Iceland has powerful and active volcanic systems that are capable of disrupting air travel if they go off. The good news is that they don't spew lava every year or so and are completely safe to visit and observe in person. There are a lot of serene locations around these volcanoes that will enchant you with their beauty, especially the waterfalls and beaches and the small village of Vík í Mýrdal.
On July 10, 2023, a volcanic eruption occurred near Litli-Hrútur mountain, southwest of Reykjavik, marking the third eruption in the region within three years. Lava is flowing from a 200-meter expanding fissure, creating captivating fountains, while concerns about high levels of volcanic gases have led to the closure of access to the volcano. Initially, the eruption site was evacuated and closed for safety, as it's an uninhabited area. But starting July 12, it has been partially opened for visitors who can reach it via the Meradalir Route from Suðurstrandarvegur. To ensure a safe and memorable visit, it's recommended to prepare for a 20km journey, consider a guided tour, dress appropriately, bring food and water, and have a fully charged mobile phone. Despite the site's ever-changing nature, with these precautions, you can have an unforgettable experience. Stay updated on the latest volcano eruption news in Iceland.
After days of rising earthquake activity in the area, a volcano erupted at 1:18 pm local time on August 3, 2022. Lava fountains shot up into the air a few hundred feet from the site of the eruption at the Fagradalsfjall mountain in 2021, which lasted six months, from March until September.
The erupting fissure in the ground on the side of the Fagradalsfjall mountain was originally 300 meters (984 feet) long, but has since shrunk to about 100 meters. Like its neighbor, this eruption poses little risk to humans or infrastructure with the lava flowing into uninhibited valleys surrounding the site.
The Meradalir eruption is only 25 km (15 miles) from Reykjavik and 15 km from Keflavik International Airport in the Reykjanes Peninsula, a seismic and volcanic hot spot.
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Katla Volcano is among the notorious active volcanic systems that have continuously caused devastation on the south coast of Iceland. The Katla Volcano ranks third on the list of the most active volcanoes and is the reason behind the sprawling volcanic formations that are abundant near the south coast. Katla Volcano erupted over a century ago and is overdue for an eruption, as per the scientist's speculations and findings. We hope that it doesn't happen for another few decades, which is most likely to be the outcome. This active volcano is submerged deep under the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and is the reason behind the beautiful Reynisfjara black sand beach and Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks.
Reaching Katla Volcano is easy as it is just beside the village of Vik and can be reached via the ring road. You will not find a dense population situated in the foothills because of the past seismic activities that have caused utter devastation and have forced the residents to relocate far away from the Katla Volcano. But if you wish to enjoy the scenic beauty located around the Katla Volcano, the village of Vik is a great place to start that has a picturesque area filled with residential structures and a few tourist locations as well.
There is no dearth of sightseeing and recreational activities in and around the Katla Volcano. The most beautiful sight is the Katla ice cave tour that lets you enter the ice cave formation and view it from inside. It is done under the supervision of a guide and is open for visitation during most months of the year. The sheer beauty of ice blending and mixing colors provide an ethereal sight that makes you wonder what more has nature hidden in the deepest and unexplored corners of the world. It is advisable to stay close and follow your tour guide while exploring the cave as troubles can creep up on you with a single wrong move.
Sólheimajökull, a glacier tongue of Mýrdalsjökull offers glacial hiking for tourists who want to challenge themselves to a cumbersome yet gratifying hike in the sub-zero temperatures. Reynisfjara Beach is a relaxing spot where you can witness the charming black beach and high basalt columns that are among the most picturesque spots in the world. Reyniskirkja is a pristine white church that looks captivating and fresh out of canvas against the beautiful backdrop of the ocean and mountains. You can offer prayers and calm your spirits while appreciating the beauty of the man-made structure from 1929. If you are looking for a great fishing spot near the Katla Volcano, the small yet gorgeous village of Vík í Mýrdal offers a great fishing experience and a lot of freshwater fish.
Eyjafjallajokull is a trifecta of a glacier, a volcano, and a mountain. It may sound absurd, but it is how the scientists describe the Eyjafjallajokull. Katla and Eyjafjallajokull are two notorious mountains of Iceland that have caused a lot of chaos and havoc in the southern region of Iceland. The last time Eyjafjallajokull burst was in 2010 which produced fumes so high that the European flight router was non-usable for a few weeks. Katla and Eyjafjallajokull have a similar eruption pattern, and if one bursts, it is very likely that the other one will follow its lead.
FimmvörðuhálsHiking Trail is the most visited and arduous trail near the volcano that takes you on a scenic route between two mountains and a glacier. If you are an avid hiker looking forward to a challenge that tests you, Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail is unmatched. It is stretched out in 25 km and has a one-kilometer climb including the trek across the mountains and valleys. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted and requires a lot of preparation along with an experienced tour guide that stays with you until the end of the hike. Lava Centre of Interactive Exhibitions helps you understand the process and the complex science behind volcanic formations and how it shapes the region around them. Katla volcanoes ice cave tour is a must, no matter which volcano you are visiting on the south coast. It is an ethereal experience as you get to enter inside a natural ice cavity and witness its splendor up close.
Thorsmork (Þórsmörk) Valley is named after the Norse god of mythology "Thor", presenting an expansive glimpse of the lush green valley that also presents gratifying hiking opportunities. There are two waterfalls near the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, namely Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, both of which have gigantic drops and the most picturesque locations in the region. If you fancy fishing, the solemn village of Vík í Mýrdal will satiate your fishing needs. It is a small village with a sparse population, but the locals are immensely friendly to tourist folk. Accommodations are not a problem at Vík í Mýrdal, but the establishments can be at capacity in the summer months. You should plan your lodgings in advance to avoid facing any issues upon your arrival.
Kerið is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area, South Iceland. Because of its shape when viewed from above, it is nicknamed “The Eye of the World.” It is a popular destination for visiting the Golden Circle tour, which includes the Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and Geysir Geothermal Area.
Kerið formed around three thousand years ago, but the story behind its origination is still unclear. At first, it was believed that the Kerid crater appeared after a huge volcanic explosion, but now the most common version is that it was once a cone volcano that exhausted all its magma reserves upon the eruption. As the magma was emptied, the cone of the volcano collapsed, and the void was filled with water over time.
The best way to reach the Kerid crater is by following the Ring Road from Golden Circle to Selfoss waterfall. It is located very close to the famous Golde Circle attractions, so we recommend adding it to your itinerary.
The best way to explore Kerid is by taking a short walk around the edge of the crater or taking steps down to reach the lake. During the summer, you’ll notice that the slopes are covered in red because of minerals. It is because the iron here is relatively young – Kerid is only 3000 years old, while most volcanic craters in the world are almost twice that age.