Information about Mývatn

Bubbling hot springs at Krafla, near Myvatn.

Mývatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Due to its serenity, birdlife, volcanism and its surrounding area, the lake is one of the most amazing natural attractions in the country.

Mývatn is, in fact, so beautiful that is was used as a site in the Game of Thrones franchise. In mid-winter it was used to represent the lands North of the Wall, namely Mance Raider’s Wildling camp.

Geology

Mývatn sits about an incredibly active geothermal area, giving it a unique and beautiful geology. After all, it is close to sites such as Krafla caldera, which contains the notorious Víti volcano, the name of which translates to ‘hell’.

Many of the islands here are thus pseudocraters, formed by steam explosions as magma rose beneath pockets of water, and many are bizarre basalt columns, rising vertically from the surface, formed by rapid cooling after an eruption.

The high amount of geothermal activity beneath Mývatn, of course, presents the opportunity for bathing in naturally heated waters. This is best done at the Mývatn Nature Baths, a beautiful establishment with serene waters, incredible views, and a reasonable entry fee.

Wildlife

Seething geothermal areas surround Myvatn.

Mývatn has some of the best bird-watching available in Iceland. Though those seeking puffins will need to be at coastal cliffs such as those at Látrabjarg and Dyrhólaey, between May and September, there are few better places to see freshwater avians.

In fact, Mývatn has more species of duck than anywhere else in the world, with thirteen nesting species and many more visitors. Most popular (and common) amongst these are the harlequin ducks.

Mývatn’s surrounding vegetation and plentiful food makes it a happy home for voles, mice and rats that have spread all over Iceland, providing tasty treats for Iceland’s only native land mammal, the Arctic Fox. Visitors, however, will have to keep a close eye out for these, as they are experts in camouflage.

In terms of flora, the most interesting plant life at Mývatn actually exists just beneath the surface of the water. Marimo are ‘moss balls’, bizarre spheres of fluffy green algae that are found in very few other places around the world, namely Japan (where they got their name), Scotland, Estonia and Australia.

Surrounding sites

Visitors to Mývatn often wish to spend more than just a single day exploring its many surrounding locations. Primary amongst these is Dimmuborgir, a lava field which truly reflects the dramatic consequences of a volcanic eruption in Iceland. This areas is steeped in folklore, being home to the thirteen ‘Santas’ of Iceland, the Yule Lads.

It was also here that many of the Game of Thrones scenes were shot.

More were shot at the beautiful hot-spring lava cave of Grjótagjá, where Jon Snow proved himself to a wildling woman. Though this site can be admired from the shore, the water temperature is not monitored and can heat up very quickly, so visitors are asked not to take a dip.

Those with an interest in Iceland’s strange geothermal and geological sites should also check out the Skútustadagígar pseudo-craters and the aforementioned Víti crater and its surrounding lava field. There are also several geothermal hot spots around Krafla and the Námaskarð Pass.

Lake Mývatn is located on the Ring Road that fully encircles the country, making further sites easily reachable. To the west is the ‘Capital of the North’, Akureyri, a charming town with the highest population outside of the capital area.

To the east, you can find the largest waterfall in Iceland, Dettifoss, and the incredible horseshoe shaped canyon, Ásbyrgi. This feature was said to have formed by the stomping of one of the feet of Oðinn’s eight-legged horse as it leapt through the sky.

Services near Mývatn

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Mývatn

Stóragjá

Stóragjá is a little-known rift in north Iceland which holds cave filled with naturally-heated geothermal water. Found next to the vill...

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Bjarnarflag

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by LV Corporate Bjarnarflag is the oldest geothermal power station in Iceland, having been first open...

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Mývatn Nature Baths

Photo from Goðafoss Waterfall and the Mývatn Nature Baths The Mývatn Nature Baths are a set of geothermally heated pools and steam ...

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Námaskarð

Námaskarð Pass is a geothermal area on the mountain Námafjall, in north Iceland, less than half an hour’s drive from Lake M&...

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Grjótagjá

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras Grjótagjá is a small lava cave located near lake Mývatn in north Iceland, famous for fe...

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Hverfjall

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Tong Hverfjall is a tuff ring volcano with an incredibly impressive crater, approximately one kilo...

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Námafjall Geothermal Area

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 se...

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Hverfell

Hverfell is an explosion crater on the east side of Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland and is one of the largest explosion craters in the world. ...

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Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir (e. ‘Black Forts') is a large area of chaotic lava, situated right east of Lake Myvatn, in North Iceland. With its dramatic view...

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Skútustaðagígar

The Skutustadagigar are pseudocraters at the southern shore of Lake Myvatn. The craters were formed by steam explosions, when boiling lava flowed ove...

