Fagradalsfjall volcano

See where fissures opened and fresh lava flowed during the volcano’s previous eruptions.

Reykjanes peninsula
Aerial view of the 2023 volcano eruption near Litli-Hrútur.
Best time to visit
All year
Open
Weather-dependent
Parking
Paid
Charging station
No

Hike to the site of Iceland’s recent Fagradalsfjall eruptions

Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland erupted onto the scene as a hot new attraction in March 2021. Since then, there have been eruptions every year in the same region, but with different fissures.

Unlike so many volcanoes in Iceland, which are remote and difficult to get to, you can easily reach the Fagradalsfjall eruption site. It’s located on the Reykjanes peninsula, around a 50 km (31 mi) drive from the capital city of Reykjavík.

With just slow-flowing lava spilling into an uninhabited valley, the volcano was considered safe to visit even during the eruption. 

If you want to see the lava fields for yourself, you can choose from hiking trails that’ll take you to the 2021, 2022, or 2023 eruption sites. 

How to plan a safe trip to Fagradalsfjall, Iceland

Before setting out, we recommend checking these websites for up-to-date information and to find out if there are any warnings in place: 

It’s also a good idea to see what the weather has in store on the Icelandic Meteorological Office website. This way you’ll know what conditions to pack for. And if the forecast isn’t looking good, you can reschedule your hike to the eruption site for another day.

Other attractions near Fagradalsfjall volcano

A man floating in the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Soothe yourself with a visit to this astounding hot spring and geothermal spa.

15 km (9 mi)

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group-in-sky-lagoon.jpg

Sky Lagoon

Slip into the warm waters of this geothermal spa and take in sweeping views of the North Atlantic.

54 km (34 mi)

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The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

Immerse yourself in culture, cuisine, and heritage at the beating heart of the Icelandic capital.

60 km (37 mi)

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Strokkur erupting on a sunny summer day

Golden Circle

Experience mind-blowing natural wonders on this iconic route in Iceland.

60 km (37 mi)

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FAQs about Fagradalsfjall volcano

You’ll find the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula, a UNESCO Global Geopark in South Iceland. The nearest town is Grindavík, which is around 10 km (6 mi) away.

The lava flows produced by the 2021 and 2022 eruptions are in slightly different locations. But they are close enough for you to visit both in one trip.

The volcanic eruption that started in March 2021 sent molten rock pouring into the Geldingadalir valley. Meanwhile, during the second eruption which began on 3 August 2022, lava streamed into the neighboring Meradalir valley.

In geological terms, Fagradalsfjall is part of a volcanic system known as a ‘fissure swarm’. This is a grouping of underground vents that bring molten rock to the Earth’s surface.

But, as far as many Icelanders are concerned, Fagradalsfjall is a ‘tourist volcano’. This is because the volcano is safe to visit even when it’s erupting. Plus, no nearby towns or villages were seriously affected.

No, the volcanic systems under Fagradalsfjall have gone quiet for now. So you won’t see any molten rock spewing from the volcano’s caldera. But it’s still worth coming here if you want to see freshly formed lava fields.

In the meantime, the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences is monitoring the area. If the volcano erupts again, seismic activity will be one of the signs that this could be about to happen.

Absolutely! During the 2021 and 2022 eruptions, Fagradalsfjall became one of the most popular attractions in the country.

This is because, instead of exploding with vast clouds of ash, the volcano produced slow-flowing molten rock and small amounts of gas. So it was often possible for people to visit and take in the eruption from a safe distance. And air travel to Iceland was disrupted either.

To see the freshest lava fields, you can park up and follow a way-marked hiking trail to Meradalir valley.

Located on the Reykjanes peninsula, Fagradalsfjall is just 60 km (37 mi) from Reykjavík and 32 km (20 mi) from Keflavík International Airport.

The most convenient way to get to the volcano is by renting a car. You can pick up your vehicle from either the airport or the capital, depending on your preference.

To reach the main volcano parking lot from Reykjavík, follow road 42 south across the peninsula then head west on route 427. If you’re coming directly from Keflavík International Airport, you should take road 41, before following route 43 to Grindavík. From here, drive east on road 427.

Good to know: The Blue Lagoon is only a 15-minute drive away. Why not spend a day hiking to the volcano, followed by a relaxing soak in the lagoon’s warm, geothermal water?

When you get to the main parking lot (signposted Parking 1), you’ll find there are multiple route options. Some are more challenging than others, with distances that vary from 2–8 km (1.5–5 mi) one way.

Whichever route you go for, you’ll want to allow at least half a day to factor in stops for snacks and taking photos. The uneven terrain can also mean that the going is slower than you might expect.

Please make sure to check what the most up-to-date trail information is before you leave. And bring a backpack with water, snacks, and warm and waterproof layers. Hiking boots are also a must.

While you’re visiting the site, you should stay on the marked trails. And remember that walking on the newly solidified lava fields is not allowed for your safety. What can appear to be solid ground from the surface is often hollow and weak.