Iceland, often called the “Land of Fire and Ice,” is home to some of the world’s most spectacular volcanoes. From towering peaks that pierce the sky to vast lava fields that stretch as far as the eye can see, volcanoes in Iceland offer awe-inspiring landscapes and incredible geological wonders. Exploring these volcanic giants is an adventure for those captivated by nature’s raw power.

At Deluxe Iceland, we specialize in creating unforgettable experiences that bring you close to Iceland’s most famous volcanoes. Our curated tours provide the perfect blend of thrill and education, allowing you to witness these natural marvels safely and comfortably. Whether hiking up a crater, exploring a lava cave, or simply taking in the breathtaking views, we offer the best ways to experience the fiery heart of Iceland.

Discover Iceland’s top 10 most renowned volcanoes and how Deluxe Iceland can guide you through an extraordinary journey to explore them. From the iconic Eyjafjallajökull to the awe-inspiring Vatnajökull, each volcano has its unique story and allure, promising an adventure filled with wonder and excitement. Join us and embark on a journey that will ignite your sense of adventure and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

10 Best Volcanoes in Iceland

Discover the ten best volcanoes in Iceland, each offering unique landscapes and unforgettable experiences. From the dramatic eruptions of Hekla to the stunning vistas of Eyjafjallajökull, these volcanic wonders highlight Iceland’s fiery heart. Explore these majestic natural sites and witness the awe-inspiring power of Iceland’s geological formations.

  • Fagradalsfjall

Fagradalsfjall, one of the most prominent volcanoes in Iceland, made headlines with its eruptions starting on March 19, 2021, followed by activity in August 2022 and again in July 2023. Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, close to Reykjavik and Keflavik Airport, it has become a popular destination for travelers. Despite its proximity to some of Iceland’s busiest areas, Fagradalsfjall is nestled in a sheltered valley, minimizing the impact on nearby infrastructure. This unique location allows visitors to safely witness volcanic activity while minimizing disruption, making it a must-visit site near Keflavik Airport.

Visiting Fagradalsfjall

You can visit Fagradalsfjall, but be prepared for a challenging hike. The trail to the volcano can be strenuous, so bring proper hiking gear. Avoid the hike if you have respiratory issues or are not in good physical condition. If you are fit and prepared, this adventure suits all ages.

The ranger’s office at the volcano entrance can provide information on the hike, which varies with the lava flow and current conditions.

Getting to Fagradalsfjall

Reaching Fagradalsfjall is straightforward from Keflavik Airport or Reykjavik. While public transport options are scarce, renting a car or booking a tour that provides transportation to the site is recommended. Driving is practical, with parking available near the volcano, followed by a hike to the eruption site. Helicopter tours from Reykjavik offer an exciting alternative for those seeking a unique experience.

Two main parking areas serve visitors, with lot P2 preferred for accessing the eruption site. Parking costs 1,000 ISK (approximately USD 8) for 24 hours and parking on the road is prohibited.

Driving Directions

From Reykjavik, take Route 41 towards Keflavik, turn onto Road 43 to Grindavik, and leave on Route 427 to the parking lots. You can also take Route 41 towards Reykjavik from Keflavik and follow the exact directions. Alternatively, opt for a scenic drive via Route 44 and Route 425 along the coast.

Hiking to Fagradalsfjall

With recent eruptions altering the landscape, new hiking paths have been established. The current route, Path E, is about 18–20 kilometers round-trip and takes approximately five to six hours. The trail is mainly gravel with rocky sections near the end. Wear hiking shoes, bring adequate water, and stay updated on path conditions via safe travel. Is.

Path C, an 8-kilometer round-trip, offers views of the 2023, 2021, and 2022 eruption sites. Path A focuses on the earlier eruption sites with a 12–16 kilometer round-trip.

Is Fagradalsfjall Still Erupting?

Fagradalsfjall, one of Iceland’s active volcanoes, is not currently erupting. The volcano has settled after dramatic eruptions in 2021, 2022, and July 2023. While it remains a fascinating site, the volcanic activity has paused, offering a unique chance to explore its stunning landscape safely.

  • Eyjafjallajökull Volcano

Eyjafjallajökull pronounced “AY-yah-feat-lah-YOU-kuhtl,” one of Iceland’s most iconic volcanoes. This glacier-capped volcano gained international fame due to its dramatic 2010 eruption, significantly disrupting European air travel and drawing global attention to Iceland’s volatile geological landscape. Situated in southern Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull offers a striking combination of ice and fire, creating a unique and breathtaking destination for visitors interested in the raw power of nature.

Visiting Eyjafjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull is an accessible destination for travelers eager to witness Iceland’s volcanic splendor. Although climbing to the summit requires mountaineering skills due to its icy cap, the surrounding areas provide plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure. The volcano’s base is surrounded by scenic trails and viewpoints offering spectacular glacier and rugged landscape vistas.

The Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre, located near Hvolsvöllur, provides an informative and engaging experience for those interested in learning more about the volcano. The center features exhibits detailing the events of the 2010 eruption, including its effects on local life and the broader impacts on global air travel. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations give visitors a comprehensive understanding of the volcano’s activity and its role in Iceland’s natural history.

