[Iceland Day 4] Inside the Volcano + Seljalandsfoss
Ever wondered how it’s like to be INSIDE a volcano?
There are many active and inactive volcanos in Iceland, which you can see afar but what are the chances that you get inside the volcano? Today, let me bring you to a thrilling exploration inside Trihnukagigur volcano’s great magma chamber!
We booked our ‘Inside the Volcano’ tour with Guide To Iceland. The tour includes free pick-up from accommodations in Reykjavik but as we were driving our campervan, we made our way to the meeting point at the Blue Mountains (Blafjoll) parking lot at the designated time.
The tour did not start on time as expected, as the tour guides were not back in time with the previous group due to the heavy rain. So do expect some waiting time due to unforeseen weather and circumstances. Putting that aside, the tour experience was overall a good one.
After putting on a bright yellow outfit (I assume for easy noticeable purpose), we were off for a scenic hike through the lava fields to reach the opening of the crater.
The walk takes approximately 45-50 minutes per way. Most of the way is a straight walk with hiking trail, and with slightly hilly and uneven ground.
I highly recommend wearing:
- Good shoes that provide ankle support -i.e. hiking shoes
- Warm, rainproof outdoor clothing - Weather is unpredictable in Iceland and it can be totally different in the highlands despite the sun is shining; and it's cold inside the Volcano.
Once we reached the basecamp, we were divided into a smaller party of 6-7 people (this is the maximum number that the lift can take).
We then took turns to hike an elevation of around 100m/350ft (this is where the challenging part is) and then descend 120 meters in an open elevator, to the bottom of the cave and entered an enormous magma chamber, that’s about 150 thousand cubic meters!
The descend took about 7 minutes to complete, slow and steady, along with amazing scenery.
We were accompanied by experienced tour guides at all times. When we reached the base of the volcano, we were awed by the remarkably, wonderful colours. The magma chamber is simply stunning and is considered to be one of the biggest and most remarkable natural phenomenon on Earth. Not many people have the possibility to have such close encounter with a volcano and there, we could get a really strong sense of geology, time and the incredible powers of the Earth.
According to the tour guide, this unique volcano, once filled with steaming hot lava, has been dormant for 4000 years and shows no sign of coming to life again anytime soon hence it is the only place on earth where it is safe to explore a magma chamber on the inside. We had about 40 minutes in the volcano and we took as many photos as we could.
After we were done and while the rest were waiting for their turns, we had the opportunity to enjoy their traditional Icelandic meat soup and hot tea/coffee/chocolate. The lamb soup was very delicious and I couldn’t resist having my bowl refilled.
After the visit, we walked back over the lava field to the meeting point where we parked our camper van (not forgetting to take more photos along the way!).
The tour took us nearly a full day (approximately 5-6 hours in total) but it was well worth the time. Being able to go inside of the Volcano, not only in Iceland but the entire is an out-of-the-world experience!
We then drove to visit the famous Seljalandsfoss – the waterfall where you can walk behind it, and stayed at the campsite, getting ready for our Landmannalaugar tour the next day.
P/S: I would not recommend staying at Seljalandsfoss campsite as it is not the best one we have come across. There was no hot tap water supply and we had to freeze our teeth and face every morning. The shower condition was not the best as well. I would suggest you to opt for better options.
:: Stay tuned for Day 5 : Landmannalaugar ::
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Till next time~
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