Lake Myvatn Sightseeing Tour with Flights from Reykjavik
Join this unique journey where you will experience the vast extremes and incredible beauty of the wild Icelandic nature. Here you will encounter fascinating bird life, geothermal activity, flora, saga, and impressive geological formations.
The tour starts with a short flight to Akureyri from Reykjavik Domestic Airport. In Akureyri, you will meet a local guide at the airport, who will take you directly to the Lake Mývatn area. The first stop is at the beautiful waterfall Goðafoss, where law speaker Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi is said to have cast the old Nordic idols, after he declared Christianity to be the official custom of Iceland, in order to settle religious strife at the time between pagan and Christian groups.
You will also see the pseudocraters of Skutustadagigar, along the lake, before entering the chaotic lava field of Dimmuborgir, the "Dark Fortress," with is incredible lava formations. These natural shapes, created thousands of years ago as the lava cooled following an eruption in the east of the country, form strange pathways, stacks and towers scattered across the lava field.
Next you will visit the underground hot springs of Grjotagja and the geothermal area of Hverir by Mt. Namafjall, where you'll see various sulphur pits, steaming fumaroles, and boiling mud pools.
In summertime , you'll proceed to the Krafla volcano site and pass by the power station there. From the volcanic crater Viti in Krafla, formed in the great Myvatnseldar eruption of 1724, you will have a fine view of Leirhnjukur volcano, which features further mudholes and fumaroles.
You will finish up your tour with a two hour relaxation in the famed Myvatn Nature Baths, where you can marvel at some of the most beautiful scenery in Iceland. The entry fee is not included in the tour price, but can be added as extra.
Take this opportunity to see beatuiful Lake Mývatn for yourself! Check availability by choosing a date.
Note: There is no pickup for this tour available in Reykjavik and you need to arrive at the airport 45 minutes before departure of the flight.
- Available: Oct. - May.
- Duration: 11 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
North Iceland is very popular area in Iceland and contains some of the best attractions on the island. Akureyri is the capital of North Iceland and is the second largest "city" in Iceland. Around 20.000 people live in North Iceland.
The North coast has four major fjords (or bays) with mountain ridges between them and each of the fjords has corresponding agricultural districts.
More attractions in the amazing Thingeyjasysla are mentioned below. Note that the first three areas are geologically speaking ancient formations, while Thingeyjasysla is recent and full of volcanic activity, young lava fields and tuff mountains.
In Eyjafjörður is the capital of the North, Akureyri with 17.000 inhabitants. It is a very charming town and highly popular with travelers, so we advise you not to miss it. Many cruisers land in the port of the town.
The older part of Akureyri is particularly worth a stroll. If you like skiing or snowboarding, one of the best skiing sites in the country is located nearby.
We also recommend the botanical gardens there, fine restaurants and many interesting museums, such as Davidshus and Nonnahus, dedicated to the memory of poet David Stefansson and Jon Sveinson, author of the Nonnabaekur ('Nonni’s books').
Not far from Akureyri is the unique turf framhouse of Laufas, a museum and a prime example of the old architecture and farmlife. Also not far from Akureyri are the submarine geothermal silica cones of Strytur, a natural wonder and an excellent place for a dive.
One of Iceland's most beloved poets, Jonas Hallgrimsson was born in Eyjafjordur, at the farm Hraun in Oxnadalur valley and the knife-edged lava peaks there are particularly stunning. Also essential when traveling in the area is the beautiful and peaceful island Hrisey, often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur'.
Siglufjordur has the distinction of not falling under the regular four part division, as it straddles the border of Eyjafjordur and Skagafjordur. Here we highly recommend the herring era museum and the folk music museum. Indeed, Siglufjordur hosts an annual folk music festival that is truly worth experiencing.
Among major attractions in Hunathing are the Regional Museum at Reykir in Hrutafjordur, the Seal Watching Center at Vatnsnes and the Arnarvatnsheidi heath, with a large numbers of ponds and lakes full of trout.
In Skagafjordur, the largest town of which is Saudarkrokur, we particularly recommend the historical bishop’s seat of Holar and the agricultural university there, the Glaumbaer museum, and Drangey island.
