Mývatn is the fourth largest lake in Iceland, covering 36.5 square kilometers, or approximately 14 square miles. It is situated at 277 meters (908 feet) above sea level, very indented and with more than 40 small islands. Mývatn is shallow, with a maximum depth of only about 5 meters. The Mývatn area is home to more species of ducks than any other place on earth, with a very diverse bird life in general. Mývatn’s natural beauty is unparalleled. A large stream of travelers visit Mývatn in the summer, but many believe the lake and its surroundings to be no less impressive in the wintertime. A few places around Mývatn have a particular attraction for travelers, such as the strange lava formations of Dimmuborgir, the pseudo-craters around Skútustaðir, the hot springs east of Námaskarð, Höfði, Hverfjall, Leirhnjúkur/Krafla, Grjótagjá and others.
Laxá River, one of the most bountiful and sought after fishing rivers of the country, runs from Mývatn. The stream Grænilækur, from Lake Grænavatn, is Mývatn’s only source of surface water, the majority of Mývatn’s water coming from underground sources
Mývatn derives its name from the often annoying gnat, which is divided into two kinds, of which one has a habit of biting people. These two variations comprise a large number of species, however. The ecological picture would undoubtedly be vastly different if there were no gnats, as they provide a large part of the diet of various birds as well as trout.