North Iceland

The northern region of Iceland is famous for its abundance of whale-watching opportunities, as well as its beautiful scenery, rich cultural history, and unique natural features like hot springs, fishing settlements, and a rugged coastline.

Mývatn, Akureyri, and Húsavík, the whale-watching capital, are all popular places to visit.

North Iceland's nature, culture, and activities make it a must-see for travelers.

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Popular Tours in North Iceland

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Lake Mývatn

A natural marvel, Lake Mývatn was shaped over thousands of years by volcanic explosions.

Mývatn Lake is the fourth largest lake in Iceland, and its adjacent wetlands are home to more aquatic birds, particularly duck species, than any other location on the planet.

This area has been declared a wildlife reserve.

Along with mud flats and lava fields, it has several volcanic craters.

The history of Lake Mývatn

The Mývatn lake area was entirely buried by glaciers around 10,000 years ago.

The majority of these glaciers perished when eruptions at a range of 12 km (7.5 miles) began around 2300 years ago.

Because of the area's volcanic character, it has been subjected to several volcanic eruptions over the period of thousands of years.

The eruptions blocked a river and produced a sizable lava field leaving mountains around the volcanic lake.

Moss covered lava rocks surrounded by lake Myvatn water under a grey sky in North Iceland
Man laying inside a tent with the feet outside the tent in a peaceful weather by a lake with a fog and tress in Myvatn area in North Iceland

Are there any mosquitos in Iceland?

Although Iceland has no mosquitos, the Mývatn´s lake's name, which translates to "lake of midges," alludes to the distinctive flora of this region.

The first creatures you'll see wandering around the lake in the summer are midges, most noticeably.

There are two varieties of midges that may attack humans and animals. Gnats and chironomids.

The creatures serve a significant part in the lake's ecosystem, although it might be aggravating to watch them wander around the lake.

It is important to note that they cannot spread illnesses.

The flora of Lake Mývatn

Mývatn lake has a diverse range of animals and plants.

The lake is shallow, therefore it contains a lot of nutrients and energy.

Most known is the unusual green algae known as Kúluskítur, sometimes known as Mossballs or Marimo.

These algae may develop into big green balls with a creamy appearance.This form of algae has only been detected in a few places around the world, including Scotland, Estonia, and Japan.

The lake was filled with millions of these green balls in the year 2000. But in 2013, virtually all of them vanished.

More of them appeared and grew in 2016, so maybe the lake will soon be covered with Moss Balls again.

Please notice that Individuals must refrain from touching the green algae balls to safeguard the species' survival.

Flora, sunflowers and grass at Lake Myvatn in North Iceland

lava field

The field of Dimmuborgir, popularly known as the Castle of Fire, is a renowned tourist attraction in Iceland.

In Icelandic tradition, the lava caverns of Dimmuborgir are said to be the home of the nation's violent and wicked trolls, as well as the home of the Icelandic Yule Lads.

It is bordered by lava stacks and jagged black lava caverns.

This natural formation resulted from a significant volcanic eruption that took place some 2000 years ago.

Lava formations covered in moss at the Dimmuborgir Lava field in North Iceland

Geology of Dimmuborgir

Approximately 2300 years ago, the Þrenglsborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater rows in the Mývatn region erupted.

It is thought to be the largest known eruption in the Mývatn region since the previous ice age.

The eruption created a ravine that was a total length of 16,5 kilometers, with a 12-kilometer volcanic fracture and a further 5-kilometer crack on the side.

The lava eventually made its way to the former existing lake after flowing down the valley.

The water started to boil as a result of the extremely high temperatures, and the vapor from the flowing lava subsequently created enormous lava pillars.

These lava structures are a natural feature of Dimmuborgir, and some of the lava pillars may grow as tall as 20 meters high, forming enormous lava chambers distinguishable by their hollow architecture.

Folklore of Dimmuborgir

The aggressive and evil trolls of the country, as well as the Icelandic Yule Lads, are said to reside at Dimmuborgir.

The most well-known couple is Grýla and her husband Leppalúði, who are the parents of the Yule lads and their enormous pet cat, "jólakötturinn."

Grýla was famous for her voracious desire for children, as well as her enormous pet cat, who would eat children over the Christmas season if they didn't get any clothes.

These trolls, known as the Yule Lads or Icelandic Santa Clauses, terrified Icelandic children over the 13 days leading up to Christmas.

Each of them was given a name based on its particular tactics on how they would terrorize the children.

Rag dolls of the Icelandic Santa claus standing on a lava stone in Dimmuborgir North Iceland
Lava landscape covered in moss and trees inside Dimmuborgir lava field in North Iceland

How to get to Dimmuborgir

The Dimmuborgir is a stunning natural region that can be reached from Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik.

