Hverir Iceland is one of the most out-of-this-world sites on the island. It is a place where you feel connected to the power of the planet. At the foot of the Namafjall volcanic mountain, the Namaskard geothermal area displays fumaroles, large mud pools, steam vents and a bare orangy-red landscape. A unique sight! (and one of my personal favorites). Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
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What is Hverir a.k.a. Namafjall a.k.a Namaskard?
Hverir is a geothermal area at the foothill of Namafjall, not far from Lake Myvatn. Features include colorful sulphurous mud springs, steam vents, cracked mud and fumaroles. It is also called Hverarönd or Namaskard.
Some say that compared to Wai-o-tapu in New Zealand or Yellowstone it is rather average but personally, I disagree. I have not seen Yellowstone, but I have visited Wai-o-tapu. It does have many geothermal features with intriguing colors, but the surroundings are a lush forest. Although there is more to see, I think Hverir and its bare landscape makes the experience surreal which is what I love. If it weren’t for the other tourists, I would have felt like I had landed on another planet.
Namaskard geothermal area heat map
At the Hverir site, there is this map on which are indicated the areas with high temperature. In light pink is the Krafla fissure system and in hot pink are the hot springs, including Hverir.
Many more photos after the practical info and planning tips.
How to pronounce Hverir
To facilitate the reading of this article, you can listen to the pronunciation of Hverir here.
Planning Tips - Hverir Iceland
- Located in North Iceland (see my guide about North Iceland)
- Right by the Ring Road, 6km East of Lake Myvatn and the town of Reykjahlíð - easy to access on your Iceland Road trip
- The Hverir parking is right after the mountain pass on the south side of the road - it is quite large
- You can't miss it, it is well indicated
- Below is a Map to help you generally locate Hverir:
Practical maps and info are available in my eBooks to make the planning of your road trip easy:
How to get to Hverir / Namaskard
If you are visiting North Iceland and the Myvatn area, I strongly recommend renting your own car. This gives you the freedom to visit all the locations you are interested in.
Otherwise most of the Iceland Organized tours will stop at this location because it is so easy to access - to compare tour operators and programs, I recommend GuidetoIceland
Accommodations near Hverir
Lake Myvatn, with the town of Reykjahlid, is a great option to visit the area - Check out the Lake Myvatn accommodations
I stayed at the Dimmuborgir Guesthouse (I booked myself and paid entirely for my stay) - it is right next to the lake and with the Hverfjall crater in the background... perfect! Check out more photos and book
Visiting the Hverir geothermal area
At the site entrance, you can see a map of the site with the walking trails:
- Large parking lot with easy access from Road 1
- From the parking area there is a short flat loop that leads you close to various geothermal features
- How much time to visit Hverir? - The ground loop can be done in just half an hour or you can spend time admiring the bubbles in the mud pool and stay for an hour.
- Beware of the sulphur smell – it is not recommended to stay too long!!!
- Note that although I suffer from allergies and all, I had no special difficulties while visiting Hverir.
- I don’t remember seeing toilets, but I might be wrong
- You can also hike on Namafjall mountain and do a loop
- No entrance fee
- Open all day long
And Check out my complete article with detailed suggestions and tips on what to wear and pack for Iceland to stay warm and comfortable
Need to rent a car for your road trip in Iceland?
- You can choose from some great local companies - Iceland has a lot of specificities and their offerings are adapted - you can compare cars and prices of quality local brands on this expert Icelandic website
- Otherwise you can compare offers from international companies on RentalCars.com
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Exploring the Namafjall geothermal area
Hverir is not a big site but offers many features very close to each another. It is at the foot of a beautiful dark mountain.
Below are some wide shots of the scenic area, its bare landscape and the fumes emanating from the fumeroles.
Some impressive cracks are everywhere on the land creating interesting photographic effects:
I think the shot below is my favorite (equal with the cracks above). I love the contrast of the blue-gray mud pools with the dark orange of the mountain in the background. Surreal!
A lot of fumes! But do not worry that much, look at the next pictures and you will see that they actually area are concentrated and not in the whole area:
The first time I sent the picture below to my mom, she freaked out! She was already worried that I was in Iceland with all those volcanoes but then she became scared that I would be swallowed by the Earth. This crack was actually not that big 🙂
Hverir Mud Pools
By the parking you can walk to the viewing platform or down to the mud pools. They are quite big and very active.
One of the great things to do in geothermal areas is to photograph some of the features up close. Especially the mud pools which sometimes, create crazy shapes: Like a heart... (great timing, don't you think?)
Or its side view...
The small cracked mud bubble inside the cracked hole:
You must have realized it by now, I love photographing cracked surfaces... So here is a last one!
I love that spot so much, that I want to share other sites with more photos:
Extra photos of Hverir
Because I love the place so much, I am sharing a few more photos of Hverir. I hope you are enjoying them 🙂
More photos by other photographers:
Past the mud pools there is a track that goes up the mountain (see photo below), then goes along the ridge of the mountain and goes down on the other side of the area.
The left side is the steepest with some slippery sections. So, it could be better to ascend on the right side and come back that way too.
Attractions near Hverir
- Grjotagja - the cave filled with hot water - see article
- Myvatn Nature Baths - see article
- Hverfjall - a beautiful crater where you can walk on the rim - see article
- The Leirhnjukur geothermal area that looks quite different with the steaming lava rocks - see article
Find them in my eBooks:
As the field is along the Ring Road, it remains easily accessible in Winter.
The contrast of the boiling mud with the snow is impressive.
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Surreal landscape, don’t you think?
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