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The Amazing Volcanoes In Iceland

It’s very understandable that when anyone hears the word volcano, they get scared and start to think about all the disasters it causes. It’s true that volcanoes are destructive and scary but on the bright side, they are quite remarkable. Most volcanoes in Iceland erupted years ago and so, these volcanic sites have become very attractive for tourism. A lot of people travel from different places around the world to visit these extraordinary sites.

There are various volcanoes in Iceland which have made it a very popular tourist country. People come to drive or hike to the crates just to get a better view of the volcanic site. Iceland has 130 volcanoes in total and 30 active volcanoes and this keeps the Icelanders on their feet in case of any threat. Also, these eruptions that happened in the past have contributed to the unusual landscape of Iceland. The good part is that Iceland has hosted many tourists who come to see the volcanoes and no one has ever gotten hurt due to unforeseen incidents.

Below, we are going to be looking at a few major volcanoes in Iceland after which we will be focusing more on Reykjanes and other volcanoes on the South Coast.

Eyjafjallajökull - iceland glacier


This volcano last erupted in 2010 and it caused a lot of damage. The height is 1666m and it is very unsafe for hiking.  It’s covered with snow and it’s one of the biggest volcanoes in Iceland. This volcano is quite popular because of its eruption in 2010 causing serious obstruction to European flights. After the eruption, tourists visited the site and even hiked the mountains formed from the lava but they are not allowed to hike on the volcano itself. Tourists can only get a good view from other mountains close by. In previous times, whenever Eyjafjallajokull erupts, Katla which is another volcano erupts after which makes it more dangerous but the good news was that the eruption in 2010 did not trigger an eruption from Katla.

Katla volcano - Katla


This volcano is the most dangerous volcano in Iceland and it isn’t very obvious until it erupts. It is located on the south side of Iceland and it has erupted 20 times in total. Volcano Katla is very disruptive and its eruption causes serious flooding which destroys farmlands and homes. It usually erupts every 13-95 years but it hasn’t erupted violently in a long time. Volcano Katla is not easily accessible to tourists and the only option to get a view of the volcano is through helicopter rides.

Katla - myrdalssandur

In 1918, Katla erupted in a very massive way causing serious flooding in Myrdalssandur and Skaftartunga, and it also caused a mild tsunami which affected some islands close to the area. Luckily, the residents saw the signs of the eruption early and so they were able to take precautions and people weren’t killed apart from some livestock.

Volcano hekla - mount hekla


Volcano Hekla is among the most active volcanoes in Iceland and it is also a dangerous one. Some scientists fear that it might be the next to erupt but they are not too sure about it. It is located on the south of Iceland and it has the world’s largest lava. The previous eruption was in the year 2000 and it seriously affected the Mýrdalssandur black sand area because the melting of ice due to the lava always causes a glacial outburst. Also to be noted is that when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, Hekla was shaking seriously and many feared that it would erupt and would cause serious damage.

iceland hiking - snaefellsjokull


This volcano is believed to be the center of the world and it has become really famous because of that. It last erupted 150 years ago. It has been known to be covered by ice but for the first time in 2012, it was clear. This made it attractive for hikers to enjoy the breath-taking view from the top.Iceland askja - askja volcano


Volcano Askja is one of the biggest volcanoes and not so visible volcanoes in Iceland and it also has a history of very thunderous eruptions. It is also known as Iceland’s hot spring volcano and the last eruption sent ashes all the way to Sweden and Norway and this really affected livestock and poisoned farmlands because of the ash from the eruption. It is believed that a group of German scientists went to explore the Askja Lake and never returned and their bodies were not found.

krafla volcano - iceland lava fields


It’s quite funny that the most dangerous volcanoes in Iceland have female names. Volcano Krafla is a very famous volcano and it’s really beautiful thanks to the emerald blue color of the lake Viti located in its crater. Also, Krafla has had 29 eruptions in total. Although it’s located in the northern part of Iceland, it’s one of the major tourist attractions in Iceland.

iceland volcano - iceland volcano eruption


This volcano is quite similar to Katla because it is also covered with ice. It is also one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland and it’s located on the southern part of the Vatnajokull ice cap. This volcano can be traced far back to when the Icelanders were trying to settle down. It erupted twice and it was very destructive. The first eruption was in 1362 killing people and livestock and the people had to leave the region for the main time trying to recover from the disaster. After some years, there was another massive eruption in 1722 killing more people and livestock. Due to this, the area has been avoided by lots of people. Although, there have been threats of another eruption in 2017 scientist hope that the volcano cools down to avoid another eruption.


This volcano has been inactive for some time now and so it’s great for tourists that love to hike. There are two names given to this volcano; Hverfjall and Hverfell and this is because the locals felt the first name did not fit the volcano.


This volcano last erupted during the second century and so it’s a very good place for tourists. This old volcano is so safe that people can go in elevators to explore the volcano in a great sight.


The last eruption of this volcano got a lot of publicity with attracted tourists from all over the world to see the after effects. Although, they were not allowed to go too close because of the dangerous gases that were released after the eruption.


The most destructive eruption from this volcano occurred in 1783 where a lot of lives were lost and it also caused serious famine. This volcano is not very visible because it is under ice and so whenever it erupts, it causes flooding. In addition, it is known to e one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland.


The last eruption of Surtsey took place in 1963 and it was under water. This eruption formed a new island where people now leave and it now also a tourist attraction.

As you can see, Iceland has different volcanoes with their own special quality and they have in various ways contributed to the unique landscape of Iceland. These are just a few out of the other volcanoes in Iceland like Hverfjall, Grimsvotn, Thrihnjukagigur, and so on. Now, the next volcano that will be discussed with much emphasis is volcano Reykjanes.

Surtsey - surtsey island

Volcano Reykjanes

Is a popular volcano in Iceland and it’s also a tourist attraction. Due to the previous eruptions, some really attractive sites have been formed with also makes hiking really interesting especially when you take a break and look at the beautiful and unusual view. The lava fields are great for hiking while having a great view of the volcanic craters, the mud pools, and the really soothing hot springs.


Reykjanes is located on the southwest part of the Reykjanes Peninsula close to the Mid Atlantic Ridge which emerges onto land and it covers a large portion of that area. Due to the active volcanism under its surface, farming in that region is not very productive. This volcano due to the many eruptions that has erupted in the past has formed hot springs, lava fields, mud pools, and eruptive fissures.

Volcanic System

Volcano Reykjanes in a very large volcano and it covers a large portion of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Its volcanic system is quite unique because of its postglacial basaltic crate rows, lava fields, and small shield volcanoes.

The volcanoes on the southern part of Iceland are great for tourism and precautions are taking to avoid casualties. After reading about the dangerous eruptions and its effects, you might not be interested in going to the volcanic sites but after having a look of various amazing sites and unusual landscapes, you would want to visit again. The after effect of the eruption was not pleasant but it has created beautiful and fascinating views that are worth traveling to see.

All you need to do is plan to visit during a favorable season to enable you get the best experience.

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