Getting to Eyjafjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull is conveniently located along Iceland’s Ring Road (Route 1), making it easily accessible for those driving from Reykjavik. The drive takes approximately two hours and offers stunning views of the Icelandic countryside. To reach Eyjafjallajökull, follow the Ring Road south from Reykjavik, passing through the charming town of Hvolsvöllur. Signs will direct you to the Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre and the surrounding trails.

Several tour operators offer excursions to Eyjafjallajökull for those without a rental car, departing from Reykjavik and other nearby towns. These tours often include additional stops at nearby attractions, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, providing a full day of exploration in southern Iceland.

Experiencing Eyjafjallajökull

Exploring Eyjafjallajökull offers a range of activities suitable for different interests and fitness levels. Hikers can enjoy the trails around the volcano’s base, which provide access to stunning viewpoints and photo opportunities. The trails vary in difficulty, making it possible for casual walkers and experienced hikers alike to enjoy the scenery.

For a more relaxed experience, the Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre offers a wealth of information about the volcano’s history and recent activity. Visitors can watch films documenting the 2010 eruption and its aftermath, view photographs of its impact, and learn about the geological forces at work beneath the glacier.

Is Eyjafjallajökull Active?

Eyjafjallajökull is currently dormant. Its last eruption in 2010 sent a vast ash plume into the atmosphere, disrupting air travel and covering much of Europe in volcanic ash. Although the volcano is not erupting, it remains part of Iceland’s active volcanic landscape, making future eruptions possible. The 2010 event serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of Iceland’s volcanoes and the continuous interaction between fire and ice.

Today, Eyjafjallajökull stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring power of nature, offering visitors a chance to explore a site of significant geological interest. Whether hiking its scenic trails, learning about its history at the visitor center, or simply enjoying the views, Eyjafjallajökull provides an unforgettable glimpse into Iceland’s fiery heart.

  • Þríhnúkagígur Volcano

Þríhnúkagígur (Thrihnukagigur) is one of the most extraordinary volcanoes in Iceland, offering a unique experience unlike any other in the world. Situated in the southwest region, just 30 kilometers from Reykjavik, Þríhnúkagígur provides an opportunity to explore the inner workings of a volcano from the inside. This dormant volcano, whose name translates to “Three Peaks Crater,” last erupted over 4,000 years ago. It has remained quiet, allowing its magma chamber to cool and solidify without collapsing, creating a remarkable subterranean marvel.

Visiting Þríhnúkagígur

Þríhnúkagígur offers a one-of-a-kind adventure that allows visitors to descend into its dormant magma chamber. This experience is unparalleled, as it is the only place on Earth where you can explore the interior of a volcanic magma chamber. The descent into the volcano involves a cable lift that lowers you 120 meters (about 400 feet) into the magma chamber, revealing a vast underground space adorned with vibrant mineral deposits and fascinating rock formations.

The journey into Þríhnúkagígur provides a breathtaking view of the multi-colored walls of the chamber, showcasing shades of red, yellow, and green due to the oxidation of various minerals. This underground adventure is complemented by expert guides who provide insights into the geological history of the volcano and the processes that have shaped this subterranean wonder.

Getting to Þríhnúkagígur

Þríhnúkagígur is accessible via a short drive from Reykjavik, making it a convenient excursion for those staying in the capital. Head southeast on Route 1 to reach the volcano, then take Route 417 (Bláfjallavegur) towards the Bláfjöll mountain range. The drive offers scenic views of the surrounding volcanic landscape, setting the stage for the adventure ahead.

From the base of the Bláfjöll mountains, a 3.5-kilometer (2.2-mile) hike is required to reach the volcano’s entrance. The trail is well-marked and takes about 45-50 minutes to complete. It offers a moderate challenge suitable for most fitness levels, with panoramic views of the rugged terrain and distant mountain ranges enhancing the journey.

Guided tours are available and highly recommended. They include transportation to the site, a volcano hike, and a magma chamber descent. These tours often provide additional amenities, such as refreshments and safety gear, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

Experiencing Þríhnúkagígur

Descending into Þríhnúkagígur is a surreal and unforgettable experience. As you are lowered into the magma chamber, the vastness and intricate details of the cavern come into view, offering a unique perspective on the volcanic forces that shape our planet. The chamber’s walls are covered in vivid colors from various minerals, creating a stunning natural mosaic.

The tour guides explain the volcanic activity that created the chamber and the site’s geological significance. The descent uses a specially designed open elevator system, allowing for unobstructed views as you enter the volcano’s heart.

Visitors are given time to explore the chamber, taking in the natural beauty and photographing the incredible rock formations. The experience provides a rare opportunity to understand a volcano’s inner workings and appreciate the natural world’s power and beauty.

Is Þríhnúkagígur Active?

Þríhnúkagígur is currently dormant and has shown no signs of activity for thousands of years. Its last eruption occurred over 4,000 years ago, and the volcano has since stabilized, allowing for the safe exploration of its magma chamber. While it remains an inactive part of Iceland’s volcanic landscape, Þríhnúkagígur continues to captivate visitors with its unique opportunity to journey inside a volcano, offering a rare glimpse into the geological past of Iceland.

