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Iceland’s newest volcanic eruption has started! Following a series of earthquakes that could be felt as far away as Hotel Rangá, an eruption began on the afternoon of July 10th. This new Iceland volcano is near Litli Hrútur just outside Grindavík. It is close to the 2021 eruption site in the Geldingadalur valley and the 2022 eruption site in the Meradalir Valley. We chatted one of our staff members, Jakub Rozmaity, who recently visited the new volcano. Keep reading to learn about his experience.
How long did it take you to walk to the eruption?
It took us approximately 4 hours to hike to the volcano and back. However, we spent about 1 hour watching the volcano erupt. In total, we were gone about 5 hours.
What is the path like?
The first part of the hike is quite straight and even. However, then it gets quite mountainous. You climb several small mountains on the way. You will need to be in decent shape to do the hike.
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How should you dress?
Make sure you have good shoes–this is important. You also need to bring lots of layers. Lately, we have been having very sunny days so sunglasses are a good idea. However, you will feel colder once you stop hiking and sit to watch the volcano. The temperature will also drop if you visit the volcano during sunset. Bring a hat, bring some gloves and bring wool layers.
We also wore face masks to protect ourselves from the smoke and gas. You will be walking through very smoky areas, so your clothes will definitely smell like a barbecue afterwards. We saw some people wearing heavy-duty gas masks (the Icelandic government recommends using proper gas masks).
What should you bring with you to the volcano?
It is very important to take a lot of water–more than you think. When you come back from the trip you will need a lot water because you are breathing in some smoke. It is also important to pack some snacks like sandwiches, fruit and nuts. Make sure to bring a charged phone and a camera if you want to take photos.
What time of day do you recommend hiking to the volcano?
You can really go at any time. However, it is nice to go in the evening to see a better contrast between the sky and the volcano. It looks much more interesting when you see the red hot magma against the dark night sky.
What was it like to see the volcano?
It was amazing to see the magma erupting from the earth. I had never seen a volcanic eruption before. It almost seemed like the magma was moving in slow motion through the air. Sometimes the magma shoots up very high and sometimes quite low. You can also see the magma flowing across the ground like a river. When you put your legs on the earth you can even feel very small earthquakes shaking the ground.
Could you feel the heat of the Iceland volcano near Litli Hrútur?
You can definitely feel some change in the air temperature. But it was not so hot that you could only wear a t-shirt.
Do you have any advice for people who want to hike to the volcano?
Always check with the Icelandic authorities at safetravel.is before going on your hike. Sometimes the path to the volcano is closed for safety reasons. The wind can change and blow dangerous gasses into the area.
Also, don’t get too close to the volcano. This should go without saying, but some people do get dangerously close to the magma.
Things to Remember Before Your Hike
- Bring layers like a sweater, hat and gloves
- Check the weather forecast–you might need raingear
- Wear sturdy shoes
- Bring a lot of water and snacks
- Do not bring children or dogs
- Bring a gas mask–the air quality is affected by volcanic gasses
- Always check safetravel.is before you start your journey
- Depending on your fitness level, the hike is 2-4 hours one way and 5 – 8 hours total
- The hike begins at road 427 east of Grindavík
- Park at the parking spot P2, not by the side of the road
- Keep a good distance from the volcano
- Do not walk on the lava–it is incredibly dangerous
- Stay on the marked trails for your own safety
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and bring a back up power pack
- Leave a travel plan with safetravel.is