Kleifarvatn Lake

On the South West peninsular of Reykjanes lies a unique lake called Kleifarvatn. Kleifarvatn is a fairly large lake by Icelandic standards. It used to be the deepest lake in Iceland until some large holes were discovered in Jökulsarlon. Kleifavatn is in an active volcanic zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Hence the landscape changes every few hundred yards. You will see this if you follow the road on the higher American side. Kleifarvatn is unique because there are no rivers running in or out of Kleifarvatn. The lake is fed by underground lava tubes.


Kleifarvatn is just a short drive from Reykjavik and is a feasible detour on the way to or from the airport. The road is track and is usually fine for a regular car, but in the Winter the route can often be difficult or impossible.

There is an interesting hot spring area at the Western end of the lake called Seltun. Here you can bath in the steam coming from the Queens Hole as you watch bubbling mud. Careful though this place has exploded a few times in recent history.

Just past Seltun is Grænavatn (Green lake) which is also worth a visit.

Ice Omlette

Photography Tips


The lake side is littered with caves which can be interesting in Winter and can provide welcome shelter from the changeable weather. Here we have some Winter icicles on the left and the cover for The Icelandic Naked Yoga Project on the right – by Hanna Birna Geirmundsdóttir (model: Vesna). This picture was shot from a cave on a rainy day.

Icicle cave

I you time your trip right with some nice light, Kleifarvatn can be quite rewarding.


Travel tips:

Possible with regular car in good conditions. In Winter check access on Road.is

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