Mývatn and Laxá

Lake Mývatn and the river Laxá region are protected according to laws no. 97 from the 9th of June, 2004. The objective of the law is to promote nature conservation according to the principles of sustainable development and to ensure that the ecological limits of the region will not be endangered.


The law is to ensure the protection of the biological diversity of the large water tegion of Mývatn and Laxá and to protect the geological formations and landscape with active nature conservation, especially from a scientific, sociological and aesthetic standpoint. The laws pertain to a 200-metre-wide stretch of banks along lakes, rivers and springs and the following wetland regions: Sortulækur, Geirastaðahraun, Sandvatn (ytra), Belgjarskógur, Slýja, Neslandatangi, Framengi, Kráká from Strengjabrekka to Laxá, Grænavatn, Helluvaðsá and Arnarvatn. The law also protects the water catchment area of Mývatn and Laxá.

Details regarding necessary protective acts, further protection of natural artefacts, exploitation of land, and public access will be put forth in a management plan for the entire district. Mývatn lake and Laxá river are listed as internationally important wetlands according to the Ramsar Convention. The Icelandic Environment Agency is responsible for the surveillance of the area and ensures that its ecology is not disturbed.


Wardens operate in Mývatnssveit district and provide tourists with assistance and information. Tourists are asked to treat this sensitive area with care and avoid interrupting its wildlife. Other nature conservation areas in the district are Skútustaðagígar craters, Herðubreiðarfriðland and Askja.



  • Address: Hraunvegur 8, 660 Mývatn
  • Phone number: 591 2000

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