Iceland is known to have a unique and diverse landscape which you can enjoy all year round. The island is known as the Land of Fire and Ice due to its incredible waterfalls, beautiful glaciers and of course, several outstanding volcanoes. Know that some of those incredible black basalt rock formations are the result of ancient volcanic activity. The country is home to a great number of massive volcanoes that will definitely captivate you. There are about 130 of these fiery mountains in Iceland. Some of the island’s volcanoes are still active. As locals, we can’t imagine our lives without them. Today we will guide you through some of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes that you can visit during your trip.
Come discover the north of Iceland! You will see incredible views of the one of a kind colorful hills, shapes, and landscapes that run through the area. This zone holds one of the country’s most popular volcanoes. Askja is located in rather remote and isolated terrain, makes it even more interesting to circle around Viti crater. Viti means “hell” in English. This area holds two beautiful lakes and natural hot springs. Askja’s last eruption took place in 1875 and resulted in many villagers fleeing and eventually having to relocate. There are many regular tours to Askja, and you can even drive here. Make sure you rent a 4×4 vehicle in Iceland as roads around the crater may be challenging.
If you are in the Reykjavík capital area, you should visit this active volcano. It’s located just a couple hours drive from downtown. Many Icelanders will refer to Hekla as “The Queen of Iceland” due to her incredible force and belief-defying looks. The last eruption happened in the year 2000 and drastically changed the once green landscape. Sadly, most of the flora and fauna was destroyed and is now almost inexistent. Today, we can see some volcanic moss and grass growing on the surface of Hekla as the years pass. If you love hiking as much as I do, I would suggest exploring the trails in Landmannalaugar. The views are spectacular, and you can even camp in the area.
This is my favorite spot in Iceland because you can climb and explore the inside of the volcano. How cool is that? There is an elevator that takes you straight to the core of the volcano so you can enjoy an up-close and personal experience. Some say that it feels a bit scary or chilly inside the volcano sometimes. Well, that’s all part of the fun, right? You will descend almost 200 meters (656 feet) into the volcano. Fear not as the volcano went extinct centuries ago and the lava inside is all dried up. It’s very safe to go inside. Bear in mind that only a small number of groups may enter per day, so you may want to book your tour ahead. We want to keep this attraction for generations to come, so conservation is key.
This volcano is known as one of the most dangerous in the country due to its constant, churning activity. As you explore the South of Iceland, you will probably understand how powerful and mysterious Katla volcano really is. Since this volcano is active, hiking to the summit is not allowed. You may still gaze at its beauty from a distance for now. I would recommend taking a tour from Vík to explore the surroundings and then arrive at Myrdalsjökull Glacier. Here, a phenomenal ice cave awaits avid travelers. Remember to follow your guide’s instructions at all times.
If you are heading to the north of Iceland, you shouldn’t miss Hverfjall (or sometimes called Hverfell) Volcano. The visit to this location is considered to be a gentle ride as the volcano is completely extinct. There are not many risks involved here. This could be a perfect attraction if you wish to take some photos or simply enjoy the view from the rim of the crater. This volcano is very well preserved so I would invite everyone to visit it. There are scheduled tours from Lake Mývatn if you are staying in the area. You could also park nearby if you are driving.
You may have probably heard about this big guy on the news as it erupted not long ago. In fact, there were a series of powerful volcanic events that covered Europe’s skies for a while, causing a lot of trouble for air traffic and canceled flights for about a week back in 2010. This volcano offers visitors a great number of activities, such as hiking tours if you wish to get close to the summit. Also, there are a few small waterfalls in the area that are surely worth visiting. The landscape in this location is fascinating from many different angles. During the winter season, you will see generous amounts of snow on top of Eyjafjallajökull, just like a small, icy hat.
Guide to Iceland’s Volcanoes
I hope that you have found this quick guide to Icelandic volcanoes useful. Volcanoes are just one part of the many natural attractions you will encounter on the island and from our culture. Each of them has something different to offer. The Land of Fire and Ice awaits those who are looking for mystery and adventure for their journey around Iceland.