Iceland is a beautiful place that offers a significant number of things to do during your trip. You will have the chance to explore different natural attractions due to the country’s unique and diverse geography. Not only do the famous Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis) attract the eyes of tourists every year, but there are plenty of other activities to delight all of your senses. Nowadays, volcano tours and related activities have become a trend among visitors in Iceland. There are plenty of things to do that will bring you close to these sleeping giants. There is also a lot of history behind volcanoes in Iceland if you wish to learn more about them during your stay.
Here is a review some of our top picks for best sites for volcano tours, things to do, and places to visit:
The Volcano House in Reykjavik
If you are visiting Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, start your volcano adventure with a visit to this specially dedicated museum at 11 Tryggvagata street. Enjoy the two documentaries shown every hour that help us understand the impacts of volcano activity in Iceland throughout the years. One covers the famous Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010, and the other discusses an eruption in the Westman Islands in 1973 that saw lava engulf half the town. You will also have the opportunity to experience first-hand the many rocks, ash, and other volcanic remains. Finally, there is a small shop where you can purchase precious stones, lava mugs, and other volcano-themed gifts. The Volcano House is open daily from 9 am to 10 pm every day of the week.
Take a Tour of Askja Volcano Crater Lake
Experience what it would be like to walk on the moon in Iceland by exploring Askja near the gorgeous Lake Mývatn. Just like that! Askja caldera has had intense geothermal and volcanic activity over the years. You will likely notice that the landscape here is similar to the moon’s surface. The best thing about this location is that you can swim or relax in the clear waters of Lake Öskjuvatn. The view from the top of the Viti crater is incredible. As you continue to walk through the surroundings, the newly-grown grass and flowers begin to beautify to the area. It’s best to visit Askja in spring, as you will enjoy a colorful landscape which is rather magical considering the impact the lava has on the land. Freshwater rivers flow down toward Askja, making a lively natural spectacle as you explore the area. The Visit Askja website has information about tours of this stunning area.
The Lava Centre in Hvolsvöllur
Another great way to learn about volcanoes is to visit the Lava Centre in Hvolsvöllur, located in the south of Iceland. This technologically-advanced building is constantly monitoring the activity of earthquakes and volcanoes on the island. You will experience the ways volcanoes behave through an exciting multimedia exhibition. Learn more about how the different forces of nature collided to form Iceland. Here you will also find a nice restaurant with fresh, local cuisine if you get hungry. Don’t miss the incredible viewing deck, it’s simply breathtaking. Visit the souvenir shop inside to find a nice gift to take home. The Lava Center is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm.
This is one of the most traditional spots to experience Iceland’s natural wonders. It’s an eroded volcano in Haukadalur that attracts thousands every year due to its constantly spouting hot water blasts. These frequent water eruptions can be up to 60 meters (197 feet) tall, so have your camera ready to capture the perfect photo. This area is excellent for a relaxed hike next to the many hot springs bubbling nearby. There is also a restaurant, a shop and a small café very close by. Geysir is rather easy to find when taking a tour of the Golden Circle route. It’s one of Reykjavik’s most popular day trips. The Geyser parking lot is free and is located right across the road.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Eldborg Volcanic Crater
Visit this spectacular region located on the west side of Iceland. It’s known as Iceland in miniature and holds unique geological attractions and cozy seaside villages. The Snæfellsnes peninsula will take you back to the Stone Age due to the many stones laying on the dark sands of its beaches. As we continue exploring the area, we will see the ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano from a distance. This road leads to the Eldborg crater, a massive extinct the volcano. The last eruption happened around 5,000-6,000 years ago. It blew the top off in an almost perfectly circular shape. One of the best things about the Eldborg crater is that you can walk right up to the top and peer over the edge. There are also locally guided tours nearby that will walk you through the mysterious Vatnshellir lava cave. The 8,0000-year-old lava tube features colorful volcanic rock.
Take an Excursion to Dimmuborgir Lava Field
There is another recommended area to visit while exploring Lake Mývatn in the north of Iceland. Dimmuborgir Lava Field on the Diamond Circle route is a truly incredible natural landscape featuring several lava rock formations. These unique structures will make you feel as though you’ve stepped onto an alien landscape. Records say that after Lúdentsborgir and Þrengslaborgir craters erupted, lava blasted into the air, forming cliffs and stone columns. There are even some that look like caves or small houses. Dimmuborgir has many different footpaths which will lead you into these attractions safely. The trail usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Please remember to avoid touching this area’s flora and fauna as they are quite fragile. You will find free parking, toilets and a small shop available for visitors.
Hverfjall crater is another volcano in this area that is unforgettable.
Iceland Volcano Tours and Related Activities
Volcanoes are a very important part of Icelanders’ lives, so why not start your visit there? There are a few interesting activities, tours, and excursions related to volcanoes that will help you understand more about the geography and the repercussions these unpredictable fiery beasts have had throughout millennia. Always remember to follow the signs or the indications from your local guide when taking a volcano tour in Iceland. Our natural bounty may be extremely beautiful, but it is also very dangerous if we are not careful. You can never be too sure when dealing with the unpredictability of Mother Nature.