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Lake Kleyfarvatn at Reykjanes Peninsula


A view to Kleyfarvatn lake
Lake Kleyfarvatn at Reykjanes Peninsula

Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is situated on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a short distance from the dramatic geothermal area of Seltún.


Kleyfarvatn placed on the map of Icealnd at Reykjanes
Kleyfarvatn placed on the map of Icealnd at Reykjanes

The lake is incredibly deep, 97 meters (318 feet) at its deepest point. But its unique feature is that it has no visible surface drainage, meaning no rivers are running to or from it. Thus, the water level only changes with the groundwater. Following an earthquake in the year 2000, a fissure formed at the bottom of the lake that soon began to drain. It diminished by 20 percent. Gradually though, the fissure refilled, and the lake has returned to its previous levels.

Kleyfarvatn lake
Kleyfarvatn lake

Today, the Kleifarvatn area is gradually becoming a popular destination for hikers, joggers and bird watchers. Surrounding the lake is a comfortable trail where you can enjoy the dramatic and ever-changing landscape. The lake itself attracts local anglers who like to fish for trout in the tranquil, colorful area.

Sunrise at Kleifarvatn lake Reykjanes Peninsula
Sunrise at Kleifarvatn lake Reykjanes Peninsula

The lake is believed to be inhabited by a monster. The serpent-like creature is the size of a large whale and has been spotted surfacing now and then.

A good place for a selfie - Kleyfarvatn lake
A good place for a selfie - Kleyfarvatn lake

The lake is the setting for the crime novel The Draining Lake by one of Iceland's most prominent crime authors Arnaldur Indriðason



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