Sights listed from west to east:
Hólar í HjaltadalThe former seat of the bishop of North Iceland, in Skagafjörður. The current cathedral is from the 18th century, making it one of the oldest buildings in Iceland, and it contains religious artefacts from the 15th century onwards. Also the location of a folk museum and a small agricultural university.
GoðafossWaterfall of the Gods - One of Iceland's most magnificent waterfalls, located just off the ring road 50km east of Akureyri. Legend has it that Goðafoss got its name when Iceland converted to Christianity. The local chieftains are said to have thrown the idols of the pagan gods into the waterfall, thus giving them a dignified farewell.
HúsavíkTake a whale watching and/or puffin cruise. Visit the Húsavík Whale Museum. The landmark Húsavíkurkirkja church was constructed in 1907 from Norwegian timber, and is said to be one of the most attractive churches in Iceland.
ÁsbyrgiA very unusual, and very large, cliff formation 60km east of Húsavík in Vatnajökull National Park, said to be the hoofmark of Odin's horse.
JökulsárgljúfurFurther inland from Ásbyrgi, along the glacial river that once shaped Ásbyrgi are the canyons through which the mighty river still flows. Among the sights in the area is Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Iceland. Previously a national park of their own, Jökulsárgljúfur are today a part of the Vatnajökull National Park.
DetifossBiggest waterfalls in Europe in flow 500m3/s. Worth seeing. Caution: roads 862 north of Detifoss and 864 may be closed. Inform locally.
MyvatnThis lake, with 50 small islands, is an oasis, 65 miles south of the Arctic Circle, because the waters are fertile - they are enriched with minerals by flowing out of the lava from springs to the east and southeast. And because the lake is shallow, sunlight easily reaches the bottom. Myvatn means "midge lake." Every summer about 500 tons of midges hatch from the lake. They feed the fish and birds. Most of them die and fertilize the fields around the lake. Lake Myvatn attracts the largest variety of ducks, swans, geese and waders of any single location in the world, a mixture of mostly migratory Eurasian, North American, boreal, and arctic species.
Vindbelgjarfjall volcanoThis 529m tall peak is accessible from a trailhead along the road that runs around the western shore of Lake Myvatn, just south of the mountain. The trail runs along generally flat land to the back of the mountain, after which it takes a decidedly vertical turn and leads straight to the summit. The trail is tiring and footing on loose rock can be tough - plan about forty-five minutes to an hour for the ascent. Views from the top are tremendous, making this a very worthwhile trek.
Lake Myvatn pseudocraters and lava pillars
Lava flowed over the top of a large lake that was here 2,300 years ago, trapping water-logged lake sediments beneath it. The resulting steam created explosion craters, also called pseudocraters, that are found all around the lake. These pseudocraters halted the advance of the lava in some places, creating temporary lava lakes that eventually drained, leaving behind dark laval pillars. There are a series of trails in the town of Skútustaðir on the south side of Lake Myvatn that lead through these craters and provide further information about the geology behind these formations.
Trails wind through an eerie landscape, on the east side of Lake Myvatn, featuring lava towers, arches, caves, and bridges that were created 2,3000 years ago when a lava pool at least 30 feet deep covered a marshy lake. As steam rose through the lava, it formed the weird rock shapes that were left behind when the lava pool drained.
A collection of birds collected by a local, Sigurgeir Stefánsson, who died in an accident on the lake in 1999. The museum has been build to honor his memory. It houses 300 birds of 180 species as well as some eggs. From the dining hall there is a nice view of the lake.
A geothermal field, where underground temperatures reach 550 degrees, producing hissing, steaming fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots. It is located on the Ring Road, on the west flank of a section of of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, called Námafjall, that provides views from its summit looking west to Lake Myvatn.
This large volcanic caldera, located a couple miles north of Hverir along the Námafjall ridge, includes explosion craters viti and a lava field. The Kraﬂa Fires eruptions that took place here from 1975 to 1984 are the most recent rifting episode along the Mid Atlantic Rift in Iceland. More than 20 intrusive events and nine eruptions were observed along approximately 80 km of a ﬁssure zone extending out from the volcano, causing an average 16 feet of spreading between the North American and Eurasian plates corresponding to about 250 years of plate spreading, and up to almost 30 feet of spreading in some areas along the rift.