Iceland Road Trip: Akureyi and Lake Myvatn
Given our late night arrival at Keflavik, we opted to take the bus to our hotel, and just spend the night next to the domestic airport, in order to make our early morning domestic departure as simple as possible.
The following morning, we departed for Akureyi. Upon arrival, we jumped in our rental car, checked out the little town, including the church and motorcycle museum, stocked up on groceries, and then headed out to Lake Myvatn.
Along the way, we stopped at Godafoss waterfall. Godafoss means, the fall of the gods. This
was our first waterfall stop on the trip, and a really great way to start.
Lake Myvatn is filled with sites. We started with a walk along the lake itself – while the views are stunning, they are difficult to enjoy due to the sheer number of midges. Turns out Myvatn means “midges”, which were basically thick swarms of flies that try to get into every orifice, making it
hard to see. Fortunately, they don’t bite. You can get nets to avoid them, but as we didn’t have them, I was grateful for my jacket hood and sunglasses, which did a decent job of still allowing us to enjoy the area.
We then went up to the Námaskarð geothermal area, where there are bubbling mud pools, sulphur springs and hissing steam vents. And continued along to the Krafla area to hike around Viti crater and also see the geothermal plants.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at Lake Myvatn Jardbödin Natural Bath, which is well worth it. It is a much less touristy and cheaper version of the blue lagoon. While it is less blue, and
only has a small café as part of it (rather than a fancy restaurant and a swim-up bar), it feels authentic and peaceful.
Our hotel was situated just next to Skútustaðir, so we had dinner back at the hotel restaurant, and enjoyed the view of the pseudo craters — interesting formations formed in steam explosions when molten lava flowed over the wetland — outside our hotel room window.
There are a number of other sites in the area, and I could have easily spent some more time here (especially with a net to avoid the midges), but it was well worth a long day (fortunately, a sunny
one so we really made the most of the daylight until late in the evening).