All Tours Operating Normally. Experience Iceland Safely: Current Volcanic Eruption Updates Here.

Iceland's most recent volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula occurred around 06:00 local time on February 8. It's found northeast of Sýlingarfell, situated only 9 kilometers away from the town of Grindavik. This time the eruption was a short one, lasting only one day, marking its end on February 9.

Key points:

  • On February 9 the eruption ended. The next step is to take care of the damages caused by the eruption.
  • While the Blue Lagoon closed, Icelandic travel and tourism remain largely unaffected, including flights. 
  • Most activities in Iceland, including our tours (except those visiting the Blue Lagoon), operate as usual.
  • People in Iceland are safe and not at risk due to the limited impact of this eruption.
  • All flights to and from Iceland operate as normally
  • Iceland is a unique destination known for its natural activity. While it can be concerning, this is a regular occurrence, and there have been no reports of injuries.

If the situation changes, more updates will be provided, but visiting Iceland and witnessing this spectacle from a safe distance is currently an excellent opportunity.

More information on the eruption below.

Recent volcano eruption in Iceland on the Reykjanes Peninsula

VOLCANO TOURS IN REYKJANES PENINSULA

Iceland Eruption Live

Watch the live video from Grindavik here.

 

Grindavik - Mosaic

Summary of Recent Seismic Events in Iceland

February 9, 2024

  • The eruption has ended. 
  • The damage caused to the infrastructure is now being repaired.

February 8, 2024

  • The location of the current eruption is near the one where the eruption occurred on December 18th, 2023.
  • The lava from a 3-kilometer-long fissure moves to the west. Compared with the last eruption, its flow is lighter.
  • While there’s no dire threat to Grindavík, Blue Lagoon, or other important infrastructures, the Blue Lagoon was evacuated. It will remain closed until further notice.

January 14, 2024

  • The eruption took place near the town of Grindavik. The citizens had been evacuated previously, so no people were in danger.
  • Flights to and from the country are still operating, all services are available as per usual.

December 21, 2023

  • The recent eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula seems to be over.
  • Scientists flying over the area didn't see any activity at the eruption site, and ground reports confirm this.
  • However, experts urge to stay cautious for now, as there might still be unseen activity in underground lava channels.
  • The eruption area remains off-limits for hiking. It's important to respect these safety measures until further notice.
  • For the best view of the eruption, check out the live streams.

December 20, 2023

  • The volcanic eruption at Sundhnúks crater in Iceland is stable with little change overnight.
  • Eruption intensity has decreased since starting on Monday.
  • Grindavík is currently safe from lava, which is moving north.

December 19, 2023

  • Icelandic seismologists and the Met Office are continuously observing the eruption and monitoring it closely.
  • The intensity of the eruption is noted to be decreasing.
  • Authorities are prepared to respond to changes in the eruption's dynamics.
  • No further evacuations were reported, and the situation remains stable with no new significant developments.

December 18, 2023

  • Volcanic eruption began at 22:17 local time on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
  • The eruption is located about 4 km northeast of Grindavik, close to Sundhnúkagígar.
  • Before the eruption, a series of small earthquakes at Sundhnjúkagígar were recorded around 21:00.
  • Fissure is approximately 4 kilometers long, much longer than the 800 to 900 meters in the Litla-Hrút eruption of July 2023.
  • The fissure stretches from the east of Stóra-Skógfell to the east of Sundhnúk.
  • Lava flow is estimated at 100 to 200 cubic meters per second, exceeding earlier eruptions on the Peninsula.
  • National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police activated the emergency state.
  • No immediate threat to life as lava flows away from Grindavík.
  • Flights to and from Iceland are unaffected. International flight corridors remain open.
  • Access to the eruption site is currently closed for safety.

November 2023

  • Nearly 4,000 residents of Grindavík evacuated as a precaution due to rising volcanic activity.
  • A “seismic swarm” of over 1,000 earthquakes detected in 24 hours.
  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office and authorities actively monitoring and preparing for potential volcanic events.

October 2023

  • Increased seismic activity was observed near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
  • Hundreds of earthquakes are recorded daily, some with significant magnitudes.

Is it safe to go to Iceland now?

With the recent volcanic eruption, it is still safe for visitors to travel to Iceland as flights are operating normally. The eruption is well-contained and does not currently pose a threat to populated areas. The authorities are closely monitoring the situation, and we will provide updates as needed.

Is Iceland prepared?

Yes, Iceland is prepared for volcanic events. Before the eruption near Grindavík, authorities already evacuated about 4,000 residents in November 2023 as a safety measure. The Icelandic Meteorological Office closely monitors the ongoing eruption and collaborates with other agencies to ensure public safety.

What about the tours?

We want to assure our guests that our tours, except for those to the Blue Lagoon, continue to operate normally. The volcanic activity is localized and does not affect the regions we explore. We prioritize your safety and stay in constant contact with authorities to ensure that all tours are conducted in a secure and enjoyable way.

Understanding Seismic Activity in Iceland

With its breathtaking landscapes, Iceland is also a land where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common. This is because Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a meeting point for two major tectonic plates. Such a location naturally leads to frequent geological movements.

