Information about Námaskarð

A boiling hot spring at Námaskarð

Námaskarð Pass is a geothermal area on the mountain Námafjall, in north Iceland, less than half an hour’s drive from Lake Mývatn. It is located by Route 1, which encircles the country.

Connected to the Krafla volcano system, Námaskarð is home to many hot-springs, mud-pots and fumaroles.

Geography of Námaskarð

Námaskarð is notable due to its barrenness; no vegetation grows on its slopes. This is due to the heat beneath the earth, the high levels of acidity in the soil, and poisonous fumes being expelled.

That is not to say, however, that the site is dull; its life comes from the vivid colours that streak through the earth, dyed by the elements brought up with the steam. Expect to see shades of red, orange, yellow and green, particularly concentrated around the springs themselves.

The air smells intensely of sulphur throughout the area, which, while unpleasant, is a constant reminder of the powerful forces at work beneath your feet. Though it would be damaging for your health to spend too long breathing it, a visit for a few hours will not cause any problems.

While exploring Námaskarð, be sure not to touch any of the running water, as it is likely to be boiling. Also, give all the hot springs a reasonably wide berth, as the land surrounding them may be unstable, with scalding steam just beneath the surface.

Námaskarð is about 400 metres (1312 ft) above sea level.

Surroundings of Námaskarð

Námaskarð is situated between the mighty waterfalls of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river (which include Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss) and the Lake Mývatn area, making it a natural part of anyone’s itinerary if they are exploring the north from Akureyri or Mývatn.

Those travelling the Diamond Circle are also encouraged to make a stop here if they have time.

Services near Námaskarð

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Námaskarð

Mývatn Nature Baths

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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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Krafla is a caldera ca. 10-15 km north of Lake Myvatn in North Iceland. The diameter of the volcano is 10 km and it has a fissure zone of 90 km. Its ...



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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 ...


Víti in Krafla

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



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



  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...



Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by genevieverossier  Hrossaborg, in northeast Iceland, is a tephra and scoria crater. Its name means &ls...


Selfoss (waterfall)

Selfoss is a beautiful waterfall in the river Jokulsa a Fjollum in North Iceland. Selfoss belongs to the Jokulsargljufur preservation area, with its ...


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