You have likely heard all about this Icelandic volcano in recent months. Fagradalsfjall is a volcano that formed millions of years ago when lava erupted through a thick ice shield. In mid-March 2021, after several weeks of seismic activity, Fagradalsfjall erupted and continues to erupt today (June 2021). The last eruption was believed to have occurred thousands of years ago, which makes this a historical event.
Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula just outside of Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, the area surrounding Fagradalsfjall is uninhabited and Icelandic authorities do not consider it a threat to local infrastructure or residents. Travelers and locals alike are able to safely visit the volcano and marvel at its ongoing eruption. Expectedly, Mother Nature holds the cards in her hands. Several factors are at play – from the wind to the direction of the lava flow – that can affect your trip, so no two days are quite the same. This is truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t be able to repeat twice.
Although currently dormant, Katla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. While we’re currently seeing Fagradalsfjall’s fissure-style eruptions, Katla typically has explosive ones with a high amount of lava flow. A subglacial volcano, Katla looms beneath the Myrdalsjokull ice cap.
Outbursts are believed to have occurred in the last 50 years, but none have breached the ice layer. The last major eruption occurred over 100 years ago in 1918 – and with anticipated Katla eruptions occurring every 100 years or so, scientists and geological experts are closely monitoring any seismic activity. Recent activity has been detected in the surrounding area, with earthquakes as recent as June 22, 2021. This indicates that an eruption is possible in the distant future. Travelers can visit Katla while driving along Iceland’s Ring Road. Nearby is the remote seaside village of Vik, home to Iceland’s Black Sand Beach, which we will cover in the coming sections of this blog post.