Visiting Kerid Crater: Why This Volcanic Marvel Should Be on Your Iceland Itinerary

Kerid Crater is a dazzling testament to Iceland's volcanic beauty, offering a unique blend of geological wonders and serene landscapes.

Kerid Crater Lake

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

Ever wondered what it's like to stand inside a volcano? Well, Iceland's got you covered! Meet Kerid Crater, a volcanic marvel and a must-see on your Icelandic journey. Imagine peering into a serene crater lake, surrounded by the raw beauty of volcanic landscapes.

In this article, we're diving into the heart of Kerid Crater, exploring its mysteries and marvels. Think of this as a friendly chat about one of Iceland's hidden gems, where you'll discover all you need to know for an unforgettable visit. Ready for an adventure? Let's step into the world of Kerid Crater!

Kerid Crater in Icelandic folklore

In Icelandic folklore, the tranquil Kerid Crater Lake is said to be the dwelling place of a water kelpie. This mythical creature, often associated with the shape-shifting spirit of the water, adds a layer of mystique to the already enchanting scenery, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich tapestry of local legends.

kerid crater

What is the Kerid Crater?

Kerid Crater, a stunning testament to Iceland's fiery heart, is a geological wonder you can't miss. Nestled in the famed Golden Circle, this golden circle crater offers a unique glimpse into the island's volcanic past. With its striking colors and serene lake, Kerid is more than just a crater; it's a story etched in the Earth, waiting to be explored.

How was the Kerid Crater formed?

Kerid volcanic crater wasn't always the serene spot we see today. Born from a fiery dance of volcanic activity, it's a classic example of nature's dramatic artistry. Unlike a caldera, which forms when land collapses post-eruption, Kerid was likely a cone volcano that emptied its magma reservoir, causing the top to collapse inward. The result? A breathtaking, bowl-shaped crater holding a story as deep as its waters. 

When was the Kerid Crater formed?

Picture this: about 3,000 years ago, long before Vikings set foot on Iceland, the Kerid volcano crater was taking shape. In geological terms, that's pretty young – just a blink in Earth's timeline! Formed during the active volcanic period that sculpted much of Iceland's dramatic landscape, Kerid gives us a glimpse into a fiery past. 

kerid volcanic crater

What is the Kerid Crater made of?

Iceland's Kerid Crater is like a patchwork of volcanic history. It's crafted mainly from red volcanic rock, peppered with iron-rich minerals that give it a rust-colored hue. These vibrant rocks, set against the crater's azure water, create a stunning contrast that's a feast for the eyes.

How deep is the Kerid Crater?

Dive into the depths of the Kerid volcano, and you'll find its crater stretching a massive 170 meters (588 feet) across, with a circumference of 270 meters (886 feet). But the real awe-inspiring bit? It's a 55-meter (180-foot) descent from the edge to the lake below. That's like stacking about 12 buses end-to-end!

What color is the Kerid Crater?

The Kerid crater lake is a kaleidoscope of nature's finest colors. Depending on the light and season, its waters shift from deep blues to emerald greens. Surrounding this are hues of fiery red and orange volcanic rocks, creating a dramatic contrast. 

kerid crater lake

Can you swim in the Kerid Crater?

No, taking a dip in Kerid Lake isn't on the cards. While swimming is a no-go, it's for good reasons. The water temperatures in this volcanic basin are pretty chilly, and there are safety considerations to consider. 

Is the Kerid Crater worth visiting?

Absolutely! The Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland offers an otherworldly spectacle that captivates all who visit. It's the unique blend of vibrant hues, serene waters, and geological wonders that make this a standout stop on any Icelandic itinerary

Why is the Kerid Crater so popular?

Kerid Crater's fame as a crater in Iceland isn't just about its stunning views. What draws crowds? It's the rare combo of a vividly colored lake nestled in a volcanic crater, easily accessible and photogenic. Its unique blend of natural beauty, from the striking reds of its walls to the tranquil blues and greens of its waters, makes it a bucket-list item for many. 

kerið crater

What are the best things to see and do at the Kerid Crater?

