How to get there
The hike up to the volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir starts from road 427, approximately ten minutes drive east of Grindavík. It’s forbidden to park along the road but there are designated parking areas about one kilometer east of the start of the hike. Hikers then have to walk from the parking area to the hiking trails so added time for the hike is around 40 minutes.
Another option is to pay a small fee for a bus driving from Grindavík to the hiking trails every half hour. The first bus leaves at 8 AM and the last one leaves the hiking trails at 10 PM.
Click here to see a map of bus stops in Grindavík. The bus stops are marked with orange and parking lots in Grindavík are marked with blue.
The hike up to the volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir is quite challenging, leading through lava fields, gravel and uneven ground. Some parts of the hike are steep and the elevation gain is approximately 200 meters.
There are two marked trails that lead up to the volcanic eruption. The lower trail is shorter, about four kilometers each way. That trail has one extremely steep slop with a rope to hold onto. For somewhat experienced hikers the return trip takes around two to three hours. For people that are not used to hiking the return trip should take somewhere between four and six hours.
The upper trail is a little more than four kilometers with one very steep slope with a rope to hold onto. For somewhat experienced hikers the return trip takes around two to three hours. For people that are not used to hiking the return trip should take somewhere between four and six hours.
Beware that these trails can be closed or changed without much notice. Stay updated on hiking trails on Safe Travel’s website.
Frequently asked questions
It’s important to be well informed before hiking to the eruption site at Geldingadalir on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Here are some frequently asked questions that we venture to answer.
This list is by no means exhaustive and will be updated when needed.
In theory, yes. However, it’s a very challenging hike and the weather can change rapidly. Be prepared for the hike to take longer than you planned and make sure to bring a lot of water and snacks.
It is strongly advised not to take dogs or other pets to the eruption area. Fluorine and gas pollution in the area is not safe for them.
No, you may certainly not. All hikers must be off site at 10 PM every night.
No, off road driving is illegal. This applies to all motor vehicles, such as ATVs, six-wheelers, motorcycles.
Yes, you can. But that can be forbidden with short notice if scientists need to fly over the area. Drone operators are encouraged to monitor notices published on the website of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management – almannavarnir.is.
No, of course not! What sort of a question is that? Please be mindful and respect nature.
No – finish your quarantine and then you can visit the site.
Seriously?! No, you cannot because it can be a few hundred degrees hot. Be careful!
Absolutely not! You need special gas masks to protect you from the pollution.
Gas pollution is not visible and cannot be detected by scent. Gas can disperse from the smoke cloud and pollution can increase rapidly in an area. Gas pollution is strongest close to the area and can lurk in valleys and dells where it is particularly dangerous. People must always turn downwind. This means that people must have the wind in their back when walking towards the eruption site and go against the wind when walking back. Gas pollution is not visible and does not necessarily follow the visible gas cloud in the area. If you experience the slightest symptoms of health problems, you should immediately leave the area with the wind against you. Gas pollution can be odorless and it is, therefore, difficult avoid it.
The telephone connection in the area is bad and it can therefore be difficult to call for help if needed. Carry a positioning device and leave your travel plan with safetravel.is.
ICE-SAR, the Icelandic search and rescue team, or the Icelandic police. If you can’t find a member of ICE-SAR or the police on site try contacting 112, the emergency phone line.