This Active Volcano & Reykjanes Sightseeing tour offers an ultimate geothermal adventure involving hiking through moss-covered lava fields, walk on a tectonic bridge, visiting Icelandic fishing village, and geothermal areas. Also, experience bird watching from a lighthouse, sightseeing a lake, the eruption at Fagradalsfjall active volcano, stunning beaches, and rock formations.
The tour is a great introduction to the influence volcanic activity has had on the landscape of Iceland over the last thousands of years. We will be exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula which is situated on the fissure line of the mid Atlantic ridge. The situation of the peninsula causes all the eruptions, earthquakes and other geological activity in the region and makes it so interesting to explore.
We will explore many locations on this tour but the highlight is definitely visiting the erupting volcano at Fagradalsfjall. It is a once in a lifetime experience to see the flowing lava, magma eruptions, molten rock and newly formed lava fields only a few meters from away. The volcano is easily accessible and very safe to visit. This makes it a very unique opportunity to get so close to an active volcano. It has not happened before in Iceland in living memory.
After seeing the magnificent volcano, you will head on with our experienced guides to some of the other highlights of Reykjanes Peninsula. You will be going to Gunnuhver and Seltún geothermal areas where you can see boiling waters and sulphuric steamy air. Visit Reykjanesviti Lighthouse and the stunning sea cliffs nearby. Walk between the American and Euroasian continental plates at the Bridge between Continents and go to the black sand beaches of Lake Kleifarvatn.
Join us on this tour to experience the geothermal wonders of Iceland and natural phenomena.
Itinerary of the Tour
The tour starts with a pick up in Reykjavik. Once everyone on the tour is onboard the minibus we will head out of the capital city and begin our exciting day. Your experienced and knowledgeable guide will lead the way and tell you all about the locations you will be exploring through out the day.
The first stop of the day is at Lake Kleifarvatn. The lake is the largest lake in the area and is surrounded by geological features. The lake is clustered around sandstone and palagonite mountains, formed in subglacial volcanic eruptions. You will find black sand beaches and beautiful rock formations everywhere around the lake.
The seismic activity in the lake in recent years created a new hot spring in one corner of the lake. It has since been popular to go snorkeling in the hot spring water of the lake.
Seltún Geothermal area / Krýsuvík
You will find Seltún Geothermal area, also known as Krýsuvík, a short distance from Lake Kleifarvatn. Walk along the boiling mud pools and streams of natural hot water flowing above the colorful ground. You can find wooden hiking paths that will lead you through this magical area. At this site you can see the effect that geothermal waters have on the environment. Beneath the surface, the hot water dissolves minerals such as sulphur from the ground and you can easily smell the sulphur from the hot springs.
Fagradalsfjall Active Volcano
Hiking to Fagradalsfjall volcano is easily the highlight of the day. And might even be the highlight of your trip to Iceland. It is very unique to be able to hike so close to an active volcano. The active volcano and the flowing lava is so easy accessible and you can get very close to it. It has not happened in Iceland in thousands of years. Normally volcanic eruptions in Iceland occur in remote locations that are very hard to reach.
Fagradalsfjall volcano has begun erupting on March 29 2021, after 6.000 years. Even though the eruption is very dramatic to see, it is completely safe to visit, if all rules are followed.
You will have to hike from the parking lot to the volcano. Much effort has been made to have the hiking trails to the volcano as good as possible so the volcano can be accessible to everyone. The difficulty of the hike is rated as medium and the total distance can be around 7-8 kilometers with an elevation gain of 300 meters. The hike is on uneven terrain and you will find a few steeper sections as you get closer to the eruption.
Your volcano guide will take you to the volcano and make sure that you get to the best and nearest viewing point available at the time of the tour. Hopefully, and most likely you will be able to see the erupting magma spewing into the air above the crater. The lava has shot many hundreds of meters in the air but it varies. The lava flows down the valley and you can see new lava fields being formed.
Reykjanes Peninsula is filled with moss covered lava fields that were formed thousands of years ago. The new lava fields that you will see being made will resemble them in the years to come.
Visiting the volcano is definitely a once in a lifetime experience, getting so close and personal with an active volcano.
Grindavík Fishing Village
The southern peninsula drive to the Grindavík fishing village exposes you to the beautiful meet between the Atlantic Ocean and lava fields. The village also has the most active harbors in the country.
Rejuvenate, relax, dine, and gain an everlasting experience of the Icelandic fishing culture at this spot. The harbor scenery would offer an admirable view of an open blue sky, flowing water, and people covered in their fishing clothes.
Gunnuhver Hot springs
After lunch in Grindavík we will head on to Gunnuhver hot spring. Gunnuhver is a protected geothermal area and is highly active. You will see steam vents and mud-pools all around you.
Gunnuhver offers the largest mud pool in the country with a 20-meter width. The violently boiled earthy water from the mud springs experiences up to 300 degrees cloudy steam and is alimented by the overheated salted seawater.
The robust sulfurous vapor and blaring roars from the Gunnuhver springs create a mystical atmosphere. The hot springs are closely linked to the geothermal stations that heat centrally by harnessing hot water and produce electricity through the hot streams. Imagine a science fiction movie that depicts boreholes, pipelines, station houses, and steam grounds altogether.
A fun fact about this location is that Gunnuhver is named after an Icelandic female ghost. It is said that the angry ghost of Guðrún or Gunna was trapped in the mud pools.
