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Best Way To Visit The Erupting Volcano In Fagradalsfjall, Iceland


by Ira Ackley



Welcome to the mesmerizing land of fire and ice, where nature’s raw power is on full display. Iceland, a country known for its stunning landscapes and geological wonders, is home to the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall. This extraordinary natural phenomenon has captivated adventurers and nature enthusiasts from around the world.


The beauty of this volcanic eruption lies in its accessibility, allowing visitors to witness the raw power of Mother Nature up close. The Fagradalsfjall volcano, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, has been steadily erupting since March 2021, providing an unforgettable experience for those brave enough to venture near its fiery spectacle.


The eruption in Fagradalsfjall is a remarkable opportunity to witness the forces that shaped our planet in action. As molten lava streams down the mountain, creating a fiery river of glowing lava, it is a visual spectacle that will leave you in awe of nature’s power and beauty. Standing in the presence of such an extraordinary event is a humbling experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.


But visiting an active volcano requires careful planning and preparation. In this guide, we will provide you with essential information on the location of Fagradalsfjall, the safety measures to follow, the best time to visit, how to reach the volcano, hiking routes, necessary equipment, recommended accommodations, and photography tips.


So, gear up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure as we delve into the world of Fagradalsfjall, Iceland’s erupting volcano.


Location of Fagradalsfjall Volcano

The Fagradalsfjall volcano is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland, approximately 40 kilometers from the capital city of Reykjavik. Nestled amidst the rugged and enchanting terrain, this volcanic marvel offers a unique opportunity to witness a live eruption in a relatively accessible location.


The Reykjanes Peninsula itself is known for its geothermal activity and is a hotspot for volcanic phenomena. Fagradalsfjall, with its active eruption, has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.


The eruption site is located near the town of Grindavik, which is the gateway to the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The volcano is easily accessible by road, making it convenient for visitors to reach the site. It’s important to note that while the volcano is accessible, caution and adherence to safety guidelines is crucial.


It’s worth mentioning that the location of the Fagradalsfjall volcano makes it an ideal day trip for those staying in Reykjavik. Many tour operators offer guided excursions to the volcano, providing transportation and expert guidance to ensure a safe and immersive experience. Additionally, the proximity to the Blue Lagoon makes it possible to combine a visit to the volcano with a relaxing soak in the geothermal waters.


The surrounding landscape near Fagradalsfjall is rugged and breathtaking, with vast lava fields and dramatic coastal cliffs. As you approach the volcano, the landscape transforms into a surreal mix of molten lava, steam, and vibrant colors. It’s truly a sight to behold and offers a unique opportunity to witness the forces of nature in action.


Now that you have an idea of where the Fagradalsfjall volcano is located, let’s explore the fascinating details of this erupting volcano and how to safely experience its magnificence.


Understanding the Volcano

Before embarking on a journey to witness the eruption in Fagradalsfjall, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how volcanoes work and the specific characteristics of this volcanic eruption.


The Fagradalsfjall volcano is a shield volcano, which is characterized by its low, broad shape and gentle slopes. Unlike explosive volcanoes, shield volcanoes have relatively calm eruptions with the lava flowing steadily rather than being ejected explosively.


The eruption in Fagradalsfjall is classified as an effusive eruption, where molten lava flows out of a vent and down the slopes of the volcano. The lava is composed mainly of basaltic magma, creating a breathtaking display of glowing, red-hot lava as it cascades down the mountainside.


This particular volcanic eruption has been ongoing since March 2021, providing a unique opportunity to witness the continuous flow of lava. The eruption site consists of several active vents, allowing visitors to observe different streams of lava flowing in various directions.


It is important to note that although the eruption may seem relatively gentle compared to explosive eruptions, safety precautions should still be taken. Lava can be extremely hot, reaching temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius, and direct contact can cause severe burns.


Moreover, volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide, can be present in the vicinity of the eruption site. These gases can be hazardous if inhaled in large quantities, causing respiratory problems and eye irritation. It is crucial to monitor the wind direction and follow any safety instructions provided by authorities or tour guides.


By understanding the nature of the Fagradalsfjall volcano and its ongoing eruption, you can confidently explore this natural wonder while prioritizing your safety. Now, let’s delve into the safety measures and precautions to ensure a secure and enjoyable visit to the erupting volcano.


