Walking at Krafla and Leirhnjúkur - Mývatn - Iceland

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Leirhnjúkur is a lava field in the area of Mývatn and close to Reykjahlíð.

We drive up the road towards Krafla. At the end of the road is a parking area near the small crater lake of Víti. Víti has a diameter of 300 meters and has steep sides. It's is not wise to climb down, the water in the lake is warm. At the side of Víti is a small fumarole/solfatare field. The walk around the lake is not long, but you do get spectacular views over the Krafla area.

After this short walk we drive to the parking area of Leirhnjúkur to hike through the Krafla area. The Leirhnjúkur area is a great plain which overflowed with lava during the 1984 eruption. The Krafla is a volcano with a 25 km. long crater.

The well marked walking trail starts with a view of moss covered lava from the 18th century eruption. Via a wooden bridge you walk towards the fumarole/solfatare field and the hike starts going through more recent lava. The smoke coming from the lava is from this recent eruption. The hike marked as "difficult path" goes through large blocks of lava and gives a good impression of the surroundings. Along the way we see lot's of different colors of lava, created by different metals. There are also cows and sheep having a rest on the lava. At the end of the hike we cross a small patch of snow. The white snow contrasts nicely with the utterly black lava.

Length: 5 km.
Height difference: 30m.

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