At Crater Kerid, there's more than meets the eye. Here are some must-do activities and sights for an immersive experience:

  • Winter Magic: If you're visiting during the Icelandic winter, witness the ethereal beauty of the crater blanketed in snow.
  • Scenic Walk: Take a leisurely stroll around the crater's rim, soaking up panoramic views of the lake and volcanic landscapes.
  • Photography: Capture the unique blend of vibrant hues and geological wonders, a true visual feast!
  • Interpretive Signboards: Learn about the crater's formation and history from informative signboards.
  • Picnicking: Enjoy a serene picnic amidst nature's artwork. Please remember to leave no trace!

How to get to the Kerid Crater?

Heading to Kerid Crater is a breeze, especially if you're renting a car in Reykjavik. Just hop in your car and steer towards the Golden Circle, where this volcanic gem awaits. The drive is an adventure, with scenic landscapes unfolding along the way. It's about a 1-hour journey from Reykjavík, making Kerid an ideal stop for a day trip. 

Parking options at the Kerid Crater

Despite being a natural attraction, Kerid Crater requires an entrance fee of 450 ISK per person (about $3.20 USD), which also covers the parking fee. This charge ensures the maintenance of the crater trail. The parking lot, situated around 50 meters (164 ft) from the road, offers a brief walk to the crater.

What is the best time to visit Kerid Crater?

The best time to visit Kerid Crater is undoubtedly during the summer months (June to August). The warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours provide ample opportunity for exploration and photography while the surrounding flora, bathed in sunlight, showcases Iceland's vibrant ecosystems in full bloom.

What is the Kerid crater?

Exploring beyond Kerid Crater

Venturing beyond Kerid Crater, there's an array of captivating attractions in close proximity:

  • Gullfoss Waterfall: Renowned for its power and beauty, this waterfall offers an exhilarating display of nature's force.
  • Thingvellir National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's steeped in history and geology, boasting a unique landscape shaped by tectonic activity.
  • Secret Lagoon: Take a dip in this natural hot spring, surrounded by stunning Icelandic landscapes.
  • The Geysir Geothermal Area: Home to the iconic Geysir and Strokkur geysers, it's a hotspot for geothermal activity.

iceland volcano crater

Safety tips for visiting Kerid Crater

Before you head to Kerid Crater, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay on the designated paths: The crater's walls can be unstable, so it's essential to stick to marked trails.
  • Watch your step: The rocks around the crater and its edges can be slippery or loose. Always watch your footing.
  • Respect nature: While it may be tempting to venture into the water, please remember that swimming is prohibited for safety reasons and to help preserve this unique environment.
  • Dress appropriately: Bring warm layers and sturdy shoes, especially if you're visiting during Iceland's colder months. You'll also need good walking shoes or boots for navigating the rocky terrain.

golden circle crater

Personal experience from past visitors to Kerid Crater

One of our customers, Klive from the UK, had this to say about his experience at Kerid Crater:

‘The unique blend of colors and peaceful setting made the Kerid Crater Lake one of my favorite stops in Iceland. It's an otherworldly sight that I highly recommend adding to your itinerary.’

Another visitor, Anna from Canada, shared her thoughts:

‘I was blown away by the beauty of Kerid Crater. The colors are so surreal, and the informational signboards added an educational aspect to our visit. It's definitely worth a stop!’

From these reviews, it's evident that Kerid Crater offers a truly unforgettable experience in Iceland. Its natural beauty, accessibility, and unique geological features make it a must-visit destination for travelers from all around

car rental Iceland

Why should you add Kerid Crater to your bucket list? 

Kerid Crater is a dazzling testament to Iceland's volcanic beauty, offering a unique blend of geological wonders and serene landscapes. Whether you're hiking around its rim, capturing its vibrant hues, or simply enjoying a peaceful moment by the lake, Kerid promises an unforgettable experience. So, grab your camera, rent a car in Reykjavík, and experience this incredible natural spectacle. 

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