Hólasandur is an uninhabited large area along road 87 between Mývatn and Húsavík that consists mainly of a black sand desert. Road 87 is also known as Silica Road because this road was originally built to shorten the distance between the silica factory in Mývatn and the harbor in Húsavík. The silica originated from the area around Mývatn and was once an important source of income for the locals. This factory has been closed but the name remained.
Nowadays Hólasandur is part of an afforestation project spanning over 130km2. The landscape is protected, fenced in and sheep are not allowed. Among trees lupine has been planted as pioneer plant to stop erosion, what turns the hills into one purple cloud in June, when the lupine is blossoming.
The area is also a great spot to observe North lights in winter because of the total darkness all around. Just make sure to park your car safely and not in the middle of the road. Please check the road conditions on www.road.is before your trip in winter time because the area is vulnerable to snow drift and may be closed in winter time.
Hólasandur is just along road 87 connecting Mývatn with Húsavík. The road is suitable for all cars in summer, please check the road conditions in winter at www.road.is.