Get close to the current active eruption in Fagradalsfjall Volcano. Witness the current volcanic activity by taking a hiking tour to the hot lava with a view over the crater. The hiking tour can be organized from an easy 1 hour hike up to more difficult 3 hours hiking, depending on your ability and willingness to walk up mountains. It takes only half an hour drive from the airport to the starting point of the hiking tour. This is definitely once in a lifetime experience, which you will never forget.
In Iceland we have around 20 volcanic eruptions every century, which means that volcanic eruption occurs every 4to 5 year. Why do we have so many volcanic eruptions in Iceland? This is because of the location of our island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Mid-Atlantic ridge lays under our country, and we have a hot spot (magma plume) also beneath our feet. This hot spot is little by little moving towards east. Now it is under our biggest glacier in Iceland, named Vatnajökull. Therefore, we do have a lot of eruptions in that area.
Geologist usually group volcanos into three different types of eruptions. One is effusion eruption or the Hawaii type were you have very hot lava flowing very freely with basic magma. It contains rather low amount of gas and the magma forms pahoehoe lava. then you have the Stromboli type which has higher acid magma or more like a explosion type. The third type we name Vulcanian (explosive) eruptions (like the eruption in Eyjafallajökull in 2010) either taking place under glacier or in the ocean where the magma get in contact with water. All of those types exist in Iceland depending on where the eruptions take place. But there are other more catastrophic type of eruptions called Pelée and Plinisk (Tambora). Sometimes (in Pliny eruptions) part of the eruption’s plume may collapse and and generate a hot pyroclastic flow which collapses onto the side of the volcano like an avalanche.
Finally we may experience a combination of different type of eruptions, which depends on the development of the eruption.
The biggest volcanic eruption in Iceland measured in terms of lava happened before the Vikings came here some 1100 years ago. It was Þjórsárhraun which covered 950m2 of our country some 8700 years ago, but still the Viking witnessed a very big volcanic eruption in Eldgjá which took place in the year 989. That covered the land with new lava over 800 km2. That eruption came from a volcanic system we name “KATLA”.
The biggest eruption in the last centuries was Skáftáreldar which happened in the year 1783, which came from a Volcanic system Lakagígar. That caused a lot of damage, not only close to the eruptions but also further away from the origin. Lot of ash moved up in the atmosphere kilometers up, and affected European countries in the way blocking the sun from longer periods. It has been said that this led to the French revolution few year later.
Our standard setup for this trip is 5 hours. We can bespoke this tour which may take from 3 hours and up to 6 hours based on your available time, and preferences.
Keflavik International airport is situated on the southwest part of the Reykjanes peninsula. Still, most of visitors drive straight to the city without experiencing the beautiful magic scenery of the youngest part of Iceland. This is very interesting place seen from a geological point. The landscape is rough and a bit alien looking. Not much grass, but mostly lava field covered with moss. In fact, everywhere you look, no matter in what direction, lava fields stretch to the horizon. What we will find here are lot of high geothermal activity, Fissures, lava cracks, tectonic faults, volcanic craters, bubbling geysers, geothermal mud pools, lava fields, caves
The Peninsula is perhaps one of the most underrated places in Iceland. Since November 2015, this area at Reykjanes Peninsula is known as UNESCO Global Geopark 829 km2
The most famous attraction on the peninsula is the Blue Lagoon. Other very popular attractions today is the current volcanic eruptions which started on the 19th of March when a fissure opened following frequent earthquakes the weeks before. The last eruption took place in the peninsula some 800 years ago. Initially scientists predicted that the eruption would erupt for days and perhaps few weeks, but it is still active almost 5 months later, and massive magma is still pouring out of one of the volcanic cones. Now scientists are predicting that it may last long time and create a shield volcano mountain.
There is a unique opportunity to see where the Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level displaying various forms of volcanic activity which has shaped this peninsula. You will be able to see the boundaries between Europe and America, where the ocean plates drift away from each other. You literally can walk over a bridge, between the tectonic plates dividing Europe from North America.
By the sea, there are many places with amazing rock formation astonishing cliffs, most of them dark grey. Additionally, you may see some colonies of sea birds, black sand, and beaches.
A visit to the “High temperature” Geothermal areas, the famous hot spring “Gunnuhver”, Lighthouse if very popular. High geothermal areas have several characters. The main features are diversity on colors. The clay gives a brown and white color, the fool’s gold seems dark grey, the Sulphur has a beautiful yellow texture, and the copper amalgamation are blue green. Fumaroles are common on the peninsula, and they sometimes erupt with blue grey clay splatters.
The high temperature geothermal energy resources is harvested in the peninsula both by producing electricity around 175 MW and for district heating of all houses on the peninsula. Interesting development which started in the eighties utilizing the renewable and environment friendly energy.
Reykjavik is the country capital with inhabitants of around 230.000 people if you count all the municipality around the main city. The Viking Ingólfur Arnarson was the first settler in Reykjavik, and in whole Iceland in the year 874. It was not until the year 1785 that the city got its status as a trading town, with urban planning. Until that time not many people lived in the city.
The city is among the cleanest, greenest, and safest city in the world. We can tailor make your Reykjavik tour based on your interest
Whether you like to walk on foot or not, we will walk with you or drive you, and a combination of both of course. Whether you are artist lover and like to see museums or simply walk around the old city we will guide you in the way you prefer on foot, or in driving around in a car. There are many interesting places to see. The most popular one is the big Church of Hallgrímur, and then it is worth visiting the sculpture museum of Asmundur Sveinson and Einar Jónsson, and the Reykjavík Art Museum. The city pond with the bird life and with its city hall which was built into the pond in 1992. If you fancy to bath or swim in one of the many geothermal swimming pools, then that is a very good option but then we must add time into the program. The pearl is a popular destination with its great view over the city, not to mention the interesting museums and restaurants inside the building with is constructed on five big geothermal tanks.
If you have limited time, and not able to travel outside Reykjavik, then we recommend including in the program a visit to “Fly over” Iceland which is a simulation tour in a helicopter over some beautiful natural wonders of Iceland.
Some like to take whale watching tour, which we can include in the program if preferred. Contact us and tell us about your interest and preferences, and we will send you a proposal.