Mælifell Mountain : A Composite Cone Volcano


Basic Information

Like a glittery mound of olive green, Mount Mælifell is one of Iceland’s most cherished areas. Seems almost like a fantasy land, Iceland is treasuring raw gems like Mount Mælifell. Surrounded by unending lands and topped by the immaculate sky, Mælifell is a place that will capture your heart in true sense. It is an awe ­inspiring, green moss­covered pyramid standing alone in a vast, black desert landscape. A 791-meter tall volcano, Mælifell was once hidden under the third largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Carrying a great responsibility of history on its shoulders, Mount Mælifell was exposed 10 thousand years ago approximately at the end of the last Ice Age.

Self Driving road trip next to Mælifell volcano in the Highlands of Icelan

Explore Around Mount Mælifell

The lovers of Icelandic scenery will savor the scenes from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Situated in the south of the Icelandic highlands, it is the country’s fourth-largest ice cap. Underneath its peak of almost 1500 meters, there rests a notorious and explosive volcano, Katla.

There are few guided tours that will take you to Mælifell, but it is a great option to rent a car and drive up to the highlands on your own. When starting from the Reykjavik area, head east along route 1. You can enjoy a journey to Emstruleid mountain road which is known for its calm and composed landscape. There are various small stops including valleys, riffs which offer perplexing views. If you are looking to soak in some tranquility and clear your head before heading back to the hustle of life again, you can make good use of these small stops. You can head to Tröllagjá or Trolls Canyon, an exquisite dry valley which was created by a massive flood following a volcanic eruption, happened thousands of years ago. This is the intriguing aspect of Iceland that it carries mountains and waterfalls and lava caves that are as old as a thousand years, yet so refreshing that it seems like they are renewed each morning. If you want to engage yourself in some fauna photography amidst the unending black lands around Mælifell, you can find some Icelandic sheep and lambs who feed themselves on the mountain vegetation. Rich in green meadows and grazing lands, Mælifell seizes your heart and molds all your tensions into joyous experiences. Einhyrningur, also known as The Unicorn, is an extinct volcano with a horn shape that will be on your way. This is a new thing to explore. The name itself seems so interesting.

Mælifell volcano mountain in the highlands of Iceland

Places to Stay Near Mælifell

Since Mælifell Mountain is located up in the middle of the Icelandic Highlands, you can not find a lot of accommodation options nearby. The closes option is Hólaskjól Highland Center. You can also choose to drive the 2 hour route to Landmannalaugar and book a mountain hut for the night or stay at the campground.  The nearest town will be Kirkjubæjarklaustur that offers a lot of great options for accommodation. If you choose to go on a guided day tour or a self driving day tour up to the highlands and visit Mælifell you can choose to stay in Reykjavik. Reykjavik offers a wide variety of options to stay. Hotels or Guesthouses are available with all comforts and facilities. Rooms are also provided on a double-sharing or triple-sharing basis. At Reykjavik, there are camping grounds available too, but the indoor stay is advised in winters due to the harshness of season. Generally, the duration of the tour is 10-12 hours, depending upon the sites that you are visiting. The timing for the tours, at times, also varies due to weather conditions.

When to Visit Mælifell

As recommended for all the hilly terrains, the summer season is best if you undertake a tour to Mælifell, especially if you decide to drive there on your own. The green moss in the mountain is magical against the black sand all around. The roads that lead to Mælifell often close during the winter so it is not even possible to visit this beautiful place. However, the winters at Mælifell are magical, but you would have to book a guided Super Jeep tour with a professional guide for that. Snow-covered valleys have an extraordinary feel to them in winters. You just need to take some mandatory precautions as winters can be truly unbending in Iceland. Pack the boots appropriate for uneven terrains, warm clothes, a sturdy top jacket, and a camera.

A 4×4 car is required for driving to Mælifell, and like mentioned before, the roads to Mælifell usually close around mid September, making it impossible to visit the place on your own. When driving to Mælifell you need to cross some rivers so we highly recommend a large and powerful 4wd car. 

Mælifell volcano mountain in the highlands of Iceland

Map of Mælifell

Interesting locations in the area


More Nearby Locations

Einhyrningur mountain - Highlands of Iceland

Einhyrningur Mountain

Strútsfoss Waterfall in East Iceland | Large Hidden Waterfall in Iceland

Skarðsvík Golden Beach - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Skarðsvík Golden Beach | The Unique & Exquisite Beach in Snæfellsnes Peninsula

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