The start of Day 4 we were feeling good. We had a plan, and we were still riding off of yesterday’s high. We reluctantly said goodbye to Húsavík and made our way to the next set of stops. 

Part of what’s known as the Diamond Circle, the Myvatn Geothermal Area has something for everyone. At our campsite the night before we had heard that there’s a ton of horseback riding options around the lake, but we opted for a less buggy experience, since Chelsea was already getting eaten alive in her sleep. 

On our drive, we could see one of our hikes in the distance, the steep path up the crater mocking us as we got closer. We had one other stop before we’d tackle that though.

Our first stop was Grjótagjiá, a geothermal hot spring inside a cave. The water was sky blue, and I could feel the steam opening up my pores as I climbed over rocks to get a good view. This used to be a go-to bathing spot, until 1975 when the Krafla volcanic system erupted nine times over the next ten years, making the water far too hot to be safe. 

Fun fact: Although I’ve never seen it, apparently Game of Thrones shot one of it’s spicy scenes here.

After some fun cave exploring, it was time to tackle that mountain. Or, crater rather. The Hverfjall Crater was created by an eruption around 25,000 years ago, and is now a popular tourist stop in the area. The hike up the side was pretty steep - steeper than I would ever want to take any vehicle - but it was also fairly short. Once we got to the rim, we had 360 views of the whole geothermal area, other craters, and steam from the nature baths in the distance. 

I definitely had Mt. Doom vibes when we were climbing over the black lava rock in the wind. My god, THE WIND. It was absolutely crazy up there. I was so glad I decided to take my rain jacket to double as a windbreaker. But the views were so worth it! 

After a nice, active morning exploring caves and hiking through lava rocks, we were looking forward to a bit of relaxing at the Myvatn Nature Baths. This natural hot spring is very similar to the ever-so-popular Blue Lagoon closer to Reykjavik, just a bit smaller and definitely further off the beaten path. But it’s cheaper and in my opinion, just as wonderful! By this time we were used to the shower requirements (you have to shower without a suit before entering any pool or hot spring in Iceland - certainly a good way to get over any kind of body shame or embarrassment!) and we were sipping drinks in the warm water soon enough. 

To end the day, we had planned to visit Studlagil Canyon, but the directions took us down a very sketchy road to the wrong side of the canyon. To add to it, the weather got MUCH worse about five minutes after we arrived. It started pouring, and the wind picked up, so we just decided to chock it up to a loss and head to a campsite.

An unedited photo of the canyon. It’s so much more picturesque than this photo. Look it up. Shit looks crazy beautiful.

Our view, ft. a tablet that stopped working a few days later and the shitty bluetooth speaker we used to listen to Persuasion by Jane Austin and Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin.

The campsite happened to also be a hostel, which meant they had an indoor cooking area, which helped speed up our dinner immensely since the weather was not cooperating. If I did this trip again, I think I would try to include one of these every few nights to help give a few opportunities to catch up on sleep throughout the trip. 

This was one of my favorite days on the trip. If you’re visiting Iceland, don’t skimp out on visiting the north!