Europe, Photography, Travel

Take a Hike! Big Hole Hunting in Lake Myvatn, Iceland

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I was determined to see everything in Lake Myvatn. There were so many hikes, it was a massive task to take on. And while we didn’t get to see everything, here is a quick highlight of a few hikes you can do in a day.

I call it our “Hole Hunting Hiking” because everything around there revolves around pseudo-craters (big holes that were created because steam exploded out the top) or massive holes in lava rocks all around Lake Myvatn.

Hverfjall

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What was supposed to be a 20 minute hike turned into an hour and a half. 20 minutes will get you up to the top but if you want to get the really good lay of the land, you hike around the rim of this massive pseudo-crater.

WARNING: It is MUCH bigger than you think it is.

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I’m sure you can do the hike in less than an hour but we stopped to take pictures. They were glorious.

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Dimmuborgir

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While we couldn’t help but make jokes about the death metal band by this name, it is actually a lava formation field next to Hverfall. The hikes vary anywhere from 20 minutes to 8 hours (and with varying difficulties). Take your pick. We did the medium hike and we were done in about an hour.

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The lava formations are impressive and I would make sure to spend some time here. I had no clue that nature could create some of these shapes and for geology geeks like me, they have boards telling you how some of the formations were created.

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Also, one of the awesome things about this area is that the Yule Lads live here. Screw Santa Claus. Icelandic people have 13 days of Christmas in which the Yule Lads come and mess with you. Whether it be “Door Slamming” Yule Lad or “Eat your Skyir” Yule Lad, they torture you over a period of 13 days while leaving you presents in your shoes. The rest of the year they live in Dimmuborgir.

Hofdi

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This hike was found by accident but it is a nice walk nonetheless. Hike through the Icelandic forests and appreciate a landscape that is rare on the island. Keep in mind that most of the trees here were imported and planted. Iceland does not have native trees.

And then we stumbled upon this magical area.

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With water as blue as the Caribbean, I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes.

Iceland keeps surprising me. There really is everything that you can imagine here – except for warm beaches. I would have been here forever if that was the case.

Skutustadagigar

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We finally made it to the smaller pseudo-craters that we been passing all day in our car.

…and to be honest – seeing them from far away is much cooler than walking on the rims. You spend energy (I’m lazy) to get to the top and they are so short they don’t provide much of a view and well, there is a grassy hole in the middle.

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Woo.

The surrounding area is beautiful though.

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And to reward you at the end of a long day of hiking, I leave you with a surprise.

Grjótagjá

This is a hidden gem and is not mentioned in many guidebooks or online references. It is one of the many “points of interest” you can find while driving around Ring Road so you tend to overlook them.

This is a true hot pot. Found inside a cave (you have to look REALLY HARD for the entrance), this crystal clear blue water will take your breath away – along with the 47C/117F water.

Sure the warnings tell you to take heed before entering. “The cave was created by earthquakes and as Iceland is a seismic land, there will be more in the future. The rocks may fall at any point.”

So I may be smushed to death and drown with scalding hot water? Whatever. We went in anyways. We could only get our feet in due to how hot it was but with freezing temperatures outside, it felt nice.

It is a little creepy with how quiet the cavern is – so we made it a little happier with a few beers and a light show with our headlamps. 🙂

And I felt like I did Lake Myvatn a bit of justice by visiting everything above. I was frothing at the mouth when I read about this area of Iceland so we made sure to spend at least 2 days there. I suggest the same.

We were considering staying except for the fact that a little birdie warned me of an impending snowstorm. Looking outside I couldn’t believe it. Little did we know it would make for an interesting story later on… (to be continued)

16 thoughts on “Take a Hike! Big Hole Hunting in Lake Myvatn, Iceland”

  1. Now THIS is a place I could stay for days and days. I’d be tempted to do as many hikes as I could physically manage as well. Looks so peaceful!

  2. WOW! Okay, I am in love. Already. What gorgeous pictures – and stunning landscape. I want to go! And that cave with hot water fascinates me to no end. (I’m perhaps a bit of a geology geek too.) Those lava formations remind me of Irish and Scottish hills, too.

    Definitely adding this to my list when I finally get to Iceland. Thanks!

    1. But there is so much more! I honestly can’t believe I wrote so many posts on Iceland (and that I’m almost finished – SO SAD).

      Go lady go!

    1. They are really awesome hikes. There are thousands you can do in Iceland. I like going for ones that aren’t too hard that are still pretty.

      You should go sooner than later! I know it is about to explode with popularity.

  3. Magnificent photos.

    We are planning a trip to Iceland this summer. Where exactly is the place in your photo that came after Hofdi – “the magical area – with water as blue as the Caribbean”? Do you remember what it is called? Can we go there using a regular car (not a 4-wheel drive)?

    1. It is part of Hofdi! You can drive to the park but then you have to hike in to see the awesome pillars in the blue water.

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