Safety Measures and Precautions

Visiting an erupting volcano like Fagradalsfjall requires utmost caution and adherence to safety guidelines. Here are some essential safety measures and precautions to keep in mind:

  • Stay within designated areas: It is crucial to follow the instructions provided by authorities and stay within designated viewing areas. These areas are carefully chosen to ensure a safe distance from the active lava flow.
  • Observe from a safe distance: While witnessing the eruption up close is undoubtedly a thrilling experience, it is important to maintain a safe distance. Stay at least several hundred meters away from the lava flow to avoid the risk of burns or exposure to harmful gases.
  • Do not touch the lava: The lava emitted by the volcano is extremely hot and can cause severe burns. Resist the temptation to touch or get too close to the lava, even if it appears solid on the surface.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: The terrain around the volcano can be uneven and rocky. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots to protect your feet. Additionally, dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
  • Protect yourself from gases: Volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide, can be present near the eruption site. If you have respiratory issues or are particularly sensitive to these gases, it’s advisable to wear a mask or avoid staying in the vicinity for prolonged periods.
  • Check weather conditions: Before heading to the volcano, check the weather forecast and take note of any warnings or advisories. Unfavorable weather conditions, such as strong winds or heavy rain, can make the visit more challenging and potentially unsafe.
  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with local news and volcanic activity updates. Familiarize yourself with emergency evacuation procedures and be prepared to follow instructions from authorities or tour guides in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Remember, your safety should always be the top priority when visiting an erupting volcano. By respecting the guidelines, being cautious, and using common sense, you can have a remarkable and secure experience at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.


Now that you are aware of the safety measures, let’s explore the best time to visit the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall.


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall is during the summer months of June, July, and August. This period offers longer daylight hours, milder temperatures, and more favorable weather conditions for outdoor activities in Iceland.


During the summer, the days are significantly longer, allowing ample time for exploration and witnessing the volcano’s fiery spectacle. The extended daylight also provides better opportunities for photography, as you can capture the beauty of the lava flow against the backdrop of the mesmerizing Icelandic landscape.


Moreover, the summer months tend to have relatively mild temperatures, with average highs ranging between 10°C (50°F) and 15°C (59°F). This makes it more comfortable to hike in the area surrounding the volcano and withstand the occasional changes in weather.


It’s important to note that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable even during the summer months. It’s advisable to check the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden shifts in conditions. Dressing in layers and carrying waterproof clothing is recommended to stay comfortable and protected from the elements.


Another factor to consider when planning your visit is daylight hours. In mid-summer, the sun can stay above the horizon for almost 24 hours in Iceland, providing an incredible opportunity to explore the volcano and its surrounding areas at any time of day. This enables you to witness the eruption in different lighting conditions, from the soft glow of the midnight sun to the vibrant hues of the golden hour.


While summer offers optimal conditions for visiting Fagradalsfjall, it’s worth noting that the volcano’s eruption is ongoing, and it may continue to be accessible and awe-inspiring throughout other seasons. However, weather conditions and limited daylight hours during the winter months can make the experience more challenging.


Now that you know the best time to visit, let’s dive into the logistics of reaching Fagradalsfjall volcano and the various transportation options available.


How to Reach Fagradalsfjall

Reaching Fagradalsfjall volcano is relatively straightforward, thanks to its proximity to Reykjavik and the well-connected transportation infrastructure in Iceland. Here are some options for getting to the eruption site:

  • By Car: The most convenient way to reach Fagradalsfjall is by renting a car and driving from Reykjavik. The volcano is approximately a 40-minute drive from the city center. Follow the route to Grindavik and then take Road 427 until you reach the designated parking area near the eruption site. Be sure to check road conditions and any possible closures before setting off on your journey.
  • By Bus: Several tour operators offer guided bus tours to the volcano, providing transportation from Reykjavik to Fagradalsfjall. This option is ideal for those who prefer not to drive or would like the convenience of a guided experience. The bus tour typically includes a knowledgeable guide who can provide information about the volcano and ensure a safe visit.
  • By Guided Hiking Tour: For the more adventurous, guided hiking tours are available for those who wish to reach the eruption site on foot. These tours typically start from designated meeting points near Reykjavik and involve a moderate hike to the volcano. It’s important to note that hiking to the volcano requires proper hiking gear and stamina, so make sure to choose a tour that suits your fitness level.

Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, it’s important to stay informed about road conditions, any restrictions, or permits required from local authorities. Additionally, consider the availability of parking near the eruption site as it can get crowded, especially during peak visiting hours.


Now that you know how to reach Fagradalsfjall, let’s explore the hiking routes and trails available for a closer perspective of the erupting volcano.


Hiking Routes and Trails

Hiking to Fagradalsfjall volcano offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing you to get closer to the erupting lava and witness the volcanic spectacle up close. Here are some hiking routes and trails to consider:

  • Trail from Geldingadalur: The most popular and well-marked trail starts from the Geldingadalur valley. This trail takes you through a mesmerizing landscape of lava fields and offers breathtaking views of the erupting volcano. The hike is moderate in difficulty, with some uneven terrain, and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the volcano. Ensure you have proper hiking gear and footwear, as the terrain can be challenging at times.
  • Alternative Routes: As the eruption site evolves, additional hiking routes and trails may open up. It’s recommended to check with local authorities or tour operators for up-to-date information on alternative routes and any safety considerations before embarking on your hike.

It’s crucial to remember that hiking to the erupting volcano should only be attempted by those with proper hiking experience and physical fitness. The terrain can be treacherous, and safety should always be a top priority.


Before starting your hike, ensure that you have the necessary equipment, including sturdy hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, a map or GPS device, a fully charged phone, sufficient water and snacks, and a first aid kit. Remember to pack out any trash and follow leave-no-trace principles to minimize your ecological impact.


Avoid straying from marked trails and adhere to any instructions or warnings from authorities or guides. The volcanic landscape can be unpredictable, and it’s important to prioritize your safety at all times.


Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of hiking routes and trails, let’s dive into the essential equipment and gear required for a successful visit to Fagradalsfjall volcano.


Equipment and Gear Required

When planning a visit to the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano, it’s essential to be prepared with the right equipment and gear to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Here are some items you should consider:

  • Hiking Boots: Invest in a sturdy pair of hiking boots that provide ankle support and have a good grip. The terrain around the volcano can be rugged and uneven, so having proper footwear is crucial for stability and protection.
  • Layered Clothing: Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a warm insulating layer, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. This will allow you to adjust your clothing as needed and stay comfortable throughout your visit.
  • Waterproof Jacket and Pants: A waterproof jacket and pants are essential to protect you from rain, wind, and potential splashes from nearby lava flows. Look for breathable and lightweight options to ensure comfort during your hike.
  • Backpack: Carry a backpack to store your water, snacks, extra layers, camera gear, and any personal items you may need during the hike. Choose a backpack with comfortable straps and enough capacity to hold all your essentials.
  • Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate amount of water with you. The hike to Fagradalsfjall can be physically demanding, so having snacks or energy bars to fuel yourself is also important.
  • Sunscreen and Hat: Even in Iceland, the sun can be strong, especially during the summer months. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat or cap to shield your face from the sun.
  • Camera and Accessories: Capture the beauty of the erupting volcano with a camera or smartphone. Consider bringing additional batteries, memory cards, and a tripod for stable and high-quality photos or videos.
  • Emergency Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essential supplies like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications. It’s also a good idea to have a whistle, a flashlight, and a fully charged phone for emergencies.

Remember, the equipment and gear you bring should be suitable for the challenging volcanic terrain and changing weather conditions. Ensure that all your equipment is in good condition and functioning properly before your visit.


Now that you’re well-equipped, it’s time to consider the available accommodations near Fagradalsfjall volcano to make the most of your stay.


Recommended Accommodations

When visiting Fagradalsfjall volcano, there are several accommodation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some recommended accommodations near the eruption site:

  • Hotels and Guesthouses: The town of Grindavik, located in close proximity to Fagradalsfjall, offers a range of hotels and guesthouses. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms, amenities like breakfast, and convenient access to the eruption site. Staying in Grindavik allows you to explore the surrounding area and also visit the renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
  • Camping: If you prefer a more outdoorsy experience, camping is a popular option in Iceland. Several campsites are available in close proximity to Fagradalsfjall. These campsites usually provide basic facilities like toilets and showers and offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Icelandic nature. It’s important to check the availability and make necessary reservations in advance, especially during peak visiting periods.
  • Renting a Cottage or Vacation Home: Another option is to rent a cottage or vacation home near the eruption site. This allows for a more private and self-contained experience, where you can enjoy the comfort of a home away from home. Many of these rentals come equipped with kitchen facilities, giving you the flexibility to prepare your own meals.

