The average Iceland volcano is quite active no doubt, but it is because of all this activity that Iceland has such a rich reserve of geothermal energy. This makes it one of the least polluted countries in the world.
The country Iceland is situated bang in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In plain-speak, this means that it straddles two giant tectonic plates that form numerous cracks in its midst.
These cracks open up to the 130+ volcanoes that Iceland proudly calls its own. It’s not as dangerous as that might sound.
Apart from their economic value, an Iceland volcano is usually a breathtaking sight. Even in their dormancy they are incredibly majestic and beautiful.
After the publicity received by ginormous eruption in 2010 that disrupted most flights within Europe, volcano tourism in Iceland has picked up quite a bit. Here are the top five most interesting and beautiful volcanoes in Iceland.
This is the volcano that had erupted in 2010. Nobody had been harmed at that time but interest in this area increased significantly among tourists since then. While itself not the most dangerous or active of volcanoes in Iceland, it sits right next to one of the most disruptive and unpredictable volcano in all of Iceland – Katla.
Snaefellsjokull National Park
Called by some as the jewel of West Iceland, in a country known for its wild beauty, this area stands out. It is only 2 hours away from Reykjavik by road, making it a popular destination among tourists as well.
The National Park includes the Snaefell glacier, some wild beaches and the Saxholl volcano crater. The glacier lies on top of a volcano. It was made famous by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, where this volcano was described as the gateway to the interiors of the earth.
Unfortunately, you can’t really go inside of the volcano here. The good news is, like all National Parks in Iceland, it’s completely free!
Grimsvotn volcanic system
This is a series of volcanic mountains located inside a lake by the same name. It is situated on one of the largest glaciers in Europe. It cannot be seen on the surface. However, it is quite frenzied in its activity and whenever it erupts, you can see large clouds of ash and gases erupt high into the sky from the surface of the lake. It is a truly majestic sight to behold.
This is the most active and famous Iceland volcano, and a popular site for daylong treks to the summit. Eruptions occur at an average interval of 9-21 years. The last major eruption was in the year 2000, so another one is expected any year now. The route to the volcano is an accessible trek, and the summit is quite rewarding with lots of photo opportunities with lava flows in the background.
This is perhaps the most interesting one on our list for the simple reason that this is the only volcano in Iceland you can actually go inside of. The primordial beauty of the inner sanctum of a magma chamber is a truly humbling experience and a sight to behold. This is best visited in the summer months from May to September as there are chances it might be inaccessible in the winters.
Iceland Volcano Tours
All the volcanoes mentioned here are open to tourists to visit and enjoy. Nobody has ever been known to be harmed directly by volcanic activity in recent memory.
Many travelers might feel more comfortable going as part of a group with experienced and professional guides and there are many tours in Iceland that offer that. If you want to book one online, you might want to start researching here.
If you’re planning on driving along the Golden Circle Iceland route, then none of these volcanoes will fall in your path.
However, the beautiful Kerio crater lake in South Iceland is a part of this popular route and and a beautiful place well worth the visit.