Volcano in Iceland tour is extremely popular among visitors from all over the world, especially nowadays when Fagradalsfjall volcano offers such a magnificent show displaying the powerful forces of nature.
Iceland is also called The Land of Fire and Ice. It has more than 130 volcanoes. Most of them are on the southern coast.
Some volcanoes have erupted recently, while others have not. But we are still watching them closely in case they become active again.
Iceland is a country with glaciers and volcanoes. The volcanoes are some of the most active in the world.
There is an Icelandic eruption every 5 years, or even more often if we count the submarine eruptions too.
Why are volcanoes in Iceland so active?
Volcanoes of Iceland are so active mainly because of the location of this country, right on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
This small but beautiful country is located right where the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate meet.
The tectonic plates are always moving, and when they do, the magma on the inside of the earth moves too.
Sometimes it rises to the surface and causes a volcanic eruption.
Scientists estimated that more than a third of the lava that has flown on the earth’s surface since the Middle Ages came from volcanoes from Iceland.
This is to give you an idea of how active Icelandic volcanoes are.
Types of volcanoes in Iceland
There are different types of volcanoes in different parts of the world.
The most common type of volcano in Iceland is the one that tours are organized around.
- Stratovolcanoes– the ones that are hidden beneath a thick ice cap and that have a cone shape peak whose eruption forms a crater
- The dormant volcanoes– are the ones that did not record any recent eruption and are generally surrounded by massive lava fields (e.g.Thrihnukagigur volcano)
- Eruptions from fissure vents that are cracks in the Earth’s surface and from there magma comes to the surface during an eruption
Devastating eruptions in Iceland
The most powerful and devastating eruptions ever recorded in Iceland are the ones between 1784 to 1896.
These years were marked by powerful earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and intense geothermal activity.
The most active volcano of all is by far Hekla which erupted 18 times between 1104 and 2000.
A powerful eruption was recorded in 1963 when a submarine eruption occurred and a new island was born.
The island is called Surtsey and is today part of the Heimaey archipelago.
The new island measured 2.8 square kilometers, but because of the wind and water erosion, it now only has 1.5 square kilometers.
Another devastating eruption was recorded in the summer of 1783 as was caused by the volcano known as Laki.
This was the biggest lava flow in the world. Lava came out of 25 kilometers of craters. There was more than 15 cubic kilometers of lava.
The effects of this eruption were really big. The ash cloud from the volcano passed over Europe and even reached Egypt.
More than 10,000 people died because they didn’t have enough food to eat.
Many livestock died and a significant area cultivated by people was destroyed.
There have been many eruptions over the years, some of which have stopped air traffic, like the one in 2010. Others have had very little impact on people.
The last volcano that erupted in Iceland was Fagradalsfjall volcano, a volcano that last erupted 800 years ago.
This place is far from any towns or cities, but it is close enough to Reykjavik.
This makes it the perfect place to visit for a day trip when you are in Iceland.
Now you know how powerful and dangerous Mother Nature can be.
But the good news is that you can go see for yourself how volcanoes have changed the Icelandic landscape.
I have listed some of the most interesting and unique tours that you can join when you are in Iceland.
These tours will give you some memorable moments.
Volcano in Iceland tour – which one to pick?
1.Reykjavik: Fagradalsfjall Volcano Hike
If you are looking for the most popular tour volcano Iceland at this moment then you definitely have to book your seat in advance at the Fagradalsfjall Volcano Hike tour.
The name of the volcano that erupted on March 19 2021 is called Fagradalsfjall. This volcano has continued to spit lava even after 6 months from the first eruption.
The last time this volcano erupted was 800 years ago.
But it erupted again in early 2021, which was a surprise to everyone.
The eruption was good because it did not damage any buildings or homes.
The volcano is far away from any people, so no one was hurt.
This volcano is not dangerous to visit even when it is erupting. So people from all over the world come to see it.
The volcano is still spewing lava and gases. It is on Reykjanes Peninsula.
That is very close to Reykjavik, which is the capital city of Iceland.
