Information about Kleifarvatn

Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Emstrur

Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula, located in the south-west of Iceland. It covers an area of 9.1 square kilometres (3.5 square miles) and is one of Iceland's deepest lakes, reaching a depth of 97 metres (318 feet).

Geography of Kleifarvatn

Kleifarvatn is located in the centre of the Reykjanes Peninsula, near the Krýsuvík and Gunnhver geothermal areas. This region is renowned for its geothermal and geological activity; the landscape is covered in a thick layer of lava, which itself is topped by a haunting moss, and hot springs steam in many areas. A row of active volcanoes run along its length.

The peninsula, and Kleifarvatn itself, lies on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Their movements, as they pull apart, are what cause this region to have so many eruptions and earthquakes.

An earthquake in 2000, in fact, occurred beneath Kleifarvatn, and drained it of over twenty percent of its surface area. It has since recovered, but not quite the same; the seismic event created hot springs in one corner of the lake.

The draining of Kleifarvatn inspired the Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason to write a novel, titled after the lake. In the crime-fiction, the receding waters uncover a body long hidden beneath the surface, and the story follows how she died, and at whose hand. The name of the translation is ‘the Draining Lake’.

Kleifarvatn is not fed by any rivers; all the water coming in and out of it comes from the porous lava rock around it. In spite of this, it still has a high fish population, and is popular amongst anglers.

Kleifarvatn folklore

According to folklore, a whale-like monster lives in Kleifarvatn, akin to the Loch Ness Monster. It is one of two beasts of cryptozoology in Icelandic tales; the other regards a serpent in the eastern lake of Lagarfjlót.

Activities in Kleifarvatn

Kleifarvatn is now a location for scuba divers.Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Balou46

Kleifarvatn is usually visited on sightseeing tours of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Recently, however, scuba diving tours have began in it. On these tours, divers can see the hot springs and feel the bubbles, while exploring the world between two tectonic plates.

The only other place this is possible is Silfra ravine. The water here is a lot clearer, having visibility for up to a hundred metres, but it has much less life in it in Kleifarvatn.

The sightseeing tours visit an array of sights on the Peninsula beside Kleifarvatn. These include the aforementioned geothermal areas, a ‘bridge between the continents’, the Reykjanes lighthouse, and the many fishing villages that nestle in the lunar landscapes.

Some also include activities in the surrounding area, such as lava tubing in the nearby cave of Leiðarendi. Caving here provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the peninsula’s geological history and folklore.

Of course, no discussion of the Reykjanes Peninsula can be complete without a mention of the Blue Lagoon. This stunning resort is renowned the world over for its azure waters and silica masks, as well as its healing properties.

 

Services near Kleifarvatn

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Kleifarvatn

Seltún Geothermal Area

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Rosino.  Seltún Geothermal Area is but one part of the much larger geothermal area, Krýsuv&ia...

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Krýsuvík

Krýsuvík is a geothermal area, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in south-west Iceland. Geothermal activity at Krýsuví...

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Spákonuvatn

Spákonuvatn is a beautiful crater lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula, surrounded by the haunting lunar landscapes that define this region. Loca...

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Grænavatn

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by G. Mannaerts  Grænavatn is a small lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula, known for its vivid colo...

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Helgafell

  Helgafell is a farm and church site, by a 73 m hill of the same name, and located on Thorsnes, south of Stykkisholmur on Snaefellsnes peninsul...

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Keilir

Mt. Keilir is a volcanic mountain, southwest of Hafnarfjörður, and is the most recognisable landmark on the Reykjanes Peninsula. For vis...

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Leiðarendi Cave

  Leiðarendi is a lava tube located in a lava field close to Bláfjöll, the Blue Mountains, in southwest Iceland, about a 25 mi...

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Kapelluhraun

Kapelluhraun is a young lava field housing the ruins of a Catholic chapel, situated on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland.  The lava...

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Búrfell

Búrfell is a mountain in the south of Iceland, situated along the western boundary of Þjórsárdalur Valley. Geology and his...

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Stóri-Bolli

Stori-Bolli is a crater south-east of Hafnarfjordur town about half an hour drive from Reykjavik. From this crater flowed the lava field Storabollahra...

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Hafnarfjörður

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Udm Hafnarfjörður is Iceland’s third most populous city, and located in the Greater Reykjav...

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Krýsuvíkurbjarg

Krýsuvíkurbjarg is a bird cliff in the southern part of the Reykjanes peninsula.  During summer, this sea cliffs host over 60,00...

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Þríhnúkagígur

Photo from Thrihnukagigar Volcano Tour Þríhnúkagígur is a dormant volcano in west Iceland, famous for its enormous magma c...

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Garðabær

Garðabær is a municipality in the Capital Region of Iceland, located between the districts of Kópavogur and Hafnarfjörður.&n...

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Ögmundarhraun

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Reykholt Ögmundarhraun is a lava field on the southern side of the Reykjanes Peninsula, which was for...

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Heiðmörk

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: TommyZ Heiðmörk is a conservation area on the outskirts of Reykjavík, popular amongst locals and...

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Bessastaðir

  Bessastadir is the official residence of the president of Iceland and is situated in Alftanes, near Reykjavik. In the 19th century Iceland&#...

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Elliðavatn

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Axel Kristinsson.  Elliðavatn is a lake within the greater capital area of Reykjavík in...

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Selatangar

Photo from: The Ruins of Selatangar.  Selatangar is one of the few coastal fishing stations that still exists in Iceland, found in the south of ...

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Strandakirkja

  Ca. 15 minutes drive eastwards from Krysuvik, by the sea is the old church Strandakirkja in Selvogur. The sea waves there are breathtakin...

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Tours near Kleifarvatn

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