Inside The Volcano

The Inside the Volcano tour is a true bucket list adventure in Iceland. On this stunning tour, you will literally go inside the dormant Þríhnjúkagígur volcano. Located only a short drive away from Reykjavík, this tour is the perfect addition to a great day in Reykjavík. You can also enjoy this tour on your way in or out of Reykjavík.

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  • Availability

    May 10th - October 31st

  • DURATION

    6 Hours

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Minimum Age

    12 years

  • Price

    ISK 42.000

Tour Highlights:

  • Þríhnúkagígur Crater Volcano
  • Standing Inside a Volcano
  • Amazing Geology
  • Small Group Experience

Included:

  • Pickup at your hotel in Reyjavík
  • Guided tour
  • All safety gear, helmets, harnesses, etc.
  • Traditional Icelandic Meat Soup
  • Vegetarian Soup
  • Coffee/tea and something sweet
  • Transfer back to your hotel in Reykjavik

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear on this tour?

Good hiking shoes are important. You should also bring warm outdoor clothing as the temperature inside the crater is around 4°C / 37°F.

It’s important for tour guests to realize that the weather is very unpredictable, and you should definitely bring warm, rainproof clothes with you, even if the weather in Reykjavik is nice and the forecast looks good. We highly recommend that you check the weather forecast the day before or the morning of your tour departure.

Is pickup included in this tour?

Yes, we highly recommend that guests take advantage of the complimentary transfer that is included in the tour.

At booking, you can select a pickup location either at your accommodations or close by. Please be ready at the pickup location 30 minutes before the tour departure time.

Alternatively, you can make your way to the Gray Line Bus Terminal in Holtagarðar, 104 Reykjavik. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the tour departure time stated on the voucher and introduce yourself at the Sales Desk for check-in.

I want to drive myself to the meeting point, how do I get there?

Although we highly recommend using the complimentary transfer service, it is also possible to drive yourself to the meeting point.

If you plan to drive yourself, make sure you arrive at the parking lot outside the cabin no later than 20 minutes past the scheduled departure time (so that those who do the scheduled transfer and those who have their own car arrive at the same time).

The GPS coordinates for the meeting point at Blue Mountains parking lot are N 63.98502 (Latitude), W -21.649949 (Longitude).

* Directions from Reykjavík *

From your location in Reykjavik, find your way to Ring Road route nr. 1 (purple line), through Sudurlandsvegur road. Drive straight for about 15 minutes and then turn right on to Blafjallavegur road nr. 417 (dark green). Drive straight down that road until it changes into road nr. 407. Don’t make a right turn to the gravel part of road 417 – continue straight on road 407 towards the ski resort.

The roads are paved all the way from Reykjavik to the meeting point and suitable for all vehicles (even small cars like Toyota Yaris or similar). If you are at any point driving on a gravel road, then you are on the wrong track.

After driving for around 10 minutes after turning off route 1, you’ll see a sign that says ‘Inside The Volcano – Parking 300 meters’. Drive that distance and you will notice a parking lot that also holds a sign marked ‘Inside the Volcano’. Please note that there are other parking lots in the area, but the correct one is where you´ll see our sign (and probably other cars as well!)

The tours depart from Reykjavik at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 16:00, and the walk over the lava field starts around 30 minutes past the hour. So, you should be on the parking lot 20 minutes past the departure hour you have booked. Do not be late! Wait for a guide, who will escort you and other passengers on the tour during the hike from the parking lot to the volcano.

* Directions from the Golden Circle/South Coast*

From your location in the southwest corner of Iceland, find your way to the town of Selfoss and/or Hveragerdi. From either of those towns, follow Ring Road route nr. 1 westbound (Light green) through Sudurlandsvegur road. Drive straight for about 15 minutes from Hveragerdi village, until you can take a left turn onto Blafjallavegur road. Follow the directions as stated above.

Is the age limit on this tour flexible?

The minimum age for this tour is 12 years old. However, if parents feel like their child is up for the tour please contact us and we will check if an exception can be made to the age limit.

How difficult is the 3 km hike each way?

The hike is classified as moderately difficult. Guests hike along a path to Þríhnjúkagígur volcano. Most of the path is on level terrain with little elevation gain, but there are a few areas where you will be walking uphill on your way to the volcano. No climbing is required on the hike.

The last 10 minutes of the hike is the most challenging, with an elevation of around 100m/350ft.

Are there any physical conditions that would prevent me from going on this tour?

