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

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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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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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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Grjótagjá

Grjótagjá is a small lava cave located near lake Mývatn. It features a geothermal hot spring inside. Grjótagjá...

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Reykjahlíð

  Reykjahlid is a small village by the shores of Lake Myvatn, in North Iceland. Reykjahlid has about 300 inhabitants and is close to many natu...

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Mývatn

  Myvatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Along with its surrou...

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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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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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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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Krafla

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Hrossaborg

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

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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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Jökulsárgljúfur

  Jokulsargljufur is a preservation area and former National Park which became part of Vatnajokull National Park in 2008. It derives its name fr...

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Tours near Námaskarð

Mývatn Off-Road Super Jeep Tour

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Summer 7 Day Self Drive Tour | North Iceland & Myvatn

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6 Days Circle of Iceland Guided Tour

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North Iceland Winter Photography Workshops

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Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

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Myvatn Tour

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10 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Circle of Iceland

Drive the entire ring-road of Iceland in ten days, on this immersive winter tour. Carefully......

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

Circle the incredible country of Iceland in the depth of winter with this exciting package. Over......

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

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5-Day Minibus Tour of the North | Departure from Akureyri

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Grand Lake Myvatn Tour | Nature Baths & Lunch

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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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