Near Myvatn is the chaotic lava field Dimmuborgir, a truly amazing sight (and paid homeage to by the Norwegian Black Metal band of the same name).
Husavik is the whale watching capital of the North so don’t miss that one either.
The Jokulsargljufur National Park is home to some of Iceland's most beloved natural attractions, Holmatungur, Hljodaklettar and the Asbyrgi canyon. In the river Jokulsa a Fjollum is Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss.
At the Melrakkasletta peninsula you can see fascinating birdlife and there is good trout fishing to be made there. Seals may be sighted as well as whales off the coast. The vegetation is rich and this is an ideal place to enjoy the midnight sun. Northern lights may also be spotted from late August to early April.
Far north, straddling the Arctic Circle is Grimsey island, the northernmost inhabited territory of Iceland, with a population of about 100 people. It is renowned for its fishermen, its rich vegetation and birdlife.
Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’ is a town in the fjord Eyjafjordur in North Iceland. It lies just 100 km away from the Arctic Circle. It is Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of about 17,800.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
An international airport is located about 3 km from the center. A large number of cruisers also stop at Akureyri. One of Iceland's best skiing sites is found by Akureyri, at Hlidarfjall.
Traditionally Akureyri has survived on fisheries and some of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, like for example Samherji, have their headquarters there. Other large companies include Brim, Nordurmjolk, and Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland.
FSA/Akureyri Hospital is a major employer in the area and is one of two major hospitals in Iceland.
Akureyri has excellent facilities for travelers and is located a short drive from many of Iceland’s top natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Nature & Landscape
Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling (1538 m). The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring.
The innermost part of the fjord, Pollurinn ('The Pool') further lends the town a special character. The climate in Akureyri is generally very pleasant.
The islands Hrisey in the middle of Eyfjordur and Grimsey, straddling the Artic Circle, both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. Hrisey is often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and Grimsey 'The Pearl of the Artic' and these beautiful and peaceful islands are highly popular with travelers.
History & Culture
During World War II the town was an important site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has a strong cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants. Folk culture in general is more prevalent there than in Reykjavik. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings.
Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall and Akureyri’s many museums, The Nature Museum, Nonnahus, a.k.a. Jon Sveinsson Memorial Museum, for the writer, David's house or David Stefansson Memorial Museum, for the poet, Akureyri Art Museum.
Akureyri also has several churches, Akureyrarkirkja being the most notable, as well as beautiful botanical gardens. The old town is particularly charming, ideal for a nice walk.
Myvatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Along with its surrounding area, the lake is one of Iceland's most amazing natural attractions.
Some of the islands in Myvatn are pseudocraters, formed by steam explosions. The lake has rich birdlife and more species of ducks than anywhere else in the world. As for vegetation, it is one of the few places in the world that grows Marimo, also known as Cladophora ball, Lake ball, or Moss Balls in English, a species of filamentous green algae (Chlorophyta).
The Myvatn nature baths are also renowned throughout the world, a perfect place to relax, surrounded by breathtaking landscape.
Close to the lake is Dimmuborgir, a fascinating area of dramatic and chaotic lava. Norwegian symphonic metal band Dimmu Borgir takes its name from the the lava field, and it continues to inspire travellers from all over the world.
The Myvatn area is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. Don´t miss it!
Dimmuborgir (e. ‘Black Forts') is a large area of chaotic lava, situated right east of Lake Myvatn, in North Iceland. With its dramatic view, Dimmuborgir is one of Iceland's most popular attractions.
The area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed citadel. In folklore the Dimmuborgir lava field has been connected with hell, Satan was to have landed there after being cast from heaven and the Norwegian symphonic black metal band derives its name from the region.
Goðafoss waterfall is located the river Skjálfandafljót in north Iceland, the fourth largest river in Iceland. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, falling from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres.
The fall's name means either waterfall of the gods or of the 'goði' (i.e. priest/ chieftain). It is said that when the lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði declared Christianity the official religion in Iceland, after his own conversion, he threw the statues of the old Norse gods into the waterfall.
