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About the Volcano Eruption in Iceland

You might be wondering how safe it is to visit Iceland right now given the recent volcano eruption. Fortunately, the Icelandic authorities assert that the volcano is not considered a threat. Plus, vaccinated travellers are now able to explore Iceland and see the volcano for themselves if they want to!

Witnessing molten lava flow out of the earth is an extraordinary experience. At this latest eruption in Iceland, you can marvel at the glowing streams of orange lava oozing down the black basalt rock, all from a safe distance.

Rarely does a volcano put on such a spectacular show within easy reach from Iceland’s capital and airport, so this is indeed a unique opportunity. Read on to learn more about the volcanic eruption in Iceland, including safety tips and how you can visit it.

For a close look at the volcano erupting right now in Iceland, check out this live stream video.

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  • Flexible & customisable tour options

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have questions about the recent volcano eruption in Iceland. To help answer your queries, our local travel experts – who are based in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík – have compiled their safety advice and travel tips below.

The last volcanic eruption in Iceland began on 19 March 2021 in the Reykjanes peninsula, following weeks of seismic activity in the surrounding area, including Reykjavík. After much anticipation, a new fissure in the earth opened up and molten lava started to flow down to the valley below.

You’ll find Iceland’s newest volcano at Mount Fagradalsfjall, set within the Geldingadalur valley in the Reykjanes peninsula.

This region is located in the southwest of Iceland and is home to the popular Blue Lagoon geothermal pool and the country’s international airport, Keflavík. It would take you approximately 30 minutes to drive to the volcano car park from the airport.

Reykjanes is a UNESCO Global Geopark teeming with volcanic landscapes and geothermal activity, due to the pulling apart of two tectonic plates. It is the only place in the world where you can see the North Atlantic Ridge on land.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano is 32 kilometres (20 miles) away from Reykjavík, which is around 1 hour by car. After you reach the car park, it’s a 3-4 hour round-trip walk to reach the volcano itself.

It is generally considered safe for you to visit the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

You might be wondering how this is possible, especially if you think back to when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010. Indeed, that was quite a dangerous and disruptive event, which grounded thousands of flights due to the vast ash clouds that the volcano left in its wake.

However, you should know that the Fagradalsfjall eruption is very different.

Rather than hurling rock and ash high into the air, like Eyjafjallajokull did, Fagradalsfjall’s lava flow is gentle, slow, and unthreatening. The fissures at Fagradalsfjall have released streams of molten lava that are gradually winding their way down the Geldingadalur valley.

This is why many people have been heading up to see the mesmerising lava streams first hand. Some Icelanders have gotten married at the eruption site!

That said, you should exercise caution if you explore volcanoes in Iceland. Stay away from the lava flow and keep to higher ground at all times. Should there be any bad weather or high levels of toxic gas emissions, you will not be allowed to access the area.

If you plan to visit the volcano, bear in mind that a good level of fitness is required due to the 3-4 hour return hike. It is not recommended that you go to Fagradalsfjall if you have any respiratory conditions as there is likely to be increased air pollution in the area.

Conveniently, you can easily reach Iceland’s newest volcano from Reykjavík. You could explore the volcano site while based in Iceland’s capital city, or on the way back to the airport before your flight home.

If you are on a self-drive tour of Iceland, you have the chance to head to the volcano during your road trip, as it's only a 1-hour drive to the volcano site car park from Reykjavík.

You might like to visit at the beginning of your self-drive tour. Or you could go to the volcano at the end of your journey before returning to Reykjavík or the airport.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer not to drive, you could take the bus from the capital to the volcanic site. Your personal travel consultant at Nordic Visitor can arrange this for you and add an extra day in Reykjavík to your itinerary.

Once you arrive at the car park and drop-off point, you’ll need to hike for roughly 1.5-2 hours to reach the volcano itself. There are a couple of routes you can take from the car park.

Download the trail map from Safe Travel Iceland’s volcano updates to see your hiking options. We also highly recommend you check this page to find out about weather and safety conditions on the day of your visit.



