The eruption in Fagradalsfjall is unparalleled to anything we‘ve seen before. Rarely has an eruption been as accessible in Iceland as this ongoing eruption in Fagradalsfjall active volcano. It only takes about 50 minutes drive from Reykjavík to the parking lots that mark the beginning of the walk to the eruption. From the car park it takes about one to one and a half hours to walk up to the eruption. The walk is marked and safe, but Icelandic rescue teams and police guard the area and take care of the safety of hikers and travelers, to the best of their ability. It is estimated that about 30% of the Icelandic population has now taken the walk, and it is suitible for both children and elderly.
This unique volcanic eruption has fascinated Icelanders for the past weeks, including the staff of Classic Iceland. We are convinced that all those who embark on this journey will experience something magnificent. It usually took the group about 1.5 hours to walk up to the eruption, from the parking lot, through the traditional route. The group made sure to have plenty of packed lunches, warm clothes, hiking boots, beanies, mittens, hiking lights (in the dark) and some of us used hiking sticks.
How to get from Reykjavik to Fagradalsfjall active volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula.
By driving: Head to Grindavik by following route 41 (the same road that leads you to Keflavik airport) and then change to route 43 and drive towards the town of Grindavik. Shortly after you arrive in Grindavik you take a left turn on route 427. Follow that road until you get to the parking lots for Fagradalsfjall volcano.
By bus: Several tour operators offer bus rides to Fagradalsfjall mountain. Reykjavik Excursions offers a return transfer from BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik to the start of the hiking route towards the volcano in Geldingadalur, known as Fagradalsfjall Volcano. The Bus will also stop at Fjörukráin in Hafnarfjordur and pick up passengers. The hike will take approximately 1.5-2 hours each way and the trail is conveniently marked so you can easily find it without a guide. More information is found here: https://www.re.is/tour/volcano-bus/
By helicopter: Another, a bit more fancier way, is to head to Fagradalsfjall in a helicopter. Numerous companies offer this service in Reykjavik. Most popular is the extended sightseeing tour from Reykjavik: View the eruption from different angles from the air with a 15 min stopover. Expect the total return trip to be around 45-60 minutes, that might change due to weather and air traffic control. More info here:
Instructions regarding safety and regulations when traveling to Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Now before you leave, please be careful and be prepared for the journey. Below are instructions listed by the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Please read through the list carefully and make sure to follow the instructions.
- Off road driving is illegal.
- This applies to all motor vehicles, such as ATVs, six-wheelers, motorcycles.
- It is possible to park in Grindavík and at the Blue Lagoon and walk from there during the weekend of March 20-21.
- The journey from the parking areas takes 4-6 hours and is only for people who are used to being outdoors in difficult conditions.
- The weather can change quickly. It is cold and wet and the forecast is for rain during the weekend.
- Wear hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothing.
- Assume that the journey may take longer than planned.
- Bring a packed lunch and water to drink.
- Keep an eye on your travel companions. Fatigue and hypothermia come quickly.
- Stick to hills and ridges. Avoid valleys and dells in the landscape.
- There is a risk of rock fall. Beware of steep slopes.
- It does not take much to get lost.
- Carry a positioning device.
- The telephone connection in the area is bad and it can therefore be difficult to call for help if needed.
- Eruption sites can change and new eruption cracks may open on short notice.
- Gas pollution is strongest close to the area and can lurk in valleys and dells where it is particularly dangerous.
- Gas pollution can change on short notice if the eruption suddenly increases and it is dangerous to be near the eruption sites without measuring instruments.
People must always turn downwind. This means that people must have the wind in their back when walking towards the eruption site and go against the wind when walking back.
- Gas pollution is not visible and does not necessarily follow the visible gas cloud in the area.
- Gas pollution can change at short notice in the case of the eruption suddenly increasing and it is dangerous to be near the eruption sites without measuring instruments.
- Gas pollution can still linger even if a visible eruption cloud is different due to a different wind direction.
- Masks used for disease prevention do not provide any protection against gas pollution.
- If you experience the slightest symptoms of health problems, you should immediately get away with the wind against you.
- Gas pollution can be odourless and it is therefore difficult avoid it.