The Skutustadagigar are pseudocraters at the southern shore of Lake Myvatn.
The craters were formed by steam explosions, when boiling lava flowed over the wetlands. The wetlands are preserved and are popular for birdwatching.
Grjótagjá is a small lava cave located near lake Mývatn. It features a geothermal hot spring inside.
Grjótagjá was popular for bathing until the 1970s but fell out of use during eruptions from 1975 to 1984. However, the temperature is slowly falling down.
Outlaw Jon Markusson lived in this cave in the early 18th century.
The fictional characters Jon Snow and the wildling Ygritte were also filmed inside this cave in the TV series Game of Thrones in season 3, episode 5. For that episode an additional CGI waterfall was added to the scenery.
The Namafjall geothermal field is located in Northeast Iceland, on the east side of Lake Myvatn.
At this area, also known as Hverir, you may see many solfataras and boiling mud pots, surrounded by sulfur crystals of many different colours. The area is quite smelly but something one gets used to after a while. The soil in the area has little growth and is sour due to erosion and the sulfur from the atmosphere. Indeed, the old rock-covered boreholes in the area give off a lot of hot steam, so we advise caution.
Around the area is a small hiking trail up to Namaskard pass and Namafjall mountain, returning to the highway and the parking lot.
Historically sulfur would be much sought after in the area. The same is true of the geothermal power. In 1969 a power plant was built west of the mountain, at Bjarnarflag, by the Laxa Power Company. This company later merged with Landsvirkjun. The plant currently produces 3MW of geothermal energy.
Concerns have raised over current plans to expand the plant to 90 MW. In particular there have been worries as regards the effect of the plant on the ecosystem of Lake Myvatn. The head of the environmental NGO Landvernd has recently called for a new environmental impact assesment. The matter continues to be debated.
Departure time : 07:10 08:00,
Reykjavik Domestic Airport
Domestic return flight RVK-AEY-RVK
Airport pick-up and drop-off in Akureyri
Fully guided tour
Fee for the Mývatn Nature Baths
Transport (ca 10 minutes by taxi) between accommodation and Reykjavík Domestic Airport
What to bring:
Good walking shoes
Bathing suit and towel (can be rented)
It was snowing. Though we missed some spots covered by 30cm snow, it's an unique experience when we see the icy waterfall, the whole Akureyri covered by snow, and take the natural hot spring bath in the freezing air. The guide from Saga Travel provided a safe driving along the icy road with the great 4x4 vehicle. Highly recommend this. The Lake Myvatn area will show different looks in each moment.
Our guide was born and raised up in this area. Listening to her introduction is like being introduced to a friend's whole big family. Amazing tour. I was attracted by those GOT sceneries, while my parents are more interested in local culture and history. The whole trip is pleasant and relaxing.
I love organisations from guidetoiceland.is. Even I d'ont go in mountains. I prefer Flight. My first visit on Iceland where in November 2014. I'm member in a photo workshop with Iurie Belegurschi. Before and after this work shop I wanted see Golden Cirkle, Reykjavik and museum's. My dream is an other way with guidetoiceland.is Gabi Schuirmann, Germany
Just came back from the tour last week. We had a small group of five, our guide Hlynur Snowfit (he's into fitness and Snowfit seems to be his stage name ;-)) is a very kind and patient person. There are an old couple who like photo shooting a lot and always make people wait. He managed them well and with patience and helped them take quite a few nice pictures. The lunch place and the food he recommended was very good. The Myvatn hot spring is similar to the Blue Lagoon, but less commercialized and nicer view and fewer people. Remember to bring your swim suit and towels, of course even if you don't bring, you can rent them, not expensive. I enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend it.
Great experience and a great way to discover the attractions in the north on a short trip to Iceland. The domestic airport was very efficient, so there was no time wasted. The Myvatn was incredible area that i´m very happy to have seen. You should go on this tour to see it.
North Iceland is incredible and this company is highly recommended. I will do this tour again next time when I visit Iceland, and will bring the whole family with me. Do not miss this trip, is great value considering that includes the flights from Reykjavík too.