Touring the volcano
Reykjavik: Fagradalsfjall Volcano Hike is the best tour you can book that gives you the opportunity to get close to an active volcano.
The tour begins in Reykjavik. You will be picked up from your hotel early in the morning. Once everyone is together, the group will go to the volcano.
In less than an hour, you will get to the bottom of the lava field. After a short training, you will start hiking with a guide to the volcano.
You will be able to get very close to where all the action happens.
You will see the lava rivers that come from the volcano.
You will feel the intense heat of the magma that destroyed everything in its path as it came down from the mountain.
This guide is full of information about Iceland and volcanoes. You can ask him anything you want to know, and you will learn a lot of new things about this country.
Getting close to the volcano
Your guide’s number one priority is safety, so you will get as close to the volcano as possible without being in any danger.
Find a good spot to watch the volcanic activity. Then camp there for a while.
This way you will have enough time to take some pictures, enjoy the view, and feel how strong nature can be.
The tour price includes the guide, the pickup and drop-off services from your hotel, and an Icelandic Chocolate Lava drink to help you warm up after the long hike.
Remember to take water and snacks with you. The tour does not include food, and we will not stop for lunch at a restaurant.
The tour lasts for about 6 hours, and it usually starts at 9am. This gives you enough time to eat breakfast and get ready for the tour.
What others say about this Iceland volcano tour
Jamie from the United Kingdom
Enjoyed the trip overall. The guide led the group of 17 people and waited when the group separated due to slower hikers. But when slow people caught up, he started hiking again so slower walkers did not get a break. Luckily that was only a few people. Loved the treat when we got to the top!!!
Kate from the United States
Excellent value for money and choice of activities, great hike up to see cater and modern comfortable transport -very good way to spend a day!
2. Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater
Kerid crater is a big hole in the ground located in the southern part of Iceland.
It is on the Golden Circle route, which is one of the most beautiful and popular routes from Iceland.
The crater at Grimsnes has a lake that is turquoise. The crater is 55 meters deep and 275 meters wide.
It is an extremely old caldera, more than 3,000 years old, and is one of the emblematic places of Iceland.
Scientists thought that the Kerid crater was made after a volcano exploded. But they could not find any proof.
According to recent studies, it appears that the Kerid crater only contains a cone volcano. This volcano spews out all its lava during several eruptions.
The cone was empty and it collapsed into the magma chamber. Over time, the cone filled with water and today it is one of the most beautiful turquoise crater lakes in Iceland.
Touring Golden Circle
In order to see this beautiful lake, you have to book a seat at Reykjavik: Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater, one of the best tours that include not just the world-famous Golden Circle tour and hot springs but also a stop to this magnificent crater.
The tour takes 8 hours. You should book a seat before the tour because it is one of the best-selling tours in Iceland.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik and driven to Hveragerdi photo point.
This will take about 45 minutes. Get your camera ready for some great pictures!
The next stop is the Kerid crater. Then we will go to Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir area, and then to Thingvellir National Park.
The Geysir area is a beautiful and fascinating place. It is home to two of the most famous geysers in the world.
These geysers shoot boiling water into the air every 6 to 10 minutes.
Next, you will visit Gullfoss, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland. Then you will go to Thingvellir National Park, where two tectonic plates meet.
If you want to be in two places at the same time, Thingvellir is the best place to be.
You can touch the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate at the same time.
Here, inside the park, you can dive at Silfra fissure, one of the world most popular diving places where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates ( we were so thrilled about the idea that we bought another tour Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos on the following day and had the best diving in our lives).
Thingvellir is also considered to be the place where democracy began. So don’t forget to go see the Rock of Law.
The Rock of Law is the place where the first Parliament in the world was started.
What others say about this tour
Amanda from Iceland
Our excursion was one of the best tour-led trips we have ever experienced. Our guide was extremely friendly, extremely helpful as he is a practiced photographer and continuously pointed out the best place for pictures or for exceptional viewpoints which enhanced our experience and the timing of the trip was planned and executed perfectly so that we had ample time to take in the views but also got to see everything as planned – and even a bonus waterfall.
