Volcanic eruption in Iceland!
It finally happened!
On Friday, the 19th of March 2021, a volcanic eruption began in the Reykjanes Peninsula, just a short drive from Reykjavík city. It’s the first time in almost 800 years we’ve had an eruption in this area. You’ve likely seen it in the news. We have more than our fair share of volcanoes in this spectacular country of ours. It is not hard to see why it is referred to as the land of fire and ice.
The country’s numerous stunning glaciers are where the ice part is derived from, but the fire, quite literally, comes from the many spectacular volcanoes which are dotted around the country.
Visitors flock from across the globe to see these mighty and ancient naturally occurring structures. While people generally think about hot boiling lava spewing from a gigantic mountain when they think of the word ‘volcano’, not all of Iceland’s volcanoes are active (meaning they aren’t going to erupt any time soon – fortunately for us!). In fact, there are many different kinds of volcanoes to see in Iceland, each of which offers its own unique experience.
Picture from Janeks
Sometimes known as “the volcano that caused all the trouble”, Eyjafjallajökull became , (or is that infamous?) in 2010 when a series of powerful eruptions caused absolute chaos, both in the local area and much further afield.
Intense heat generated by the volcanic activity caused the glacier at the top of Eyjafjallajökull to melt. This, in turn, created meltwater which powered through nearby rivers and led to the evacuation of 800 local people. Eyjafjallajökull also managed to spew enough volcanic ash into the air to have a huge area of important European airspace to be closed for over a week. This meant that many inter-European and trans-Atlantic flights were shut down and 5 million travelers were stranded!
Lava types of this Volcanic Eruption
Both types of basaltic lava flow are present in the lava field. These are pahoehoe and a’a lava. Pahoehoe lava has a smooth or ropey surface and is formed by slow effusion of fluid lava. A thin skin forms almost immediately on the surface which is wrinkled and bunched into a ropey texture as the molten lava continues to flow underneath. The flow is slow enough that it does not break up the crust. Pahoehoe lava flows tend to be thin (up to a few 10s of centimeters) and consist of many overlapping thin lava flows.
A’a lava is formed where the effusion and flow rates of lava are higher. The brittle lava crust becomes fragmented and broken as lava flows beneath, resulting in a rubbly, roughappearance. As the lava front advances, the blocks are rolled along and tumble off the steep front of the lava flow and are then buried as the lava advances further. This produces a thick (up to 10 meters) lava flow, with a rubbly top and bottom. The rubbly top allows the interior of the flow to remain molten and continue to advance.
Picture from Janeks
Can you visit Iceland? Yes. From April 6, 2021, all travelers – regardless of origin – are welcome to visit Iceland if they can show either:
certificate of full vaccination against COVID. Read what certificates are accepted on the official Directorate of Health page.certificate of previous COVID infection. Read what certificates are accepted on the official Directorate of Health page.
Is there arrival testing and quarantine? Yes. If you hold an appropriate certificate, you are required to undergo one COVID-19 test upon arrival. The test is free of charge. You must wait for the result of this test (usually received within 5-6 hours but may take up to 24 hours) at your accommodation. You do not need to quarantine for 5-6 days and take a second test. Note: this testing requirement is temporary and will be reviewed by May 1.
Read the official government announcement for vaccinated and previously infected travelers to visit.
Passengers not vaccinated against COVID-19 and not previously infected
Can you visit Iceland? All visitors holding a passport (or valid residency) from EU/EFTA countries are welcome to visit Iceland. There are restrictions for other nationalities, including travelers from the UK, US and Canada. See Who can visit Iceland? below for more detailed information.
Do you need a PCR test? Yes. You require a negative PCR test before boarding an aircraft to Iceland, taken within 72 hours of departure. See information under Do I need a negative COVID-19 test to board a flight to Iceland?
Is there arrival testing and quarantine? Yes. Arriving passengers must undergo double screening and 5-6 days quarantine between tests. People are allowed to quarantine at their home or at suitable accommodation if certain requirements are fulfilled. Those who cannot quarantine at home and/or prefer to stay at a quarantine facility may stay there without charge. See information under Do I need to have a COVID-19 test when I enter Iceland? and Do I need to go into quarantine when I enter Iceland?
Picture from Jallen
An overview of some of the incredible tours that we are offering:
Reykjanes Super Jeep Tour with hike to Geldingadalir active volcanoDescription:
Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime experience to hike up to Geldingadalir to see an active volcanic eruption. This truly is an experience that you will never forget!The driver/ guide will drive the group to the beginning of the hiking route towards the volcano in Geldingadalur. The hike begins here and takes approximately 1.5-2 hours each way. The trail is conveniently marked. Roughly 4-5 hours will be spent hiking to and from the volcano as well as ample time to look, explore and take selfies of a lifetime!The next 5 – 6 hours will be spent exploring all of the other exciting and fascinating aspects of this stunning region of south west Iceland.The Reykjanes Peninsula provides the perfect combination of excitement and relaxation with an excellent choice of adventurous activities.Here you will discover a beautiful landscape with volcanic and geothermal wonders and a surf-pounded coast with one of the best sunsets in Iceland. This rugged peninsula of raw natural beauty holds several of the top cultural and recreational attractions, including the world-famous Blue Lagoon.Geldingadalur's 2021 EruptionThe Reykjanes Peninsula, in south-west Iceland, is a volcanic area, renowned for its mountains, craters, hot springs, and lava fields. The eruption at Geldingadalur, however, is the first in the region for 800 years.On March 19th 2021, at 21.30, a 700-meter fissure opened within Fagradalsfjall, the lava flow covered around a square kilometer. However, aside from its release of poisonous gases, it was clear that the volcano would pose little threat to life and infrastructure, as it was occurring in a sheltered valley away from any settlements and had a gentle, effusive flow.The Reykjanes Peninsula tour allows you to experience the beauty of the south-western part of Iceland in a private vehicle with your own driver-guide. The tour starts with a pickup at your accommodation in Hvolsvöllur area or in Reykjavík. From there we head south towards the Reykjanes Peninsula which is renowned for unearthly landscapes and interesting exhibits.Highlights:SeltúnLake KleifarvatnGunnuhver geyserBrimketill Lava PoolGrindavik Fishing VillageReykjanesKrísuvíkBridge between continentsWe will stop at Grindavík for lunch.This active volcano tour at Fagradalsfjall is something you will never forget!
