When talking about active volcano Iceland most of us think about Fagradalsfjall as the most active volcano on the island.
But this is not the truth; Fagradalsfjall is the volcano that erupted on March 19 2021 after more than 800 years of inactivity.
There are other volcanoes on the island that have had a lot of eruptions in the last 1000 years.
These are called Katla, Hekla, Krafta, and Askja.
Some of these volcanoes are not erupting right now, but they have had powerful eruptions in the past that caused a lot of damage.
But the attraction of the moment is, of course, Fagradalsfjall mountain located close to Reykjavik in the Reykjanes Peninsula.
This article will tell you which volcanoes in Iceland are most active and some interesting facts about them. Scientists and locals have kept these secrets well.
In the first quarter of 2021, people were talking a lot about the eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland.
This is a volcano that had been inactive for a long time, but suddenly started erupting again. It is located on the Mid Atlantic Ridge.
In March 2021, lava erupted from a fissure on the mountain. The lava has been flowing continuously since then and changing the shape of the land.
The last major eruption of this volcano is believed to have happened during the ice age. It most probably erupted under a thick layer of ice.
Fagradalsfjall volcano is formed from multiple fissures from where the lava comes out to the surface.
People who know a lot about volcanoes had been warned that the volcano would erupt soon.
This was because there were more earthquakes than usual in the area starting in February 2021.
Fagradalsfjall in the present
Fagradalsfjall is the most active volcano in Iceland.
Lava has been flowing down the mountain for more than 6 months.
This volcano is one of the very few volcanoes in the world considered safe for visiting during the eruption cycle.
If you want to see the power of Mother Nature, you should book a trip to this volcano.
Secure your seat at Reykjavík: Half-Day Guided Hike of Fagradalsfjall Volcano and explore the volcano with an experienced guide that will provide you with all the useful information about volcanoes in Iceland.
On this trip, you will find facts about Iceland volcanoes. You will also find useful information about volcanoes in Iceland.
This will help you better understand what you saw on TV and the internet.
This guided tour also includes transportation from Reykjavik to the volcano and lasts for about 5 hours.
You will see the volcano erupt and how the rivers of lava changed the landscape.
Then, you will hike through Geldingadalur Valley, a beautiful valley from Iceland.
You will discover new and interesting facts about Reykjanes Peninsula.
The tour price does not include any food, so remember to bring snacks and water with you.
You will need them after the hike.
Fagradalsfjall eruption period
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long the volcanic eruption will last. So if you want to see it, you should go soon.
Some people think that the eruption might continue for a long time, but no one really knows for sure how long it will last.
As I told you before, Fagradalsfjall is not a volcano that erupted a lot in the recent past.
But there are other volcanoes that have had many eruptions.
Over time, volcanoes have changed the shape of Iceland and influenced its history. They have also caused problems for air travelers.
Let’s learn more about these eruptions and how they have affected people.
Hekla, the most active volcano Iceland has
Hekla is a volcano in the south part of Iceland. It has had 20 eruptions since 874 AD.
The volcano is part of a volcanic ridge, which is the place where North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.
The most active part of the area is known as Heklugja, and it’s about 5.5 kilometers long.
The most powerful and devastating eruption ever was recorded in 1104 AD. The volcano started to spit lava, ash, and gases into the air without any warning.
This destroyed crops and killed animals.
Only in the 20th century, the volcano erupts 4 times, with the last major eruption dating from 2000.
Most scientists from the University of Iceland think that a new eruption is coming soon, so they are monitoring the volcano closely for any signs that it is becoming active again.
The volcano erupted in 2000. The signs of an intense volcanic activity only appeared 30 minutes before the eruption.
The active volcano in Iceland is located about 1.5 hours away from Reykjavik, which is the capital city.
This means that it is quite easy to access.
From the parking lot where you can park your car, there are about 4 hours.
We recommend taking a 4×4 vehicle for another 16 kilometers as the road is quite bumpy and full of steep slopes.
The hike from the bottom of the volcano to the crater usually takes 3 to 4 hours.
It might take more or less time depending on the weather and how physically fit you are.
Make sure to pack a sandwich, water, warm clothes, and good hiking boots for your hike.
The hike will use up a lot of your energy, so it’s important to be prepared.
Katla volcano is the largest volcano from southern Iceland.
You might not hear about it on the news, but it is definitely worth learning more about.
Katla is famous for its powerful eruptions. Most eruptions rank from 4 to 6 on a scale of 0 to 8.
This volcano is responsible for spreading around 4% of the carbon dioxide emissions on earth. This gas is one of the main pollutants in the atmosphere.
The volcano is located in the southern part, close to Vik I Myrdal and really close to the smaller Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
Based on what we know, it looks like the volcano usually erupts every 40 to 80 years.
When it does, it often causes huge floods because of all the melting from the glaciers nearby.
The most powerful and devastating eruptions happened in 934, 1580, 1612, 1625, 1660, 1721, 1755, 1823, 1860, and 1918.
There have been a lot of eruptions in Iceland recently, and they have caused glacial floods.
Scientists believe that the eruption from 934 was the most powerful one in the last 10,000 years.
So, based on these figures, it looks like it is time for a new and powerful eruption anytime soon.
Recent activity of Katla, the largest active volcano Iceland has
There were two smaller eruptions in the last period, one in 1999 and another in 2011.
The Eyjafjallajökull glacier erupted in 2010, and the resulting lava explosions caused scientists to panic.
