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Skorradalsvatn Lake is a small, elongated lake nestled in the glacial valley of Skorradalur. The body of water is about nine miles long and a half-mile wide, with a surface area of 3,632 acres and a maximum depth of 157 feet.
Located in the country's West Iceland tourism region, Skorradal Lake is fed by the Fitjaa River. Its hydroelectric dam, Andakilsarvirkjun, provides electricity to surrounding areas, and is owned by Orkuveita Reykjavikur. Lake Skorradalsvatn has a normal elevation of 187 feet above sea level. Boating, sailing and jet skiing are Skorradal's most popular water sports.
As a rule, char is the most common type of fish in all of Iceland, and Skorradalsvatn Lake is no exception. This stunning body of water holds the record for largest char ever caught in the entire country: a legendary specimen that tipped the scales at a whopping 22 pounds. Fishing enthusiasts can also set their sights on brown trout, which typically weigh in at about 14 pounds. Anglers at Skorradalsvatn Lake tend to have the most success using spinners, as well as fly, spoon and worm baits.
Soothing hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails wind through the beautiful birch forests along Lake Skorradalsvatn. One scenic path begins at the shore and continues along the road to Hesthals Ridge, where visitors can enjoy some of the most spectacular sights imaginable. Dramatic mountain peaks are in stark contrast next to deep valleys so pristine they seem like they belong to another time and place. Mount Skarosheioi is the tallest of them all, and at 2,400 feet in altitude it is often snow capped year round - even during the warmer summer months.
While Skorradal Lake may be one of the longest lakes in Iceland, neighboring Lake Thingvallavatn is certainly the largest. Nestled within Thingvellir National Park, this 20,683-acre spring fed body of water offers a slew of recreational opportunities - from horse camping to scuba diving. Just southeast of Skorradal Lake, Lake Thingvallavatn makes for a wonderful full-day excursion or even for a short picnic lunch.
In the opposite direction you'll find the historic town of Reykholt, just a short distance from Skorradalsvatn Lake. During certain times of the year, this is an ideal spot to observe the Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights. Back in medieval times, this pleasant town was home to one of Iceland's most iconic national heroes: Snorri Sturluson. Snorri is to Iceland what Cervantes is to Spain: a literary genius. His contributions in the subjects of both Norse mythology and Norse language earned him undying success, and hundreds of years after his death he is remembered as a brilliant historian, storyteller and linguist. In modern times, you can explore Snorri's former farm (including the tunnel connecting the bathroom to the house).
Also close to Skorradalsvatn Lake is the Deildartunguhver hot spring. This thermal water has the highest flow rate in all of Europe, with water gushing out at 48 gallons per second and 206.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot spring is a great spot to bring a date for a calming and romantic escape.
Another day trip from Lake Skorradalsvatn is the waterfall at Hraunfossar, where chilly spring water streams gush through a complex lava cliff. Barnafoss, which translates to "Childrens' Falls," is also a spectacular cascade. Surtshellir is an additional natural phenomenon in the area: a lava cave named after the fiery giant Surtr, one of many important figures in Norse mythology. Inside, the cavern's ceiling stretches a staggering 300 feet high.
Farms and holiday cottages dot the Skorradalur Valley and the Skorradal Lake area, and myriad summerhouses can be found along its shores. Most vacation rentals offer picturesque lakeside views and welcoming porches amid dense woodlands. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or a year-round residence, even the shortest visit to Skorradalsvatn Lake is likely to inspire rest and rejuvenation.
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