How to Hike and Trek around the Mysterious Iceland Volcanoes?

Arnar

Arnar

A co-founder of Local Adventures and guide, Arnar has a degree in physical education and is certified glacier guide. Along with his education he has worked in tourism for 20 years.

Hike Some of the Best Icelandic Volcano Trails 

Have you ever wondered about what secrets the volcanic trails of Iceland hold? To be honest, Iceland volcanoes are the timeworn titans that shaped the land of ice and fire. 

Iceland’s nickname, “The Land of Fire and Ice,” perfectly captures its dramatic landscapes. 

The ice part is clear from the name itself! Simply take a glance at the map, it confirms the abundance of glaciers. But what about the fire? Well, Iceland sits on a major hotspot, and volcanoes are a common sight. 

In fact, things have been heating up lately. There has been at least one eruption occurring annually starting in 2021! These fiery mountains are even reflected in the Icelandic language, with “eldfjall” translating to “fire mountain.” 

So, when you think of Iceland, picture glaciers glistening in the sun, alongside smoldering volcanoes. Iceland’s dramatic landscapes are partly shaped by its fiery heart.  

Recent eruptions and increased seismic activity have led a lot of adventure experts to search for Iceland’s volcano excursion. However, some travellers also raise questions about safety. 

Let’s be clear: trekking and hiking around the volcano is safe under guidance.  

In this guide, learn everything about Iceland’s volcano tour and the best volcanic trails if you are planning to visit this amazing country. 

Is the Iceland volcano tour worth it? 

Yes, multi-day hiking and trekking volcano tours are absolutely worth it. Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is a geological marvel. It captivates adventurers from around the world. With its dramatic landscapes sculpted by volcanic activity, it has some of the best volcano hikes in the world.

The volcano hikes and treks offer a unique opportunity to explore the raw power of nature. From multi-day hikes to challenging treks, these volcanic routes showcase the country’s untamed beauty and the immense force of its fiery heart. 

Best Volcano Tours in Iceland  

If you’ve ever wondered, how to hike an Iceland volcano, it’s best to opt for a guided volcano tour with local guides who know the way and secret trails. 

3 Day Trek near the Katla Volcano 

If you are an adventure enthusiast who has dreamt of taking an active volcano tour in Iceland, then the Katla multi-day trek is the best option. You can go on a 3-day adventure to explore the majestic Katla Volcano. It is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. 

This medium-difficulty tour, led by professional local guides, promises unforgettable experiences.  

It includes exploring the Kötlujökull glacier, crossing icefields, wading rivers, and hiking through a majestic gorge.  Hikers can camp overnight in Þakgil, a stunning location surrounded by volcanic landscapes 

Highlights: 

  • Visitors can explore the Kalta Ice Cave (a separate half-day tour) and the surrounding glaciers 
  • Cross the ice fields, wade rivers, and hike through a majestic gorge 
  • Enjoy a South Coast tour with a Black Beach stop on your way back to Reykjavík 

Travel Details: 

  • The journey begins at the Katla Ice Cave, accessible via the famous Road 1. 
  • Sustainable practices are followed, supporting local communities and conservation efforts. 

The active volcano tour from Reykjavik may allow visitors to witness the lava flow tour and turn out to be the best hike in Iceland. 

Iceland’s Legendary Hekla Volcano 

If you want to go to Iceland for volcano sightseeing, then challenge yourself with a multi-day trek to the summit of the notorious Hekla Volcano! This demanding adventure, led by experienced guides, offers unparalleled views and a true test of your spirit. 

Highlights: 

  • Hike the legendary Hekla Volcano, nicknamed “The Gateway to Hell” 
  • Traverse volcanic terrain, including lava fields and craters 
  • Experience breathtaking panoramic views from the summit if the weather permits 
  • Camp under the Icelandic night sky  
  • You can also explore South Iceland’s hidden gems on your return journey 

Travel Details: 

  • The trek starts at the designated trailhead, accessible by suitable transportation. 
  • Sturdy backpacks and appropriate hiking gear are essential 
  • The tour is limited to a small group for a personalized experience. 
  • Sustainable practices are followed, minimizing impact on the environment. 

Volcano Tours on Iceland’s South Coast  

The South Coast of Iceland is known for its volcanic activity and offers several volcano tours. 

Such tours typically take visitors to various volcanic sites such as the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the Katla volcano, or the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar), which have experienced volcanic eruptions in recent history. 

