Mývatn Up Close and Personal
Lake Mývatn is one of the absolute highlights of any visit to Iceland, but due to its fragile ecosystem access to the lake is somewhat limited. The family-run Dimmuborgir Guesthouse have however built their enterprise on age-old traditions of fishing and farming by the lakeshore giving its visitors unparalleled access to the lake – with breath-taking sunsets in the spring and Northern Lights in the winter.
The family of Dimmuborgir Guesthouse have taken special care to integrate Mývatn’s history and nature into their operations. “We realise that people come here because of the unique nature, so we’ve placed special emphasis on accommodating those demands,” says Helgi Héðinsson, manager of Dimmuborgir. “We want to provide our guests with a comfortable and relaxed home base which reflects the landscapes and culture they’re in. Our cottages are therefore placed with optimal views in mind, privacy, tranquillity and giving visitors free access to the lake’s beaches,” says Helgi.
Being a family enterprise, visitors are given a unique perspective to the area, as the family knows all there is to know and are extremely willing to share this information. Safeguarding Mývatns history, the family of Dimmuborgir Guesthouse still operate an over 50 year old smokehouse where fishermen would “cook” their catch from the lake and guests are thus treated to locally smoked trout at the breakfast buffet.
Mývatn is famous for its extremely diverse birdlife and Helgi says that rare birds in Iceland such as the Horned Grebe, Gyrfalcon, The Great Northern Diver and the Barrow’s Goldeneye can all be found in close proximity of the guesthouses. “We’ve seen nests only a few meters from the houses and the Barrow’s Goldeneye and Horned Grebe are seen almost everyday during the spring and summer, right in from of the breakfast hall. This summer during a guided walk we came within five meters of a curious falcon, which is an extremely rare occurrence although the falcons are most often found close by. Furthermore we’ve recently constructed a platform which overlooks the lake making for one of the best bird watching spots available,” says Helgi.
Open All Seasons
Northern Iceland’s prime attractions are all within easy reach from Lake Mývant – be it nature baths, volcanoes, waterfalls, fishing towns and of course the volcanic rock formations which the guesthouse is named after.
Helgi says Lake Mývant is no less enjoyable during the winter than in the summer. “In fact all the attractions and activities people associate with summer are just as enjoyable during winter, but with a different character. In fact due to the area’s low rainfall and northern latitude it is one of the best and most beautiful locations for enjoying the northern lights. There’s really no need to chase after them, you can just enjoy them within the comforts of our windowed lounge area,” says Helgi.