You don’t need any particular skills or prior hiking experience in order to do the hike, but you need to be in decent shape. If you are suffering from any of the following, then the tour is probably not for you:

Problems with ankles, knees or any part of the feet.
Problems with the back and/or hips. There is a lot of pressure on the back when walking on such an uneven surface.
Obesity or being severely overweight.
Any other physical problem that might affect your ability to complete a combined walk of almost two hours within half a day.

One guide minimum is with you at all times and there are a few (short) stops made on the way. There is a strict time schedule to follow and guests are expected to follow the walking speed set by the tour guide.

I can't hike for 3 km, is there an alternative method to reaching the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano?

Yes, this tour is also available with helicopter transfer. If you are interested in the helicopter version of this tour, please contact us for pricing and availability.

Is this tour safe?

Yes, the operator of this tour has taken the utmost precautions and safety measures to make this tour a safe experience. All tours are led by expert guides and you will be provided with safety equipment before entering the volcano.

The open elevator that lowers you into the volcano moved slowly, not only to ensure the safety of the passengers but also to let you enjoy the spectacular sight of the volcano on your way down.

Thrihnukagigur volcano is dormant – it last erupted over 4,000 years ago. There are no indications of it erupting again in the near future.

If you have any questions regarding the safety of this tour, please feel free to contact us.

What does the name Þríhnjúkagígur mean?

The volcano’s name, mostly unpronounceable for anyone other than locals, would be directly translated as ‘Three Peaks Crater’. The name comes from Árni B. Stefánsson, who was the first to explore the vault and who pleaded the case for making it accessible for years.

The three craters (one of which you will be descending into) are prominent landmarks, standing against the sky on the highland edge, about 20 km (13 miles) southeast of the capital area, within the protected area of Bláfjöll Country Park.

The tour gives you the chance to enjoy many of the most amazing things Iceland has to offer – a great mixture of nature, history and adventure.

The whole programme takes about 5–6 hours to complete (including pickup and drop off in Reykjavik) , in which time you will:

Take a very scenic hike across a lava field, often compared to the surface of the moon.

Get to know a bunch of stuff about volcanoes and volcanic activity in Iceland.

Enjoy an amazing view of Reykjavik and the Reykjanes peninsula.

Get your adrenaline pumping, without any doubt.

Have a very, very, very close encounter with a volcano.

Taste a delicious traditional Icelandic meat soup. In fact, you can have as much of it as you want.

Hopefully leave with a life-long memory of a unique and distinct Icelandic travel experience.

The best option to join the tour is simply to take advantage of our complimentary hotel pick up service by selecting your hotel or guest house from the drop down list when booking your tour. We urge you to be ready outside the lobby 30 minutes before the tour departure time (you can expect to wait a bit for the bus to arrive).

Alternatively you can make your own way to the Gray Line Bus Terminal in Holtagarðar, 104 Reykjavik Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the tour departure time stated on voucher and introduce yourself at the Sales Desk for check in.

We highly recommend you give your car a day off and catch a ride with our pick up and drop off shuttles. Please look for a Gray Line shuttle during pick up.

The drive from Reykjavik to Blafjoll mountain cabin takes about 20 minutes. A guide will meet and greet you at the cabin, before leading the way during the hike across the lava field. The hike will be entertaining and enlightening.

If you have your own car, then make sure you arrive at the parking lot outside the cabin no later than 20 minutes past the scheduled departure time (so that those who do the scheduled transfer and those who have their own car arrive at the same time).

This means that if you have booked a spot in the 10:00 AM tour and plan to arrive at the Blue Mountains meeting point in your own car, then you should be there at 10:20 at the latest. That’s because 10:00 AM marks the time that the bus departs from Reykjavik and it takes 30 minutes to drive to the meeting point.

The hike usually takes about 45–50 minutes to complete. It’s rated as moderate in difficulty – it’s not uphill and although you will be walking on a hiking trail for the most part, the surface can be hilly and uneven. This is not a hike for those who have problems with ankles, knees, hips and/or the back. It can be demanding for those who are not used to hiking or doing longer walks.

After arriving on location, your group will be informed about all safety procedures and how to behave in the area and when inside the volcano. You will be wearing a helmet and harness. The group is then split into a smaller party of 6–7 people. The trip down or up takes about 6 minutes and the first ones to go down will usually be the first ones to go up.