Picture from Janeks
Laugavegur- Highland-Fjallabak Tour
-Capture the Colours - Laugavegur Fjallabak Super Jeep Tour -Are you looking for an invigorating Super Jeep drive in the vast highlands of Iceland? Do you want to discover Iceland's magnificent highland nature with a local guide leading you to the highlands most scenic spots? Then this is the tour for you! Our main focus is on giving you the time you need by visiting various locations leaving you with a diverse range of stunning sightseeing from the highlands of Iceland.We'll start our Super Jeep Highland tour by driving towards the legendary Hekla volcano or as sometimes called; “The Gateway to Hell”! From there we'll continue onwards through Dómadalur valley, which leads us to Frostastaðavatn and Ljótipollur lakes. Only a few minutes away is one of our most picturesque stops, Landmannalaugar. This area is one of Iceland’s most reserved gems with its colourful rhyolite mountains and its geothermal bathing pool bordered by steep black lava fields.After a good stop we jump back into our super jeep and head to the famous Laugavegur trail. We'll drive down Reykjadalir valley with its interesting geothermal area. Now we start seeing the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers emerge. This is a stunning view that you don´t want to miss! As we get closer to Road 1 we see yet another change in the landscape, big ice caps come into view as we arrive at Emstrur hut. These magnificent ice sheets make the perfect panoramic shot! As our journey draws to an end, let’s hope we still have some space left on our memory cards as we take our final pictures of Eyjafjallajökull and Þórsmörk valley as seen from the west side of Markarfljótsgljúfur. Note: The F roads will lead us directly through the Laugavegur trail itself and in parts a few miles away from it. -- Tour highlights --Super jeepHekla volcanoDómadalurLjótipollurFrostastaðavatnLandmannalaugarReykjadalirÁlftavatnMælifellssandurMarkarfljótEmstrurEyjafjallajökull glacierMýrdalsjökull glacier ( Katla volcano )ÞórsmörkTindfjallajökull glacierand more...
Picture from Janeks
Vestmanneyjar Day Tour- The Wstmann Island
Vestmannaeyjar - The Westman IslandsVestmannaeyjar are magical and are known for many interesting things. The exciting story of the very first settlers, an Algiers pirate attack, a birth of a new island, a volcanic eruption, and a rebirth from the ashes, a friendly fishermen village which is full of both history and scenic wonders!Our Westman Island tour allows you to experience the beautiful archipelago, that is located in the south coast of Iceland with a population of approx. 4.300 people.We will meet you at our Meeting point at Gljúfrabúi, road 249 or pick you up in nearby accommodation.Drive towards the harbour where the ferry will take us to the beautiful island, (25 minutes)When we get to the island, you will be taken on a one hour small island tour on rib boats. Rib Safari offers amazing trips on a rib speedboat. You will enjoy riding fast on the waves with stops in between checking out some sea caves, some of which can only be entered by rib boat. During the stops you will hear stories about the islands, their nature and history.After the rib safari tour, we will go to a local restaurant and have a delicious meal (not included in price). Next you will take a easy hike up the famous Eldfell as well as some sightseeing on the island. Along with this will be a visit to the great Eldheimar museum, an excellent exhibition depicting the story of the eruption on Heimaey in 1973 and how it affected the residents on the island. You also be told the story of Surtsey, an island south of Vestmannaeyjar that formed after an underwater eruption in 1963, making it the youngest land in Europe. Experince beautiful nature, great food, scenic easy hike, museum and boat tour. A day filled with all kinds of mixed adventure.Tour highlights:VestmannaeyjabærEldfell VolcanoEldheimar Volcano MuseumRib Safari boat tour.Might be lucky and discover Scenic walking tour through the puffin nesting area Stórhöfði.Some Fun Facts About the Westman IslandsThe islands lie in the Southern Icelandic Volcanic Zone which consists of 70-80 volcanoes both above and below the sea.You can climb two picturesque volcanoes within 2-3 hours of the town.These islands are one of the puffin capitals of the world.Heimaey is home to Iceland’s famous Elephant Rock, an elephant-shaped rock formation carved into a cliff.
Picture from Eyjafréttir
We are very excited to be able to offer tours and trips again – it has been far too long since we had our international guests. So, take a look at what is available, get excited about seeing a volcano live, pack your bags and a mask or 2 and come and visit!