It will take around 6 hours to go there without stopping and is around 480 kilometers (300 miles).

We urge that you allocate more time to view the numerous natural sights along the road.

Take Ring Road 1 north to the Borgarfjörður birch area when traveling from Reykjavik.

This path will lead you to the Hvalfjarargöng tunnel. Route 1 should be followed to Akureyri town, which is about an hour's drive from Dimmuborgir.

GPS: 65.650190, -16.904181

Goðafoss Waterfall

The Waterfall of the Gods, commonly known as Goðafoss, is one of Iceland's most enchanting waterfalls.

Just off the Ring Road, Goðafoss is about halfway between Akureyri and Lake Mývatn.

Dropping from a height of 12 meters (39 feet) across a 30-meter span (98feet).

This natural phenomenon consists of a semi-circled arc on a gently inclined section of lava, producing circular patterns in the water below.

Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods

In Iceland's early history, the majority of the population was pagan.

To intimidate Iceland into adhering to its Christian principles, Norway threatened to invade the nation.

A discussion about religion was taking place in Althing at Thingvellir at this time.

Chieftain Thorgeir Thorkelsson, the Althing's law speaker, spent a day and a night under a fur blanket
to pray to his Old Gods.

After he emerged from his cave, he declared that Christianity
was the religion for the people. However, pagans could practice their religion in private.

He followed it by tossing Norse god statues into the waterfall.

Since then, this natural feature has been recognized waterfall as Godafoss.

Godafoss Waterfall of the gods in a dramatic setting large stone in the foreground at the edga of the waterfall under a burning red sky at sunset
A green flower beneath Godafoss waterfall of the gods in North Iceland

How to get to Goðafoss

Goðafoss is situated in Iceland's northeast, just off Ring Road 1.

Reykjavik is 438 kilometers away, Akureyri is 50 kilometers away, and Egilsstaðir is 214 kilometers away.

There are two observation platforms:
east and west.

The Goðafoss west side viewpoint is accessible by a moderate level and simple-to-follow route that provides a panoramic view of the waterfall.

The journey to the lookout should only take ten minutes.

The east side will get you closer to the waterfall and may provide a better perspective.

However, it is wise to have both alternatives accessible owing to the weather and the location of the sun.

GPS: 65.682934, -17.550156

Dettifoss Waterfall

The Dettifoss waterfall is Europe's most powerful, with 200 cubic meters avarege of water falling over the cliff per second.

Dettifoss is 100 meters wide and 45 meters high.

Dettifoss attracts large visitors every year and is one of the sights that comprise the well-known Diamond Circle of North Iceland.

When you stand next to Dettifoss, the ground trembles physically. It's thundering, booming, and incomparably loud.

How to get to Dettifoss?

Dettifoss is around a 7-hour journey from Reykjavik, therefore we strongly suggest making this a multiday trip to provide time to see the amazing sights in the Dettifoss region.

Dettifoss may be seen from either the east or the west side.

There is a paved road to the west side: driving from Route 1 to the west side parking lot takes 20 minutes (24 km).

This trip takes 45 minutes from Mývatn. This gives you a fairly view of the waterfall.

65.815918, -16.387437

Dettifoss in North Iceland in the middle of winter. Snow covering the earth around and icicles all around the waterfall in a dramatic setting

The unpaved road to the east side: From Route 1, it is 32 km (45 minutes) to the parking lot on the east side.

And gives you a closer view of the Waterfall.

65.815277, -16.383769

When is the best time to visit Dettifoss?

We really recommend visiting Dettifoss in the summer.

First off, because the summer is when the waterfall's water flow is considered to be at its highest, when it may approach 300 cubic meters per second.

Second, because of the heavy snowfall and dangerous winter driving conditions.

Road 864 could be closed all winter long, however it often reopens in late May or early June.

Third, it is inaccessible during the winter months without the use of crampons, and the waterfall can only be viewed for a few hours before sunset due to snow and ice.

Additionally, the terrain may be quite icy and treacherous.

Dettifoss the most powerful waterfall in Europe on a nice summer day flowers and sunny clouds in the sky


Akureyri, sometimes known as the "Capital of the North," is the second-largest city outside of the Capital Region.

With only 20,000 inhabitants and a 125 km2 area, it is small enough to be very intimate while still offering a wide range of entertainment, art, and culture.

Akureyri Capital
of the north

The town of Akureyri was created as a result of the 17th-century Danish-Icelandic Trade Monopoly.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Danish traders began conducting business in Akureyri, transforming the city into a Danish settlement.

Iceland was a member of Denmark's empire at the time. The town's houses and culture still have a strong Danish cultural influence.

The community has been providing its citizens with a range of educational opportunities for many years, including high school, elementary school, and secondary school.

The city also boasts a university. The town is recognized as a lovely location to live in and boasts a wide selection of eateries and coffee shops.

The Botanical Garden, among other intriguing museums, is located nearby. Two campsites are also available for lodging.

The stairs in front of Akureyri church with snow on the ground and grey cloudy sky


Húsavík, a picturesque village in Iceland, is situated along Skjálfandi Bay's coastline.

It has earned the title of "Whale Watching Capital of Europe" thanks to the area's abundance of fish-rich feeding grounds.

Aside from its capabilities for whale watching, this is the ideal stop for anybody wishing to discover the country's northern regions.

Several museums and eateries may be found there.

Boats in the harbour at Husavik town, grey sky in a calm weather

Húsavík the town

Húsavik is regarded as one of the country's oldest communities.

It´s history is thought to stretch back to the year 870.

The district's cultural hub is The Museum House. It has a wide range of varied exhibits, including those from natural history and maritime museums.

The Húsavik Whale Center, an elegant and educational museum on whales, is also located in the town.

Numerous music festivals and theatrical productions are held there, and it has a thriving cultural scene.

Whale Watching Tours in Húsavík

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Siglufjörður, which is surrounded by spectacular mountains and amazing landscapes, provides a range of activities all year round.

Hikers can benefit from the area's breathtaking beauty in the summer.And skiing in the region is superb during the winter season.

Siglufjörður is also the northernmost village on Iceland's mainland, making it one of the finest site in the world to witness the midnight sun.

History of Siglufjörður

Siglufjörður is a tiny fishing village in North Iceland's most northern section, known as the Tröllaskagi Peninsula.

It is also the country's northernmost settlement.The town of Siglufjörður was first a fishing settlement, but by 1915 it had grown into a thriving community.

The region earned a reputation as the world's top herring supplier because of its booming fishing business.

By the twentieth century, it had grown to be one of Iceland's largest fishing communities.Unfortunately, overfishing and exploitation of marine resources resulted in a reduction in stock levels.

During the 1960s, the herring population in the area vanished.

Calm weather in Siglufjordur town . Boats tied to the harbour and a hotel with beautiful mountains in behind

The town of Siglufjörður had to search for a new industry as a result of the demise of the fishing sector.

Later, it rose to prominence as a travel destination with the Héðinsfjarðargöng Tunnel opening in 2010, making it simpler for visitors to visit the town.

The area still has a long way to go until the tourist business there is more sustainably developed, despite the many attractions it has to offer.

Ásbyrgi Canyon

The Ásbyrgi is a unique canyon in the shape of a horseshoe that is said to have been formed by the footprint of Sleipnir, a mythical winged horse from Norse mythology.

It possesses incredible vitality, and the region is also known as Shelter of the Gods.

It is recognized as one of the most important locations in Icelandic folklore and is steeped with legends and tales.

Green forest inside Asbyrgi Canyon in North Iceland. A single road leading trough the green forest

Ásbyrgi Canyon geography

The Ásbyrgi canyon, which is around 3.5 kilometers long and 1.1 kilometers broad, is part of the vast Vatnajökull National Park.

Ásbyrgi is one of the most amazing attractions of the park, according to many.

The canyon is a 100-meter-high rock wall in the northern region of Iceland that is encircled by thick woodland.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the canyon is the enormous rock formation known as the Eyjan, which spans about half of its length.

At the bottom of the canyon, between Spruce, Larch, and Pine trees, is a small lake known as Botnstjörn that may be reached by hiking inside the canyon walls.

A setting that can only be described as a scene from a fairytale film.

How was Ásbyrgi canyon formed?

The Ásbyrgi Canyon has a history that dates back between 8,000 and 10,000 years.

After a volcanic explosion in the region, it was created.

Following a subsequent glacial flood some five thousand years later, the natural feature took on its ultimate shape.

Geologists and scientists think that the Ásbyrgi Canyon was formed differently from other natural features in the vicinity.

A green forest in a horse shoe shaped rock formation inside Asbyrgi Canyon in North Iceland
Statue made from metal of a man on a eight legged horse sleipnir inside Asbyrgi Canyon North Iceland

The folklore of Ásbyrgi Canyon

The eight-legged horse Sleipnir belonged to the Norse legendary deity Odin.

He unintentionally struck the ground with one of his legs one day while riding his horse.

The Ásbyrgi Canyon was created as a result, which accounts for the canyon's horse-shoe form.

Although it is unknown what caused the Ásbyrgi canyon to appear, many people still believe it was formed by the footprint of a mythical winged horse.

Visitors should treat the place with respect as a result.

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