Volcano update August 22, 2022
The Meradalir volcanic eruption site is a marvel to behold! Seeing liquid rock pouring out of the earth split apart by enormous geological forces is unforgettable. Although the eruption is not officially over, activity decreased significantly on August 21, 2022, and no lava is currently flowing from the crater. This is what makes eruptions so spectacular: seeing one up close is so rare, and you never know how long they will last. This "Volcano: All you need to know guide" is still relevant for visiting this unique environment, and likely the next volcano—we suspect more eruptive action will follow...
Visiting the eruption site
After a ten-month slumber, the Fagradalsfjall Volcano system awoke again on August 3, 2022.
How to get there
Although the volcano is close to Grindavík and Reykjavík, it is not practical to walk or hike to the eruption.
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 go through Grindavík. Take both for an excellent Reykjanes circle tour if you plan on 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.
Guided tours to the volcano
Hiking to the Fagradalsfjall Volcano
Airplane or helicopter
Map of the area
Here is the official Visit Reykjanes website with the most current and updated map of the Fagradalsfjall volcano area with hiking routes and parking spots.
map of the Fagradalsfjall volcano area with hiking routes and parking spots.
(Images L to R) A brand new fissure opening on August 3, 2022 (Ragnar Th Sigurdsson), mountain biking is a popular way to see the latest eruption, and lava up close (Parker O'Halloran)
- Hiking boots (best above ankle)
- Waterproof shell jacket
- Layered clothing, gloves/mittens, neck warmer (wool & fleece, avoid cotton)
- Fully charged phone (power bank can be helpful)
- Headlight/flashlight with extra batteries
- Plenty of food & water for more time than you anticipate
- Hot coffee, tea, or chocolate in case you get cold
- Leave no trace and take all your waste with you
Be prepared for cold, wet, windy, and possibly icy conditions, even if you begin your hike in good weather.
Safety at the volcano
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:
SafeTravel.is.for detailed alerts at the eruption site and any other travels in Iceland.
- Follow instructions from the local authorities and the ICE-SAR members on site. The area may 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 and even years. 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. Check the
- More earthquakes may occur in the area.
(Images L to R) In the foreground is some of Iceland's newest basalt rock with spatter cones forming in the background, people flocking to the eruption site, and the lava frontline at Fagradalsfjall Volcano on August 4, 2022 (Parker O'Halloran)
Drones & cameras
Looking for that perfect picture? Focus on your surroundings before the shot! Lava can build up and spill out quickly.
General drone rules:
- DO NOT fly a drone higher than 120 m (390 feet) above the ground.
- Drones shall always give way to manned aircraft.
- DO NOT fly drones beyond visual line of sight.
- Flying too close to lava might result in melting the drone.
- For commercial drones, please check additional requirements.
Good to know
- Children under the age of 12 are not allowed on the trail.
- Be prepared for cold, wet, windy, and possibly icy conditions, even if you begin your hike in good weather.
- No bathrooms or services are available along the way or at the eruption site.
- Volcanoes emit gasses during eruptions! Volcanic gasses can be highly poisonous. Avoid low-lying areas in the landscape and leave the site immediately if you feel discomfort. Shifting winds can rapidly change and move gasses., Please note that children are more sensitive to gas.
- Driving off-road or parking in unauthorized places is forbidden.