Markus Gregory | The North Coast

Created 15-Aug-10
Modified 16-Aug-10
Visitors 52
37 photos
Some interesting places along the north coast are the waterfall Dettifoss, the lake myvatn, the lava formations of Dimmuborgir, the town Akureyrí and the island of Hrisey.

Dettifoss is a waterfall in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park of Northeast Iceland, not far from Mývatn. It is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The falls are 100 m wide and have a drop of 44 m down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 200 m3/s. The waterfall can only be reached by a rough road. On the west bank there are no facilities and the view on the waterfall is somewhat hindered by the waterfall's spray. On the east bank there is an information panel maintained by the staff of Vatnajökull National Park (Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður) and a maintained track to the best viewpoints.

Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds, especially ducks. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and rootless vents (pseudocraters). The effluent river Laxá is known for its rich fishing for Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon. The name of the lake (Icelandic mý ("midge") and vatn ("lake"); the lake of midges) comes from the huge numbers of flies (midges) to be found there in the summer. The name Mývatn is sometimes used not only for the lake but the whole surrounding inhabited area. The River Laxá, Lake Mývatn and the surrounding wetlands are protected as a nature reserve (The Mývatn-Laxá Nature Conservation Area).

The Dimmuborgir area consist of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Threngslaborgir and Lúdentarborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago. At Dimmuborgir, the lava pooled over a small lake. As the lava flowed across the wet sod, the water of the marsh started to boil, the vapour rising through the lava forming lava pillars from drainpipe size up to several meters in diameters. As the lava continued flowing towards lower ground in the Mývatn area, the top crust collapsed, but the hollow pillars of solidified lava remained. The lava lake must have been at least 10 meters deep, as estimated by the tallest structures still standing. The lava flow surface remains partly intact around the Dimmuborgir area, so that the Dimmuborgir itself sits below the surrounding surface area. The area is characterised by large hollow cell- or chamber-like structures formed around bubbles of vapour, and some dramatically standing lava pillars. Several of the chambers and pillar bases are large enough to house humans, giving rise to the term "castles" (borgir).

Akureyri is an important port and fisheries centre, with a population of 17,304It is Iceland's second largest urban area (after the Greater Reykjavík area) and fourth largest municipality (after Reykjavík, Hafnarfjörður, and Kópavogur).

Hrísey is a small island off the north coast of Iceland, situated approximately 35 kilometres north of Akureyri, in Eyjafjörður, at 66°00′N 18°23′W / 66°N 18.383°W / 66; -18.383Coordinates: 66°00′N 18°23′W / 66°N 18.383°W / 66; -18.383. Since 2004, the island has been a part of the municipality of Akureyri, having previously been a municipality in its own right. Hrísey itself has a total land area of 7.67 km², and is about 7.5 km long by 2.5 km wide at its widest point in the south. It is the second-largest island off the coast of Iceland (after Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar). It has a population of approximately 200 people, and has been continuously inhabited since the time of settlement in Iceland. The island is connected to the mainland by a ferry service to Árskógssandi, a fifteen-minute sailing. Historically, the island was used as a base for the fishing industry, first by Norwegians and Swedes, and then by Icelanders, and by the late nineteenth century it housed a herring salting factory. Overfishing in Icelandic waters led to a steep decline in the fishing industry in the 1960s, and the last fish freezing plant on Hrísey, owned by the Eyjafjörður Co-operative Society, closed in 1999. More recently, Hrísey has developed a reputation as a birdwatching destination. There are no natural predators on the island, making it an ideal bird sanctuary. The northern part of Hrísey, Ystabæjarland, is a privately owned nature reserve, and the killing of birds is forbidden on the rest of the island. Among the forty species of bird on the island are the ptarmigan, arctic tern, and eider duck.

(all descriptions from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory Detail:Iceland
Keywords:Akureyri, Dettifoss, Dimmuborgir, Godafoss, Iceland, Island, Mývatn, coast, holiday, hrisey, north, tourism, travel