Iceland Day 5: Mývatn (Hverir, Hverfjall, Grjótagjá, Dimmuborgir and Mývatn Nature Baths) and Dettifoss

August 28, 2019


On Day 5, we left Egilsstaðir and continued north to Mývatn. We stopped by the massive Dettifoss on the way there but I will talk about that at the end of this post instead of the beginning. First thing first... Mývatn! When we drove into Mývatn, the terrain suddenly became Mars like or what I imagine Mars would look like, and the air was filled with sulfur. That is because this is a highly volcanic and geothermal area. We spent the day exploring Hverir, Hverfjall, Grjótagjá, and Dimmuborgir before ending the day at Mývatn Nature Baths.


Hverir, a geothermal field of boiling/bubbling gray puddles and hot steam loudly pouring from the conical fumaroles, smelled especially strong of sulfur. So pungent it was rancid! I, however, powered through the smell and walked around this area because it was so surreal. I remember being in disbelief and saying to Mark at one point, "What is this place?"


From Hverir, we drove just a few minutes to Hverfjall. The climb (1,300 ft) up the steep slope to the crater’s rim of Hverfjall was probably the coldest and windiest during our trip. But the otherworldly view at the top was well worth it! The crater is circular, most symmetrical, and about 140 meters deep and 1km in diameter which makes it one of the largest of its kind in the world. Also, it is thought to be 2800 to 2900 years old!


Next up... we stopped by the infamous Grjótagjá cave before heading to Dimmuborgir. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you'll recognize this cave in Season 3 where Jon and Ygritte sealed the deal. Grjótagjá is a lava cave with a thermal spring is inside. The water is heated from volcanic activity and bathing in the cave dates back to the 18th century. However, the Krafla eruptions from 1975 to 1984 caused the water in the cave to rise above 50°C. Water temperatures forced the “closing” of the caves. The water temperature has now returned to a more suitable degree but the thermal spring is now a private property, though viewing and taking photos is allowed.


From Grjótagjá, we headed into Dimmuborgir where we explored for awhile. It was like a park, but instead of trees, it was full of unusually shaped volcanic caves and rock formations. "As lava flowed across the area, it passed over a lake, causing it to boil. This both quickened the cooling of the lava and caused pillars of steam to shatter parts of it. After it solidified, Dimmuborgir area became defined by large stacks of rock and many caves and caverns, caused by bubbles of intense steam." As we were wandering around, snow began to fall and everything became more magical.


We ended the day with an evening soak at Mývatn Nature Baths and it was perfect. This geothermal hot spring is very much like Blue Lagoon except for the crowd. There was barely anyone there! The water so milky blue even though the bottom of the hot spring was filled with black lava pebbles. We drank Icelandic beer and watched the sunset. I couldn't think of a better way to end the day.


So, as I mentioned before that on the way to Mývatn, we stopped at Dettifoss. Dettifoss is enormous, it was the biggest waterfall I have seen during this trip. Since we were up north, it was snowing and very was white which made everything looking more dramatic. From Dettifoss we did a little hike above the fall to Selfoss which was also amazing!


Post a Comment

© it's not her, it's me. - Los Angeles Fashion Lifestyle Travel Blog. Design by Fearne.