When you ask someone what comes to their minds when thinking about Iceland, they usually reply: Ice, geysers or waterfalls. Those are great options, of course; but we just cannot forget about volcanoes as they are basically the creators of this marvelous island. Volcanoes in Iceland can be frightening but also very intriguing. Do not miss the chance of visiting the most fascinating “burning mountains” up close, by using your motorhome or campervan.
Iceland is a land full of volcanoes, there are currently 180 in the island of which 32 are still active nowadays. The reason why is quite simple: Iceland is located in the north Atlantic Ocean, right in the middle of two tectonic plates. The North American and the Eurasian plates are a divergent boundary so they are pulling apart from each other at a rate of 2cm per year. Between these two, there is a deep rift valley where hot magma or molten rock accumulate. All of these hot magma cannot keep building up forever so it comes to a point where it ends up being thrown out into the Earth’s surface. Thousands of years after those explosions, the lava solidified and that is exactly how Iceland was created.
As a result, we have a wonderful island and striking volcanos available for those who wish to go on an adventure!
This is a volcanic area in the north of Iceland. There is not just one volcano but several, among them we have Viti and Askja. This last one is a crater of 50m2 that was formed by the collapse of the roof of the main magma chamber. This volcanic area is located within another wonder of nature: Vatnajökull Glacier National Park. It is actually one of the most requested touristic points in Iceland, and it is not hard to tell why! as you can even take a bath in geothermal volcanic hot spots or in a crater…isn’t that amazing? The water inside the crater is at about 30 degrees Celsius and the surroundings are just breathtaking. Most tours will not only take you to the bathing area but will also hike through the lava field of Holuhraun.
To get to Askja, you need to drive through F-Roads, which are non-paved roads in the highlands. The access is not easy at all and paths are quite tough as you must ford rivers. We highly advise visiting the area with an expert and with the right vehicle (4×4) and equipment. If you are not lucky enough to know any experts, do not worry, there are many specialists in these tours as most of them have been running in the area for years.
There is a camping site called Dreki which is next to Askja at the end of road F88.
Also known as “that volcano with a crazy name” this infamous mountain had its glorious moment back in 2010. The volcano began to show signs of activity and of an upcoming eruption. The volcano spewed huge amounts of lava and smoke that ended up expanding almost all over the European continent and some areas of North America as well. Due to the location of the volcano, near the jet stream, all the smoke and ash spread out quickly.
Most tour companies head to the volcano using a modified 4×4 truck. You will get to see some amazing glacier rivers and the result of the 2010 eruptions. Some companies offer a trekking between Thorsmork Valley and the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. If you have plenty of time to spend in Iceland, then we highly recommend it. The valley is breathtaking and you can see the landscape changing from a beautiful green scenery to an ashy and greyish, otherworldly like one.
There are some huts available close to the area you can book in advance.
Camp Under The Most Amazing Volcanoes in Iceland
These two volcanoes are the most popular ones, but you can also get a chance of visiting Bárðarbunga and Snæfellsjökull volcano. This last one is where Professor Otto Lidenbbrock and his companions descend to the core of our planet in the famous book “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, written by Jules Verne.