Iceland is open for travel: Volcanic eruption in Iceland 2024

Kerið Crater Lake is a 6,500-year-old volcanic crater lake in South Iceland on the Golden Circle route. The lake itself is shallow in depth, between 7 and 14 meters (23-46 ft), depending on when you visit and how much it has rained. The water is a unique and strikingly vivid aquamarine shade of blue. Take an easy hike around the Kerið crater and enjoy the spectacular view! 

Tours visiting Kerið Crater


Kerið has distinctive red volcanic rock slopes, measuring 170 meters (557 ft) wide, 270 meters (885 ft) long, and 55 meters (180 ft) deep. Although there are other crater lakes in the area, Kerið is famous for being one of the lakes with the most caldera still intact.


Kerid Crater in Iceland shot with DJI Phantom 3 Professional in 4k


One unique thing about this crater lake is its age - it is a mere 6,500 years old. This may seem like a lot, but it is actually half as old as the surrounding geological features. Many visitors choose to hike around the crater’s upper rim to admire the water from all angles. Alternatively, there is a trail and steps down to the water’s edge if you want to get closer.

If you are traveling to Kerið Crater on a self-drive tour, make sure you’re prepared to pay a small charge to walk to the crater lake. This was introduced recently to help the landowners preserve and protect the crater and to maintain the parking lot.

lake in Kerid Volcano Crater

If you time it right and you’re here late in the evening, Kerið is a spectacular backdrop to witness the Northern Lights!

Where is Kerið located?

Kerið is one of a group of volcanic hills in South Iceland, called ‘Tjarnarhólar’, which is located in the Grímsnes area of Iceland. Kerið is a part of Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes Peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier.

GPS coordinates of Kerið: 64.0413° N, 20.8851° W


How do I get to Kerið?

Kerið is very accessible and right off of the Ring Road! Kerið is approximately a 25-minute drive from Þingvellir National Park, and a 1-hour drive from Reykjavík.

It is easily found, as it’s on the main road from the Golden Circle to Selfoss, located only 15 km (9.3 mi) north of Selfoss, right off Highway 35. Kerið is 105 km (65 mi) from the Blue Lagoon, via route 427. If you are driving the Golden Circle, it is well worth stopping off here even if it’s just to take a break and stretch your legs! Conveniently, if you are renting a car, a parking lot is located directly next to the crater.

Aerial view of Kerid Crater

Formation of Kerið

The origin of Kerið has been debated by scientists because the crater was formed about 6,500 years ago, so it’s hard to know for sure! In the past, volcanologists categorized Kerið as an ‘explosion crater’, believing the crater was formed in an explosive eruption.

Walking towards Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland

However, today most scientists believe that Kerið was once a cone-shaped volcano that subsequently erupted and exhausted its magma reserve. This made the foundation fall in on itself and thus resulted in the shape it has today.

At some time in the hundreds of years following the collapse, Kerið filled with water. It is believed that this crater lake was formed by groundwater - water held underground in the soil or rock. It’s not thought to be created by rainfall as the water sits at the same height as the water table, the upper level of an underground surface in which the soil or rocks are permanently saturated with water.

The resulting lake is between 7 and 14 meters (23-46 ft) deep, depending on the time of year and the amount of rainfall, as the water in Kerið does not drain out but just rises and falls according to changes in the water table. As a result, the crater resembles a window on the groundwater.

Family Looking at Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland

Accommodation Near Kerið Crater

You can easily find many hotels and a lot of guest houses within a 2-mile radius of Kerið, as it is very popular with tourists.

Bedroom interior at Arctic Nature Hotel


  • Hotel Selfoss
  • Hotel Eldhestar
  • Hotel Ork


  • Selfoss HI Hostel
  • Au44 Hostel
  • Ljósafossskóli Hostel

Apartments & Guesthouses

  • Bella Apartments & Rooms
  • Gesthús Selfoss


Kerid volcano Crater in Winter

Although the crater is still captivating in the winter, Kerið is best visited during the warmer season, where the natural colors from the rock, fauna, and pool make the attraction what it is. During the depths of winter, the pool and crater are frozen, and the route down to the crater and lake is icy and slippery, making the short hike potentially very dangerous, especially on a windy day.


The majority of tourists are likely to visit Kerið if they are on a Golden Circle tour, as the crater is located en route to the geyser. We also offer a guided Golden Circle afternoon tour which stops at Kerið Crater. On average, most tourists tend to spend around half an hour to an hour at Kerið, taking photos and walking around the crater’s edge.

Strokkur Geyser in Iceland

Many other crater lakes can be found in this area, a region known as Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone. The surrounding area is of barren, stark lava fields with the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjokull ice cap.