Lake Mývatn is the fourth largest lake in Iceland about 37 square kilometers (23 square miles). The lake and the surrounding marshlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of birds, especially ducks who nest there during summer. Most of the birds are migratory arriving late april, early may, from north-western Europe. The name Lake Mývatn (midge lake) is derived from the hordes of gnats (a type of flie) that breed in the shallow waters. The gnats are very important to the fauna of Lake Mývatn since they provide a large part of the diet of various birds as well as the trout.
The area around Lake Mývatn is dominated by volcanic landforms such as:
- Skútustaðagígar Craters – Area of medum-sized pseudocraters which were formed during volcanic eruptions when lava flowed over wetlands.
- Dimmuborgir – Dark Forts – Lava park with unique rock formations such as volcanic arches, pillars and caves.
- Mt. Hverfell – 2500 year old tephra crater.
- Grjótagjá Gorge – a small rift with inner thermal spring inside.
- Lake Mývatn Nature Baths – man made bathing lagoon with geothermal water drawn from the depths of up to 2.500 meters ( 8200ft)
- Hverarönd hot spring area - geothermal area of bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles.
- Krafla caldera– Some areas of the lava field at Leirhnjúkur volcano are still steaming.
- Víti in Krafla area – volcanic explosion crater formed in 1724.
You can visit the surroundings of Lake Mývatn if you are on the following self drive tours: