Located in the heart of north-east Iceland about 105 kilometres (65 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, Lake Mývatn with its unique nature and rich birdlife is one of Europe´s greatest natural treasures. Shaped by repeated volcanic eruptions and seismic activity down through the ages, the landscape around the 36.5 km2 lake situated at an altitude of 277 m above sea-level provides a spectacular panorama of surreal lava, crater and cave formations, sulphur-streaked mountains, and sweeping wetlands teeming with plant and birdlife which, in summer, are home to the swarms of midges that not only give the region its name but also provide a major source of nutrition for fish and birds.
Each spring, these shallow marshes and the lake´s 50 or so islands serve as nesting and breeding sites for what is probably the largest variety of ducks, swans, geese and waders found at a single location anywhere in the world, among them the elusive Barrow´s Goldeneye, a native of North America found nowhere else in Europe. The area is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. It offers a variety of accommodation services, restaurants and activities throughout the year. Explore the surroundings on numerous well-marked paths or follow the signs along the National Road guiding you to all major places of interest. Allow yourself to lose track of time while admiring the beauty of the landscape and abundant flora and birdlife. Places not to be missed include Hverfjall, Dimmuborgir, Grjótagjá, Skútustadagígar, Höfdir, Lofthellir, Leirhnjúkur, Krafla and the hot springs east of Námskardur. A total of around 450 people live in the district of Skútustadahreppi with around 200 in the village of Reykjahlid.