My Water Filled Caldera
The catalogs are full of advertizements to take a day trip to Askja caldera. We only had a few days and I was not sure if we could fit that trip in. But I really really really wanted to see a water filled caldera. The woman at the tourist center suggested I try the close Viti (There are three places in the area called Viti). It was only about 15 minutes from the visitor's center, but we went directly from Hverir so it was even closer. It does not take a day trip with a tour company, only an hour or so, and it was free. The day tour probably would have been an excellent experience as well, but this little hike satisfied me for the short trip to Mývatn.
The Drive There
Getting there was as interesting as the actual hike. The road to Viti is a nice road that drives straight through a thermal plant. The pipes actually make an arch over the road for cars and trucks to get through. We stopped along the way to check out a pretty stream that was suprisingly hot. There are signs everywhere in Iceland warning people about temperatures. The signs do not lie!
The hike to the loop trail is not very steep and is very short and close to the parking lot. It was probably one of the easiest hikes in this part of Mývatn. The trail does a loop around the main caldera as well as a smaller water filled crater and passes by some bubbling hot water and steam vents. The smell near these was not as overwhelming as Hverir as it came in a small dose, but we certainly knew when we were coming near it.
Overall, the hike was maybe a half hour or an hour at the most. The hike is not very steep, but the thin trail around the caldera is certainly exposed. One can also walk up to the trail and still look in without hiking the circumference. Clearly, we found the trail to be too tempting.