Fagradalsfjall volcano, known to a few, became the main tourist attraction in the years 2021 and 2022. After over 6,000 years of laying still, it has erupted two years in a row! Read on to learn more about the world-famous Fagradalsfjall volcano and the best ways to visit it!
Fagradalsfjall is a tuya volcano located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, only 40 km (25 mi) away from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. It is a part of a larger volcanic system, covering a 5 km (3 mi) wide and 16 km (10 mi) long area. On 19 March 2021, an erupting fissure opened south of the 385-meter-tall Fagradalsfjall mountain. More than a year later, on 3 August 2022, a new eruption appeared in the area. The two eruptions occurred after 6,000 years of the volcano laying still.
The Fagradalsfjall eruption site is located in Meradallir valley, an uninhabited place on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 40 km (25 mi) away from the country's capital, Reykjavik. The nearest town is Grindavík, located only 11 km (7 mi) away from the eruption site.
Fagradalsfjall volcano map:
The parking lot to go to Fagradallsfjall is located an approximately 1-hour drive from Reykjavik and a 25-minute drive from Keflavik Airport. The rest of the part is only reachable by foot. Fagradalsfjall is one of the few volcanoes which is so accessible for visitors.
Since you cannot drive directly to the eruption site, you'll need to find parking located in the Meradalir valley. In order to reach it, you'll need to follow the road signs marked as 'Parking 1' while going on Route 427.
From the parking lot, you'll need to follow the trail markers marked as Route A. The trail leads through frozen lava straight to the eruption site. The hike is of moderate difficulty, and not all parts of it are paved. The trail is about 7 km (4.5 mi) long, with a 300-meter elevation.
Fagradalsfjall is a tuya and fissure system on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland. A tuya is usually a flat-topped, steep-sided volcano. It forms when lava erupts through an ice sheet or thick glacier. It is relatively rare because glacier and volcanic activity rarely combine in the same area. But, as you may already know, Iceland is unique in that way! A tuya appeared in Meradallir valley after the first eruption in 2021.
A fissure is a narrow opening in the surface of the Earth from which the lava erupts. Seeing it might feel like seeing Hell itself opening on Earth. These kinds of fissures can occur in Earth's crust, glaciers, ice sheets, and on volcanoes. This kind of fissure opened in Meradallir valley after the 2022 eruption.
The Fagradalsfjall is actually pretty ancient – its appearance dates back to the Pleistocene period. It formed after the eruption occurred under the ice sheet. It's been dormant for 6,342 years until the eruption occurred very recently, on March 2021. The second one occurred a little more than a year after, on August 2022.
After a series of earthquakes, Fagradalsfjall erupted on March 19th, 2021. It's the first time an eruption occurred in this area in more than 6,000! The lava laid dormant for many years underground, and its eruption made it one of the oldest lava to have emerged on the surface of the ground. The eruption lasted for six months, making it the longest eruption in the 21st Century.
On the afternoon of August 3rd, 2022, the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted again. Prior to the eruption, a series of earthquakes were noticed on the Reykjanes Peninsula. During this period, geologists have predicted that an eruption is to happen. Their predictions came true the lava erupted from the 300-meter fissure in Meradalir valley.
Even though the Fagradalsfjall volcano is not as active as before, visitors should keep away from the fresh lava field since the lava can remain hot. Serious injuries can be imposed if people are exposed to them directly. It is better to admire the freshly formed lava field from a safe distance.
There are many tours going to Fagradalsfjall. By taking a guided tour, you'll be insured by your safety as the licensed guide will lead you every step of the way. Choose the Fagradalsfjall volcano tour which suits your needs!
One of the most popular ways to learn more about the recent Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption is to hike to its site. The hike to Fagradalsfjall volcano is not easy – it is long (around 12 km to go both ways) and leads through rugged terrain. Your expert guide will choose the best route for you based on safety regulations and the conditions of the day.
During the hike to Fagradalsfjall volcano, you'll get to witness a newly formed lava field from the recent volcanic eruption. Don't hesitate and book a tour!
Fagradalsfjall volcano helicopter tour is another great way to see the freshly formed lava field. A tour leaving Reykjavik Airport flies over the Meradalir, where the volcanic eruption recently occurred. You will be able to observe the site while safely sitting in the helicopter. Your experienced guide will ensure your safety every step of the way.
A recently erupted volcano and geothermal landing tour is a perfect opportunity to see the recent eruption site and learn more about geothermal energy in Iceland.
Krísuvíkurberg’s cliffs - these impressive cliffs stretch for more than 3 miles along the south coast of Reykjanes.
Hraunsvík - it is a cliff located east of Grindavík, famous for bird watching.
Gunnuhver Hot Springs - a colorful geothermal field full of mud pools and fumaroles.