (so there are no slowdowns due to weather and lack of daylight in the winter). Head south to the most-visited highlights—massive waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and glaciers. Enjoy the scenic route through the East Fjords, before arriving at Lake Myvatn, surrounded by geothermal and volcanic wonders. Join a whale-watching trip from Husavik, the whale watching capital, and spend time in Reykjavik exploring the best of the city, along with enjoying a soak in the Blue Lagoon.
This seven-day, self-drive winter adventure in Iceland starts with a visit to the Golden Circle, where you'll hike among waterfalls and volcanic craters. From there, take a guided, off-road ATV tour for a wild ride across tundra fields and unbridged streams, then head to the East Fjords to tour the Streiti coastline via Jeep. Relax in the nature baths at Lake Mývatn before concluding your travels with an evening cruise under the dancing lights of the aurora borealis.
If your goal is to reinvigorate your mind and body while connecting with nature, there are few better places for it than Iceland. On this winter getaway, you'll take a road trip along famous circuit routes dotted with stunning scenery like rivers, waterfalls, rugged beaches, geothermal areas, and historic villages. And almost every day of the trip, you'll stop at natural hot springs to relax and recharge.
This 13-day, self-drive adventure takes you along Iceland's famous Ring Road, which circles the entire country. Start in the Golden Circle for views of erupting geysers, iced-over crater lakes, and natural hot springs. Then, head to the southern coast for massive waterfalls, icebergs drifting in the sea, and black-sand beaches. Drive snowmobiles across icy glacial landscapes, search out herds of wild reindeer and close your tour in the modern city of Reykjavík with its vibrant cultural scene.
See the magic of Iceland's Ring Road with this 13-day self-drive tour. Start in Reykjavík for whale watching and a vibrant downtown scene. From here, drive the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with its crashing waterfalls and black-sand beaches, then ferry to the Westfjords. Hike the cliffs of Látrabjarg, kayak to Vigur Island, and ride horses along the Westfjords' "Alps." Walk among icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, visit breathtaking Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and end with a dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon.
This seven-day road trip in Iceland is as much a journey through Viking history as a sightseeing tour of incredible natural wonders. Not only will you see highlight waterfalls, beaches, and geothermal sites, but you'll also visit museums and historic locales like the home of Leif Erikson. As a bonus, you'll do some whale watching and go on a photo tour to see the northern lights.
This thirteen-day driving tour of Iceland takes you to some of the country's most amazing landmarks and historic sites. Travel along Iceland's Ring Road, where you'll see crashing waterfalls and long stretches of lava fields at Lake Mývatn. Visit historic fishing villages for beautiful harbor views and marine life tours, then hike the peaks of Kaldbakur Mountain. See geysers erupt into the sky, walk the cliffs of Arnarstapi, and take in the geological wonders of the Golden Circle and Þingvellir National Park.
With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.
If you're looking for a thrilling winter trip to Iceland that traverses all the highlights via the famous Ring Road, look no further. Experience glittering snowy landscapes and the bucket-list sight of the magical northern lights with this 14-day, excursion-packed itinerary. Perfect for families with adventurous older kids, you'll dogsled your way across snowy vistas, climb ice walls, hang out with a herd of wild reindeer, and relax in the therapeutic geothermal waters of Mývatn.
Switch off your devices and reconnect with your family on this captivating two-week Icelandic road trip. Touch down in Reykjavík, where you'll explore 8,000-year-old glittering lava tunnels before heading west to immerse yourselves in nature, waterfalls, and the untouched Westfjords. Along the way, hike icy glaciers, ride Icelandic horses across stunning vistas, and enjoy quality time with the kids as you venture across vast fjords, red-sand beaches, and peninsulas rich in Norse mythology.
Drive Iceland's famous Ring Road on this quick, eight-day trip, which includes a detour to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Head south to the most visited highlights, including massive waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and glaciers. Enjoy the scenic route through the East Fjords before arriving at Lake Mývatn, surrounded by geothermal and volcanic wonders. Visit the whale-watching capital of Husavik and venture west into the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, with its small fishing towns, easy cliffside walks, and lava fields, and end by exploring the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavík.
Hit the road on Iceland's main highway for a 15-day self-drive adventure. You'll arrive in the west and, from there, head south, stopping at waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches. As you travel up to the east and north, you'll pass scenic fjords, go whale watching, brave river rapids, hike along sea cliffs, and explore lava caves before completing the circuit back in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.
The rugged beauty of Iceland was made for road-tripping, which is precisely what you'll do on this 15-day self-drive excursion. You'll be traveling through the west, which is packed full of highlights ranging from waterfalls and glaciers to fjords and natural hot springs. You'll even have time for a detour to the north, where you'll ride horses, take helicopter tours, and drive the scenic Diamond Circle route.
Enjoy both unspoiled countryside and wild volcanic landscapes on this epic road trip through Iceland. Arrive in the west and head north past lava fields and rugged coastline to the Westfjords, a wild and remote area known for its mountains, fjords, and waterfalls. Continue to the far north and see the geothermal highlights along the Diamond Circle before turning south to relax in hot springs and stuff yourself on food tours in Reykjavík.
On this self-drive adventure, you'll spend 10 days exploring all four corners of Iceland. Dive deep into the culture of Reykjavík before hitting the road north to volcanic beaches, historic landmarks, and geothermal sites like the bubbling mud pools at Lake Mývatn. After touring Iceland's eastern fjords, you'll head south to explore ice caves, visit waterfalls, witness lava flows, and take a drive along the famous Golden Circle.
Take a 15-day self-drive tour of Iceland's phenomenal landscapes and natural vistas, starting with a trip along the Reykjanes Peninsula and a dip in the Blue Lagoon. Visit the Golden Circle and hike through the stunning Reykjadalur Valley, then see beluga whales and puffins in the Westman Islands. Continue counter-clockwise around the entire Icelandic coast as you scale thunderous waterfalls, traverse otherworldly lava fields, ride horses along black-sand beaches, and overnight in colorful fishing villages.
If you want to see Iceland's top natural highlights, a self-drive tour is by far the most popular option. Travel at your own pace with plenty of changes to head off the main road in search of your own adventures. This tour also includes the Snaefellsnes peninsula which many call "mini-Iceland" as almost every natural phenomenon in Iceland can be found there, albeit on a smaller scale than elsewhere.