You can choose an unforgettable 3-day adventure in Þórsmörk Nature Reserve, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It is between the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails, Þórsmörk boasts breathtaking landscapes and challenging hikes. 

Highlights: 

  • You can explore the diverse volcanic landscape of Iceland’s South Coast. 
  • Visit iconic volcanoes like Eyjafjallajökull and Katla. 
  • See lava fields and geothermal areas up close. 
  • You can learn about volcanic activity and historical eruptions. 
  • Witness the unique formations created by lava flows. 

Volcanic Trails and Formations Along the Laugavegur Trek 

The Laugavegur Trail is renowned for its stunning landscapes. Travellers get to see colorful rhyolite mountains, hot springs, glaciers, and expansive views.  

While the trail passes through areas with volcanic activity and geological formations shaped by volcanoes, its main appeal lies in its overall natural beauty. It offers a variety of landscapes rather than being solely focused on volcanoes. 

That said, the Laugavegur Trail does offer glimpses of volcanic features! It is located in a region of Iceland known for its geological activity. It makes a fascinating volcanic route for those interested in both multi-day hiking and trekking. 

Highlights 

  • Landmannalaugar: Your geothermal paradise awaits! Hike amidst colorful rhyolite mountains, soak in relaxing hot springs, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. 
  • Swan Lake (Álftavatn): Be mesmerized by the crystal-clear waters of this iconic lake. 
  • Diverse Landscapes: Witness the stark contrast of black sand deserts like Mælifellssandur and the verdant plains of Emstrur. 
  • Volcanic Wonders: Keep an eye out for volcanic peaks and crater lakes, testaments to Iceland’s fiery past. 

 Travel Tips Before You Choose to Go on Volcano Trails  

First thing first, be prepared to embrace the beauty of iceland volcanoes, when you decide to witness the beauty of Iceland volcanoes:

  • Volcanic Wonders: Get ready to witness a land sculpted by fire! You will get to see hot springs, solidified lava flows (both ancient and recent), towering volcanoes, black sand beaches, and even volcanoes slumbering beneath glaciers. The trail encompasses volcanic sights, awe-inspiring columnar rock formations, and vibrant moss carpeting ancient lava fields. 
  • Year-Round Exploration: The Volcanic trail can be trekked throughout the year. 
  • Embrace the Slow Travel Philosophy: Savour the experience! The Volcanic trail isn’t about rushing through. Local Adventures recommends dedicating at least eight days to thirteen days, allowing a full day to discover each aspect of the captivating volcanic route. Therefore, it’s best to go for multi-day treks and hiking tours around the volcanoes.

Conclusion 

Iceland’s dramatic landscapes are a testament to its fiery underbelly. This geologically young island sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Icelandic hotspot. Thus, it is a hotbed of volcanic activity. These eruptions have played a starring role in shaping Iceland’s unique and otherworldly beauty. 

Hiking through Iceland’s volcanoes is a thrilling and otherworldly experience. These volcanic routes showcase Iceland’s raw, untamed beauty and the immense power of nature. 

A: Volcano tourism in Iceland is popular because it offers a unique opportunity to witness natural phenomena such as live volcanic eruptions, lava flows, and geothermal features up close.  

Q2: What safety precautions should you take when visiting eruption sites? 

A: You must heed local authorities’ warnings and guidelines. You must remain at a safe distance from eruption zones to avoid risks of lava flows, toxic gases, or unstable ground. Above all, respect safety perimeters and remain informed about volcanic activity updates. 

Q3: Is travel insurance necessary for volcano tours in Iceland? 

A: Yes, it’s essential to have comprehensive travel insurance. Please ensure it covers medical expenses, including evacuation if needed, and repatriation costs in case of emergencies related to volcanic activity or unforeseen events during your trip. 

Q4: How can you stay informed about volcanic activity in Iceland? 

A: You can monitor updates from the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and local authorities. They provide real-time information on volcanic alerts, safety precautions, and recommended actions for tourists. 

Latest news

12 July 2024
Iceland, a land of ice and fire, offers an unexpected delight: the warmth of its geothermal pools. Swimming in Iceland is a must activity for...
12 July 2024
Uncover Iceland's hidden wonders beyond the Instagram-famous spots. Escape the crowds and embark on an unforgettable road trip along the Ring Road. Experience the magic...
2 July 2024
Have you heard the songs of fire and ice? The epic tales about families that fought, loved, died and on honor, avenged their dead? I...