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.