Another way you can discover the erupting volcano in Iceland is by helicopter. This is a thrilling adventure that will have you soaring over Reykjavík and the Reykjanes peninsula to reach Fagradalsfjall in no time.

With a birds-eye view of the action, you’ll get to witness the lava flowing from the volcano in a way that few others get to experience. And you don’t need to worry about driving, hiking, or taking the bus.

As there are limited spaces for the helicopter tour, make sure you have it booked in advance of your trip.

Add this activity to your Nordic Visitor tour for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not many people can say that they’ve flown in a helicopter over an erupting volcano!

For an exhilarating getaway in the Land of Fire and Ice, check out more thrilling things to do in Iceland on a post-lockdown trip.

The car park at the volcano site is about a 10-minute drive from Grindavík on the south coast. Turn right off the 427 road to reach Geldingardalur Volcano Parking, which you can find on Google Maps.

If you’re hiking to the volcano, you should wear sturdy walking shoes, warm layers, and a waterproof jacket and trousers. We also recommend you bring a hat, scarf and gloves to stay warm.

Additionally, hiking poles will be useful for walking on uneven terrain. You should also pack plenty of water and food for your visit. And don’t forget your camera to take home memories of your volcano experience.

In summer Iceland has long daylight hours, but from late summer it gets darker earlier in the evening. If you are visiting from September onwards, we recommend you bring a flashlight with you, in case you hike back in the dark.

For sunset and sunrise times, read about time and daylight in Iceland on our travel guide. Or check our Iceland packing list to find out more tips on what to bring.

The recent volcanic eruption in Iceland started on 19 March but more fissures have appeared since then. Lava has been oozing out of these and flowing down into the surrounding valley.

You can never quite predict how long a volcano will continue to erupt, because nature has its own way of doing things. But that said, experts have identified signs that volcanic activity at Fagradalsfjall could last a long while.

Having studied the basalt rock, volcanologists believe that the molten lava has come from a deep magma chamber. They estimate that the source is around 15 kilometres (9 miles) below surface level.

According to the scientists, this is the first time in thousands of years that magma has come from a chamber this deep. And, because the lava flow taking place beneath the surface is the same as that above ground, the eruption could continue for some time.

Due to its position between two tectonic plates, volcanic activity is common in Iceland. In fact, you might be surprised to know that Iceland has around 130 volcanoes, which is pretty impressive for a small island country!

This is why Icelanders are used to eruptions taking place. But rarely are the volcanoes so accessible and visitor-friendly, like the recent one at Mount Fagradalsfjall.

Interestingly, the eruption at Fagradalsfjall is the first to occur in the region in 800 years. The last one erupted over a 30-year period, and so some scientists predict that the Reykjanes peninsula may again see renewed seismic activity for many years to come.

Discover more volcanic experiences to have in Iceland on our blog.

You can now visit Iceland without needing to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or you have proof of Covid-19 antibodies. As of 6 April 2021, the Icelandic government is allowing travellers from around the world to enter Iceland, such as the USA.

If you are arriving before 1 July 2021, you’ll need to take 1 PCR test for Covid-19 upon arrival in Iceland. Then you must head directly to your hotel and wait for your test result. You should receive your result within 12 hours, and if it is negative, you can continue on your tour of Iceland.

From 1 July 2021, you will no longer be required to take a PCR test upon arrival in Iceland. Children will also be exempt from Covid-19 border measures from this date.

For the latest guidance on visiting the country, read our Iceland travel update.

There are some health and safety regulations in Iceland that are in place to protect everyone. These are reviewed every 3 weeks.

The main requirements that you must adhere to are:

  • Frequent hand washing and sanitising.
  • Social distancing of 1 metre.
  • Wearing a face mask.

You can stay up to date with Iceland’s regulations by following our blog article: Is Iceland safe to visit?

If you have cancellation insurance with us, your payment is protected. This means that, if you need to cancel because of Covid-19 related reasons, you will never lose the money you’ve paid to us. 

Should you test positive for Covid-19 before your trip, you can rebook your tour, on one occasion, without incurring any change fees. Or you can receive a refund of 80% of the total value of your booking, and a 20% travel credit towards a future tour with Nordic Visitor. 

