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In a surprising twist, the Litla-Hrút volcano in Iceland erupted at 16:40 locally on July 10, 2023, after a year since the last eruption in Meradalir. The flowing lava and a brand-new lava field create a breathtaking sight.

What do we know about this volcanic eruption so far?

Aug 9, 2023

The Reykjanes peninsula's Litli-Hrútur eruption has been quiet since 5 August.  However, visitors can now join a guided tour to marvel at the expansive new lava field and the evolving landscape.


Jul 17, 2023

The situation was reassessed, and access to the eruption site is opened to the public. Book our guided tour now!


Jul 13, 2023

  • Seismic activity has reduced to normal levels, possibly indicating a decrease in the eruption's activity, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

  • The eruption at Litli-Hrútur is different from the one seen in 2010 at Eyjafjallajökull, and it does not affect flights.

  • The hiking route to the eruption at Litli-Hrútur has been closed until Saturday due to safety concerns, with smoke pollution, wildfires, and some visitors behaving irresponsibly.

  • Two men were seen trying to climb the erupting crater, leading to the closure of the hiking route.

  • The lava flow from the eruption has filled the valley east of Kistufell.


Jul 12, 2023

  • The Icelandic eruption site, now partially accessible to visitors via the Meradalir Route from Suðurstrandarvegur. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the power of nature. The 20km round hike is a bit of a challenge but is a rewarding experience for those adequately prepared.

  • Opting for a guided tour is highly recommended. Guided tours provide expert knowledge about the area, ensure safety protocols are followed, and can enhance the overall experience by providing interesting insights about the eruption and the geological history of the region.

  • Visitors should dress appropriately for the weather, bring food and water, and ensure their mobile phones are fully charged. Parking is available in designated areas, and it's important to note that phone coverage may not be consistent throughout the area. Even though the eruption zone is always changing, if you take the right safety steps and care for the environment, you can have a safe and unforgettable experience!

Stay tuned to our updates for more information. Until then, enjoy the wonderful sights Iceland has to offer while we keep an eye on Litla-Hrút for you!

Jul 11, 2023

  • According to geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, the current eruption is somewhat larger in scale compared to the eruptions of 2021 and 2022 in the same area.

  • The lava flow from the eruption is thickening and the craters are expanding.

  • The danger associated with gas pollution is severe and should be taken seriously.

  • Based on the current lava flow rate, it is anticipated that the eruption may be relatively short if the intensity continues at the same pace.

  • Fannar Sveinsson, mayor of the town of Grindavík, reported that twice as much lava is being produced in this eruption, implying significantly more gas. He also confirmed that all access routes to the eruption were closed and the area evacuated.


Jul 10, 2023

  • The eruption occurred in a remote valley near the Litli-Hrútur mountain, about 30 kilometers (around 19 miles) southwest of Reykjavik.

  • The eruption started around 16:40 on July 10, with smoke rising from the slopes of Litla-Hrútur. Unrest was reported from 14:00, and the ground in the area is trembling with intense heat beneath it.

  • This is the third eruption in the Fagradalsfjall volcano region over the past two years, with no prior disruptions to lives, infrastructure, or flights.

  • Keflavik Airport, located close to the eruption site, continues normal operations with no flight disruptions.

  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office stated the eruption is small and currently not emitting ash into the atmosphere.

  • Lava is gushing from a 200-meter (656 feet) long fissure on the mountain's slopes, resembling a series of natural fountains.

  • Despite the fissure appearing small, there are warnings of potentially high levels of volcanic gases, and authorities are advising people against hiking to the volcano.

  • The trails to the volcano are currently closed by order of the Reykjanes Peninsula's police chief due to the severe and potentially life-threatening gas pollution in the area.

  • Before the eruption, in recent weeks, hundreds of minor earthquakes had been detected in the area, leading scientists to warn of potential eruptions.

  • Visuals from the scene show streams of lava flowing across dark fields, with small fires visible in the distance and thick smoke billowing into the sky.

  • The management office had warned hikers to exercise caution in the region several days prior, as the observed seismic activity was reminiscent of the lead-up to the 2022 volcanic eruption.

