At nine square kilometres, Lake Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes peninsula and the third largest in southern Iceland, although its size tends to vary a bit, especially in recent years. After an earthquake in 2000 the lake started draining rapidly. Like water draining from a sink, its water level began to decrease. This obscure occurrence caught the attention of local as well as international geologists who are still speculating how this was even possible.
Located in the middle of a highly volcanic area about 35 kilometres south of Reykjavík, the lake, surrounded by a barren landscape of sandstone cliffs and black sand beaches, is easy to reach and ideal for a day trip as there are many great hiking trails around the area.
Lake Kleifarvatn isn’t only interesting for its size and surroundings. At numerous spots around the lake, the grey sandstone has been used as sculpture material. Inspired by ancient cave paintings, creative visitors have started decorating the walls by carving their names or pictures in the stone, and you can clearly see some of these modern rock paintings when driving the road leading to the lake itself.
Also worth mentioning for all those fishing enthusiasts out there, trout can be caught in the lake, especially at the southernmost part.
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