Visiting the Eruption Site: Essential List

From the eruption site.

From the eruption site. Photo/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

The eruption in Geldingadalur valley, Fagradalsfjall mountain, Southwest Iceland, has been quite a magnet since it began March 19.

[UPDATE: Please note that trails to the eruption site will be closed Saturday, April 3, due to inclement weather. They are scheduled to reopen Sunday morning, April 4.]

If you plan to visit the site, please note the following:

People in quarantine are prohibited from visiting the area , since it attracts thousands of people every day and the risk of infecting others is high.

For the next few days, the hiking trails will be open from 6 am till 6 pm, unless otherwise announced. Everyone must leave the area by 10 pm.

Check for updates.

Check the weather forecast when planning your trip.

Check the dispersion of volcanic gases here or here .

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

Bring a backpack with a snack and water. Hot chocolate is good, too.

The trail is steep at times and can be very icy, so it is wise to bring crampons along.

Trekking poles are very helpful.

Photo/Ásdís Ásgeirsdóttir

A headlamp is a must if you visit the area at night or before sunrise.

Bring a face mask to wear in case the place is crowded.

Take a bag with you for trash. Respect nature, and don’t leave any trash behind.

Remember that off-road driving is illegal.

Wear comfortable hiking boots and warm, water-proof clothing.

It is smart to bring band-aids with you that provide cushioning against blisters, in case your shoes hurt.

If you visit the area at night, you may want to bring along a thin reflective vest to make you more visible to drivers on Suðurstrandarvegur road, where there is an endless line of cars driving by.

Two hiking trails have been marked with stakes, both of which begin at the same point on Suðurstrandarvegur road.

Choose a trail, depending on the dispersion of gases. Rescue workers on site will advise you, too.

The hike from the road takes one to two hours each way, depending on how fast you walk and which trail you choose.

Stay on the marked trail and stick to hills and ridges. Avoid valleys and dells in the landscape, for that’s where dangerous volcanic gases accumulate, some of which are odorless.

Avoid having the wind in your face when approaching the eruption site. That way, you avoid volcanic gases.




5 °C


Later today

1 °C



1 °C