Skip to content

The wetland area has been protected since 1974. Lake Mývatn  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 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, having been and being formed by intense volcanic activity. Mývatn Lake and Laxá River are listed as internationally important wetlands according to the Ramsar Convention.

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.

For more information, please see:

Protected Areas in Iceland

A spiky glacier

Vatnajökull National Park

The National Park is characterised by diversity on all fronts, be it landscape, biosphere, cultural remains or service levels.
Find out more
A still lake surrounded by mountains

Fjallabak Nature Reserve

The highland reserve received its protected status in 1979. The aim of the protection is to preserve unique areas so that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy them in the same way as we do.
Find out more
Volcanic rocky terrain

Surtsey Nature Reserve

Surtsey was formed in a volcanic eruption first detected on the surface of the ocean on November 14th 1963. The eruption most likely started a few days before as a submarine eruption at a depth of approximately 130 meters.
Find out more
Rocky terrain and steep-edged mountains in the distance

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

The nature reserve contains gigantic bird cliffs, unique flora and cultural remnants that serve as monuments to an earlier era when people still lived there.
Find out more