Today, Þríhnúkagígur stands as a testament to the dynamic history of Iceland’s volcanoes and provides a unique adventure for those seeking to explore the hidden depths of the Earth. Whether you are a geology enthusiast or simply looking for an extraordinary experience, Þríhnúkagígur offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the wonders of Iceland’s volcanic heritage.

  • Grímsvötn Volcano

Grímsvötn is one of Iceland’s most potent and active volcanoes, known for its frequent and spectacular eruptions. Situated beneath the Vatnajökull glacier in southeastern Iceland, Grímsvötn has a fascinating dual nature: it combines the forces of volcanic activity with the expansive ice cover of the largest glacier in Europe. This combination makes Grímsvötn an intriguing destination for those interested in the interplay between volcanic activity and glacial landscapes.

Visiting Grímsvötn

While Grímsvötn is located in a remote area beneath the Vatnajökull glacier, it remains an essential and compelling site for scientific study and adventurous exploration. Accessing Grímsvötn typically requires a guided tour due to its challenging location and the need for specialized equipment to navigate the glacier. These tours often include expert guides who provide in-depth information about the volcano’s activity and its impact on the surrounding environment.

Grímsvötn’s eruptions, most recently in 2011, have caused significant glacial outburst floods, known as jökulhlaups. These floods have reshaped the landscape and created dramatic scenes of volcanic and glacial interaction. The area around Grímsvötn offers a unique opportunity to witness the results of these powerful natural forces, from the blackened ice fields to the newly formed volcanic craters.

Getting to Grímsvötn

Reaching Grímsvötn involves traveling to the Vatnajökull National Park, accessible by road from Reykjavik. The drive takes approximately five hours, following Route 1 (the Ring Road) east towards Skaftafell. From there, you will continue to the Vatnajökull glacier.

Due to the challenging terrain and the need to cross glacial ice, visiting Grímsvötn is best done with a guided tour. These tours provide transportation, safety gear, and expert knowledge, ensuring a safe and informative visit to the volcano. Most tours depart from the Skaftafell area or the town of Höfn and include all necessary equipment for glacier travel.

Experiencing Grímsvötn

Exploring Grímsvötn provides a unique insight into the dynamic relationship between volcanic activity and glacial ice. Tours often include visits to the caldera, where you can see the remnants of recent eruptions and the effects of volcanic heat on the glacier above. The contrast between the icy surroundings and the heat-generated volcanic formations offers a striking visual experience.

The tour guides explain Grímsvötn’s geological significance and the processes behind its eruptions. You will learn about the mechanisms of jökulhlaups, how the volcanic heat interacts with the ice, and the history of the volcano’s activity. This knowledge enhances the appreciation of the unique volcanic-glacial environment.

During the visit, you may also have the opportunity to explore ice caves formed by the geothermal activity beneath the glacier. These caves, carved by meltwater and volcanic heat, are otherworldly in appearance, with their shimmering blue ice and intricate patterns. They offer a fascinating glimpse into the natural sculpting processes beneath Vatnajökull.

Is Grímsvötn Active?

Grímsvötn is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, with eruptions occurring approximately every 5 to 10 years. The volcano’s activity is closely monitored due to its potential to cause significant glacial flooding and impact air travel, as seen in the 2011 eruption that led to widespread ash dispersion across Europe. Despite its activity, the area around Grímsvötn is relatively safe when guided by experts who track volcanic and glacial conditions.

Grímsvötn continues to be a vital part of Iceland’s volcanic landscape, showcasing the powerful interactions between fire and ice. Visiting this remarkable volcano offers a rare opportunity to witness the dramatic effects of volcanic activity beneath a glacier and to understand the ongoing geological processes that shape Iceland’s unique environment.

  • Hekla Volcano

Hekla, often called the “Gateway to Hell” in medieval times, is one of Iceland’s most famous and active volcanoes. Located in the southern part of the country, Hekla stands at approximately 1,491 meters (4,892 feet) and has a reputation for its frequent and explosive eruptions. Known for its striking shape and volcanic activity, Hekla has erupted more than 20 times since Iceland was settled in the 9th century, making it a significant part of the island’s volcanic landscape.

Visiting Hekla

Hekla’s prominence and accessibility make it a popular destination for tourists and locals. The volcano’s last significant eruption was in 2000. While it remains active, it offers a range of experiences for visitors looking to explore its unique geological features. Hikers can embark on trails that lead up the slopes of Hekla, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding highlands and a close-up look at the volcano’s rugged terrain.

Hiking to the summit of Hekla is a challenging but rewarding experience. The route is approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) round trip, with a total elevation gain of about 1,000 meters (3,281 feet). The hike takes around 4 to 6 hours, depending on your pace and weather conditions. The trail is marked but can be steep and covered in loose volcanic rock, so proper hiking gear is essential.

For those interested in learning more about Hekla’s volcanic history, the nearby Hekla Center in Leirubakki offers exhibits and information about the volcano’s eruptions and its impact on the local environment. The center provides insights into Hekla’s geological activity and cultural significance throughout Iceland’s history.

Getting to Hekla

Hekla is easily accessible by car from Reykjavik, making it a convenient day trip for visitors to the capital. The drive takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, heading east on Route 1 (Ring Road) and then turning onto Route 26 towards the village of Hella. From Hella, follow signs to Leirubakki and then take the F225 mountain road, which leads directly to the base of Hekla.

