Krafla Crater and Lava Fields: The Source of Iceland’s Green Energy


A large crater surrounded by mountains and a geothermal area, the Krafla crater is located near Lake Mývatn area. This incredible Icelandic landscape attracts travelers throughout the year. With a diameter of 10 kilometres, Krafla crater is situated along a 90 km long fissure zone in the north of Mývatn. Krafla Caldera is a part of a deep volcanic system that is known to be one of the most explosive volcanoes of Iceland. Being highly explosive, this volcanic crater erupted 29 times since Iceland was settled. These still-warm lava fields of Krafla, swarming with lava flows, fissures and gullies are home to many geological wonders. Hverir, a geothermal area of steam vents and boiling mud pool and the steamy Leirhnjukur lies in the Krafla volcano field. The famous Víti crater that is known for green lake within it is located in the Krafla fissure zone.

Krafla crater in north Iceland

Places To Explore Around Krafla

With an impressive height of 818 meters, the Krafla crater looks huge. The western side of the crater is rich with fumaroles and solfataras. You will find the colorful Leirhnjúkur peak on the west of Krafla. The 523-meters tall Leirhnjúkur peak is surrounded by mud pots and fumaroles. The surrounding lava field of Leirhnjúkur is an impressive landscape to behold. The black, rocky, and ominous-looking terrain captures the attention of visitors. While exploring North Iceland, you can visit Víti crater that is 300 meters in diameter and filled with water. The peculiar green lake looks like a massive eye gazing out of the ground. The name Víti means Hell which comes from the belief that hell was located under volcanoes. The most famous eruptions, the Mývatn fires, happened between 1724 and 1729. These eruptions were so high that people could see it from the other end of the country. Being rich in lava fields, Iceland is known as the greenest country in the world because of the ability to produce green energy from geothermal areas.  

Walk on the trail around Víti crater for 30 minutes to reach a hot spring. If you are interested to gather some information about this area then visit the Krafla Power station, the first power plant in Krafla is open in summer for visitors. You can learn more about the geothermal energy at this place. Take a short hike to reach Leirhnjúkur lava fields that is the best place to admire the colossal geothermal power of North Iceland. Get a glimpse of Lake Mývatn, Goðafoss Waterfall, Myvatn Nature Baths, Grjotagja Cave, Dimmuborgir black fortress, and Dettifoss waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, while exploring North Iceland.

Krafla crater in north Iceland

Reaching Krafla Crater

The Krafla lava field is located at a distance of about 485 kilometers from Reykjavik. It takes around 5 hours and 50 minutes to reach Krafla from Reykjavik. The fastest way to reach this volcanic field is by flight. You can take a flight from Reykjavik that takes 45 minutes to land at Akureyri. Drive for one and half hours on Ring Road to reach Krafla.

If you want to travel by public transport then board bus number 57 from Reykjavik to Akureyri. The journey will take around 7 hours to reach Akureyri. From here, you have to drive to Krafla. Drive clockwise on the Ring Road for one and a half hours until you see the signboard of Krafla. Take a turn towards the left to reach lava fields.

If you are planning to travel by your vehicle, drive on the Ring Road 1 to the north. Continue on this route for around 7 hours and 30 minutes to reach Krafla lava fields.

Though you can visit here during any month of the year, visiting in summer would make your journey comfortable. The roads and the hiking trails become slippery during winters. You can stay at the nearby towns to explore complete North Iceland on your weekend trip.

Krafla crater in north Iceland

Map of Krafla

Interesting locations in the area

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