Myvatn and Húsavík

Myvatn area
The area around lake Myvatn (translates into mosquito water) is famous for its beautiful scenery with lava formations as it is for its hot water ground activities.
It is one of the most active earthquake areas on Iceland even if most earth crust movements are small.
The small village Reykjahlið was built based upon a silica producing industry which was pumping silica (siliciumdioxid) up from the bottom of the lake Myvatn.
The very light quartz sand was dried with heat from the ground and sold as soft grinding material, cat sand or for making nitroglycerin. Industry started in 1966 as a joint venture between icelandic government and an american company.
It finally ceased its operation in 2004 due to environmental pressure and falling market prices. Lake Myvatn was not the shallow lake which it once was any longer since 27 thousand tons of material had been pumped up yearly. Birdlife was affected.

In the meantime tourists had found their way to this by natural forces shaped area and this is the main occupation for people living here today and not farming.

Due to the geothermic active area the government built a straight and wide road for making it easy to leave the area in case of emergency.
There is no track following the shores of the lake for taking a roundtrip but there is a very nice small national park on the eastern side of the lake well worth visiting.
There are some lava stone caves opposite the garden with hot water in which are other popular tourist targets. In one of them is also a cache hidden. Twenty years back in time water temperature was perfect for taking a bath there but after volcanic activity in the area water became too hot.

Walking up Hverfjall is another popular activity in this area and is more or less considered a must when visiting. You can walk up the crater edge and also down into the crater or just walk round the ridge. Very nice view over lake Myvatn.
There is a camping site uphill from the four way road junction and several accommodations and even a hotel. Calculate with rather high prices !

If you follow the main road eastwards first uphill then steep downhill you will after some km see an area with bubbling blueish clay. You have come to Námafjall where underground activity bubbles everywhere on ground level. The smell is from the sulphur rich water as a matter of fact in the form of H2S, rotten egg smell.
This gas you will smell everywhere where there is warm tap water since the human nose is extremely sensible for this gas. It is possible to bake bread by digging a hole of a meter or so in depth and put the dough in a box keeping it overnight and a day later your bread is freshly baked.

After Námaskard there are miles of lava field and stone field deserts. After some km on the road eastwards there is a junction to Krafla geothermic power station (close to volcano Krafla) which is a must to visit whilst in the area. Holes drilled several hundred meters down into the ground become filled with hot steam which produces electricity when entering steam turbines.
Due to instabilities in the earth crust caused by volcanic activity new holes are drilled when the old ones block. This was once a high risk project when started in 1977 but technology has developed and power output is rather stable now at 60MW from 15 drilled holes.

Returning back to the main road again heading east you will soon find a jeep track taking off north. This will take you to an extraordinary area close to the mightiest water stream in Iceland, Jökulsá á fjöllum with the magnificent waterfall Dettifoss. The river is a glacial water river and it is not restricted by any power station flooding waste areas - yet. The canyon created by the river is dramatic and the stone pillars left very artistic.
Not far away there is a nice camping site in a canyon created by the foot of Sleipner the horse of the god Thór, legend says. You will face heavy echo here ! It is a green spot surrounded by vertical rock walls where the big birds great skua live. It is a very aggressive bird which will attack you if you get to close to its breeding nest. It also can leave an ugly stinking slime on you which can´t be washed away.

Back to Myvatn again and the road southwards to Laxárdalur where you find one of the most popular salmon fishing waters in the area. Calculate with a couple of hundred Euros per day for the permit to fish and add to that a waiting list before you get the permission. The river Laxá is supplying one of the bigger hydropower stations in the area.

One not so touristic exploited part yet is if you follow the river Kráká upstreams along a 4x4 track starting where road 849 to Baldursheimur ends. It will take you to very nice areas around Sellandfjall and Bláfjall. You will have to cross the river Kráká once only (no bridge) to get there.


There is a daily bus connection from Akureyri to Myvatn and back again .


 Idea is to explore the myvatn area during the event day. A more detailed program is published as an event and can be reached from the tab Event ideas. There is possibly a tourist tax waiting for visitors in 2018.





A very typical reason for visiting Húsavík is that many whale watching trips start from here since being the centre in Iceland for this activity. There are 2300 inhabitants so it is also a centre for the region especially for the farmers who deliver their milk to the dairy here. Also one of the few EU approved slaughterhouses is found here. Well perhaps not the best choice for your visit. The best seems to be that it is close to some other interesting areas ;-) according to an official web page....there is a fabulous whale watch museum I can report.

 There is a daily bus connection from Husavík to Myvatn ( leaving in the morning and returning in the afternoon.

Also from Akureyri you can go by bus to Husavik