The best places to see the volcanic eruption in Iceland 2023

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Hello, fellow adventurers! If you're reading this, you're probably extremely excited about the prospect of witnessing the raw power of nature in Iceland this year. There's nothing quite like the spectacle of a volcanic eruption, and Iceland, the Land of Fire & Ice, offers some of the best views in the world. So, let's dive into the best spots to experience this awe-inspiring phenomenon in 2023.

    1. Eyjafjallajökull Volcano

    Remember the volcano that caused a massive disruption in air travel in 2010? That's Eyjafjallajökull for you! While it's not currently erupting, the area offers fantastic views of past lava flows and the surrounding landscape. Plus, the volcano's notorious history adds an extra layer of excitement.

    2. Grímsvötn Volcano

    Located in the heart of Vatnajökull National Park, Grímsvötn is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes. The area around Grímsvötn is a testament to the power of nature, with vast lava fields and geothermal hot spots. If you're lucky, you might even catch an eruption in action!

    3. Hekla Volcano

    Known as the "Gateway to Hell" in the Middle Ages, Hekla is one of Iceland's most famous volcanoes. It's a popular spot for hikers, and the view from the top is simply breathtaking. Just make sure to check the volcanic activity before you go!

    4. Bárðarbunga Volcano

    Hidden beneath the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier, Bárðarbunga is a sleeping giant. It last erupted in 2014-2015, creating a vast lava field in the Holuhraun area. It's a bit of a trek to get there, but the stunning views are worth every step.

    5. Fagradalsfjall Volcano

    Last but not least, we have Fagradalsfjall, the star of the 2021 eruption. Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, it's easily accessible from Reykjavik. The eruption site has cooled down now, but the area still offers a unique landscape shaped by recent volcanic activity.


    6. Meradalir Valley

    This is the closest place to the eruption site, and it offers stunning views of the lava flows and smoke plumes. However, it's important to note that the area is still active, so you'll need to be careful.

    7. Hengill Mountain

    This mountain offers stunning views of the eruption site from a safe distance. You can hike to the top of the mountain or take a helicopter tour for the best views.

    8. Raufarhólshellir Cave

    Raufarhólshellir Cave is a lava cave that's located near the eruption site. The cave is made up of beautiful red and black lava rock, and it's a great place to escape the crowds and experience the power of the volcano up close.

    9. Keflavík International Airport

    If you're flying into Keflavík, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the eruption from the plane. The airport is located about 30 kilometers from the eruption site, so you'll need to have good visibility to see it.

    10. Helicopter Tour

    If you want to get a bird's-eye view of the eruption, you can take a helicopter tour. This is a great option if you're not up for a challenging hike.

    11. Go on a day tour

    Who says you have to do everything by yourself? You’re not the only one excited about this ‘new’ volcanic eruption, and that’s evident by the amount of upcoming tours to the volcano that are appearing! Choose your favorite and get a killer selfie for posterity!

    12. Online

    If you can't make it to Iceland in person, you can still watch the eruption online. There are several live webcams that stream the eruption 24/7.

    Here are some other things to keep in mind when visiting the eruption site:

    • Be aware of the gas levels: The eruption is releasing sulfur dioxide gas, which can be harmful to your health. If you have respiratory problems, you should avoid the area.
    • Stay on the marked trails: The area around the eruption site is still active, so it's important to stay on the marked trails.
    • Respect the locals: The eruption is causing some disruption to local life, so be respectful of the people who live in the area.

    I hope this helps you plan your trip to see the volcanic eruption in Iceland!

    Additional tips

    • Check the weather forecast before you go: Always start by checking the latest updates from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The weather in Iceland can change quickly, so it's important to check the forecast before you go. If there's a storm in the forecast, you might want to postpone your trip.
    • Book your accommodations early: Iceland is a popular tourist destination, so it's important to book your accommodations early, especially if you're planning to visit during the summer months.
    • Bring plenty of water and snacks: The hike to the eruption site is challenging, so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
    • Have fun! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a volcanic eruption up close. Soak up the experience and enjoy the moment!

    There you have it, my fellow travel enthusiasts - the top spots to witness the awe-inspiring power of Iceland's volcanoes. Remember, safety is paramount when visiting these areas, so always check the current volcanic activity and weather conditions. But with the right precautions, this trip could be the adventure of a lifetime. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to experience the raw beauty of Iceland's volcanic landscape. See you there!

    Remember, this is Mother Nature we're dealing with, so while we can predict, we can never guarantee. But that's part of the adventure, isn't it? Stay safe, respect the power of nature, and enjoy the journey. Happy travels!

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