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Leirhnjúkur

  Leirhnjukur ('Mud Peak') is a 525 m high active volcano, located to the northeast of Lake Myvatn in North Iceland. Leirhnjukur is pa...

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Lúdentarborgir

Ludentarborgir is a crater row east of Lake Myvatn, about 15 meters long. These craters take their name from the explosion crater Ludent, to the...

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Krafla

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Earthquakes Krafla Krafla is a caldera, part of a greater volcanic system of the same name, located north ...

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Víti in Krafla

Viti (meaning 'Hell') in Krafla is an explosion crater. It is one of the two most famous Viti craters in Iceland, the other being Viti in Askj...

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Lofthellir

Lofthellir is a lava cave in North Iceland, situated in the lava field of older Laxardalshraun. The Lofthellir lava cave is renowned for having some ...

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Hvannfell

  Hvannfell is a mountain in Sudur-Thingeyjarsysla county in North Iceland. The mountain is located near the famous Lake Myvatn. The Burfellshr...

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Diamond Circle

The Diamond Circle is a famed 260-kilometre sightseeing route in the northeast of Iceland, characterised by its sheer number of natural attractions,...

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Gjástykki

  Gjastykki is a beautiful and rugged rift valley to the north of the caldera Krafla, in the north of Iceland. Gjastykki was literally blown ap...

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Svartá

Svarta is a river in Bardardalur valley in North Iceland, around 45 kilometers from the mighty Skjalfandafljot glacier river. Svarta is one of the gr...

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Ullarfoss

Ullarfoss is a beautiful waterfall in the river Svarta in North Iceland. The waterfall is located in a fresh spring river that flows through Bardarda...

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Tours near Mývatn

8 Days / 7 Nights Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road & Golden Circle

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10 Day Self Drive Tour | Top Ring Road Attractions & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

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Lake Myvatn Sightseeing & Hot Springs Tour from Akureyri

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

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7 Day Guided Ring Road Tour | Explore the Circle of Iceland

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8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

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8 Day Summer Package | Best Attractions

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7 Day Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland

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Siberian Husky Tour | Dog Sledding in the Myvatn Area

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7 Day Guided Winter Tour | Half-Circle of Iceland and Flight back to Reykjavik

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9 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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14 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & The Westfjords

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Ultimate 10 Day Adventure | Highlands in Winter & Ice Caves

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12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik

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Visit a Dog Sled Kennel on an Icelandic Farm | Lake Myvatn Area

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Dettifoss Waterfall | Winter Adventure from Akureyri

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8-Day Winter Package | South Coast, Eastfjords & Lake Myvatn

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Askja Caldera & Viti Crater | East Highlands Day Tour

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12 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & National Parks

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9 Day Package | With Guided Tour Around The Ring Road of Iceland

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Askja Caldera Tour from Akureyri | With Godafoss Waterfall

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11 Day Self Drive Tour | Ring Road & East Fjords

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Circle of Iceland with Snaefellsnes Peninsula | 10-Day Winter Package

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10 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Circle of Iceland

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Lofthellir Ice Cave Tour from Lake Myvatn

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Winter 7 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & North Iceland

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Lofthellir Ice Cave Tour from Akureyri

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13 Day Self Drive Tour | Ring Road with Snaefellsnes & Westfjords

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Dettifoss Waterfall with Flight from Reykjavík

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9 Day Winter Package | Minibus Excursion of Iceland with Akureyri

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Myvatn Off-Road Super Jeep Tour

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12 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland with the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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7 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | Around Iceland in a Week

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10 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | The Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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9 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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11 Day Winter Package | The Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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6-Hour Tour | Godafoss, Namaskard Geothermal Area & Myvatn Nature Bath

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Summer 7 Day Self Drive Tour | North Iceland & Myvatn

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Sightseeing Tour from Akureyri | Waterfalls & Myvatn Nature Baths

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Lake Myvatn, Geothermal Wonders, Waterfalls & Nature Baths from Akureyri

Join this small group tour of the lovely Lake Mývatn area in northern Iceland. This tour is for......

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Lake Myvatn Minibus Tour from Akureyri Port

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15 Day Summer Hot Spring Hunt Self Drive | Iceland in-Depth

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See The North! | Dettifoss, Lake Myvatn & Godafoss

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10 Hour Tour to Godafoss, Lake Myvatn & Askja Crater

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10 Day Summer Package | Reykjavik, Akureyri & Icelandic Nature

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Iceland Country Life | 9-Day Sightseeing Adventure

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11 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | East Fjords & Myvatn

Trail all around the island of ice and fire on this eleven-day budget self-drive tour. This......

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Lake Myvatn Husky Experience | 5-Day North Iceland Adventre

Immerse yourself in the Lake Mývatn area with this four-day package, centred around a husky......

