On our first full day in Lake Mývatn we spent the day seeing all the sights around the lake. Mývatn is unique in that it has a ridiculous amount of sights and activities in a fairly small, easy-to-travel area. We spent three nights in the area and had plenty to do.
We started off the day with a hike through the Grjótagjá and Stóragjá fissures both of which have hot springs!
Then we took a walk around the Hverfell crater. I'm pretty sure the wind at the top was the strongest I've ever felt!
View of Lake Mývatn
Then, we hiked through the Dimmuborgir (Dark Castle) lava fields. This lava is particularly craggy and had tons of interesting formations.
Legend has it that Dimmuborgir is home to the thirteen Jólasveinarnir (Yule Lads) who, as a group, are similar to our Santa Claus. The park folks set up this cave to look like the home of the Yule Lads. I'm sure it was supposed to be cute and clever for the kids, but it was actually super creepy and weird.
The most popular formation in Dimmuborgir is the kirkjan, or Church.
The church formed when a (rather large) pocket of air was trapped below the lava surface until the lava fully hardened. Eventually, as the land and lava settled, parts of the surface broke and the cave was exposed.
Next, we hiked around the Höfði Nature Park. It was forested, which is unique for Iceland and had wonderful views of the lake and mountains. There were also nasty black bugs that covered us the entire time we hiked.
The Skútustaðir pseudo craters were up next on our adventure. These look like small volcanic craters but are actually formed by water trapped under lava that heats up and turns to steam then eventually blows through the lava after the pressure builds.
Our last big stop around the lake was Vindbelgjarfjall. Its another volcanic mountain. We decided not to hike it though because we were getting exhausted and we had a big day the next day.
Since we had just missed the milking the day before, we went back to Vogafjós for hot chocolate and cows!