The roads leading to Hekla can be rough and are best navigated with a 4×4 vehicle, especially the F225, a gravel road suitable for high-clearance vehicles. During the winter months, access may be limited due to snow and ice, so checking road conditions in advance is recommended.

Experiencing Hekla

Climbing Hekla provides a unique opportunity to experience one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes firsthand. As you ascend, the landscape changes from lush meadows and birch forests at the base to barren lava fields and ash-covered slopes higher up. The summit offers panoramic views of Iceland’s interior highlands, including the vast lava flows from previous eruptions.

Hekla’s geological features are a testament to its explosive history. Several smaller craters and fissures surround the summit crater, showcasing this site’s diversity of volcanic activity. The hike allows you to observe the layers of lava and tephra (volcanic ash) deposited over centuries of eruptions, providing a tangible connection to the powerful forces that shape Iceland’s landscape.

For those less inclined to hike, the Hekla Center offers an alternative way to explore the volcano’s history through interactive displays and multimedia presentations. Visitors can learn about the science behind volcanic eruptions, Hekla’s role in Icelandic folklore, and the measures to monitor its activity today.

Is Hekla Active?

Hekla remains one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, with a pattern of eruptions occurring roughly every ten years over the past few centuries. The volcano is closely monitored for signs of activity, as it has the potential to produce explosive eruptions with significant ash and lava flows. While dormant since its last eruption in 2000, Hekla’s history suggests it could erupt again with little warning.

Visiting Hekla provides a fascinating glimpse into Iceland’s volcanic activity. It offers an adventure filled with dramatic landscapes and historical significance. Whether hiking its slopes or exploring the exhibits at the Hekla Center, this iconic volcano continues to captivate and inspire all who encounter it.

  • Katla Volcano

Katla, one of Iceland’s largest and most potent volcanoes, is known for its frequent and massive eruptions. Situated beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in southern Iceland, Katla has a history of explosive activity, with over 20 documented eruptions since Iceland’s settlement in the 9th century. With a caldera approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter, Katla’s eruptions can cause significant glacial outburst floods, known as jökulhlaups, making it a critical volcano to monitor.

Visiting Katla

While Katla is hidden beneath a thick ice cap, the surrounding area offers remarkable opportunities for exploration and adventure. The town of Vík í Mýrdal, located nearby, is a convenient base for visitors looking to explore Katla’s glacial and volcanic landscape. One of the most popular ways to experience Katla is through guided ice cave tours. These tours take visitors inside the glacier’s ice caves, formed by meltwater channels and geothermal activity. The caves offer stunning views of ice formations. They are an unforgettable way to witness the effects of Katla’s volcanic heat.

For those interested in the broader impact of Katla’s eruptions, the Katla Geopark encompasses a vast area influenced by volcanic and glacial activity. The Geopark features diverse geological formations, black sand beaches, and dramatic cliffs. Visitors can hike along trails offering views of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and its surrounding landscape, including the breathtaking Reynisfjara beach with iconic basalt columns and powerful waves.

Getting to Katla

Katla is accessible from Reykjavik via the Ring Road (Route 1), heading southeast towards Vík í Mýrdal. The drive takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours and offers scenic views of the South Coast’s stunning landscapes. From Vík, various tour operators provide excursions to the glacier and its ice caves.

To reach the glacier and explore Katla’s vicinity, take Route 1 east from Reykjavik. As you approach Vík, you will see signs for Mýrdalsjökull. From here, follow the local roads and directions to the tour meeting points for ice cave excursions or hiking trails. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended if you drive close to the glacier, as the roads can be rough and icy, particularly in winter.

Experiencing Katla

Exploring Katla offers a unique experience that blends the thrill of volcanic activity with the beauty of Iceland’s glacial environments. Ice cave tours provide an extraordinary opportunity to venture beneath the glacier’s surface, revealing stunning blue ice formations and intricate patterns shaped by geothermal forces. These caves, accessible only with guided tours, offer a safe and informative way to witness Katla’s ongoing influence on the landscape.

The Katla Geopark provides numerous hiking trails and viewpoints for those who prefer to stay above ground. The park’s diverse terrain showcases the effects of past eruptions and glacial activity, with features such as the striking Reynisfjara beach, the dramatic cliffs of Dyrhólaey, and the lush greenery of the surrounding valleys. Hiking in the Geopark allows you to explore the area’s volcanic and glacial heritage while enjoying breathtaking views and unique geological formations.

Is Katla Active?

Katla is one of Iceland’s most active and potentially dangerous volcanoes. It typically erupts once every 50 to 100 years, with the last significant eruption occurring in 1918. Given its long dormancy, scientists closely monitor Katla for signs of renewed activity. Its eruptions are often preceded by seismic activity and can result in large glacial floods and ash emissions.

Despite its dormant state, Katla’s potential for future eruptions makes it an essential site for volcanic research and monitoring. Visiting the area around Katla provides a unique opportunity to understand the complexities of Iceland’s volcanic systems and appreciate the awe-inspiring power of nature. Whether exploring ice caves, hiking through the Geopark, or simply enjoying the scenic views, Katla offers a fascinating glimpse into the dynamic interplay between fire and ice in Iceland’s volcanic landscape.