You will spend about half an hour on the ground of the volcano, in which time you can take as many photos as you want. However, you are not allowed to take rocks and stones from the crater. Expert guides will be with you at all times, in the cable lift and on the ground in the magma chamber.

When you are back on the surface, while waiting for everyone in the group to complete the volcano visit, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Icelandic meat soup, hot coffee/tea/chocolate and perhaps some sweets. Don’t be surprised when we ask you to complete a super quick survey – We are always looking for ways to improve the tour and spread the word.

Finally, you will walk back over the lava field. And again, you will be accompanied by a guide at all times. The coach will be waiting for you in the parking lot, ready to drive you back to Reykjavik

How it‘s done

We have an innovative method to lower visitors down through the crater’s opening (roughly 4×4 m/12×12 ft width). We employ a system that’s normally used to carry window cleaners on the side of skyscrapers – an open elevator system.

A basket that holds 6–7 people is connected to a crane that has been placed vertically over the crater opening (see photo above, click on it for a larger version). Massive cable wires move the basket up and down the bottle-shaped vault.

The 120 m/400 ft journey takes about 6 minutes to complete, giving you an idea of how slowly you will be moving down into the crater. The slow speed is to ensure the safety of passengers, but also to provide the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery.

Everybody that goes down into the crater will be placed in a harness and required to use a helmet (provided on-site) at all times. Several guides, all highly trained and experienced mountain guides and cave explorers, will be with you at all times. Generally, one expert guide will be placed at the top of the crater, one will control and be in the basket with passengers, and one will be located on the ground of the magma chamber.

All equipment and processes have been tested extensively and approved by the administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland.

Facilities:

Base camp is located at the base of the volcano. This is where guests are geared up and served some delicious Icelandic meat soup (after completing the hike). Refreshments (water, coffee, tea) are also included in the tour and are served at base camp.

The facilities at base camp are modern, made from three work sheds normally used for construction workers. And, just like everything else on location that’s too heavy for human transport, the sheds were brought in by helicopter.

We’ve done our best to make the place warm and cosy, as it’s essential to be able to provide shelter for visitors when the weather is not in our favour. We offer most of the necessities required for a day in the wilderness, including toilet facilities and even a wireless internet connection.

Base camp is also the only place on earth where you can buy InsideTheVolcano products and souvenirs.

How to get there

1) Arriving from Reykjavik with included transfer:
The scheduled tour includes pick-up and drop-off from/to your hotel in Reykjavik or a location close to your hotel (see list of locations in “Booking”). We highly recommend this option!

If you choose to catch the bus from Gray Line main bus terminal please be there at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

 2) Arriving on your own from Reykjavik:
The GPS coordinates for the meeting point at Blue Mountains parking lot are: N 63.98502 (Latitude),  W -21.649949 (Longitude).

Please also read the directions below the map to be safe

From your location in Reykjavik, find your way to Ring Road route nr. 1 (purple line), through Sudurlandsvegur road. Drive straight for about 15 minutes and then turn right on to Blafjallavegur road nr. 417 (dark green). Drive straight down that road until it changes into road nr. 407. Don’t make a right turn to the gravel part of road 417 – continue straight on road 407 towards the ski resort.

The roads are paved all the way from Reykjavik to the meeting point and suitable for all vehicles (even small cars like Toyota Yaris or similar). If you are at any point driving on a gravel road, then you are on the wrong track.

After driving for around 10 minutes after turning off route 1, you’ll see a sign that says ‘Inside The Volcano – Parking 300 meters’. Drive that distance and you will notice a parking lot that also holds a sign marked ‘Inside the Volcano’. Please note that there are other parking lots in the area, but the correct one is where you´ll see our sign (and probably other cars as well!)

The tours depart from Reykjavik at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 16:00, and the walk over the lava field starts around 30 minutes past the hour. So, you should be on the parking lot 20 minutes past the departure hour you have booked. Do not be late! Wait for a guide, who will escort you and other passengers on the tour during the hike from the parking lot to the volcano.

3) Arriving on your own from the Golden Circle area/South Coast:
From your location in the southwest corner of Iceland, find your way to the town of Selfoss and/or Hveragerdi. From either of those towns, follow Ring Road route nr. 1 westbound (Light green) through Sudurlandsvegur road. Drive straight for about 15 minutes from Hveragerdi village, until you can take a left turn onto Blafjallavegur road. Follow the directions as stated above.

Book this tour

Price from 42.000 ISK per person.

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