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Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in the Grímsnes area, South Iceland. It is a popular site to visit as part of the Golden Circle tour as it is nearby the route. The Golden Circle is probably the most famous touristic route in Iceland, featuring the Gullfoss Waterfall, Haukadalur Geothermal Valley, and Thingvellir National Park. There are plenty of Golden Circle tours available that are worth checking out!

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How was the Kerid Crater created?

Kerið crater formed approximately 6,500 years ago, but the reason behind its formation is questionable. At first, scientists believed that it appeared after a huge volcanic explosion, but no evidence of such an event was found in the Grímsnes area. Currently, the main theory behind its origination is that Kerið was once a cone volcano that erupted and emptied its magma reserves. After the magma was exhausted, the cone collapsed into the empty area, which was eventually filled with water.

Some interesting facts

Here are some fascinating facts about the Kerið crater:

  • The nickname for Kerið crater is "The Eye of the World" because if you look at it from above, you'll notice it has the shape of a human's eye.

  • In the past, the crater was used as an amphitheater for various performances with a floating stage in the water. In 1987, famous Icelandic singer Björk performed here.

  • The slopes of the crater are red because the iron deposits, geologically speaking, are still young. This crater is 6,500, making it almost half the age of other volcanic craters in Iceland.

  • Kerið crater is a result of an eruption that happened over 6,500 ago.

  • The crater is 270 and 130 meters wide and 55 meters deep, including the lake formed at the bottom.

How to get to the Kerid Crater lake?

Kerið is very accessible and right off of the Ring Road! Kerið is approximately a 25-minute drive from Þingvellir National Park, and a 1-hour drive from Reykjavík.

It is easily found, as it’s on the main road from the Golden Circle to Selfoss, located only 15 km (9.3 mi) north of Selfoss, right off Highway 35. Kerið is 105 km (65 mi) from the Blue Lagoon, via route 427. If you are driving the Golden Circle, it is well worth stopping off here even if it’s just to take a break and stretch your legs! Conveniently, if you are renting a car, a parking lot is located directly next to the crater.

The best time to visit Kerid Crater in Iceland

Even though Kerið volcanic crater is captivating in any season, it is better to visit it during the summer season. It is the time when its natural colors and fauna can be admired in their full glory. You can see the beautiful contrast between the red slopes and the green moss covering the rocks, as well as the turquoise water of the lake.

During the winter, the lake is usually frozen, and the slopes are covered in ice and snow. A hike to the crater can even be dangerous, especially on a windy day.

Hiking around the Kerid Crater

Visitors usually enjoy walking around the edge of the crater and taking pictures of it. You can also take some steps down to the Kerid crater lake. There's a path around the lake itself where you can admire the slopes from below. Kerid crater hike is short and easy – a perfect way to stretch your legs while on the road!

Learn more about hiking in Iceland.

What attractions are near Kerid Crater

Tours to Golden Circle

There's no secret that the best way to visit Iceland is by guided tour. Why? Because you get a group of amazing people to enjoy Iceland with and a friendly local guide who will tell you the most fascinating stories and ensure your safety.

There are plenty of tours available that visit the Golden Circle, so you can pick the one that suits you most. The one you can join that visits Kerid crater is Golden Circle and Hvammsvik Hot Springs. Want to visit all the essential Golden Circle attractions, without additional ones? Pick a Classic Minibus tour. Do you arrive in Iceland in the morning and want to fill your afternoon? No worries! We have an Afternoon tour as well!

thingvellir national park and whale jumping out of the ocean

Another popular way to visit Golden Circle is by combining it with another fun activity. Combine it with snorkelingwhale-watchingsnowmobiling, or a Northern Lights tour to maximize your experience!

You can also visit Golden Circle as part of a multi-day tour. We have plenty of multi-day tour options that include the Golden Circle, such as our best-selling 6-Day Around Iceland tour or 5-Day South Coast, Northern Lights and Snaefellsnes Peninsula tour.