  • Snæfellsjökull Volcano

Snæfellsjökull, a striking and mystical volcano in Iceland, is renowned for its dramatic beauty and literary fame. Located at the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland, Snæfellsjökull stands at approximately 1,446 meters (4,744 feet) and is capped by a glacier of the same name. This glacier-volcano combination creates an iconic landscape that has inspired artists and writers for centuries, including Jules Verne, who featured it as the entrance to the subterranean world in his classic novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Visiting Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull is a must-visit destination for those exploring Iceland’s natural wonders. The Snæfellsjökull National Park, which surrounds the volcano, offers a range of outdoor activities, from glacier hiking to exploring lava caves. The park’s well-marked trails and visitor facilities make it accessible for adventurers.

One of the most popular ways to experience Snæfellsjökull is by hiking. Several routes take you up the volcano’s slopes, offering spectacular views of the surrounding peninsula and, on clear days, the distant Westfjords and Reykjanes Peninsula. The climb to the summit is challenging and requires proper gear and preparation, as the terrain can be steep and covered in snow and ice, even in summer.

For a more accessible adventure, the Vatnshellir Cave tour is a great option. This guided tour takes you deep into a lava cave at the base of Snæfellsjökull, where you can explore fascinating rock formations and learn about the volcanic processes that shaped the cave. The cave’s otherworldly atmosphere adds to the volcano’s mystique.

Getting to Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Reykjavik, making it a convenient day trip or a perfect addition to a multi-day exploration of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. To get there, follow Route 1 (Ring Road) north of Reykjavik, then take Route 54 towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. From Route 54, turn onto Route 574, which circles the peninsula and leads directly to the national park.

The drive to Snæfellsjökull offers stunning coastal views and passes through charming fishing villages and scenic landscapes. Road conditions are generally good, but be prepared for gravel roads and varying weather, especially in the higher elevations near the volcano. Rental cars or guided tours are the best options for visiting this area, as public transportation is limited.

Experiencing Snæfellsjökull

Exploring Snæfellsjökull provides a unique opportunity to connect with Iceland’s geological and cultural heritage. The volcano’s snow-capped peak is a stunning backdrop for hiking, with trails ranging from easy coastal walks to challenging summit climbs. The summit hike, in particular, offers breathtaking panoramas and the thrill of standing atop one of Iceland’s most famous peaks.

For those interested in the local folklore and history, the Snæfellsjökull National Park Visitor Centre offers exhibits on the volcano’s geology, its role in Icelandic legends, and its depiction in literature. The visitor center is a great starting point for exploring the area, providing maps, information on hiking routes, and educational displays.

In addition to hiking and cave tours, visitors can explore the nearby beaches, basalt cliffs, and other geological features that characterize the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The black sand beaches of Djúpalónssandur and the dramatic rock formations at Arnarstapi are highlights that add to the rich experience of visiting Snæfellsjökull.

Is Snæfellsjökull Active?

Snæfellsjökull is currently dormant, with its last eruption occurring around 200 AD. While it remains an inactive part of Iceland’s volcanic landscape, the volcano’s glacier and the surrounding terrain continue to attract researchers and tourists. Despite its quiet state, Snæfellsjökull is closely monitored for any signs of volcanic activity due to its potential impact on the surrounding region.

Visiting Snæfellsjökull offers an enchanting blend of adventure and natural beauty, making it one of Iceland’s most captivating volcanic destinations. Whether scaling its heights, exploring its caves, or simply taking in the majestic views, Snæfellsjökull provides an unforgettable journey into the heart of Iceland’s fiery and icy wonders.

  • Askja Volcano

Askja is a prominent and awe-inspiring volcano in Iceland, known for its dramatic caldera and striking turquoise crater lake, Víti. Askja is part of the vast Dyngjufjöll mountain range in the remote Highlands of Iceland. This active volcanic system offers a unique and captivating landscape that attracts adventurers and geology enthusiasts alike. With its rugged terrain and volcanic features, Askja provides a fascinating glimpse into Iceland’s volcanic activity and beauty.

Visiting Askja

Askja’s location makes visiting this volcano an adventurous and rewarding experience. The Askja caldera, formed by a powerful eruption in 1875, is a massive volcanic crater surrounded by dramatic lava fields and towering mountains. The highlight of the Askja caldera is Víti, a gorgeous crater lake with milky blue waters heated by geothermal activity.

Visitors to Askja can hike down to Víti and even dip in its warm waters, though the hike can be challenging due to the steep and slippery path. The area around Víti is geothermally active, so caution is advised, and it is crucial to check current conditions before swimming. The contrasting landscape of the caldera and the vivid blue of Víti makes for a stunning visual experience.

In addition to Víti, the enormous Öskjuvatn lake within the caldera is the second deepest lake in Iceland and adds to the grandeur of the landscape. The surrounding lava fields and volcanic formations provide a dramatic backdrop for hiking and exploring.

Getting to Askja

Due to its remote location in the Highlands, reaching Askja requires careful planning and preparation. The journey from Reykjavik to Askja takes approximately 6 to 7 hours, primarily on unpaved F-roads accessible only with a 4×4 vehicle. From Reykjavik, take Route 1 (Ring Road) north towards Akureyri. Turn onto Route 85 and then follow the signs for F88, which leads to the Highland roads accessing Askja.

