Skorradalsvatn Lake, West Iceland, Iceland

Lake Locations:

Iceland - West Iceland -

Also known as:  Skorradal Lake, Lake Skorradalsvatn

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.

Things to do at Skorradalsvatn Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • National Park

Fish species found at Skorradalsvatn Lake

  • Brown Trout
  • Char
  • Trout

Skorradalsvatn Lake Photo Gallery

Skorradalsvatn Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Orkuveita Reykjavíkur

Surface Area: 3,632 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 187 feet

Maximum Depth: 157 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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