Lake Mývatn

- extraordinary landscape and countless water birds

The ecosystem of Lake Mývatn' is truly unique. The name of the lake derives from the myriad of midges in the area. The birdlife is varied and more species of duck are said to live here, than in any other place on Earth. Apart from the Common Shelduck, all species of Icelandic water birds nest in the Mývatn and Laxá area. The Mývatn district is varied in nature and its landscape unique, being formed by intense volcanic activity. Mývatn Lake and Laxá River are listed as internationally important wetlands according to the Ramsar Convention.

Lake Mývatn and the river Laxá region have been protected since 1974. The Lake Mývatn area is about 37 square kilometers incised by numerous inlets and creeks, and dotted with around 50 islands and islets. The average depth is 2.5 meters and the maximum natural depth is no deeper than 4 meters.

The objective of the protection is to promote nature conservation according to the principles of sustainable development and to ensure that the ecological limits of the region will not be endangered and to safeguard the protection of the biological diversity of the large water region of Mývatn and Laxá. Also, it is important to protect the geological formations and landscape with active nature conservation - especially from a scientific, sociological and aesthetic standpoint. 

Well met in Mývatn!
Rangers operate in the Mývatn and Laxá district, both in the field and at the visitor centre located in Reykjahlíð. They provide tourists with assistance and information. At the visitor centre, there is an exhibition on the geology and rich biodiversity of Lake Mývatn and river Laxá. There is also information on the numerous hiking paths in the area is available.

To learn more about Lake Mývatn, please visit the Umhverfisstofnun Environment Agency of Iceland's webpage.


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