Andrea from the United Kingdom
Would recommend this tour 200%. The sights are amazing. You also have time to have lunch and use the restrooms. Omar(sorry for my spelling, not sure if it’s correct) our tour guide was brilliant!! very nice guy, and very knowledgeable, explained everything from history facts to science, to lore. 10 out of 10
3. From Reykjavik: Snæfellsnes Peninsula Full-Day Tour
This tour will take you to Snæfellsnes Peninsula, one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. The tour lasts for 11 hours.
This volcano in Iceland tour starts with a 2 hours drive from Reykjavik to this amazing peninsula.
When you near the peninsula, you will see a beautiful landscape with charming villages and amazing landforms.
The Atlantic Ocean will be in the background and it may look cold, but it is still beautiful.
You will stop and visit the most charming fishermen villages from Iceland: Arnarstapi, Grundarfjordur, and Hellnar.
Prepare your camera for some amazing shots of the spectacular mountains and volcanic craters like Ljosufjoll and Kirkjufell on your Snaefellsnes Peninsula full-day tour.
Touring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Kirkjufell is thought to be the most photographed landmark from Iceland. This is because it is tall (460 meters above sea level) and in a good location.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the area around Kirkjufell is a place where tourists go to see the Northern Lights.
This is the place where Games of Thrones was filmed in seasons 6 and 7. It is made from volcanic rock.
There is a lake at the bottom of Kirkjufell. On a clear and calm day, you can see the peak of the mountain reflected in the lake.
If you want to take some really great pictures, this is one of the best places in Iceland.
Get your camera ready!
Besides these beautiful landmarks from the peninsula, you will have a stop at Djupalonssandur beach, the most interesting beach from the peninsula, a black sand beach extremely popular among tourists.
The magnificent scenery of this peninsula inspired Jules Verne when he wrote his book “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, so read it before you go and try to match the places described in the book with what you see in this area.
The return drive will last for about 3 hours and is a great opportunity to make new friends and chat with other members of the group about the beauty of this country.
What others say about this tour
Carmel from the United States
Omar was an excellent driver guide who made this 11-hour tour interesting throughout. There were only 8 of us in a small van and excellent weather conditions, so I was able to take advantage of taking lots of photos from the vehicle windows. Omar made lots of stops along the way, in addition to the official stop. My favorites were stopping to say hello to some Icelandic horses and going behind a waterfall and tasting the freshwater. Omar helped me through some slippery parts on the path to get behind the waterfall. Our lunch spot in Olafsvik was the best meal in Iceland I had to date–pan-seared cod (fish of the day). We saw black sand beaches, a freshwater lagoon, glaciers, and Mt. Kirkjufell. Our day ended with a walk along the coastline in Arnarstapi. Thank you, Omar, for showing us the highlights of your beautiful Western Iceland.
Androniki from Germany
This part of Iceland is extremely amazing and I recommend it 100% to all. If you are a “Game of Thrones” fan you will see some of the most famous places where the series was shot. Other than that, volcanos, black sand beaches, amazing mountains, lava fields.. This place has it all..
4. Ice Cave by Katla Volcano Super Jeep from Vik
Katla volcano is one of the largest volcanoes located in the southern part of Iceland, a very active one with more than 20 eruptions documented in the period 930 to 1918.
The name of the volcano comes from the word “Ketill” which means “kettle” and refers mainly to the shape of the volcano.
As a rule, it erupts twice per century, but the last major eruption dated from 1918, so yes, it is time to go active anytime in the future.
There had been multiple small eruptions that did not manage to break the thick ice cap that covers it, like the ones from 1955, 1999, and even in 2011.
Starting with 1999 the seismic activity around the volcano increased and geologists believe that small subglacial eruptions had taken place many times in recent years, some of them without causing any ice melting.
That is why the volcano is considered to be unsafe for tourists and any hike volcano Iceland in the area is forbidden.
