4.8 / 5 4.8 / 5

Volcanos

Volcanos

Some people see the word ‘volcano’ and switch vacation  destinations, but these enormous lava-erupting forces of  nature can be beautiful when they’re not dangerous. Lucky for  you, there are plenty of safe volcanoes in Iceland to check out.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t any volcanoes you should  avoid, though.     

Should I be scared?   

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I’m about to visit Iceland! Should I cancel my  trip?’ Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out. Iceland has a ton of volcanoes.  Based on the location of your stay in Iceland, this list should help to inform you on  whether or not to switch destinations.   

Northern Iceland 

Þeistareykjarbunga (Theistareykjarbunga) 

Don’t switch destinations. This volcano last erupted in 900 BCE, so you’re probably safe.  It’s a shield volcano, which means it’s shaped like a dome.   

Krafla   

Don’t switch destinations. This volcano last erupted in 1984 and it doesn’t seem likely to  explode in the near future. Fun fact, this volcano has a crater on it named Víti, which  means ‘hell’ in English. At the very least you should explore this volcano so that you can  tell your friends you went to hell.         

Southern Iceland  

Öræfajökull 

Consider changing your plans. This volcano is being monitored very closely and has been  predicted to erupt in the near future. Unfortunately, this volcano is the largest in all of  Iceland, so an eruption from Öræfajökull probably won’t be harmless.   

Laki 

Don’t switch destinations. Laki is a volcanic fissure that last erupted in 1784. Though that  eruption caused a drop in global temperatures due to a massive release of sulfur  dioxide, the volcanic region is actually quite a beautiful green now and is magical to  explore.   

Hengill 

Don’t switch destinations. Hengill hasn’t erupted since about 150 CE and isn’t likely to  erupt anytime soon. Visit Hengill to explore the various hot springs and fumaroles that  the active volcano maintains. 

Hekla 

Consider changing your plans. Hekla has erupted six times in the past 70 years, and it  looks like it could erupt again very soon. Out of all the volcanoes in the world, Hekla has  produced the most lava in the past thousand years.   

Krysuvik 

Don’t switch destinations to avoid this beautifully bright yellow, red and green volcano.  Krysuvik hasn’t erupted since 1340 CE. Many tourists enjoy hiking the unusual hills formed  by Krysuvik, and safety measures such as wooden bridges and enforced paths are  maintained for travelers.   

Eyjafjallajökull 

Consider changing your plans. This volcano last erupted in 2010 and has gotten into the  habit of erupting frequently over the last 100,000 years. Eyjafjallajökull is currently being  monitored for signs of future eruptions.  

Katla  

Consider changing your plans. Katla is considered Iceland’s most dangerous volcano  because its eruptions can cause massive amounts of damage and displacement. Katla is  expected to erupt soon because it hasn’t erupted in 100 years and has a pattern of  erupting once every 13 to 95 years. Steer clear!   

Eldfell 

Don’t switch destinations! This volcano is a baby. It formed in its first eruption during 1973  and sits at the southernmost end of Iceland. After Eldfell’s eruption, residents used the  tephra surrounding Eldfell as a foundation to build 200 houses on.   

Surtsey 

Don’t switch destinations! Surtsey is a volcanic island just off the southern coast of  Iceland. Surtsey will only stay above sea level for another 100 years, so if you have the  chance to get out and explore it, you should!     

Western ​Iceland 

Snæfellsjökull   

Don’t switch destinations! This volcano last erupted in 200 CE and isn’t likely to erupt in  the near future. Explorers can easily reach the top saddle of this volcano just by walking  to experience a beautiful green-yellow view of the land.   

Ljósufjöll 

Don’t switch destinations! You’re safe with this other-worldly volcano, which last erupted  around 960 CE. Ljósufjöll is strangely beautiful, a mix of blacks and gray colors from the  silica in the rock.            

Central Iceland 

Grímsvötn 

Consider changing your plans. This volcano has the highest eruption frequency in  Iceland and last erupted in 2011. Grímsvötn is thought by researchers to be entering an  active period, which means the volcano may begin to erupt every 2-7 years.     

Bárðarbunga 

Consider changing your plans. The last time this volcano erupted was in 2015. The land  around Bárðarbunga has been opened up to tourists, but seismic and volcanic activity  levels are still relatively high compared to the levels of the past 50 years.     

Askja  

Consider changing your plans. While this beautiful volcano hasn’t experienced an  eruption since 1961, rising temperature levels in Öskjuvatn lake suggest an increase in  activity for this volcanic area. Seismic activity levels have increased in this area and an  eruption seems likely according to scientist Hazel Rymer of The Open University.   

Hofsjökull   

Don’t switch destinations. This volcano seems safe by the accounts of residents and  scientists. If you’re interested in glaciers, Hofsjökull is a great volcano for you to explore.  It is the third largest glacier in Iceland (as a subglacial volcano).   

Langjökull 

Don’t switch destinations! Langjökull is a beautiful icecap-covered volcano that hasn’t  erupted more than 32 times in the past 10,000 years. The blues, whites and greens of  Langjökull make this landscape interesting to explore and hike.   

What can I do at the safe-to-visit volcanoes? 

Now that you’re sure you’re headed to a safe location in Iceland, it’s time to visit  the beautiful volcanos near you! Activities like hiking, picture-taking and swimming in the  hot springs or lakes around the volcanoes are usually allowed around safe natural areas.  
The best way to visit these paces is, of course, traveling in style using one of our Kuku  Camper Vans. You can choose from one of our smaller fleets designed to hold 1-2 people,  or, you can upgrade to a larger one to hold 4-6 friends. Each van comes equipped with a  fold-out bed, blankets, a stovetop for cooking, and lots of pots and pans and utensils.  Contact us today for more information on our hotel on wheels or places to travel in  Iceland!  

Back