  • This eruption is happening in an uninhabited zone between the Fagradalsfjall and Keilir volcanic mountains.

  • The eruption, described as small, poses no immediate risks to communities or infrastructure, according to the Icelandic Met Office.

  • Lava is flowing south from the fissure, and toxic gas and steam emissions from the fissure are drifting northwest.

We will keep you updated on the current situation and provide necessary guidance as more information comes in. Until then, stay safe and enjoy the other enchanting sights that Iceland has to offer!

Source: RUV agency and mbl.is

Guided active Volcano Tours at Meradalir valley

FAQ about active volcano eruption at Meradalir Valley

According to the Environmental Agency of Iceland, walking on the lava is forbidden and can be very dangerous. The top layer can easily break when stepped on, causing hazards to people. The lava at Fagradalsfjall Volcano is a unique geological monument that we must respect and protect. It is important for visitors to leave no traces such as throwing stones at the lava or making inscriptions on it. Lavas are under special protection according to art. 61 of the Nature Conservation Act. One of the biggest risks of walking on new lava is breaking the top layer over an unknown lava tube. Falling into a lava tube that's still several hundred degrees Celcius can lead to injuries. 

The hiking trails can be challenging and condition different day by day and even during the day. If you plan to hike to the volcano it is essential to have good hiking shoes, warm clothing and waterproof outerwear.

There are toilets in the parking lot area that have been set up.

Yes, the weather can make all the difference and determine whether you can reach the eruption site or if you will enjoy the journey or not. You can find Weather information here and a gas forecast here.

You can bring it with you, but we do also stop for lunch in Grindavík where you can buy snacks as well for the hike. Please note though that food is not included in the tour.

Yes, if you are not joining a guided tour and driving to the eruption site on your own, the parking fee is 1000 ISK (≈ 8 USD) and can be paid electronically at Parka.is. The payment is valid for 24 hours. There are signs at the parking lots with instructions.

There are currently two parking lots that you can choose from, Parking P1 or Parking P2. You will need to pick the correct payment site accordingly:

Parking P1: https://www.parka.is/pay/geldingadalir/

Parking P2 (Stóri-Leirdalur): https://www.parka.is/pay/volcanoskali/

According to parka.is, the payment is necessary to pay for the infrastructure on-site and maintenance of it. The intention is to make access better and increase people's safety. The parking lots are monitored with cameras and if parking is unpaid, an additional fee is added and a bank claim is created. The claim usually goes out one day later, so if you have trouble paying on-site, you are able to finish the payment when you arrive back at your hotel.

Currently, the Chief of Police in Reykjanes has decided to close the eruption area. Serious gas pollution has been measured. We advise checking the Safe Travel page for any changes.

When the eruption area will be safe and open for visitors, it is not obligatory to be accompanied by a professional guide to visit the site. However, taking a guided tour is safer than visiting the eruption site as fellow travelers will accompany you, and a local professional guide will ensure your safety.

The eruption at Meradalir officially ended on August 21st, 2022. A new eruption started on the 10th of July, 2023, in Mt. Litla-Hrút.

Once the area is opened by the authorities, the best and safest way to visit a volcano is with a guided tour. Expert guides will be able to lead you to the eruption site, choosing the most secure paths and the optimal distance to observe the newly formed lava fields so you can get the best, safest, and most enjoyable experience. You can choose to book the hike to the eruption site or book a helicopter tour and see the volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula from above.

Scientists and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management are always monitoring the area closely and informing the public if there are any updates. The safety of our passengers is our number one priority; therefore, we will follow the instructions coming from the authorities.

Also, we recommend visitors to the volcano follow these steps in the area:

  • Keep your distance and don't step into the lava from the eruption

  • Due to the risk of gas exposure, do not go down into the valleys. Instead, observe the eruption from the hills and mountainsides

  • Be aware of the wind direction

  • Avoid standing directly against the wind

About Eruption In 2022

  • The Meradalir volcano erupted again on August 3rd, 2022, almost a year after the last eruption had occurred.
  • The eruption that opened in the Meradalir Valley is a fissure eruption, meaning that instead of the crater, the lava comes out of the fissure vent, usually without explosive activity.  

