North Iceland

North Iceland is a fascinating region, offering a great variety of attractions and activities. Unforgettable tours and excursions are available: into the highlands to view the extraordinary landscapes, mountain ranges, hot springs, waterfalls, glacial rivers, volcanic craters and other amazing geological features. The world renowned Mývatn (Myvatn) Lake is also in this area, providing fantastic opportunities for bird watching. Fishing, hunting, golf, horseriding, whale watching, river rafting or Heli-Skiing are all offered. All seasons in the North of Iceland are enchanting. The Midnight Sun in the summer and the Northern Lights in the winter add that extra touch of magic.

Favourite Sights
On the west side of Húnafjörður (Hunafjordur), the rock arch of Hvítserkur (Hvitserkur) towers just off the shore; far to the south, nearly at the pass out of North Iceland. Hveravellir, geothermal area of fumaroles and iridescent hot pools adds colour to the highlands with one of the country's largest geothermal fields. The islands of Málmey (Malmey) and Drangey in Skagafjörður exude folklore, while the people of Eyjafjörður (Eyjafjordur) boast of more magnificent mountains and more prosperous farming communities than one can generally find. The two Þingey (Thingey) counties present nature that is simultaneously rough, mild and breathtaking, with so many stunning sights that it would be hard to find more natural masterpieces anywhere else. Goðafoss waterfall, one of the most spectacular in Iceland, and Dettifoss waterfall, considered Europe's mightiest, are just a couple of examples. Downstream from Dettifoss, you can explore Jökulsárgljúfur (Jokulsargljufur), one of the country's most awe-inspiring canyons, located in Vatnajökull (Vatnajokull) National Park. The Hljóðaklettar (Hljodakettar),”Echo rocks”, lava formations can be found in the area, and Ásbyrgi (Asbyrgi), where the rushing waters of the Jökulsá (Jokulsa), Glacier River, have shaped stark cliffs. Far to the south, Askja epitomises calderas and volcanoes. The Mývatn (Myvatn) Lake and its entire surroundings are world-famous for their beauty, and the cliffs of Dimmuborgir comprise a wondrous world of their own.

Mývatn Lake District and Mývatn Lake
Mývatnssveit (Myvatnssveit), Myvatn Lake District, is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. The area is world renowned for its awesome natural beauty, with volcanic eruptions having played a crucial role in the formation of the landscape since ancient times. Extraordinary natural lava sculptures stand out in and around the lake, while at geothermal fields the land is painted in all colours of the rainbow. Roads and walkways lead travellers to interesting locations, whether the plan is to enjoy the strange landscape, examine unique natural phenomena or take a closer look at the plant and bird life. Mývatnssveit offers a variety of services in accommodation, food, and entertainment, based on years of experience and local knowledge.

Mývatn Lake is a unique pearl of nature, the fourth largest lake in Iceland, covering 36.5 km2 (around 14 sq. mi). It is situated at 277 m (908 ft.) above sea level, and has more than 40 small islands. Mývatn (mý – midge; vatn – lake) derives its name from these small insects  which provide a large part of the diet for various birds as well as trout. Mývatn and the surrounding wetlands have a remarkably rich fauna of bird life, and are home to more species of ducks than any other place on earth. The densest habitation of Harlequin Duck in the world is at the upper reaches of Laxá (Laxa), Salmon River, and the Barrow’s Goldeneye duck is found in no other place in Europe. Other bird species include the Red-breasted Merganser, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, European Teal, Long-tailed duck and Eiders. Laxá River is famous for rich fishing of brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

Day trips from Akureyri to Mývatn Lake are immensely popular. The distance to the Mývatn District is about 90 km east of Akureyri. The surroundings are truly magnificent, formed by volcanic activity which is still ongoing. The latest eruption occurred about 20 years ago and the bubbling clay pits and sulphuric fumes wafting over the area are a reminder of the titan forces surging beneath. The results of these forces being unleashed can be seen in the lava formations which have been forged into towers, castles and caves, resembling a fantastic giant's playground.

A vibrant community has developed around this bird watcher’s paradise.  Some way to the east, Jökulsárgljúfur (Jokulsargljufur) canyon completes the North’s triangle of must see locations, stretching along an exceptionally scenic area which includes the Dettifoss waterfall.

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