Natural Wonders
25 August 2021

Update from our little “airport volcano”

Back in March, we wrote a little article about the cutest little volcano eruption and now we have an update!

It’s been 5 months since the eruption started and while it has gone through many different phases, often baffling volcanologists, it’s still going fairly strong. Actually, nobody has any idea if it’s going to end soon or continue for years on end! 

We like to jokingly call it the airport volcano since it’s so conveniently located, close to the airport, so you don’t need to drive over half of Iceland to see it. 

If you can, you should hike up to the volcano

Well, you can’t really hike as close to it as when it first started, but you can still hike up a mountain called Langihryggur (Long spine) and see the crater erupting from a distance and the lava flowing in various directions. It’s not an easy hike, so if you’re out of shape you might want to skip it. 

We recommend good hiking boots, walking poles, and plenty to eat and drink. The search and rescue teams have installed a rope that people can hang on to on the way up and down the steepest part due to lots of broken ankles. Make sure you bring hand sanitizer in case you need to use the rope. 

basaltic Lava in Geldingadalur Valley, Iceland
James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can definitely see the solidified new lava field

If you’re not up for mountain climbing, you can still walk easily up to the new lava field in Nátthagi valley. There’s a good walking path and the parking lot is close by. On some days you can see lava flowing into the valley, but at the very least you´ll see (and smell!) the newest landscape in Iceland. 

This is not a joke: Do. Not. Walk. On. The. Lava. 

It’s not safe! Even if it looks safe, it’s not safe. Check out Safetravel.is for safety instructions, maps of the walking paths, etc.

The volcano is a teenager

Do you know how teenagers like to sleep during the day and stay awake during the night? Lately, the Geldingadalur volcano has been behaving like a grumpy teen. During the day, it takes a break from erupting, and then come evening, it fires up again.  

What we’re trying to say is that you can’t rely on seeing the eruption when you get there. The volcano might be resting and/or the weather might be bad and the volcano hidden by fog. 

Have fun!

volcanic eruption in Iceland