  • The initial size of this fissure is around 300 meters long, but it is expected to get bigger.

  • As for now, the eruption causes no threat to the surrounding infrastructure, lives, or air traffic. The flights in the Keflavik Internation Airport proceed as usual.

  • This year’s eruption is 5-10 times bigger in lava and gas volume than the previous year’s.

  • Meradalir volcanic eruption site can be accessed by a 17 km hike (both ways) and is considered challenging. 

  • It is advised to be mindful of gas and not to bring pets or children to the site. 

  • The eruption officially ended after 18 days, on August 21, 2022.

About Eruption in 2021

The first eruption began in Geldingadalur in Fagradalsfjall around a quarter to nine on Friday night. There is currently no danger to settlements or structures. The eruption is small, but the danger in the area can be greater than many suspects. It is forbidden to go near the crater due to the risk of gas pollution. New cracks can open and the large crater could rupture and new lava channels can form.

Updated: 7.4.2021 5:14 (Icelandic time)

Clever viewers of the webcams noticed that at midnight a new eruption fissure opened just northeast of the original eruption in Geldingadalur. The Meteorological Office's nature conservation expert confirmed this to the news agency right now. The new fissure appears at the site where rescue workers noticed a landslide.

Updated: 6.4.2021 5:26 (Icelandic time)

Geldingadalur the new eruption cracks opened at noon last morning.

  • Two new eruption fissures opened at noon yesterday about 700 meters northeast of the craters in Geldingadalur. They are about 100 to 200 meters long.
  • There was almost no warning on the Meteorological Office's measuring equipment. 
  • Between 400 and 500 people were at the eruption site when the fissures opened and the area was evacuated immediately. It is unlikely to reopen tomorrow.
  • Rescue crews in Þorbjörn had to take down a tent that has stood by the eruption sites in Geldingadalur for two weeks. The cracks opened about 200 meters from the tent. 
  • The lava flows down into Meradali and has formed a lava field there. It is thin-flowing and passes fairly quickly.
  • The eruption in Geldingadalur has only decreased, but it is believed that the new cracks will be fed from the same eruption channel as the eruption in Geldingadalur. This is part of the same magma intrusion that scientists first noticed in the quake that began in late February.
  • A similar amount of lava emerges from the cracks as before in Geldingadalur.
  • Five or six cubic meters of magma flow out of the cracks every second.
  • "This has become a more dangerous area than it used to be," says Kristín Jónsdóttir, a nature conservation specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office. 
  • The eruption from the cracks has intensified this afternoon. 
  • A narrow lava river now flows rapidly into Meradali.
  • It is almost impossible to get to this area without being in danger, according to Kristín Jónsdóttir.
  • No structures or roads are considered to be in danger as the lava flows further into the highlands.

Updated: 23.3.2021 14:44 (Icelandic time)

It is likely that gas pollution in depressions and depressions near the eruption in Geldingadalur and the air quality in the vicinity will approach life-threatening values ​​tonight. The chief of police in Suðurnes encourages people to leave the eruption area before five o'clock today. He accepts the encouragement of the Meteorological Office from this morning.

The wind gradually decreases as the day progresses. After seven o'clock in the evening, the wind can be expected to drop below three meters per second and the sulfur dioxide to exceed 9,000 micrograms per cubic meter. Conditions can therefore pose a great danger to people, in fact life-threatening, due to the accumulation of toxic gases.

The chief of police in Suðurnes advises people to stay on the hills and not go down into valleys or depressions in the immediate vicinity of the eruption sites. People are also encouraged to stay within the hiking trail that has been marked to and from the eruption area.

Crowds on their way to the eruption site Updated: 23.3.2021 9:46 (Icelandic time)

Many people have made their way to the eruption in Geldingadalur this morning. The weather is much better than it was yesterday. It can cause problems as the day goes on with an increasing risk of gas pollution. People were therefore encouraged to leave sooner rather than later.

