Eldborg Crater: Western Iceland’s Fortress Of Fire

Chapters

Basic Information

  • Easy 2,5 km hike through lava field.
  • 6 km (1,5 hours) hike back and forth and up to the crater. 
  • Hike starts at Snorrastaðir Farm. 
  • One of the most active volcano 5000-8000 years ago. 
  • GPS: 64.79621, -22.32112

Rising 60-meter above from the surrounding lava, Eldborg Crater is located on the eastern part of Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It is one of the beautiful attractions in the Snaefellsnes that attracts travelers from around the world. Shaped in a perfect circle, this magnificent volcano is the largest crater along a short volcanic rift. The spatter cone is 200-meter in diameter with a depth of 50-meters. It was known to be one of the most active volcano 5000-8000 years ago. Being the most beautiful and symmetric of the scoria craters, this oblong volcano raises 100-meters above sea level. It is extraordinary in beauty for many reasons including the shape, its standalone location, and its surroundings. The glacier in the backdrop of this volcanic structure provides an amazing view to capture. Eldborg crater, which means Fortress of Fire, can be hiked easily to have a peek inside it.

Eldborg Crater in Snæfellsnes Peninsula

With a clear sky, this amazing natural structure seems like a fortress protecting the 32 square kilometers of the lava field. The ‘Book of Settlements’ mentioned a story when a farm was burnt where the crater stands today. The lava started cooling and begun to foster plant moss and small trees. The picturesque back trail features a river providing a magnificent look.

The lava fields around the crater are basaltic and well-vegetated. For travel enthusiasts and adventure lovers, there is a hiking trail that takes you to the top of the crater. It is easy to reach Eldborg from the Snorrastadir farm on its southern side. You can take a 2.5 – kilometer hike through the shrub-covered lava field to reach the crater. The hike to Eldborg back and forth is about 6 km and it takes around one and a half hours to hike both ways. Although the dedicated hiking trail is relatively easy, it is full of lava rocks so you have to be cautious while hiking. After reaching the top of the crater, you will get a glimpse of other craters in the vicinity.

Eldborg Crater in Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Places Around Eldborg Crater

While planning a visit to this place, you can explore the surrounding areas including Búðir and Rauðfeldsgjá canyon. Búðir is a small hamlet located in the lava fields of Búðahraun in West Iceland. It boasts the vast lava field of Búðahraun that reaches east by Faxaflói Bay and west to the reef of Hraunlandarif. Búðir is surrounded by a field of tall, bleak grass, and a beach spotted with jet black lava rocks. When you travel further towards west, you will find Rauðfeldsgjá canyon, a deep, high and narrow ravine in the cliffs south of the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Though entering the ravine Rauðfeldsgjá is a bit of climbing, it is worth it when you witness the main entrance.

Eldborg crater

Reaching Eldborg Crater

Situated near the western coasts of Iceland, it takes about one and a half hour to reach Eldborg Crater from the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. It is located at a distance of around 111 kilometers from Reykjavík and can be easily accessed. Either you can rent a car from Reykjavík or the airport or book a tour guide service to visit naturally protected sites of Western Iceland. Traveling by own vehicle is more convenient as you can also witness the natural attractions on the way. If you are starting from Reykjavík, drive on the Ring Road 1 towards north Iceland. Keep driving on this route until you reach Borgarnes; take a sharp left turn from Borgarnes to drive on Route 54. Drive on this way for some time and take a left turn to road S610 to reach farm Snorrastaðir. You will find a parking space at Snorrastaðir. From the parking lot, the edge of the crater is at a distance of 3 kilometers that you can track easily. Since it is located near road 54, it is easily accessible during any season of the year, though visiting the place in winters or autumn can be quite difficult as the hiking trail becomes muddy.

Map of Eldborg Crater

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