The route involves crossing rivers and navigating rugged terrain, so it is recommended that you travel with experienced drivers or join a guided tour that includes transportation and knowledgeable guides. These tours often depart from Akureyri or nearby areas and provide a safe and informative way to visit Askja.

The remote journey to Askja is part of the adventure. It offers stunning views of Iceland’s Oiled interior, including vast lava fields, rugged mountains, and desolate desert landscapes.

Experiencing Askja

Exploring Askja provides a unique opportunity to witness the effects of volcanic activity in one of Iceland’s isolated and striking locations. Hiking around the caldera allows you to experience the dramatic contrasts between the dark lava fields, the bright waters of Víti, and the expansive Öskjuvatn lake.

The hike to Víti from the parking area is approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) and takes 30-45 minutes. The trail can be steep and covered with loose gravel, so sturdy hiking boots are recommended. The descent into Víti requires caution, as the path can be slippery. Still, the effort is rewarded with the chance to experience the unique geothermal lake up close.

For those interested in geology and volcanic activity, Askja offers a fascinating landscape shaped by powerful eruptions and ongoing geothermal processes. The contrast between the serene lakes and the rugged volcanic terrain provides insight into the dynamic forces at work in Iceland’s islands.

Is Askja Active?

Askja remains an active volcano, with its most recent eruption in 1961. The volcano’s thermal activity continues to shape the landscape, with periodic seismic activity and the potential for future eruptions. Despite its dormancy since the 1960s, Askja is closely monitored due to its potential for renewed activity.

Visiting Askja offers a rare and unforgettable experience, combining adventure with the chance to explore one of Iceland’s dramatic volcanic landscapes. Whether you visit the crater lakes, take in the panoramic views, or marvel at the rugged beauty of the caldera, Askja provides a profound connection to the natural forces that have shaped Iceland’s unique and awe-inspiring environment.

  • Krafla Volcano

Krafla is one of Iceland’s most dynamic and intriguing volcanoes, famous for its eruptions and geothermal activity. Located in the North of Iceland, near Lake Mývatn, Krafla has a history of dramatic volcanic events shaping the surrounding landscape with lava fields, hot springs, and crater lakes. With its accessible location and stunning geological features, Krafla offers visitors a captivating glimpse into Iceland’s volcanic forces.

Visiting Krafla

Krafla is a popular destination for travelers interested in exploring Iceland’s volcanic landscapes and geothermal phenomena. The Krafla area includes a variety of attractions, from the Víti crater lake to the Leirhnjúkur lava fields, each showcasing different aspects of volcanic and geothermal activity.

Víti, which means “hell” in Icelandic, is a striking crater formed by an eruption in 1724. It is filled with a turquoise-colored lake created by geothermal heat beneath the surface. Visitors can hike along the crater’s rim for panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding volcanic terrain. The hike is relatively easy, making it accessible for most visitors. It provides excellent photo opportunities of the vivid contrast between the blue water and the rugged crater walls.

Leirhnjúkur is another highlight of the Krafla area. It features steaming fumaroles, boiling mud pools, and vast lava fields formed during the Krafla Fires, a series of eruptions between 1975 and 1984. The area offers well-marked trails that lead through the otherworldly landscape, allowing visitors to experience the raw power of geothermal activity up close. The paths are suitable for hiking and exploring, with various routes catering to different difficulty levels and interests.

Getting to Krafla

Krafla is easily accessible from Reykjahlíð near Lake Mývatn, approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of Akureyri. The drive from Akureyri to Krafla takes about 1.5 hours along Route 1 (Ring Road), followed by a turn onto Route 863 towards the Krafla power station and geothermal area.

The roads to Krafla are paved and well-maintained, making it accessible year-round. However, weather conditions can be challenging during the winter months, so checking road and weather conditions in advance is recommended. Rental cars and guided tours are both popular options for visiting Krafla. Tours often depart from Akureyri or Lake Mývatn, providing transportation and expert insights into the region’s volcanic activity.

Experiencing Krafla

Exploring Krafla offers a unique opportunity to witness the dynamic interactions between volcanic activity and geothermal energy. Hiking around Víti closely examines the crater lake and the geothermal forces that created it. The hike around the crater is short and offers a stunning view of the lake and the surrounding lava fields.

The Leirhnjúkur area, with its steaming vents and active geothermal sites, allows visitors to experience the heat and energy emanating from the Earth’s interior. The hiking trails through Leirhnjúkur are well-marked and range from easy walks to more challenging routes that lead through the lava fields and past boiling mud pools. These paths showcase the dramatic landscape shaped by the Krafla Fires, providing a sense of the potent volcanic activity that has sculpted this region.

For those interested in geothermal energy, the nearby Krafla power station offers insight into how Iceland harnesses volcanic heat for sustainable energy production. While the power station is not open for public tours, the area around it, including the Krafla Visitor Center, provides information about geothermal energy and its applications in Iceland.

Is Krafla Active?

Krafla remains an active volcano, with its last significant eruptions occurring between 1975 and 1984 during the Krafla Fires. The area continues to exhibit substantial geothermal activity, including fumaroles and hot springs, which indicate the ongoing presence of volcanic heat beneath the surface. Scientists closely monitor Krafla for any signs of renewed activity, as it has the potential to erupt again.

