People standing in front of an erupting volcano

On August 3rd 2022, the Fagradalsfjall eruption resumed activity after 8 months of silience. Photo: Parker O'Halloran

Hiking to the Fagradalsfjall volcano

The Fagradalsfjall Volcano is erupting again as of August 3, 2022. We understand very well that a volcanic eruption is an extraordinary sight to see. The early stages of this eruption are very similar to last year's, except further away from the parking area. Authorities have asked hikers to take extra precautions and to pay close attention to the latest

weather and volcanic gas

emissions updates. These conditions, along with the volcano itself, are subject to change rapidly, and note that the area

may be closed due to hazardous conditions

!

Map of the area

map of the Fagradalsfjall volcano area with hiking routes and parking spots.

How to get there

The eruption site is an hour's drive from Reykjavík and about 30 minutes from Keflavík airport. 

FROM REYKJAVÍK. Take road 41 towards Keflavík, turn to road 43 towards Grindavík, and follow road 427 until you see the marked parking lots. 

FROM KEFLAVÍK. There are two routes available that both lie through Grindavík. They make a nice Reykjanes circle if you are going both ways. 

  • Option 1: Take road 41 towards Reykjavík, turn right on road 43 towards Grindavík and follow road 427 until you see the parking signs.
  • Option 2: Along the coast, take road 41 towards Reykjavík, turn right on road 44 towards Hafnir, continue on road 425 towards Grindavík and follow road 427 until you see marked car parks.

Note that parking along road 427 is forbidden.

The parking lots are on private land, and the fee of 1,000 ISK (8 USD) can be paid electronically at Parka.is, or by scanning the QR code at the lot.

pit stop in Grindavík

to get food and drinks is an excellent idea before hitting the trail to the eruption site.

Safety hazards

Sea of lava at Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Sea of lava at Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Spatter cones start to form along the fissure after only 24 hours. Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, a professor of geophysics, says that the new eruption is approximately five-to-ten times bigger than the 2021 eruption, with lava flows of 20-50 cubic meters per second. Photo: Parker O'Halloran

As elsewhere in Iceland, the number one safety concern is the weather. The volcano is located on a mountain close to the ocean, where rain, fog, and cold temperatures are serious hazards, and conditions may change very quickly. Here are the most vital ones:

  • Check

    SafeTravel.is.

    for alerts
    at the eruption site—or any other travels in Iceland.
  • The hike to the new eruption site is at least 7 km (4.4 miles) each way, with an elevation gain of 300 meters (990 feet). Depending on the conditions, there are three routes (

    hiking & parking information

    ). Path A is the most used and follows the graded path from the 2021 eruption and then progresses to a well-marked but undeveloped path across very rocky terrain mixed with loose gravel and spongy, mossy areas. At the eruption site, steep cliff areas consist of loose scree. For those seeking to get closer to the lava, descend with caution, and pay heed to gasses in these low-lying areas. Plan for your average hiker to spend at least 4-5 hours on just the hike (

    see the map here

    )
    and more than you think on just taking in the volcano.
  • Avoid the gas! Volcanic gasses can be extremely poisonous. Avoid low-lying areas in the landscape and leave the area immediately if you feel any discomfort. Shifting winds can rapidly change and move gasses., Please note that children are more sensitive to gas.
  • Follow instructions from the local authorities and the ICE-SAR members on site. The area could be closed with short notice.
  • Do not walk on the lava! The "old" lava from the 2021 eruption is still very hot, fragile, and dangerous to walk on. Even though it feels cool and looks safe, below the hardened crust, lava can remain dangerously hot for months. The lava tends to crumble underfoot and makes it slippery and treacherous walking. Trust us, falling on newly formed lava is not fun!
  • Weather changes can be sudden. Always expect cold, wet, windy, and icy conditions, even if you begin your hike in good weather.

The formation of new craters at Fagradalsfjall Volcano
New fissure opens in Iceland August 3, 2022
Lava moving forth from the Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Photos L to R: In the foreground is some of Iceland's newest basalt rock with spatter cones forming in the background (Parker O'Halloran), a brand new fissure opening on August 3, 2022 (Ragnar Th Sigurdsson), The lava frontline at Fagradalsfjall Volcano on August 4, 2022 (Parker O'Halloran)

GUIDED TOURS TO THE VOLCANO

tour operators

offer guided tours to the volcano. Visiting with a local guide is highly recommended to get the most out of the experience and maximum safety. Tours vary and may include transport or a meeting with your guide in the parking if you prefer to drive there yourself.  

OTHER WAYS TO GET THERE - BY AIRPLANE OR HELICOPTER 

a helicopter or airplane flight over the volcano

 might be the right option for you. 

Reykjanes.is

Live streaming from Fagradalsfjall volcano