In Iceland, living with earthquakes and volcanoes is part of everyday life. The country is equipped with some of the most sophisticated systems in the world for monitoring earthquakes and predicting volcanic eruptions. This advanced technology helps ensure that both locals and visitors can carry on with their daily activities safely, even when there's increased seismic activity.

Most of the time, Iceland's earthquakes are small and pose no significant danger. However, the Icelandic Meteorological Office closely monitors all the geological happenings and provides quick updates and safety instructions when needed. This level of readiness and expertise in dealing with Iceland's unique geological conditions shows just how resilient and well-prepared the country is.

So, while experiencing some seismic activity is part of what makes Iceland unique, it's handled with great care. This ensures that life in this enchanting land goes on smoothly and safely.

For more detailed and up-to-date information on the seismic activity in Iceland, you can follow the latest updates at the Icelandic Meteorological Office website and stay informed about travel safety at Safe Travel Iceland.

ICELAND VOLCANO ACTIVITY 2024 - FAQ

Yes, it is currently safe to visit Iceland. The volcanic activity is localized, closely monitored, and poses no significant threat to most areas.

Authorities actively monitor the seismic activity and will issue safety advice as needed. Visitors need to stay informed through official channels and follow any guidelines provided.

Currently, the area near the eruption site is closed for safety reasons, until further notice. For updates on accessible areas and safety rules, please regularly check the Safe Travel page regularly.

Visiting the current eruption site is not possible at the moment because the hiking area is closed. However, for future visits to volcanic areas, we recommend guided tours for safety and informative experiences. Keep an eye on official updates for when such tours might become available again!

No, the eruptions at Fagradalsfjall and Meradalir have concluded. The current volcanic activity is centered northeast of Sýlingarfell, located near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, and involves a new eruption that began on February 8, 2024.

ERUPTION IN JULY 2023

In July of 2023, an eruption occurred at Litli-Hrútur in Iceland. This particular eruption was unique and distinguished from previous ones in the area. The public could access the eruption site, but it posed some issues, such as gas pollution, irresponsible visitor behavior, and intense seismic activity. Although the eruption did not pose any immediate danger to communities or flights, it did present some challenges.

  • No activity observed at Litli-Hrútur since August 5, tours offered to view the lava field
  • Public access to the eruption site was permitted on July 17
  • Seismic activity returned to normal by July 13, eruption differed from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption
  • The eruption was larger than the 2021 and 2022 eruptions in the same area
  • The eruption started on July 10 near Litli-Hrútur, 30 km from Reykjavik
  • Keflavik Airport operated normally, with no flight disruptions
  • The eruption, small in scale, did not emit ash into the atmosphere
  • High levels of volcanic gases were a concern, hiking to the volcano was advised against
  • The area experienced minor earthquakes in weeks prior, indicating potential eruptions
  • The eruption occurred in an uninhabited area, posing no immediate risk to communities or infrastructure

Source: RUV agency and mbl.is

About Eruption In 2022

  • The Meradalir volcano erupted again on August 3rd, 2022, almost a year after the last eruption had occurred.

  • The new eruption that opened in the Meradalir Valley is a fissure eruption, meaning that instead of the crater, the lava comes out of the fissure vent, usually without explosive activity.  

  • The initial size of this fissure is around 300 meters long, but it is expected to get bigger.

  • As for now, the eruption causes no threat to the surrounding infrastructure, lives, or air traffic. The flights in the Keflavik Internation Airport proceed as usual.

  • This year’s eruption is 5-10 times bigger in lava and gas volume than the previous year’s.

  • Meradalir volcanic eruption site can be accessed by a 17 km hike (both ways) and is considered challenging. 

  • It is advised to be mindful of gas and not to bring pets or children to the site.

  • Since August 21st, 2022, there has been no visible activity in Meradalir Volcano. No flowing lava can be seen at the moment, but the hiking path remains open. 

  • The eruption officially ended after 18 days, on August 21, 2022.

About eruption in 2021

Fagradalsfjall Volcano Eruption drone view

After over 6,000 years of dormancy, Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted on March 19, 2021, marking the first eruption in the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark in 800 years. It officially ended on September 18, 2021. Uniquely, this eruption was dubbed a "tourist eruption" due to its accessibility and relatively low risk.

  • The eruption began on March 3, 2021, in Geldingadalur, Fagradalsfjall. It was small in scale, with no immediate danger to settlements or structures.

  • More than 40,000 earthquakes shook the region in the three weeks leading up to the eruption.

  • Authorities prohibited access near the crater due to the risk of gas pollution. The area's danger was noted to be higher than expected.

  • On April 7, 2021, a new eruption fissure opened northeast of the original site in Geldingadalur, confirmed by the Meteorological Office.

  • On April 6, two new fissures opened approximately 700 meters northeast of the Geldingadalur craters, evacuating 400-500 people at the site.

  • The lava flowed into Meradalir, forming a new lava field. It was thin-flowing and moved quickly.

  • The area became more hazardous due to the new fissures and intensified eruption activity.

  • Many people visited the eruption site, leading to the establishment of a new hiking trail for safer access.

  • The region experienced thousands of earthquakes, with the largest being a 4.5 magnitude on March 4.

  • Although there was no impact on air travel, authorities raised preparedness levels and advised against approaching the eruption sites due to gas pollution risks.