Iceland is not called the Land of Fire and Ice for nothing. And the island’s “fiery” side is due to all the volcanic activity that is found here. But don’t worry, this is nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, not only is the island well-prepared for eruptions (which occur at least once every four years), but one of our much-loved activities is volcano tours in Iceland.
In this article, we try to answer some of the most burning questions about volcano tours in Iceland and tell you which ones to give a try during your upcoming trip to the island.
Where Can I Go On a Volcano Tour in Iceland?
As you can imagine, the Land of Fire and Ice has plenty of volcanos to pick and choose from, but the following are definitely some of the most famous and most popular volcanos to visit during a volcano tour in Iceland:
Fagradalsfjall is the volcano that has erupted most recently here on the island (2022) and it is considered to be very active. A tour to Fagradalfsjall is almost guaranteed a glimpse at some fresh lava.
Here you can be forgiven to think that nothing volcanic is happening since this volcano is buried beneath a giant ice cap. But don’t let this guy fool you;Eyjafjallajökull is definitely considered the troublemaker here on the island. With its 2010 eruption in the Fimmvörduhals area, many locals had to be evacuated and many were left stranded all across Europe after the dense smoke grounded planes.
Yes, this is the same one the popular Netflix series was about (without all the mystery and horror, though). Katla is one of the largest volcanoes on the island, and is definitely one of our most active, boasting 20 eruptions already. In fact, everyone is waiting with bated breath since, according to research, an eruption is overdue and many tremors have been felt in the area lately.
Hekla has quite an ominous reputation. For a very long time, it was known as “the gateway to hell” and many stories of witches meeting around its cauldron of lava were told throughout the ages.
Although this has obviously all been proven to be fantasy, Hekla is quite an impressive place to visit. It is credited with being responsible for 10% of all volcanic material found all across the island, and the name Hekla translates to “hooded cloak” because of the clouds often covering the volcano.
How Long is the Volcano Tour in Iceland?
The length of your tour will heavily depend on what you’ll be doing, but, in general, a volcano tour can range from a 1.5-2 hour tour to half a day (at least 6 hours).
Where Do Volcano Tours Depart From?
This will obviously all depend on the tour operator and the volcano you’re planning on visiting. Due to the location of most of the popular volcanos, you will find many of the tours departing from the capital city of Reykjavik, but others depart from places such as Vik and Landmannalaugar.
Whilst some require you to meet at a local pick-up stop, others offer hotel pick-ups. There are also a few day tours that allows one to meet at the volcano itself.
Can I Go Inside a Volcano in Iceland?
Volcano tours can consist of many different things depending on the tour operator and package you choose. A volcano tour can consist of a hike up its slopes and then checking out the beautiful views from above. Or it can be right after an eruption where you actually get the chance to see the red-hot lava flowing across the land up close and personal.
Or it can be exploring the volcanos themselves. There’s just one snag when it comes to going inside the volcanoes; most of the time, the magma chamber is impenetrable, filled with cold, hard lava which also sealed off the entrance completely.
It’s because of this reason, that there’s just one volcano here in Iceland where you can actually explore the magma chamber from inside. It’s the Thrihnukagigur Volcano, and it has not had an eruption in the last 4000 years, so there’s no reason to enter its cavern whilst shaking in your boots.
Can I Tour an Active Volcano in Iceland?
As you might’ve already noticed, it is possible to take a tour of what is considered an active volcano, and even one that has recently erupted. But this will be limited to a hike or riding on a snowmobile, Super Jeep, etc.
Touring the inside of an active volcano here in Iceland is simply not possible due to the reasons discussed before, and touring the inside of a volcano that’s busy erupting… well, let’s just say it’s going to be a very short tour.
The Best Volcano Tours in Iceland; Our Top 5 Picks
If you’re considering going on one of the volcano tours in Iceland, the following come highly recommended:
- Lava Tunnel Tour
- Shouth Shore Adventure (with volcano)
- Myvatn Hot Springs, Waterfall & Volcanoes Tour
- Volcano Site Hike with Reykjanes Tour (departs from Reykjavik)
- Thrihnukagigur Volcano Guided Hiking Day Trip (departs from Reykjavik)
- Red Lava Horse Riding Tour (departs from Reykjavik)
- Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano Day Trip by Superjeep (departs from Reykjavik)
- Eyjafjallajokull and Thorsmork Experience (departs from Reykjavik)
Is an Iceland Volcano Tour Worth it?
Irrespective of the tour you choose, a visit to one of the volcanoes in Iceland will always be an awe-inspiring experience. From marveling at the sheer size of one of these beasts to breathtaking views, eventful hikes, and even glimpses of red-hot lava – the volcano tours in Iceland has it all!
If you need to meet at the location itself, you can simply rent a car in Reykjavik to get there, even though most tours have pick-up spots. So, be sure to book your spot ahead of time to avoid disappointment, and experience the power of nature at its best.