The new hiking trail to be ready Updated: 3.23.2021 9:25 (Icelandic time)

The eruption in Geldingadalur has now lasted for over three days and it can only be seen that there is a similar course in the eruption as there has been, but seismic activity has decreased significantly in the metabolic area. Less than twenty rescue crews from Þorbjörn in Grindavík were on duty at the eruption sites last night. A new hiking trail to the eruption site is almost ready and is accessible on GPS devices, but today a group will be sent to finalize its path.

original trail to volcano eruption in spring 2021 in iceland

The weather is good for volcanic eruptions Updated: 3.23.2021 8:32 (Icelandic time)

The weather forecast assumes the fairest weather at the eruptions today, where the outlook is for a relatively slow westerly or variable direction with occasional showers and temperatures of up to five degrees until evening, but then it could start to freeze. Members of the rescue squad Þorbjörn yesterday completed the most efficient hiking trail from Suðurstrandarvegur to the eruption sites, so now there is nothing in the way for those who want to see the eruption. However, there is a strong warning against going down to Geldingadalur due to gas pollution, especially when the wind is less strong. 

New hiking trail Updated: 3.23.2021 8:03 (Icelandic time)

This afternoon, a group of ten people from the rescue team Þorbjörn went on a stake trip up to Fagradalsfjall in crazy weather and this evening the project ended. "Now it is possible to walk a marked path from Suðurstrandavegur to the eruption stop in a very convenient way and it takes about an hour and a half for well-equipped people to walk that way, but it is about 3.5 km or 7 km back and forth," says in Facebook- entry of the rescue squad. The red line on the map below shows the hiking trail.

"This is clearly the shortest and safest way," says Davíð Már Bjarnason, Landsbjörg's information officer, in a conversation with the news agency tonight. He says that they are now waiting for Vegagerðin to open Suðurstandarveginn in one direction, hopefully tomorrow. "Then the next step is to look at further parking possibilities nearby and if something happens in the next few days, access will be much better."

He hopes people will heed the war on gas pollution tomorrow.

What has happened today? Updated: 22.3.2021 13:40 (Icelandic time)

Geldingadalur has now erupted since 20:45 on Friday and this happened mostly today, Monday 22 March.

  • Rescue teams worked tirelessly into the night and into the morning to shelter people who had been involved in the blaze. Some had become exhausted after walking for half a day and a first aid station was opened at a school in Grindavík. 40 people went there and one was taken to hospital due to injuries. The director of operations in Grindavík said clearly that lives had been saved last night. A fairly extensive search was made for a German man who later revealed that he had gone to Grindavík last night and slept there.
  • The eruptions are closed today due to gas pollution and bad weather. More temperate weather is expected tomorrow. Those who leave early should have the wind behind them and those who will be on the move in the afternoon must consider gas pollution as the Meteorological Office assumes that there will be a lot of snow.
  • No changes can be seen in the eruption itself. The tower that can be seen in the middle of the eruption has reached a height of 30 meters and is interrupted from time to time. Then you can see how flaming magma flows out of it. The lava flow is fairly stable and there is still a risk of another crack opening. The magma does not appear to be anything else along the way, if a new satellite image can be marked.

A Volcano just erupted in Iceland Updated: 20.3.2021 5:00 (Icelandic time)


At 20:45 an eruption began in Fagradalsfjall which has been given the name Geldingadalsgos in the head of Geldingadalur, where the largest lava flows. This has been likened to the eruption at Fimmvörðuháls, which ended about a decade ago, and scientists agree that this is the most suitable place for a "pent lava eruption". Although small, it is remarkable as it has not erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula for 800 years.

  • The eruption appears to be small and no ash fall has been reported at this time. The glow of the molten lava can be seen over a wide area, however, and photographs have been taken of it as far away as Hafnarfjörður and Þorlákshöfn. 
  • The eruption is at Geldingadalir, which is further north than the location scientists predicted a possible eruption earlier this week.
  • Its location does not pose any immediate danger to infrastructure, but people in Þorlákshöfn are being advised to stay indoors with windows closed and radiators turned up as a precaution against volcanic gases. Þorlákshöfn is the closest community downwind this evening. Nearer Grindavík is upwind.
  • A narrow tongue of lava is flowing south-south-west and another to the west. The fissure is around 500-700 meters long. The eruption started very quietly, with no tremor. The Met Office became aware of the eruption because people reported its glow. The first report came at 21.20. 

