The new volcano eruption in Iceland began at 13:17 local time on August 3 2022 and is merely a reflection of what is about to become in next decades. Eruption stoped for now. Hot magma was flowing, gushing and blasting into the air from the depths of the earth only 40 minutes’ drive from the CampEasy base. A new lava field has once again formed on the island, created by flowing molten rock.
By Icelandic standards it could be called a Touristic Eruption, which means a safe and somewhat predictable eruption. Believe it or not, it is very uncommon in Iceland to have such a nice and safe volcano eruption. Usually, we get eruptions deep in the highlands full of poisonous gases and ash clouds, or below glaciers, impossible to approach by an ordinary human being. However, the Meradalir Volcano is a very slow, basaltic based eruption.
Hiking to the eruption site
Thousands of people visit the eruption site almost every day, depending on the weather and winds. The wind direction impacts whether gas pollution from the volcano blows over the best hiking trails or is blown safely away. The yellow dots on the map below are hiking trails. We strongly recommend TRAIL A.
10 things you need to know about visiting the Volcano Eruption
- It is safe to visit the eruption if you follow instructions from the local authorities and the ICE-SAR members on the site. The area could be closed with short notice if conditions become dangerous.
- The magma which flows from the volcano is very hot, so do not go too close. New openings in the volcano can happen anytime and magma can suddenly flow through what looks like hardened lava.
- There are some dangerous gases that come from the volcano, not safe for sensitive groups or pets. When you feel there is no wind, do not stand on lower levels, as the gases collect and reach fatal levels in valleys. Seek higher ground.
- The volcano hike is longer and more challenging than one might expect. Expect to be hiking 2-3 hours each way (1.5 for more experienced hikers) over a super rocky trail.
- The weather needs to be on your side. It can get wild up in the mountains. Mists, winds, rain… Be prepared with rain proof clothing and headlamps.
- Feel an earthquake? Run uphill. An earthquake means something fishy is going on below ground..
- Do not disturb or walk on the hardened lava. It is protected and could potentially be only a thin crust over still burning hot magma.
- Do not take your young children (under 12), they are super sensitive to the gas pollution around the volcano.
- Dress like you are going up high altitude mountains and expect rain all the time.
- Bring water, food and snacks and be prepared for the conditions. You would be surprised by how many people are becoming dehydrated or exhausted and need to be rescued – especially on the way back!
Recommendation by Search & Rescue teams!
There is no infrastructure on the hiking trail – no toilets!
Pages we recommend to check:
What equipment should I bring on the hike to the volcano?
- Headlight/Flashlight with extra batteries
- Hiking boots (waterproof is recommended)
- Hiking poles-not essential but good to have
- Fully charged phone
- GPS if you have one.
- Water bottle
- Hot water, coffee, tea or chocolate in case you get cold.
- Food for more time than you anticipate for the journey.
- Trash bag, don´t leave your trash on-site or on the journey.
What clothing should I wear while hiking?
- Base Layer (wool or synthetic, NOT COTTON)
- Mid layer (wool, fleece, down or synthetic, NOT COTTON)
- The outer layer (waterproof, best if it has fabric that breaths well)
- Extra clothing
- Warm socks, Wool or similar, NOT Cotton
- Warm hat
Volcano Eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula
Although the area had been volcanically dormant for centuries, this second eruption might be the beginning of decades of volcanic activity in the Reykjanes Peninsula. We recommend visiting the eruption site as soon as possible because in geological time, you never know when the next volcanic activity will be.
The parking fee is 1000 ISK ( 8 USD) and can be paid electronically at Parka.is. The payment is valid for 24 hours. There are signs at the parking lots with all the instructions. Do not park illegally or by the side of the road, this can cause dangerous driving conditions!
There are currently two parking lots that you can choose from, Parking P1 (CampEasy Recommends) or Parking P2. You will need to pick the correct payment site accordingly:
Parking P1: https://www.parka.is/pay/geldingadalir/
There are two camping sites close to the volcano eruption. You can park your van close by in a town called Grindavik (15 minutes drive from P1) or another one in 20 minutes drive from P1 – Strandakirkja Camping.
We wish you all a safe journey to the volcano eruption in Meladalir and a fun experience of an absolutely magnificent show.