Reykjanes volcano eruption update

On Monday afternoon, 10 July 2023, a new volcanic eruption started on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland. This is the 3rd year in a row that an eruption has taken place in this area.

Read on to find out the latest info and updates about this exciting event.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano erupting in Iceland

Frequently asked questions

1. Where was the new volcano eruption in Iceland?

The 2023 eruption took place near the peak of Litli-Hrútur, a mountain close to the center of the Reykjanes peninsula.

Litli-Hrútur is just northwest of the previous 2 eruptions sites. The 2021 eruption was close to the Fagradalsfjall mountain, while the 2022 eruption was slightly further north in the Meradalir valley.

2. Is the volcano still erupting?

No, the volcano has stopped erupting and is no longer active. The eruption lasted less than a month. 

By comparison, the 2022 eruption lasted 6 months, while last year’s smaller eruption went quiet after 3 weeks.

3. Did the new volcano eruption affect flights?

Since no ash was detected, international flights to and from Reykjavík's Keflavík International Airport were not affected. Domestic flights were also running as usual during the eruption.

4. Was the new eruption dangerous?

Luckily, the eruption was contained in a remote area, about 30 km (19 mi) from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. According to the IMO (Icelandic Meteorological Office), there was no risk to nearby communities or infrastructure.

5. Can I visit the new eruption site?

The Icelandic authorities have created a hiking trail leading to the eruption site and Litli-Hrútur is now open to visitors. That said, we strongly advise you not to visit the active volcano without an experienced guide. The volcanic landscape near Litli-Hrútur mountain is unpredictable, and new fissures could open up at any point.

Also, depending on the wind direction, smoke and fumes coming from the eruption site can build up in the area. This means that it's especially dangerous for children and people with respiratory conditions to be there. Please visit the Icelandic Met Office website for updates on the levels of gas pollution before you go.

With Iceland Tours, you can witness the newest eruption from above on a helicopter tour. Seeing the eruption from a bird’s eye view is one of the best ways to experience this incredible event.

Or if you’d like to walk around the eruption site, you can join a guided volcano hike. It’s much safer to visit the area with a trained expert who is familiar with this type of environment than to go on your own. However, be aware that this walk is long and strenuous, taking around 4–6 hours to complete. So you need a very good level of fitness.

Due to evolving conditions, the eruption site may be opened and closed at short notice. The progression of the eruption and weather change from day to day. Please respect the advice issued by local authorities.

6. Where can I find out more about the eruption?

You can get up-to-date safety info from the Safetravel Iceland website. If you’re currently traveling in Iceland, we recommend signing up for their text message alerts and notifications here.

For the latest news in English visit RÚV, the Icelandic state broadcaster. If you’d like updates on visiting the eruption site, including hiking and parking info, check the Visit Reykjanes website. 

7. Can I go and see where the previous eruptions happened?

Fagradalsfjall and Meradalir are worth checking out and they’re open to visitors. But keep in mind that they’re very close to the new eruption and you should take all the safety precautions we mentioned above before you go.

Once you’re there, you'll be able to explore their freshly formed lava fields on a guided volcano excursion. This will allow you to take part in the unique experience of hiking to a volcano with an expert guide!