The Mývatn area has about 450 inhabitants, of which approximately 200 live in the village Reykjahlíđ. Before, people used to live on the proceeds of the land by farming and fishing for trout in Lake Myvatn but it has changed radically in the last few decades. A diatomite factory was established in the late sixties and soon became the biggest source of employment in Myvatn. The geothermal power plant at Krafla also provides quite a few positions for the locals and tourism is a steadily growing business. A few hotels can be found around the countryside as well as restaurants, camping sites and other small companies related to tourism.
Myvatn nature baths www.jardbodin.is is a great place to spend the day. It is especially beneficial for those suffering from Arthritis.
The natural beauty of Myvatn and surroundings is unique and has been sculpted by volcanic eruptions throughout the ages. Lake Myvatn is one of the largest lakes in Iceland, 36.6 km2 and renowned for wildlife. It is believed to nest more species of duck than any other place in the world. The name, Mývatn, means the lake of the midges of which there are two kinds - one bites and the other does not - and they constitute an important part in the food chain being a large proportion of the food for many birds as well as the trout.
Dimmuborgir is close to Hverfjall and is a vast area of lava formations and vegetation. All kinds of lava formations can be found there, e.g. tunnels and small caves. The most spectacular of them is " the Church", a large vault resembling a church.
Höfđi is a promontory extending into Lake Myvatn. It offers good view over lake Myvatn, its bays and creeks and is ideal for bird watching. Kálfastrandarvogur is a cove which lies alongside the promontory and is renowned for its lava formations. Klasar and Kálfastrandarstrípa are the names of the lava columns which are among the most beautiful spots at Myvatn.
Skútustađagígar Skútustađagígar are pseudocraters formed in a steam explosion when molten lava rushed over wetland. It is an ideal spot for bird watching in Iceland and has been declared a preserved natural site.
Námafjall is a high temperature area with temperatures reaching 200°C at a depth of 1000 metres. There are two types of solfatara, steampits and mudpits. The soil in the high temperature area is infertile and barren but because of the the geothermal air it is very acid. A lot of sulphur is to be found in this area which was mined and the products, gunpowder, exported in earlier times. Námafjall, as all of Skútustađahreppur, was declared a preserved natural site in 1974. Visitors have to beware of the fragility of the soil and high temperatures.
Leirhnjúkur has erupted twice in the last centuries. The first was between 1724 and 1729 and then again in 1975. There are still spots where the heat from below can be felt on the surface and the range of colours stemming from the sulphur mines are fantastic.
The crater Víti or Helvíti opens in a circle which is about 300 metres in circumference. It was formed in a tremendous explosion in 1724. This explosion marked the beginning of activities called Myvatnseldar lasting for five years and is the longest known eruption in Iceland. The bottom of the crater was boiling for over a century after the explosion.
Hverfjall is a huge, circular crater with a depth of 140 metres and 1000 metres in circumference. It is one of the most beautiful explosive craters in Iceland and thought to be one of the largest on this planet. It is assumed to be the result of an explosion which happened about 2500 years ago.
Grjótagjá was a popular bathing site in earlier times but during the eruptions from 1975 to 1984 the water level rose so that bathing there is no more possible.
Herđubreiđ has been tagged the queen of Icelandic mountains. It stands about 1000- 1100 metres above the lavafields, majestic with its steep hills. The mountain is so regular in shape and beautiful that it is quite unique. Herđubreiđalindir are located at the foot of the mountain, an oasis in the wasteland where beautiful streams and springs unite in striking contrast to the barren monotony of the lavafields. This disparity along with the magnificent view makes Herđubreiđalindir one of the most magnificent spots in the Icelandic highland.
Askja is a great elliptical basin containing the deepest lake (217 metres) in the country at its bottom. There have been many great eruptions in Askja. One of the craters named Viti (Hell) spewed out ash and pumice in 1875. The water in the crater is still 22°C making it a popular bathing site.
Jökulsárgljúfur National Park is renowned for its beauty and natural treasures. Three waterfalls are within the Park limits: Dettifoss, Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, 44 metres high and 100 metres across.
Ásbyrgi is a spectacular natural phenomenon. Steep rock hills reach 90 - 100 metres straight up surrounding a beautiful pond and impressive growth, including a preserved birchwood. Many speculations are around regarding the forming of Ásbyrgi and the most likely one is that it was formed during two catastrophic floods in Jökulsá river, the first one about 8 - 10 thousand years ago and the latter approximately 3 thousand years ago. The river then changed its course and settled in its present position. The legend says that Ásbyrgi is a hoofprint by Sleipnir, Odin's horse.
The florid Hólmatungur is the home of many basalt columns. It is regarded one of the most impressive locality for hiking to be found on the island. Abundance of springs originate from Hólmatungur and Gloppuhellir cave is also worth visiting.
Hljóđaklettar is a cluster of caves, the remnants of volcanic activities carefully grinded and polished by the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.