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Make your way around this strange world of bubbles and hollow castles formed millennia ago by lava beside a lake.

The lava fields of Dimmuborgir are known for their otherworldly shapes and formations. Since its volcanic caves resemble collapsed human ruins, the site was given the Icelandic name for “Dark Forts.” It is a unique structure in the world, as the only known site with this type of landmass.

Capture photos of twisted rock formations that rise from the ground like tall, mangled columns and chimneys. Hike through the intriguing terrain and imagine yourself on a distant planet.

A volcanic lava lake formed the bizarrely shaped terrain 2,300 years ago. A Norwegian black metal band is named after the site, which also plays a role in Nordic Christian folklore. Listen to legends suggesting a murderous troll inhabits the field.

The area has a number of hiking paths. Stroll along the relatively easy route to the rock formation known as “The Church,” and walk through its hollow interior. Try the more challenging White Path for excellent views of the lava rocks. Several tour operators visit the lava field in the afternoon. If you want to miss the crowds, go in the evening.

Watch your kids clamber over the rocks. Compare the various shapes to animals and buildings. Enjoy the excellent views of the surrounding region, including the large crater of the Hverfjall Volcano in the distance. It is a 1-hour hike east from the lava field. Climb to the peak to look into its crater and capture photos of Mývatn Lake.

Visit the guesthouse complex of cottages and rooms between the lake and the lava field. Savor a meal of fresh trout while viewing the fascinating surrounding terrain. Dine at the Dimmuborgir Café for bread baked in the geothermal vents.

Dimmuborgir is on the eastern shore of the vast lake of Mývatn. See nearby natural landmarks such as the Hverfjall Volcano and the hot springs of Hverarönd. Part of the road from the north of the lake is gravel, but it is suitable for a two-wheel drive. The café has a parking lot.

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