Even if you cannot get closer to the volcano, you can go beneath the ice cap and see the magnificent ice caves that formed in the glaciers around the area.
Ice Cave by Katla Volcano Super Jeep from Vik lasts for 3 hours and starts in the town of Vik, located in the southern part of Iceland.
From Vik, you will be transferred close to the ice cave with a special car, a Super Jeep that can run on rough terrain, mud, and ice.
Before you get into the supercar you will receive your equipment, like a helmet and crampons, and a short training about how to act and what you can do inside the cave.
Once you get inside the cave you will be fascinated by the colors of the ice, an interesting and unique combination of gray, black, and blue.
The guide with extensive experience and a lot of knowledge about the ice caves, glaciers, and volcanoes will tell you a lot of interesting things about this whole ecosystem.
The Super Jeep ride is itself a very interesting experience, not to mention the beautiful ice caves hidden beneath the millennia-old ice cap.
Pack with you warm clothes, including a scarf, gloves, a hat, and a raincoat, as you will need them inside the cave.
It is also very important to have comfortable and warm hiking shoes as you will stay inside the cave for about 40 minutes and the temperature is around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
And there is something else I would like to tell you before I will move on to the last volcano in Iceland tour I want to recommend to you.
Because of its complexity, children under 8 years old are not allowed to go on this tour and if you are afraid of the dark or you suffer from claustrophobia don’t book this tour as inside the cave is dark and the tunnel might be very narrow in some places.
What others say about this tour
Dave from United Kingdom
Our tour guide Sven was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We took a super jeep ride to the foot of the glacier, taking in some amazing scenery that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see. We had a short trek across the glacier and arrived at the ice cave
Sarah from Canada
Amazing guides, very friendly and comfortable journey to the glacier.
5. Raufarholshellir Lava Tunnel: Underground Expedition
Raufarholshellir is not just the most popular, but also the 4th largest lava cave from Iceland with a total length of 1360 meters.
The lava tunnel is located about a 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik to the southwestern part of the country and impresses with its magnificent colors and unique rock formations.
The cave has a total length of 1360 meters, with 10-28 meters wide and about 10 meters in height.
This is one of the best lava caves you can visit in Iceland as the lava is more than 10 meters thick.
Here are some really interesting facts about this lava cave:
- Part of the cave goes under the road to Thorlakshofn so when walking around the cave there will be cars passing above you
- There is an interesting story about a cinerary urn and an epitaph stolen from the cave but the guide will tell you the whole story during your visit here
Touring the underground world
Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel: Underground Expedition is the tour we bought to visit this cave and here we heard the story mentioned above.
The tour lasts about 1 hour and includes a full tour of Iceland’s 4th largest lava cave, also known as a lava tube.
This is not a man-made cave, so everything you will see inside is modeled and shaped by the force of nature.
You will be fascinated by the geological formations and landscape inside the cave not to mention the changing colors of the rocks.
You will spend one hour inside and listen to the information provided by the guide to find new things about this unique and rare landform.
In the tour price, you have included the necessary equipment for exploring the cave: helmets and headlamps, gloves and crampons in winter.
What others say about this volcano in Iceland tour
Kathryn from Iceland
The lava tunnel was very interesting – various colors and types of stone and formations, etc. The guide was quite informative, personable, and humorous. The tour was worth the money. The guide even took everyone’s pictures at the end (with their own phone or camera). Dress warmly – it was about 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit) inside the tunnel.
Francesca from United States
Very safe, accessible experience. Tour guide was friendly with some hilarious “dad” jokes along the way. Would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area!
It is very clear for everybody that the Iceland tourism volcano is important, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world.
The number of visitors increases considerably when an eruption occurs and people rush to see the power of nature reshaping the face of our planet.
These 5 tours will get you to new and unique territories and will help you discover the beautiful face of Iceland.
Pick the guide you like most and let the adventure begin! Don’t forget to share with us your memories from your Icelandic adventure because I am sure you have plenty of beautiful moments to share!
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.