Visiting Krafla provides a fascinating journey into Iceland’s volcanic heart, offering a chance to explore its geothermal wonders and volcanic landscapes. Whether hiking around the vivid Víti crater, wandering through the steamy Leirhnjúkur fields, or learning about geothermal energy, Krafla delivers an unforgettable experience highlighting Iceland’s geology’s dynamic nature.

  • Bárðarbunga Volcano

Bárðarbunga is one of Iceland’s most significant and active volcanoes, noted for its large caldera and complex volcanic system. Situated beneath the vast Vatnajökull glacier in central Iceland, Bárðarbunga is part of a powerful volcanic system that has shaped Iceland’s landscape through dramatic eruptions and extensive lava fields. Known for its remote beauty and volcanic power, Bárðarbunga offers a glimpse into the dynamic forces at work beneath Iceland’s icy surface.

Visiting Bárðarbunga

Bárðarbunga’s remote location makes it a challenging yet rewarding destination for those exploring Iceland’s volcanic heart. The volcano, hidden beneath Europe’s largest glacier, is inaccessible due to the thick ice cover. However, the surrounding areas of the Vatnajökull National Park provide excellent opportunities to witness the effects of Bárðarbunga’s activity and explore the stunning glacier environment.

One of the most notable events related to Bárðarbunga is the 2014–2015 eruption in the Holuhraun lava field, just north of the glacier. This eruption created a vast lava field, offering a unique landscape of fresh lava flows and volcanic formations. Guided tours to the Holuhraun lava field allow visitors to explore this stark and fascinating terrain, with experts providing insights into the eruption’s impact and the ongoing volcanic processes.

For those interested in experiencing the glacier that covers Bárðarbunga, the nearby areas of Vatnajökull offer glacier hiking and ice-caving tours. These tours provide a safe and exhilarating way to explore the icy landscape, with knowledgeable guides explaining the glacier’s formation and its interaction with underlying volcanic activity.

Getting to Bárðarbunga

Reaching the area around Bárðarbunga requires careful planning due to its remote location in the Central Highlands. The journey typically involves driving to Vatnajökull National Park, accessible from several routes, depending on your starting point. From Reykjavik, the drive to the nearest access point at the park takes approximately 6 to 7 hours along Route 1 (Ring Road) and then to the Highland roads leading into the park.

Guided tours are recommended to visit the Holuhraun lava field or the glacier areas near Bárðarbunga. These tours depart from various locations around the Vatnajökull National Park and include transportation, safety gear, and expert guidance. The roads in this region are rugged and often require 4×4 vehicles, especially when crossing the unpaved F-roads leading into the Highlands.

Experiencing Bárðarbunga

Exploring the areas influenced by Bárðarbunga offers a captivating experience that showcases the interplay between volcanic and glacial forces. The Holuhraun lava field, created by the recent eruption, is a highlight, featuring fresh lava flows, craters, and volcanic formations. Walking through the lava field provides a tangible connection to the powerful eruption and its impact on the landscape.

For glacier enthusiasts, hiking on Vatnajökull provides an opportunity to experience the ice that covers Bárðarbunga. The glacier tours offer breathtaking views and a chance to explore ice caves, crevasses, and the blue ice formations that characterize this massive ice cap. The tours are designed to be both educational and adventurous, highlighting the glacier’s ongoing evolution and its volcanic underpinnings.

Additionally, the Kverkfjöll mountain range, located northeast of Bárðarbunga, offers a range of hiking trails and geothermal areas influenced by volcanic activity. These hikes provide spectacular views of the glacier and the surrounding volcanic landscape, enhancing the experience of visiting the region.

Is Bárðarbunga Active?

Bárðarbunga remains an active volcano with a history of significant eruptions. The recent eruption in 2014–2015 produced Iceland’s most enormous lava flow since the 18th century, demonstrating Bárðarbunga’s powerful and dynamic nature. Ongoing seismic activity and geothermal heat beneath the glacier indicate that Bárðarbunga remains a critical part of Iceland’s volcanic landscape and is closely monitored for signs of future eruptions.

Visiting Bárðarbunga offers a profound journey into the heart of Iceland’s volcanic activity. Whether exploring the new lava fields, hiking on the glacier, or marveling at the interplay of fire and ice, Bárðarbunga provides a compelling and unforgettable adventure into one of Iceland’s most influential and intriguing volcanic systems.

Number of Volcanoes in Iceland

Iceland, often called the “Land of Fire and Ice,” is home to about 130 volcanic mountains. These include around 30 active volcanic systems that frequently shape the landscape with eruptions and lava flows. With one of the highest concentrations of volcanoes globally, Iceland’s dynamic geology is a testament to the island’s location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where tectonic plates diverge. From iconic volcanoes like Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla to the expansive volcanic fields of Bárðarbunga and Krafla, volcanoes in Iceland offer a fascinating insight into the natural forces that continually reshape this rugged and beautiful island.

Why Does Iceland Have So Many Volcanoes?