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse & Valhnúkamöl Coastal Features
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse of the country, dating from the early 20th century. The lighthouse is located on a beautiful hill and has been one of the most popular lighthouses in Iceland for photographers.
The Reykjanesviti lighthouse rests on the toe of the Reykjanes peninsula and is surrounded by Valhnúkamöl boulder ridge, sea-stacks, skerries, islands, and seacliffs.These coastal features are under constant attack by the furious waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. This location is one of the best hidden places in Reykjanes. This location becomes a nesting house for Icelandic birds during summers and creates a gannet colony on Eldey Island. Sea birds also stack around the place during the spring, and the features surrounding the tall figure offer a picturesque view.
From the coast you can see Eldey Island in distance. This small island is the home to the world’s largest Northern Gannet colony, with over 16,000 breeding pairs.
Bridge Between Continents
The last stop of the day will be the Bridge between Continents. This is where the mid-Atlantic ridge drifts apart because earth forces are shifting of the tectonic plates. Here you can see where two major tectonic plates are moving apart from one another. The gap increasing by a few centimeters each year. At this location you can visualize the root cause of all the geothermal activity you have been seeing through the day.
This it is one of very few locations on earth where you can see the ridge above sea level. The Bridge is 15-meter in length and joins the gap created between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The Bridge offers you a very unique opportunity to walk between the drifting tectonic plates of the earth, between North America and Europe. After finishing the walk, the tour heads back to Reykjavík through the northern part of the peninsula. On this 1 hour drive you will see moss covered lava fields, which are the remains of past volcanic eruptions in the region.
Experienced Volcano Guide
Knowledgeable Sightseeing Guide
Hike to Fagradalsfjall Volcano
Wi-fi on board the bus
Parking and admission fees
Use of headlamp if needed when hiking
What to bring
Waterproof outdoor clothing
Water or Energy drinks
Snack or Energy Bars
Hat & Gloves
Hiking poles are recommended – can be rented when booking the tour.
Good to know
- The duration of the tour is 10 hours.
- Meals and drinks are not included in the tour.
- We will make stop where you can purchase lunch.
- The distance of the hike varies since the route is always changing because the lava changes its directions every day. The longest hike has been around 7 kilometers and elevation gain around 300 m.
- Volcanoes are a natural phenomenon. Therefor the level of volcanic activity at the site varies from day to day. Even if the volcano is not erupting during your visit, visiting the area is still fascinating.
- The active volcano & Reykjanes sightseeing begins and ends your journey at Reykjavík.
- Hiking poles are available for rent at the time of booking.
- We recommend that you bring a bottle of water or an energy drink on the tour.
- We will always follow the Icelandic Rescue Team instructions on the best route to take every day to avoid the fumes according to the wind direction.
- Pick up for the tour is not included in the tour, but available for extra price.
- If you do not want pick up, you will meet us at the terminal in Skógarhlíð 10, 105 Reykjavík.
- Pick up is not available from Keflavik airport or outside of the greater capital area.
- You have to be able to walk for about 2 hours up and 2 hours back down on slopes and uneven surface. We have all the safety equipment necessary and you will be hiking with a professional and certified guide.
- The minimum age for passengers is 6 years.
Most frequent questions and answers
No, pick up is not included in the tour but can be purchased at the time of booking.
If you do not choose to be picked up, you will meet us at Skógarhlið 10, 105 Reykjavík.
Pick up is from designated locations in Reykjavík. You can find the locations on a drop-down menu at the time of booking.
We ask all our customers to send their pick up location at least 24 hours prior to the departure of their tour. We cannot be responsible if you do not provide your pick up location or miss the departure of your tour.
Pick up starts at the scheduled departure time of your voucher and can take up to 30 minutes. We ask our passenger to be ready at their listed location so they can be easily found.
Due to the regulations of the city of Reykjavik, tour companies are only allowed to stop at certain designated bus stop locations in the city center to pick up passengers. It is stated on your voucher if we will pick you up directly from your hotel or from the designated bus stop locations. Find the closest designated pick up location using the map on www.busstop.is.
Pick up is not available from Keflavik airport or outside of the greater capital area.
The tour is considered to be safe for anyone in good physical condition. You have to be able to walk for about 2 hours up and 2 hours back down on slopes and uneven surface. We have all the safety equipment necessary and you will be hiking with a professional and certified guide.
The minimum age for this tour is 6 years, so all children above 6 years are more than welcome on the tour.
Note that everyone on the tour needs to be able to hike to the volcano.
Yes, this tour is ideal for solo travelers.
If the tour gets cancelled, for example due to weather, road conditions or other factors, we will assist you with rebooking to another date or booking other activities when possible, or provide a full refund.
Free cancellation up to 1 day before the tour. If you cancel within 1 day notice, a 100% fee will be charged.
However, we always ask you to cancel the tour as soon as possible so we can adjust the schedule for the day depending on how many people will be joining the tour.
Weather in Iceland can be very unpredictable. For tours during winter: warm clothing as first layer, waterproof outdoor jacket and pants, hiking boots with high ankle protection, a hat and gloves are ideal. For tours during summer, bringing a light rain jacket and pants is in most cases enough protection.
Jeans are not recommended for outdoor trips as they become very heavy and cold when they get wet.
Yes, we highly recommend that you wear hiking boots on this tour.
Yes, and you definitely should! The setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.
This is a personal choice. We have had pregnant women on our volcano hikes and we always recommend you read the description of the activity to get a better idea. In any case, feel free to contact our Service Team for further questions and concerns.
This tour is operated with a maximum of 12 travelers.