A Multifaceted Gem in the North
We were not sure if we had time to fit Mývatn into our trip. It was hard to tell how far anything was in Iceland as google maps had not yet included the Icelandic roads when we were planning our trip. From what people told us, it was a day of driving to get there from the Westfjords, and a day to get from Mývatn to the capital which is where we would go next. Mývatn is almost the midpoint to the capital, but to travel east to get back vs. driving west to get back, we had to chose west because of time.
We left the Westfjords a day early to include Mývatn. And even though we drove in the shortest way possible, because we stopped at a few places on the way, we only made it as far as Akureyri by evening and had to find a hotel there for the night. We had a hard time finding a place to stay and ended up staying in a pretty gross place. The benefit of this stop over night was allowing us to enjoy the beautiful views between Akureyri and Mývatn.
Along the way to Mývatn, there is a large waterfall, Goðafoss, that can be seen from the distance by the mist that floats over the water. When closer, the busses give it away. it was impressive and worth the stop, but we wanted to continue so that we could find a hotel early so we did not run into the same problem we did in Akureyri.
We Hope to Return
If we were to return, I would certainly eat again at the Hotel Reykjahlid and hope to stay there as well. If budget does not allow that, we would try the Vogafjos Guesthouse as it appears to have a bathroom for each room and it is a building instead of camping - the midges at Lake Mývatn are horrible! If we were to continue northwest, there is a park with lots of hiking that we got the trail map from at the campground next to the Hotel Reykjahlid. We would then probably drive the eastern route back to Reykjavik as we did not get to do that on this trip.
Another note on Mývatn: Someone in the Westfjords told us to try the thermal baths here. Tourists go to the Blue Lagoon and Icelanders come to Mývatn. It was very nice and we ran into almost everyone we met on the Lofthellir Ice Cave Trip, which made it a nice way to end the day.
Map of Places We Visited
The map below shows the places we visited while in Mývatn. If you visit, you will want to get a real map that is free at the visitor's center. It has the trails and information abuot the place. one thing we had a hard time with before we went was understanding what was out there and if it was all close or far from each other. If you have the sanme queston, hopefully this will help. Nothing here is completely to scale, but to gauge a relative distance, the drive from Reykjahlid to Hverir was about 5 miles.