About Tour - Geldingadalur Volcano Tour
Join us on our Volcano Hike and Geothermal Tour, an incredible opportunity to discover the lasting impact of volcanic activity on Iceland’s stunning landscape. Located just a short drive from Reykjavík, the Reykjanes Peninsula sits atop the fissure line of the mid-Atlantic ridge, the epicenter of eruptions, earthquakes, and seismic activity in the region.
The highlight of this tour is undoubtedly the chance to visit the eruption sites of Fagradalsfjall and Meradlir volcanoes, both situated in the breathtaking Geldingadalir valley. This is a rare and unforgettable experience, as accessible and safe-to-visit active volcanoes in Iceland are few and far between. In addition to the volcanic wonders, our expert guides will take you to other highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula, including the bubbling hot-springs and sulphuric steam at Seltún and Gunnuhver, a stroll between the American and Eurasian continental plates at the Bridge between Continents, a photo opportunity at the Reykjanesviti lighthouse, and the stunning black sand beaches of Kleifarvatn Lake. The compact nature of the peninsula ensures that this 10-hour tour packs in a lot of incredible experiences.
- Experienced Volcano Guide
- Experienced guide on the sightseeing tour
- Parking and admission fees
- Hike to Fagradalsfjall & Meradalir Volcanoes
What to bring
- Warm clothes
- Waterproof outdoor clothing
- Hiking boots
- Water & snacks
- Hat & gloves
Good to know
- The duration of the tour is around 11 hours. The hike to the volcano takes 1.5-2 hours and is of moderate difficulty.
- The hike can take up to 2 hours each way.
- Volcanoes are a natural phenomenon and the level of volcanic activity at the site varies daily. Even if the volcano is not erupting during your visit, visiting the area is still fascinating.
- The duration of the tour is approx. 7 hours.
- There is no food included on this tour so we recommend you bring a packed dinner/snacks and water.
- Wear hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket and warm clothes
- Cancellation fee of 100% if cancelled 1 day or less before departure
Our expertly guided tour commences with our swift and streamlined pick-up service, during which we will collect you from one of the many hotels situated in the heart of Reykjavik, or one of our designated pick-up points throughout the city. Once everyone is comfortably aboard our spacious minibus, we will set off from the capital city and embark on our thrilling road trip, accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide.
The initial destination on our itinerary is Lake Kleifarvatn, the largest lake located in the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. The lake is encircled by intriguing geological characteristics such as palagonite and sandstone mountains that were created by ancient subglacial volcanic eruptions.
The periphery of the lake is fringed by gorgeous black basalt beaches and exquisite rock formations, artistically chiseled over countless centuries by the elements. Unfortunately, Kleifarvatn has experienced significant seismic activity in recent years, resulting in a partial drainage of the lake. This activity has also generated a fresh hot spring in one section of the lake. Adding to the allure of this magnificent location is the folklore associated with the lake, imparting an extra dose of enigmatic ambiance.
Seltún hot springs
Our subsequent destination is Seltún, providing a firsthand glimpse of the profound impact geothermal waters can have on the surrounding environment. Here, visitors can saunter along wooden paths, which meander through boiling and hissing mud pools, and streams of natural hot water cascading over the vibrant ground and rock. The atmosphere is dense with the pungent odor of sulfur emanating from these hot springs. Subterraneously, the hot water dissolves minerals such as sulfur from the rocks and soil beneath, contributing to this unique aroma. Two viewing platforms jut out over the area, providing an unparalleled 360-degree vantage point.
We have now reached the highlight of the tour! It’s a rare opportunity to witness a volcanic eruption up close and personal. In Iceland, volcanic eruptions often occur in remote and hard-to-reach locations, but the 2021 Fagradalsfjall eruption is an exception. However, the hike to Meradalir, in the same area as the eruption, can be longer and may take up to 4 hours, covering a total of 14 km round trip.
Your knowledgeable guide will take you to the best viewing point to observe the newly formed lava field. During the eruption’s peak, the lava spewed hundreds of meters into the air and was visible from the Reykjavík mountains, 50 km away. The lava flowed down the valley, adding to the massive amount of newly formed lava fields. On the drive to the volcano, you would have seen moss-covered lava fields that were formed thousands of years ago. In the years to come, the newly formed lava fields will resemble them, as they rapidly cool down.
Gunnuhver Hot springs
We will now visit Gunnuhver hot-springs, which is a prominent attraction within the UNESCO Global Geopark. The geothermal area is characterized by active steam vents and mud-pools that are scattered throughout the landscape.
According to Icelandic myth, the ghost of Gúðrun or Gúnna was believed to have been trapped in the mud-pools at this location. The violent and untamed nature of the area may be attributed to the presence of this angry ghost. The name “Gunnuhver” is derived from the Icelandic word “Hver,” which means hot-spring, and Gunna.
One of the largest mud-pools in Iceland, measuring 20 meters in diameter, can be found in this area. The air in Gunnuhver is saturated with the familiar sulfurous scent, just like at Seltún.
Iceland is a global leader in the utilization of geothermal energy, as well as other forms of renewable energy. The nearby Reykjanes Power Station harnesses this thermal water for electricity generation and district heating for the surrounding community.
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse & Valhnúkamöl Coastal Features
We proceed to the grand Reykjanesviti lighthouse, which has been guiding ships for over a century with its shining light at a height of 63m above sea-level. This popular lighthouse, dating back to the early 20th century, is situated on Bæjarfell hill and is a favorite spot for amateur photographers. It also offers stunning views of the awe-inspiring coastal features, including the Valhnúkamöl boulder ridge, sea-cliffs, sea-stacks, and skerries. These features serve as a sanctuary and breeding ground for a wide variety of sea-birds. Eldey Island in the distance is home to the world’s largest Northern Gannet colony, boasting over 16,000 breeding pairs. However, the constant battering of the furious waves of the North Atlantic Ocean poses a constant threat to these coastal formations.
Bridge Between Continents
Our final destination of the day is the Bridge between Continents. After experiencing the consequences of seismic activity throughout the day, now you have a chance to witness the root cause of all the marvels you have observed.
Reykjanes peninsula is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where two major tectonic plates are diverging from each other, creating a gap that expands by a few centimeters annually. This place is one of the few on the planet where this ridge is above the sea level. The Bridge between Continents is a 15-meter pedestrian bridge that grants you a unique chance to stroll between the two tectonic plates where North America and Europe separate from each other.
We board the bus and commence our journey back to the city, which will take slightly less than one hour, during which you will see lava fields covered in moss, the remnants of past volcanic eruptions in this area, which were created and reshaped by seismic activity.