Day 5: Lofthellir Lava Cave, Leirhnjúkur, Hverir & Jardbodin vid Myvatn
After a good night’s sleep, we enjoyed a very good and well-prepared breakfast in our guesthouse. The best one we’ve head during our entire stay in Iceland. Local specialties and home made treats (cheese, meat, skyr, bread, .. ) in a very cosy atmosphere. A very nice way to start your day.
We weren’t in hurry that morning, because we had a ‘Lava Cave’-tour planned in Reykjahlíð. It was only a fifteen drive away from our guesthouse, so we had all the time in the world to wake up and enjoy the scenery around the lake.
Lofthellir Lava Cave
Excursion of the day, was our visit to the Lofthellir Lava Cave. A wierd world of ice and darkness which is explored underground. A half an hour – and very bumpy – drive from Lake Myvatn to the root of Mt. Hvannfell, alongside the unique volcano Hverfell, leads you up to a lava field. After another half-an-hour walk, you reach the entrance of the lava cave.
Well, if you can call a 1m² hole an entrance .. Not recommendable for people with claustrophobia! The inside of the cave is beautiful, but pitch black without your gear. Very impressive! I tried to take some pictures inside, but my sensitive camera-lens didn’t function all that well in the dark. Only my iPhone camera took some shots from inside of the cave. Awesome experience! More info about the cave itself soon in a single report!
Even though our excursion to the Lofthellir Lava Cave was off the charts, it was another location that left us completely starstruck: Leirhnjúkur! Leirhnjúkur is a very colorful mountain, surrounded by a big field with sulfur-vapor sources.
The colors are even more bright because of the adjacent lava field with jet-black lava, from recent eruptions. The last eruption dates from 1984, so the lava is relatively ‘fresh’. A must-see when you’re in the area! It’ll leave you with some awesome pictures!
On our way back from Leirhnjúkur, the weather took a drastic change for the worse. The clear blue sky became clouded all of a sudden, and it started to drizzle. Icelandic weather, you love it or you hate it ..
We decided to take a look at the ‘Hverir’ area, about a 5 min drive from Leirhnjúkur. Hverir, which means ‘Hot Spring’ in Icelandic, is a weird sight. Littered with steam plumes and vapors, solfataren-pits, fumaroles and boiling pots of mud. The smell of rotten eggs is just bearable, but it’s pretty cool to walk among these weird phenomenons!
Christophe decided he wanted to climb to the top of the adjacent mountain Námafjall (432 meters) that provided a panoramic view over Hverir. Although I don’t like hiking at all, this one is worth the while!
Jardbodin vid Myvatn
Jardbodin vid Myvatn, also known as the Myvatn Nature Baths, is ‘Blue Lagoons’ little brother. Less known, less touristic, cheaper and just as beautiful. I’d love to show you some pictures of this, but it wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside of the complex with a camera.
A lot of people used their GoPro to take pictures instead, but we chose not to. Nobody likes to be photographed without their consent, especially in the freezing cold in your bathing suit. If you want to see pictures of the complex, click here!
More info about our room-for-the-night:
- Adress: Farm Guesthouse Skútustaðir, Skútustaðir 2b
- Price per night: 85 euro (tip: pay with card in ISK) and booked via Booking.com
- Accommodations: Free wifi, shared refrigerator and fully equipped kitchen & big living space with television, one big shared bathroom with three individual showers and two toilets, free parking. Two single beds.