Updated: 9.3.2021 7:00 (Icelandic time)

About 2,700 earthquakes were measured in the metabolic zone on the Reykjanes peninsula yesterday, Monday, from midnight to midnight, slightly fewer than in the previous days. The main difference is that there were no major earthquakes in the area yesterday. Only eight earthquakes measured 3.0 or greater, the largest 3.3, and none struck four or more. Elísabet Pálmadóttir, a nature conservation specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, says there is nothing unusual to see in the south at the moment and no signs of unrest. But even though Monday seemed the calmest, it does not mean that the great earthquake, which began on February 24, is in decline, as can be deduced from the large number of small earthquakes measured yesterday. Kristín Jónsdóttir, group leader of nature conservation at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, expects the seismic activity to continue but be divided into chapters. 

Updated: 8.3.2021 20:00 (Icelandic time)

The Scientific Advisory Board for Civil Protection convened a teleconference today to review the situation.

The Science Council believes that there is still a chance of an eruption in the area between Fagradalsfjall and Keilir. The latest measurements indicate that magma flow has decreased since last week. An earthquake similar to the one that occurred over the weekend can be expected.

The main results are as follows:

  • It is still believed that if an eruption occurs, it would be on a fissure somewhere in the area bounded by Fagradalsfjall and Keilir where the magma tunnel is forming. There is no evidence of magmatic activity outside this area.
  • The most probable source of magma, based on activity in recent days, is south of the magma chamber.
  • The latest satellite images, GPS measurements and model calculations indicate that magma flow has decreased since the beginning of last week. The magma is shallow and eruptions must continue to be expected to erupt.
  • If the magma chamber continues to expand in the coming days and weeks, we can expect similar earthquake gusts as occurred over the weekend.

Updated: 5.3.2021 13:45 (Icelandic time)

Volcanology and the nature conservation group of the University of Iceland today published a new lava flow forecast that takes into account the events of the night. There are five possibilities for eruptions, but it is stated that there is almost no chance of eruptions in all places at once.

Updated: 5.3.2021 10:00 (Icelandic time)

There is still considerable seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, although it slowed down during the night. The last time an earthquake larger than 4 was measured at 19:14 on Thursday evening. It was 4.1 in size. Since then, 12 earthquakes have been larger than 3 but many smaller earthquakes. By eight o'clock on Friday morning, 810 earthquakes had shaken less than 3.

Updated: 5.3.2021 9:30 (Icelandic time)

Three magnitude earthquakes have occurred in the metamorphic area of ​​the Reykjanes peninsula since midnight. A total of eight earthquakes, three or larger, have occurred around Fagradalsfjall and Keilir after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook the area yesterday evening. The largest, 3.7 in size, was at 19.46. 

Updated: 4.3.2021 9:34 (Icelandic time)

The quake, which occurred at 08:54, was 4.5 magnitude. The source was 1.5 kilometers southeast of Fagradalsfjall. An announcement on the Meteorological Office's website says that the quake was felt well in the southwest corner of the country. Unrest has not resumed in conjunction with the quake. Fréttastofa received a tip that the earthquake had also been found in Hveragerði.

The quake is the largest that has been detected on the Reykjanes peninsula since the previous day, March 2. A magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook the region at 03:05.

Updated: 4.3.2021 7:13 (Icelandic time)

About 2500 earthquakes were measured yesterday. Since midnight, almost 800 earthquakes have been detected. In total, more than 18,000 earthquakes have occurred since the eruption began about a week ago, according to a summary by the Icelandic Meteorological Office's nature conservation experts. Most of the activity is limited to Fagradalsfjall and has moved only to the southwest, compared to the activity yesterday. Turbulence and seismic activity decreased only in the middle of the night, but increased again around five in the morning.

