While Mývatn’s immediate surrounds appear fairly stable, the plateau rising just outside Reykjahlíð at Bjarnarflag and extending northeast is anything but serene, the barren, pock-marked landscape pouring out lively quantities of steam and – when the mood takes it – lava. This being Iceland you can see not only how destructive such events have been, but also how their energy has been harnessed. Alongside power stations and even an underground “bakery”, there are the Jarðböðin nature baths, building on the centuries-old tradition of using the area’s plentiful geothermal water for bathing. Beyond here, still on the Ringroad, the bubbling mud pools at Hverir are definitely worth a stop en route to the Krafla volcano, reached by a detour north along a sealed track. The mountain and the neighbouring plains at Leirhnjúkur, still dangerously hot after a particularly violent session during the 1980s, are Mývatn’s most geologically active region.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Iceland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Going for a spa in Iceland can feel wonderfully alien. Against a backdrop of barren moonscapes and denuded hills, the waters are so preternaturally blue, so exa…

24 Nov 2016 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

Reykjavík, a bustling port and the world’s most northerly capital, draws visitors from across the globe in record-breaking numbers – and its popularity sho…

12 May 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

Feeling far away from the natural wonders of Iceland? You're about to feel a lot closer. Welcome to 360° virtual reality, where you can look where you wan…

14 Oct 2015 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month