Craters in Iceland

The Best Volcanic Experiences in Iceland

Iceland or "Ísland", the land of fire, is also called the land of light and darkness as dark winters are offset by the summer's midnight. Iceland is famous for its ice caps, mountain glaciers and intense volcanoes.

Sarah Bennett

10. September 2018

11% of Iceland's landmass is covered by glaciers and the country is abundant with geothermal activity. These conditions render magnificent natural sights, such as snow topped mountains, rugged coast line, craggy lava fields, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world travel each year ignoring the volcanic insecurities here: Indeed, the land gets more strikingly beautiful after each volcanic explosion.

The 7 most impressive volcanoes in Iceland

1. Hekla Volcano

People descending a snowy mountain. Hikers on Mt. Hekla. Wonderguide/Nína. 

Hekla volcano has been dubbed 'The Gateway to Hell'. Mt. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most mysterious volcanoes and also one of the most active ones. The last time it erupted was in 2000 and since she usually erupts in every fifteen years or so, we’re currently waiting for her to burst. Read about hiking Mt. Hekla here

2. Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

A snowy mountain on a sunny day spewing smoke and ash up in the sky. Eyjafjallajökull in action. Flickr/Bjarki Sigursveinsson.      

As a result of volcanic explosion of 2010, Eyjafjallajokull volcano is the most distinguished volcano in Iceland. The volcano is located within a few kilometers north of Skogarfoss Waterfall on the south coast Island. There are backpacking trips to get closer to Eyjafjallajokull volcano, namely the Fimmvörðuháls Hike

3. Katla Volcano

A glacier towering over green and yellow fields. Mt. Katla is located within Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Flickr/Danny Nicholson.

Eyjafjallajokull volcano and Katla volcano are said to be geographically interconnected. When Eyjafjallajokull erupts, Katla abides by pressure and explosion. Katla is located within the Myrdalsjokull glacier where adventurers travel for ambitious hikes, snowmobile action and helicopter rides.

4. Thrihnukagigur VolcanoA group of people in a cable car inside a volcano.

This volcano was only detected in 1974.The lava has all exhausted, but the crater was opened to travellers in 2012. If you would like to descend into this 400 ft (120 m) deep crater, check out this tour

5. Snaefellsjokull Glacier

Snæfellsjökull Glacier on a summer's day. The iconic Snæfellsjökull Glacier is constantly getting smaller. Flickr/Axel Kristinsson. 

Snaefellsjokull is another eminent volcano in Iceland. The mountain is covered with ice and arresting lava. Snaefellsjokull is situated in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the western part of the island. This volcano is posturized in the novel 'Journey to the centre of the earth' by Jules Verne in 1864. 

6. Askja and Krafla 

A crater filled with light blue water. The Víti Crater, near Askja and Krafla. Photo/iStock. 

Askja is located in the northern part of the Highlands of Iceland. Askja volcano is perhaps the best volcano to warm yourself, since it is famous for its hot springs.

Krafla is also located in the northern part of the Highlands of Iceland. It is famed for its captivating lake called Viti. Travellers often visit the Viti Crater in order to bathe in its hot spring pools. 

7. Eldfell

A village seen from a volcano. The town of Heimaey, seen from Mt. Eldfell. Flickr/Adam Greig. 

Eldfell is situated on Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the Westman Islands. Eldfell erupted unexpectedly in 1973, leaving the people of Heimaey no time to vacate the island. Some say the fact that everyone was rescued and brought safely to the shore is simply a miracle. 

Experiencing the volcanoes

If you are curious to get to know more about Iceland's awe-inspiring volcanoes, here are a few suggestions for those who want to experience volcanic action in a safe environment. 

1. The Volcano House in Reykjavik

Volcano erupting while the lava flows down the hills. Photo: Volcano House@Facebook. 

The Volcano House in down town Reykjavík presents the geographical history of Iceland and a cluster of volcanic rocks that visitors can touch. They also screen documentaries from famous eruptions.

2. Lava Centre in Hvolsvollur

Red lights at the Lava Centre. At the Lava Centre. Wonderguide/Parker. 

This state-of-the-art museum opened in 2017. It's located in the town of Hvolsvöllur, not too far from Mt. Hekla. The museum demonstrates Iceland's volcanic events like earthquake, eruptions, glacial floods. The Lava centre was awarded "project of the year 2018".  

3. Inside the Volcano

This tour gives you the rare opportunity you go inside a dormant volcano. The conditions at Þríhnjúkagígur Volcano are pretty unique and allow visitors to descend 120 m (400 ft) down to the bottom of its crater. It’s the only place in the world where it’s possible to enter a magma chamber by an elevator. Buy tickets for the tour here

Runner up: The Icelandic Lava Show

This article is written by Sarah Bennett, a senior content curator in, a leading holiday portal in Dubai, UAE.