Regardless of the accommodation you choose, it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak summer season, to ensure availability. Also, consider the amenities and services offered by the accommodation, such as Wi-Fi, parking, and any specific requirements you may have.


Additionally, keep in mind that staying overnight near the eruption site allows for the possibility of witnessing the volcano during different lighting conditions, such as the ethereal midnight sun or the vibrant colors of twilight.


Now that you have an idea of where to stay during your visit, let’s explore some photography tips and recommendations to make the most of capturing the beauty of Fagradalsfjall volcano.


Photography Tips and Recommendations

Photographing the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano can be an awe-inspiring and rewarding experience. To capture the beauty and essence of the volcanic eruption, here are some photography tips and recommendations:

  • Bring the Right Equipment: Make sure to pack a camera with manual controls and a wide-angle lens to capture the vastness of the eruption site. Additionally, bring a sturdy tripod to steady your shots and enable long exposures if desired.
  • Shoot During Golden Hour: Take advantage of the golden hour, which occurs during the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. The soft, warm light can create a magical atmosphere and enhance the colors of the lava flow and surrounding landscape.
  • Experiment with Shutter Speeds: To capture the dynamic nature of the erupting volcano, try using different shutter speeds. Long exposures can create a sense of motion and showcase the flowing lava, while faster shutter speeds can freeze the lava in action.
  • Use ND Filters for Long Exposures: If you want to capture silky smooth lava flows or create the effect of moving clouds, consider using neutral density (ND) filters. These filters reduce the amount of light entering the camera, allowing for longer exposures even in bright conditions.
  • Compose Thoughtfully: Pay attention to composition by incorporating foreground elements, such as rocks or vegetation, to create depth and add context to your photos. Utilize leading lines or patterns in the landscape to guide the viewer’s eye into the frame.
  • Highlight the Contrast: The contrast between the fiery, red-hot lava and the dark surrounding landscape is a captivating element to focus on. Play with the contrast in your photos to emphasize this stark juxtaposition and create visually striking images.
  • Capture the Atmosphere: Don’t forget to capture the overall atmosphere and ambiance of the eruption. Include people enjoying the spectacle, steam rising from the lava, or the vast expanse of the volcanic landscape to convey a sense of scale and immersion.
  • Stay Respectful: While you’re capturing stunning photographs, remember to respect the environment and follow any rules or guidelines in place. Avoid stepping on delicate terrain or vegetation, and be mindful of fellow visitors and their experience.

By following these photography tips and recommendations, you can immortalize the remarkable beauty and power of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption in your images.


With our journey coming to an end, we hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights on visiting the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall. Remember to prioritize safety, respect nature, and immerse yourself in the majestic wonders of Iceland’s volcanic landscapes.


Safe travels and enjoy your adventure to Fagradalsfjall!



Visiting the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall, Iceland is an extraordinary experience that allows you to witness the raw power and beauty of nature. Nestled on the Reykjanes Peninsula, this accessible volcanic eruption offers a mesmerizing spectacle for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.


Throughout this guide, we have explored the location of Fagradalsfjall, gained an understanding of the volcano and its eruption, discussed safety measures and precautions, discovered the best time to visit, learned about transportation options and hiking routes, and delved into essential equipment and recommended accommodations. We also provided photography tips to help you capture the stunning beauty of the erupting volcano.


Remember, when visiting Fagradalsfjall, prioritize safety by following guidelines, staying within designated areas, and respecting the power of the volcano. Be prepared with appropriate equipment and clothing, stay informed about weather conditions, and consult with local authorities or tour operators for the most up-to-date information.


Immerse yourself in the surreal surroundings, hike the trails, witness the flowing lava, and capture the awe-inspiring moments with your camera. The eruption in Fagradalsfjall will undoubtedly leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


As your adventure to Fagradalsfjall comes to an end, we hope that this guide has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for your journey. Embrace the magic of Iceland’s volcanic wonders, respect the environment, and cherish the unique experiences that await you at Fagradalsfjall volcano.


Safe travels, and may your visit to the erupting volcano in Fagradalsfjall be an unforgettable and extraordinary adventure.