If you’d like more information on our flexible booking policy, discover our Book With Confidence terms.

SELF-DRIVE TOURS
 OF THE REYKJANES PENINSULA

Take the wheel for a thrilling journey in the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. These itineraries include your rental car, accommodation, daily breakfast, and 24/7 support, with the option to experience the recent volcanic eruption.

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Golden Circle & South Coast

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LUXURY TOURS IN ICELAND

Tour Iceland in your bubble with these luxury packages. Discover the best of Iceland with a private guide, enjoying helicopter rides and exclusive spa stays. Your guide, accommodation, daily breakfast, and 24/7 support are included.

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Glaciers, Geysir & Blue Lagoon Retreat

729354ISK

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7 days / 6 nights
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Iceland Luxury Escape - Summer

Best of South Iceland & Blue Lagoon Retreat

1086258ISK

Eur

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Iceland Luxury Escape - Summer

1086258ISK

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7 days / 6 nights
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Iceland Luxury Adventure at Leisure - Summer

994461ISK

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Iceland Luxury Adventure at Leisure - Summer

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10 days / 9 nights
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Iceland Luxury Escape at Leisure - Summer

1507940ISK

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Iceland Luxury Escape at Leisure - Summer

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Our certifications and commitments

We want you to have the utmost confidence in booking your trip with Nordic Visitor. You can depend on us to deliver high standards of quality and trust, as these core values are the cornerstones of who we are.

Here are some of our accreditations and professional memberships that reflect our commitment to creating unrivalled travel experiences for you.

Certified Travel Service Vakinn - Quality System
Member of The Icelandic Travel Industry Association
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What our customers say

 

Discover what our amazing clients, who travelled during the pandemic, thought about their experience with Nordic Visitor.

They covered risks and that was very important for me, going on vacation and being less stressed because of coronavirus. This is what I really appreciate. This tour was very comfortable and the service overall is simply excellent. Overall the trip exceeded our expectations.

- Anastasia, visited Iceland
From start to finish they were flexible about the dates, happy to reorganise locations (due to Covid fears) and our own personal preference. We would definitely consider booking another trip through Nordic again.

- Nathalie, visited Scotland
Nordic Visitor went above and beyond what we could have expected in terms of contact during the holiday, and went to great lengths to tailor-made a specific trip for us. All in all, we would wholeheartedly recommend Iceland as a great destination and Nordic Visitor as a specialist tour company for this part of the world.

- Sarah, visited Iceland

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Established in 2002, Nordic Visitor is a leading travel agency headquartered in Iceland. You’ll receive excellent, personal service from one of our Iceland travel experts who are based in Reykjavík. With their unrivalled knowledge of Iceland, you can trust in them to arrange a seamless tour of Iceland for you.

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We are based in Iceland so we know how to deal with events like volcano eruptions or severe weather. You’ll have our local support around the clock during your trip with our 24/7 helpline. Should anything unexpected arise, we will take care of reworking your itinerary while keeping you safe and informed.

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Nordic Visitor is dedicated to the best service quality, and this is reflected year after year when TripAdvisor awards us with their Certificate of Excellence. We also take great pride in our customer feedback: 97% of our travellers say they would recommend us to friends and family.

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With Nordic Visitor, you’ll have a dedicated travel consultant who will take care of organising everything for you. They’ll plan your route, book your accommodation, and arrange your activities, such as a volcano tour. While they handle the planning, you can relax and look forward to your trip.

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With Nordic Visitor, you have peace of mind knowing your holiday arrangements with us are 100% financially protected. Your payments are safeguarded with an insurance protection that guarantees you a refund in the unlikely event of insolvency.

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Stay at high-quality accommodation on your tour of Iceland. We handpick every hotel and guesthouse included in your itinerary, ensuring that each one meets our high standards and adheres to our health and safety policies. You’ll only stay in accommodation that has been highly rated by our customers.

Travel & Booking Advice

Here you can find everything you need to know about planning and enjoying travel during these times.

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