In stark contrast to the rough, dark lava fields, the quiet and green Hvaleyrarvatn Lake area offers an idyllic spot to spend an afternoon or take a morning stroll. Fir trees stretch across the gentle sloping mountain, the silver and blue lake ripples, and a simple path beckons.
Protected from the winds, local flora abounds, draping the landscape in a wash of greenery. In recent years, the Forestry Association of Hafnarfjörður helped revive the area with a sustained tree-planting campaign. With help from the townspeople and local school children, their efforts continue today.
A comfortable two-kilometre walking path circles the small tranquil lake where many Icelanders come to fish in the warmer months. Trails also lead away from the water toward the hills, looping their way through the hushed forest and mossy undergrowth. From breaks in the treeline it's possible to catch sight of the cone-shaped Keilir Mountain in the distance. Also tucked along the paths are a memorial grove, a scouting centre, and of course, dozens of pleasant spots where one can stop to rest and to gather serene memories.