NATURAL PARADISE IN ICELAND
Icelanders are proud of their nature. It boosts of natural characteristics such as heartwarming, rejuvenating, regenerating, welcoming and being full of life, at the same time it can be unforgiving and very hard. There is a sense of balance that the Icelanders live in harmony with and cherish. The nature has had a great part in shaping the Icelanders as they are today, they´re way of life and how they live it.
Rivers are numerous in Iceland and relatively powerful due to the heavy rainfall and abundant glacial melt water. None of them have been considered navigable owing to the swift currents, though in the last few years rafting has become very popular. Most of the rivers originate from the glaciers and are consequently heavily laden with debris, which make them muddy and often yellowish-brown in color. The longest river, Þjórsá in the south, is 230 km long and has an average discharge of 390 cubic meters per second. The second longest, Jökulsá á Fjöllum in the northeast, is 206 km long. Other big rivers are Hvítá and Ölfusá in the south, Skjálfandafljót in the north, Lagarfljót and Jökulsá á Brú in the east.
Icelandic rivers are chiefly of two types, glacial and clear-water rivers. Clear-water rivers are of two kinds. One kind originates from basalt areas and has a variable discharge with a maximum flow in late spring. The other kind drains regions covered with post-glacial lava and usually has small variations in discharge, which makes them ideally suited for hydroelectric power production.
Waterfalls are an impressive feature of the Icelandic landscape, and among the most famous are Gullfoss in Hvítá, Dettifoss in Jökulsá á Fjöllum, Aldeyjarfoss and Goðafoss in Skjálfandafljót, Hraunfossar in Hvítá in Borgarfjörður and Skógafoss in Skógá.
Lakes in Iceland are abundant, but most of them are rather small. Some of these lakes are formed by subsidence, some fill glacially-eroded basins, others are lava-dammed, while a few are ice-dammed. The five biggest lakes in Iceland are Þingvallavatn (82 sq. km), which is 114 m deep, Þórisvatn (88 sq. km), Lögurinn (52 sq. km), the lagoon lake Hóp (45 sq. km) and Mývatn (38 sq. km). Lake Mývatn is world renowned for its fascinating scenery and incredibly rich bird life.