The largest earthquakes from midnight are as follows:

at 00:59 M4.1

at 04:04 M3.6

at 05:17 M3.9

at 05:36 M3.9

at 05:44 M4.0

Updated: 4.3.2021 6:34 (Icelandic time)

The turbulence in the seismic areas on the Reykjanes peninsula has decreased somewhat since midnight, says Bjarki Kaldalón Friis, a nature conservation specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The seismic activity last night has been higher than it was last night. Shortly before five o'clock, about 600 earthquakes had been located in the meteorological system of the Icelandic Meteorological Office since midnight. The largest of them was an earthquake that lasted for one minute at a time. It was 4.1 in size, 1.4 kilometers southeast of Fagradalsfjall. At four minutes past four there was an earthquake measuring 3.6. It was one kilometer south of Fagradalsfjall. Bjarki said that the earthquakes were slightly more and they were bigger than they were last night. However, the unrest has eased since yesterday, and the distance between earthquakes has been slowly increasing as the night has passed. It is unclear, however, what this means for the future, whether the unrest increases again or not.

Increased power came in the ring at six o'clock this morning. The quake that occurred at 05:44 was 4.0 magnitude, the quake at 05:36 was 3.9 and the two quakes that occurred at 05:17 were 3.9 and 3.5 magnitude.

Updated: 3.3.2021 17:42 (Icelandic time)

According to information from the Meteorological Office, the activity began to decrease around 4 pm today. However, this goes back and forth and can increase as the night progresses.

Updated: 3.3.2021 17:03 (Icelandic time)

Since midnight, 21 earthquakes larger than 3 have been measured. The largest was 4 and it occurred at 15:11. They have been found well in the capital area and beyond.

Updated: 3.3.2021 17:01 (Icelandic time)

Police have now closed roads to Keilir and a possible eruption area.

Updated: 3.3.2021 16:39 (Icelandic time)

Journalist Magnús Geir Eyjólfsson joined a group of scientists at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the earthquake site today. He said in Sjónvarp's extra news program that everything had been quiet there until about three o'clock when they were asked to get to a safe place.

He said that the scientists had been looking for similar cracks that formed in the eruption in Holuhraun.

Updated: 3.3.2021 16:32 (Icelandic time)

Magnús Geir Eyjólfsson, a journalist, spoke to Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir, a geologist at the Institute of Earth Sciences, who, together with other experts from the Institute of Earth Sciences, was measuring and surveying conditions at Keilir today. Among other things, a drone was placed in the air that measures, for example, temperature below the surface. The measurements can give an indication of whether magma is moving closer to the surface.

Updated: 3.3.2021 16:29 (Icelandic time)

Scientist says that people should continue with their lives. This will not have a huge impact on people's lives in the near future. "What could happen is this gas pollution that could affect people with underlying diseases. The size and quantity of eruptions go hand in hand. "

Víðir says that they have not been dealing with eruptions near settlements for a long time. The distance from the settlement now is still such that no one is in danger. He says the area is difficult to navigate, bad weather and low visibility. "But of course we are worried that people will go near the stations and put themselves in danger." Víðir says that no roads are in danger but they have closed the road to Keilir where scientists had to get peace of mind.

Updated: 3.3.2021 16:19 (Icelandic time)

If it went to the red alert level, flights would be temporarily suspended, but most likely it would be reduced to orange. "This should not have a big impact on air travel," says scientist

Updated: 3.3.2021 16:15 (Icelandic time)

The traffic management will have the risk that traffic will be normal. It is not possible to fence off the area, but people will be told that such eruptions can be dangerous due to gas pollution. The most dangerous area is around the lava. Therefore, people should be directed not to go near the eruption sites. "Still, let's wait for the eruption to come."

Updated: 3.3.2021 15:32 (Icelandic time)

  • At 14:20, a disturbance pulse was measured at the Meteorological Office, which is located south of Keilir by Litla Hrút. Such signs are detected in the run-up to eruptions, but it has not been confirmed that eruptions have begun. The Coast Guard helicopter will fly over the area in the next few minutes
  • A press conference has been called at 4 pm and will be shown live on all major RÚV media.
  • Air traffic preparedness levels have been raised from yellow to orange.
  • Rescue teams have been deployed.

Source: RUV agency and mbl.is