Many believed that the nearby earthquakes would awaken Hekla, another volcano in the vicinity.
Fortunately, this was not the case, even though some previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have triggered the eruptions of the Katla volcano.
Actually, the president of Iceland stated that “the time for Katla to erupt is coming close … we [Iceland] have prepared … it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption”.
The volcano is a great place to visit and you can even explore one of the many ice caves located in the glaciers around it.
Ice Cave by Katla Volcano Super Jeep from Vik is the best tour for a unique experience inside of one of the most amazing ice caves from this part of Iceland.
The tour will take approximately 3 hours and will begin in Vik at the Icelandic Lava Show.
This is approximately 2 and a half hours away from Reykjavik.
A super jeep will get you very close to the ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, one of the best experiences you can try in Iceland.
You will receive all the necessary equipment for your ice cave tour, but pack with you warm clothes, rainproof equipment, and hiking shoes and let the adventure begin.
Inside the cave, you will discover a new world that is constantly changing with unique and interesting ice figures and unique combinations of blue, black, and gray, the colors that dominate the ice cave.
Krafta, the countries most explosive volcano
If Katla is considered by experts the most active volcano Iceland has, Krafta is the most explosive one.
It is located in the northern part of the country and is actually a caldera, part of a super large volcanic system near Myvatn Lake.
The crater of Katla is about 10 kilometers wide and the fissure zone has more than 90 kilometers.
This volcano has a strong reputation of being very unpredictable and dangerous and evidence showed that there were almost 30 eruptions in the last 2,000 years.
The most devastating ones were between 1724 and 1729 when the volcano erupted with such an incredible force that the lava flows could be seen in the air from the southern part of Iceland.
There were no victims recorded during this eruption but it is hard to say if there were no indirect deaths as the quantity of smoke and ash evacuated by the volcano were significant.
Another important eruption was the one recorded between 1975 and 1984 which changed the face of Iceland.
Today the area around Krafta is incredibly beautiful and diverse: you have the Myvatn Lake that hosts an impressive number of birds, flora, and fauna.
In the nearby area there are also some of the most interesting geological formations, Dimmuborgir lava fortress and within a few dozens of kilometers away is Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
Askja the remote volcano
Another active volcano Iceland has is Askja located in the remote part of central highlights of Iceland.
It is a huge caldera with the highest point located at 1520 meters above sea level, quite far from any human settlement.
The volcano is accessible to tourists from all over the world interested in nature and looking to discover new things everywhere they go.
With From Lake Mývatn: Askja and Holuhraun Full-Day Jeep Tour you can get closer to this magnificent volcano.
The tour lasts for about 12 hours and starts at Lake Myvatn Information Centre and has hotel pick up and drop off included if you need it.
You will climb the rocky terrain with a Super Jeep, an exciting experience itself, not to mention the rare opportunity to climb a volcano and be in the middle of nature.
The tour has multiple stops, besides the hike to Askja volcano out of which the most interesting ones are: the beautiful lava fields around Herðubreiðarlindir volcano, the hot springs of the Viti crater, and the newest lava field, Holuhraun.
The most devastating eruption of Askja was recorded in 1875 and the quantity of ash from the air poisoned most of the Icelandic rivers, killed many animals, and destroyed crops.
It is believed that the ash cloud reached Norway, Germany, and Poland and nobody knows for sure the number of damages caused by this eruption.
Scientists closely monitor the volcano and in 2010 they noticed a slight increase in the seismic activity.
Everybody expected an eruption of Askja, but actually, Eyjafjallajökull was responsible for the increased seismic activity.
In April 2012, the scientists observed that the lake from Askja caldera was completely iceless, something that usually happens in June or July, so the area was restricted, and no tourist was allowed to get close to the volcano.
In September 2021, the level of alert was increased from Green to Yellow as the scientists recorded a 5 cm increase of water in the caldera which might be because of the increase in Askja activity.
Sleeping close to the most active volcanoes in Iceland
Most of the active volcanoes from Iceland are located on the southern part of the country, inside Vatnajokull National Park, the largest park from Iceland.
If you plan to visit the most active volcano at the moment, which is Fagradalsfjall volcano you can book a night in Reykjavik and from there take a day trip to the volcano.
There is about 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik to the volcano, so the destination is perfect for a day trip.
We chose to sleep at Midgardur By Center Hotels and from there take day trips to the nearby attractions, including this magnificent volcano.
After a few days spend in the beautiful city of Reykjavik, we head to the southern part of the country and sleep right at the entrance of Vatnajokull National Park.
We spent the following 3 nights at Seljavellir Guesthouse Hofn and explore the whole area as it has the highest density of attractions from Iceland.
We then continued our journey to the northeastern part of the country and spend our nights at Vogafjos Farm Resort Myvatn, a beautiful hotel located right near Myvatn Lake.
Here we spend another 3 wonderful nights and explore the whole area including the Askja crater.
Iceland, also known as The Land of Fire and Ice is home to many active volcanoes in the world and each eruption reshapes the face of the country and continues to attract thousands of tourists each time.
It is quite hard to say which is the most active volcano Iceland has, as volcanoes that haven’t erupted for millennia got back to life and unexpected eruptions occur quite often.
A major tourist attraction of the moment is definitely the eruption of Fagradalsfjall and I strongly encourage you to get on the next plane to see this magnificent show!
For sure there would be many more eruptions in the future, but each eruption is unique and Fagradalsfjall eruption is one of the very few that allows tourists to get close to an active volcano!
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.