Iceland’s abundance of volcanoes stems from its unique geological position atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates diverge. This ridge is a boundary between these tectonic plates, causing significant volcanic activity as magma from the Earth’s mantle rises to fill the gap. Additionally, Iceland sits on a hotspot, where unusually hot mantle plumes reach the Earth’s crust, further intensifying volcanic activity. This combination of plate tectonics and hotspot dynamics creates a high concentration of active volcanic systems, resulting in Iceland’s rich volcanic landscape. These geological factors make Iceland one of the most volcanically active regions in the world, leading to frequent eruptions and a diverse array of volcanic features.

Biggest & Most Powerful Volcanoes in Iceland

Iceland is home to some of the most formidable volcanoes, each contributing to the island’s dynamic landscape. Katla, situated under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, is notorious for its explosive eruptions and the potential for massive glacial floods, known as jökulhlaups. Bárðarbunga, beneath the Vatnajökull glacier, erupted in 2014–2015, producing the most enormous lava flow in Iceland in over 200 years and demonstrating immense volcanic force. Hekla, often called the “Gateway to Hell,” has erupted more than 20 times since Iceland’s settlement, earning a reputation for its intense and frequent eruptions. Other significant volcanoes include Askja, with its striking caldera and volcanic lakes, and Grímsvötn, one of Iceland’s most active and powerful volcanoes. These volcanic giants along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge showcase Iceland’s profound geological activity and offer incredible scientific study and exploration opportunities.

How Frequently Do Iceland’s Volcanoes Erupt?

Volcanoes in Iceland are among the most active in the world due to the island’s location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Eruptions occur with remarkable regularity, typically every 3 to 5 years. Some volcanoes, like Hekla and Grímsvötn, erupt more frequently, often every decade. Others, such as Katla and Bárðarbunga, have longer but still predictable intervals, erupting roughly every 50 to 100 years. Iceland’s volcanic activity results from the divergent tectonic plates and the island’s position over a hotspot, leading to a continuous landscape reshaping through eruptions and lava flows. This frequent volcanic activity is crucial to Iceland’s dramatic geological character.

Which Volcano Eruption Is Famous in Iceland?

One of Iceland’s most famous volcano eruptions is the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. This event captured global attention when its massive ash plume disrupted air travel across Europe for weeks, affecting millions of passengers and thousands of flights. Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption highlighted the island’s significant volcanic activity. It showcased the far-reaching impacts such events can have beyond Iceland’s borders. The eruption, which began in March 2010 and peaked in April, sent a dense ash cloud into the atmosphere, illustrating the powerful interaction between Iceland’s ice and fire. Eyjafjallajökull’s dramatic eruption remains a crucial example of the unpredictable and potent nature of Iceland’s volcanoes.

Most Accessible Volcano to Visit in Iceland

For travelers seeking an accessible volcanic adventure, Fagradalsfjall is the easiest volcano to visit in Iceland. Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, just a short drive from both Reykjavik and Keflavik Airport, Fagradalsfjall offers a unique opportunity to witness volcanic activity without venturing far into Iceland’s remote interior. The volcano, which erupted most recently in July 2023, provides well-marked hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints of the eruption sites and lava fields. Though moderately strenuous, the hike is manageable for most visitors and offers a rewarding experience with stunning volcanic landscapes. Fagradalsfjall’s proximity to major transportation hubs and relatively straightforward access make it an ideal destination for those eager to easily explore Iceland’s volcanic wonders.

Ready To Explore the Best Volcanoes in Iceland? – Here Is Why Deluxe Iceland Will Be An Idle Place to Book Your Tour

For those eager to explore the most iconic volcanoes in Iceland, Deluxe Iceland offers unparalleled expertise and personalized experiences. Our tours provide adventure and comfort, designed to immerse you in Iceland’s breathtaking volcanic landscapes. Here is why booking with Deluxe Iceland is the best choice for your volcanic adventure:

  1. Expert Guidance: Our tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are experts in Iceland’s volcanic geology. They provide insightful information about each volcano’s history, recent activity, and geological significance, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of these natural wonders.
  2. Customized Itineraries: Deluxe Iceland crafts personalized itineraries to match your interests and fitness levels. Whether you seek a challenging hike up the slopes of Hekla or a more relaxed visit to the accessible Fagradalsfjall, we tailor our tours to ensure an unforgettable experience.
  3. Exclusive Access: At Deluxe Iceland, we pride ourselves on offering exclusive routes and vantage points often off the beaten path. This unique access allows you to experience Iceland’s volcanoes in a way that is both unique and intimate. By avoiding crowded tourist spots and discovering hidden gems only known to locals, we ensure that your journey is truly one-of-a-kind.
  4. Premium Comfort: At Deluxe Iceland, we understand the importance of comfort and safety. That’s why we provide luxury vehicles equipped for Iceland’s rugged terrain. We prioritize your comfort and safety, ensuring a smooth journey from start to finish, with all necessary equipment and amenities provided. This way, you can focus on the stunning volcanic landscapes without any worries.
  5. Comprehensive Packages: Our tours include everything you need for a seamless adventure—transportation, meals, and any required gear—so you can focus on enjoying the stunning volcanic landscapes.

Choose Deluxe Iceland for a tour of Iceland’s volcanoes that combines expert knowledge, personalized service, and unparalleled comfort. Book with us today to embark on a volcanic journey that promises to be as educational as it is exhilarating.