Feeling the heat at Iceland's latest eruption.

Feeling the heat at Iceland's latest eruption.

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.

Visit Reykjanes

 and

SafeTravel.is

,
have created this webpage to answer your questions about the eruption. A new

fissure

opened slightly north of the 2021 eruption site and is similar in its geological formation but with a greater output of lava. Fortunately, there was no ash and no flight disruptions. The volcano is considered safe to visit and is magnificent to see, provided that the conditions are good and travelers follow the advice of the local authorities. Here is a list of local

guides and tour operators

to ensure the best experience.

How to get there

Although the volcano is close to Grindavík and Reykjavík, it is not practical to walk or hike to the eruption.

paid parking lots

(P1 & P2), and the fee is 1,000 ISK and is valid for 24 hours. Fees are paid electronically with detailed instructions at the lots. 

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.

parking lots

are on private land, and the fee of 1,000 ISK is paid electronically at

Parka.is

or by scanning the QR code at the lot.

pit stop in Grindavík

for food and drinks before hitting the trail to the eruption site.

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 for maximum safety. Tours vary and may include transport or a meeting with your guide in the parking if you prefer to drive there yourself.  

Hiking to the Fagradalsfjall Volcano

hiking & parking information map

). Path A is the most used and follows the path from the 2021 eruption and then progresses to a newly built path to access the eruption site. The best viewing area is on a steep slope with loose scree. For those seeking to get closer to the lava, descend cautiously, and be aware that gasses may collect in low-lying areas. Authorities have asked hikers to take extra precautions and to pay close attention to the latest

weather and volcanic gas

emissions updates. These conditions and the volcano are subject to change rapidly, and the area may be closed due to

hazardous conditions!

Airplane or helicopter

a scenic helicopter or airplane flight over the volcano

 as far in advance as you can to ensure a seat.  

Reykjanes.is

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.

Fagradalsfjall Volcano is a fissure eruption
Biking to Fagradalsfjall Volcano
Fagradalsfjall Volcano lava up close

(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)

Gear checklist

  • Hiking boots (best above ankle) 
  • Waterproof shell jacket
  • Layered clothing, gloves/mittens, neck warmer (wool & fleece, avoid cotton)
  • Backpack
  • 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

safetravel.is

if the site is open before arrival and follow the advice of the authorities. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed on the trail!

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 started 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 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

    local forecast.

  • More earthquakes may occur in the area.
The formation of new craters at Fagradalsfjall Volcano
People flocking to the Fagradalsfjall Volcano August 4, 2022
Lava moving forth from the Fagradalsfjall Volcano

(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.

Icelandic Transport Authority

and the

Department of Civil

Protection and Emergency Management.

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.

How long will the eruption last?

Reykjanes Peninsula

has entered a new volcanic period with intermittent eruptions that could last for a period of 200-500 years. According to the geological record, much of the peninsula was formed during outbursts of activity followed by centuries-long lulls.

Live stream of the Fagradalsfjall Volcano