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Bike and Bath

Cycle with us into the bright summer night on a mountain bike. On our way we cycle by the......

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12 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road & National Parks

Embark on a journey around Iceland and explore the country’s most popular attractions on this......

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Waterfalls of Gods and Power | Dettifoss, Godafoss & Lake Myvatn

Come along on this unique sightseeing tour of the beautiful northern nature. See the most......

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13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget | Circle of Iceland & Westfjords

Be the master of your time and your wallet on this 13-Day Budget Self-Drive Tour around the Ring......

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Iceland road one |Akureyri, Myvatn, Jokulsarlon & South Coast

See the most popular Icelandic attractions as well as some hidden games on this private 6-day......

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Lake Myvatn with North Iceland Waterfalls & Nature Baths

Behold the volcanic wonders of the Lake Mývatn area on this incredible sightseeing tour, where......

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5-Day Circle of Iceland Camping Tour

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Siberian Husky Dog Cart Tour in Lake Myvatn Area

Race across the landscapes near Lake Mývatn on a dog cart and meet the adorable Siberian Huskies......

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Grand lux Lake Myvatn Tour | Nature Baths & Lunch

This tour will connect amazing nature, fantastic local farm cuisine and a relaxing time at the......

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Short Snowmobile Tour from Lake Myvatn

Hop on for a snowmobile ride of a lifetime. This short snowmobile tour explores the area......

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Askja Caldera & Holuhraun Lava Field | Super Jeep Day-tour

Travel in style with this fantastic Super Jeep tour discovering the wild, captivating landscapes......

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Wilderness Lava Walk | Lake Mývatn & Krafla Volcano

Immerse yourself in the incredible wilderness of the Lake Mývatn area by exploring the mystical......

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10 Day Summer Self-Drive in Iceland | Explore the Best Ring Road Attractions in Depth

Enjoy exploring the most beautiful Ring Road attractions in depth, with this ten-day summer......

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Iceland Midnight Sun Photography Workshop

Bring your photography skills to higher levels by joining this 12-day summer workshop chasing......

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14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords

See the whole of Iceland and visit the Westfjords with this affordable two-week package. You’ll......

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Diamond Circle Flying Tour in North Iceland

Fly above north Iceland’s most incredible sites, with this flightseeing tour of the Diamond......

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Caving Tour to Lofthellir Ice Cave with Flight from Reykjavik

Descend into the earth on a tour of the lava cave of Lofthellir and the peculiar world of......

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Three Day North Iceland Tour to Hrisey Island

Join this three-day tour to witness many incredible locations in Iceland, including the little......

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Lake Myvatn, the Nature Baths, and Whale Watching | Departures from Akureyri and Reykjavík

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Iceland's Top Sites | 4 Day Super Jeep Winter Holiday

Join us on this unique super jeep tour across the Icelandic highlights and highlands in winter.......

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Express Sightseeing Around Iceland | 4-Day Guided Tour

Journey Iceland's Ring Road with this guided sightseeing tour, stopping at over twenty major......

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Godafoss Waterfall and the Myvatn Admision to the Nature Baths | Luxurious Day Tour from Akureyri

Experience the beauty of ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’, witness the Lake Mývatn area and bask in......

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Snowmobile tour from Lake Myvatn

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5 Day Self Drive Tour | Northern Lights Holiday by Lake Myvatn

Take the wheel on this 5-day, 4-night Northern Lights journey of North Iceland in the beautiful......

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Private Super Jeep Tour to Dettifoss in North Iceland

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Winter Wonderland of the North | Christmas Tour from Akureyri

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Nature Baths and Northern Lights | Private Tour from Lake Myvatn

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Private Lake Myvatn Day Tour

Marvel over the diverse wonders of the lake Mývatn region on this private day tour. Where you......

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48-hour Full Day Tour to the Highlands of North Iceland

Come along on this tour of the exciting Highlands of north Iceland. This tour is perfectly......

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Highlights of the North Tour | Departure from Akureyri

Join this fun-filled tour to see waterfalls, geothermal areas, mountains, valleys and lakes. The......

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10 Day Winter Tour around Iceland with Ice Cave

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9-Day Winter Photography Workshop | North Iceland

Sharpen your skills and capture unreal landscapes on this nine-day winter photo workshop. You'll......

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Extreme Iceland Highlands Photography Workshop

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Fat Bike Adventure at Lake Myvatn

Come along on this fat bike adventure around the Lake Mývatn area. This tour is perfect for......

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Lake Myvatn Sightseeing Day Tour

Enjoy the sites of Mývatn in north Iceland, with this excellent day tour. This is a perfect......

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Private Tour of North Iceland from Akureyri | Tailor Your Own Trip

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10-Day Untouched Tour | Circle of Iceland with Glacier Hiking & Ice Caving

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