Best of Lake Myvatn

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Lake Myvatn
Formed by a volcanic eruption some 2300 years ago, Lake Myvatn is home to both unusual scenery and abundant wildlife. Its nutrient-rich waters and surrounding wetlands attract large numbers of migratory birds, including 15 species of duck that breed here. Around the lake, you’ll find otherworldly landscapes of jagged lava formations, gurgling mud pots, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters.

Geothermal activity aside, the Lake Myvatn 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 Myvatn Essentials

The scenery of Northern Iceland
Best Things to Do in Northern Iceland

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!

Iceland's famed glacier lagoon
Top Winter Experiences in Iceland

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.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland
The Best Hot Springs Experiences in Iceland

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.

Experience the unique scenery of the Ring Road
Best Things to Do on the Ring Road

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 Myvatn Itineraries

Hverfjall Crater rises in the distance of the Dimmuborgir lava fields
Map of 5-Day Tour of the North: Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Waterfalls, and Geothermal Hotspots
5-Day Tour of the North: Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Waterfalls, and Geothermal Hotspots

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.

Lake Mývatn
Map of Best of Northern Iceland: Arctic Coast & Lake Mývatn - 6 Days
Best of Northern Iceland: Arctic Coast & Lake Mývatn - 6 Days

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.

Goðafoss Waterfall
Map of Quick Road Trip to Iceland's North & Lake Mývatn - 5 Days
Quick Road Trip to Iceland's North & Lake Mývatn - 5 Days

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.

Wild Icelandic horses in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Map of Iceland Off the Beaten Path: Snæfellsnes, Akureyri,  Lake Mývatn & More - 9 Days
Iceland Off the Beaten Path: Snæfellsnes, Akureyri, Lake Mývatn & More - 9 Days

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.

Explore Iceland along its most-famous road
Map of Iceland Road Trip: Reykjavik to Akureyri - 8 Days
Iceland Road Trip: Reykjavik to Akureyri - 8 Days

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.

Godafoss waterfall in the north
Map of Iceland's Western & Northern Highlights - 7 Days
Iceland's Western & Northern Highlights - 7 Days

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.

Dettifoss waterfall in northern Iceland
Map of Iceland Relaxed Self-Drive Tour - 8 Days
Iceland Relaxed Self-Drive Tour - 8 Days

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.

Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days
Map of Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days
Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days

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.

Godafoss Waterfall in Northern Iceland
Map of Iceland Relaxed Ring Road Adventure - 10 Days
Iceland Relaxed Ring Road Adventure - 10 Days

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!

Iceland Escape
Map of Iceland Off The Beaten Path: West and North Escape - 10 Days
Iceland Off The Beaten Path: West and North Escape - 10 Days

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.

Kirkjufell's landscape and waterfalls on the west coast
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 11 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 11 Days

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.

A local resident puffin, one of millions on the Látrabjarg cliffs
Map of Best of Iceland's West & North: Snaefellsnes, Westfjords, Vatnsnes & Diamond Circle - 12 Days
Best of Iceland's West & North: Snaefellsnes, Westfjords, Vatnsnes & Diamond Circle - 12 Days

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.

Godafoss waterfall
Map of Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: Snaefellsnes & Vatnsnes Peninsulas & Golden Circle - 11 Days
Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: Snaefellsnes & Vatnsnes Peninsulas & Golden Circle - 11 Days

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.

Dettifoss waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland
Map of Self-Drive Iceland North, East & South: Half Circle Fly & Drive - 11 Days
Self-Drive Iceland North, East & South: Half Circle Fly & Drive - 11 Days

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.

North Iceland's Viti crater is filled with a bright blue lake
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days

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.

Godafoss waterfall in the north
Map of Best of West & North Iceland - 12 Days
Best of West & North Iceland - 12 Days

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.

Icelandic horses
Map of Iceland Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: North & West - 12 Days
Iceland Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: North & West - 12 Days

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.

Godafoss waterfall
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Westman Islands Highlights - 12 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Westman Islands Highlights - 12 Days

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.

Thorsmork Valley
Map of Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: ATV, Zipline & Horseback - 12 Days
Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: ATV, Zipline & Horseback - 12 Days

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.

Glymur Falls
Map of Classic Iceland Ring Road Drive - 7 Days
Classic Iceland Ring Road Drive - 7 Days

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.

Explore Iceland on a road trip of a lifetime
Map of 2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords
2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords

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.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 8 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 8 Days

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. 

The Road to Adventure
Map of Classic Circle Tour of Iceland - 9 Days
Classic Circle Tour of Iceland - 9 Days

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.