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Volcano sight seeing tips

Volcano sight seeing tips

                   

Guide to active volcanoes and Geldingaladir's site

A volcanic eruption just started in Geldingadalir, Fagradalsfjall at Reykjanes peninsula on the morning of August 3rd, 2022 and is expected to be at least 5 times more powerful than the previous one in the area, which happened right beside the actual site, in 2021.

After a thousand small earthquakes and several moderate quakes had shaken the region for more than a year, and especially in the days right before the eruption. This was a clear indication that some lava was trying to make its way to the surface, as a matter of fact, several geologists had been predicting eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula for the last 5 years or more.

Everyone felt compelled to run to the eruption site once again, although scientists are still evaluating the potential dangers of this new eruption. Since it started, hundreds of people have already made the walk to view the eruption or taken sightseeing helicopter rides to marvel at the volcanic eruption from the ground and the air. 

The source of the magma from the mantle lies at least 20 km beneath the Earth's surface, so the mantle seems to be running straight from the mantle through a firetube to the surface at Geldingadalir. This kind of eruption is typical of an eruption type called "caldera" which has a small and steady flow of lava and could last years, decades, and even centuries. 

The sight was truly stunning, the heat from the magma and the sound of a crackling cooling lava field - truly amazing!! That's why we at KuKu Campers have made a shortlist of how our KuKu customers can drive their campervan to get to the site, what to wear, what to be aware of, and where to camp after a day of hiking - enjoy!

 

           

How to get to Geldingadalir

Geldingadalir is located between Keflavik and Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.

Get in your KuKu Campervan and take road 41 to the turnoff to Grindavík.

Follow road 43 into the town of Grindavík and drive straight into town, drive straight until you see Nettó supermarket, take the first exit after Netto to the left; road 427 named; Austurvegur - and follow that road until you see the parking area next to the road.

See the exact location of Geldingadalir Volcano on Geldingadalir Volcano map.

Hiking tips

First of all, note that the gases coming out of the volcano can be dangerous, hence you need to check the wind very carefully to know whether or not you can hike. If the wind is coming from the north or the south-west, then you can hike to the volcano following the itinerary marked on this hiking map. Part of it is marked, but since the eruption just started, most of it isn't marked at all, so be careful in order not to get lost, as the hike can become a bit difficult on this challenging terrain. The path goes over lava fields, gravel, and uneven ground.

The elevation gain is approximately 300m, up steep hills. A return trip takes approximately 3-4 hours for hikers in pretty good shape, adding a stop at the site and a picnic break can easily turn into a 6-8 hour trip. 

Please be careful when walking on old lava, as the lava from the previous eruption is still pretty fragile in some places, avoid to walk on it as much as possible. If you see smoke coming from solidified lava, turn around. 

Map of the hiking trails:

What to be aware of on a hike to an active volcano 

First of all, you need to be aware of the weather, the optimum weather is a clear sky, southerly light wind. Check out the daily weather conditions for hiking to a volcano in Safe Travel Iceland

Most volcano emits gases, and the gas pollution is invisible and cannot be detected by smell. Hikers are recommended to hike to the area with the wind in their back, stay on hills and ridges, and keep away from valleys and low-lying areas in the landscape where the gases can collect. Gases and pollution can increase rapidly in the area, and if you feel any discomfort leave the area immediately. 

You absolutely have to avoid the smokes coming out of the volcano, as they can cause severe damages to your lungs and health.

You can check out the daily gas dispersion forecast Iceland weather forecast

Hiking gear

Good hiking shoes, warm clothing, wind, and waterproof outerwear layers, hiking rods, a fully charged mobile phone as well as drinks and snacks to enjoy on the hike.

Now let's hit the road !

 

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