Thrihnukagigur Volcano Tour | Go Inside a Magma Chamber

Based on 55 traveller reviews

Descend into the vast and vibrant magma chamber of a dormant volcano. Iceland is the only place in the world where a tour like this exists, so do not miss your opportunity to get involved. 

This trip will begin when you are picked up from Reykjavík and taken to the Blue Mountains Country Park, Bláfjöll, which sits just on the outskirts of the capital area. From here, it is just a 3.2 kilometre (two mile) hike to Þríhnúkagígur volcano, where this trip will be conducted.

Once you reach the crater, you will find an opening and an elevator crane, like to those used to clean the windows of skyscrapers. After being equipped with a helmet and harness, you will enter the lift's basket and begin your descent. Nowhere else in the world can you enter a magma chamber this way, which is part of what makes this tour so unique and worthwhile. This lift journey toward the centre of the earth covers 198 metres and takes about six minutes.

During your slow descent, the beauty of the magma chamber will become instantly apparent. Intense heat and pressure from Þríhnúkagígur’s most recent eruption, over four thousand years ago, gave the rocks an incredible colouration and texture. Expect to see smooth walls and bizarre formations in yellows, blues, reds, violets and oranges, so vibrant that it’s difficult to believe that they could be natural.

It is not just the beauty of the space that will awe you; it is also the sheer scale of it. To give some perspective on the size of the chamber, enormous monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and Reykjavík’s iconic Hallgrímskirkja church could easily fit inside it. The ground within the chamber is large enough to fit three basketball fields. 

Once your descent down the chamber is complete, your guide will let you out of the elevator, and you can explore for half an hour on the ground of the volcano. You will want your camera on hand, as everything, from the blades of light falling from overhead to the most minute details of the lava rock, is worthy of a photograph. 

Remember as you explore that it is only by a strange, unexpected geological process that this tour is even possible; when a volcano becomes dormant, the magma chamber usually cools and solidifies, yet for some reason in Þríhnúkagígur, it drained away, leaving behind this unimaginably beautiful space.

After a decent exploration, you will return to the elevator for a gentle ascent, back into the bright, open world. Once you reach the surface, you will have a meal of Icelandic meat soup waiting for you, along with hot beverages and snacks, which you can enjoy before hiking back to the van.

This experience is truly once-in-a-lifetime; descend into a dormant volcano to explore its stunning magma chamber! Do not let this opportunity pass you by. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Oct.
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Activities: Caving
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 12 years old
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: South Iceland, Reykjavík, Bláfjöll, Þríhnjúkagígur
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : 07:30, 08:30, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30

Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.
Included:
  • Pick-up from and return to your accommodation in Reykjavik

  • All safety gear (helmets, harness, etc.)

  • Small refreshments (soup, coffee/tea and perhaps some sweets)

  • Experienced guides


What to bring:
  • Sturdy shoes for walking/hiking

  • Water

  • Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather (The temperature inside the crater is about 5-6°C / 42-43°F)

  • Camera


Good to know:

The weather changes quickly in Iceland, so don't be caught unawares. It is a good idea to bring a sweater or dress in layers which you can remove if you get too warm. Jeans are not recommended for this activity, as moisture quickly spreads through denim fabric and takes a long time to dry, leaving the wearer wet and cold.

Be aware that this tour begins with a hike that is nearly an hour-long, largely uphill, and over rough terrain, thus the trip is not recommended to those with problems in their ankles, knees, back, or other similar ailments.



Map


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Reviews

It was very cold, rainy and windy the day we went so it was disappointing that we couldn't stop in the middle of the hike to take pictures but othe rise it was an absolutely amazing experience! The staff were great and the soup was delicious! And the view from inside the Volcano was one of a kind!

Incredible experience. The hike was nice but descending into the volcano was a once in a lifetime experience.

This was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever done. I felt I was in the centre of the Earth. The walk was easy, the ride into the volcano smooth and not as bad as I thought it was going to be as I am afraid of heights. When we reached the bottom it took my breath away. I just sat and took it all in. The guide answered my questions and even sang us a folk song which was just beautiful. A young man sang a Jewish Hymn. My world was perfect for the time I was down in the colourful palette of nature.

Absolutely an unique experience. The tour is marked as the only place in the world that you could go down into the volcano. So I think it's worth to see once. It is beautiful, but I don't think it's as gorgeous or fancy as described.

This was my second time in Iceland and having seen the ice cave in winter I thought it would be hard to top that... until I found this trip. The hike was easy but the area was beautiful. When we had reached the volcano we were a bit stressed going down the elevator but were assured about the safety beforehand so the whole experience was much better. The guides and people we met were great and we can highly recommend this tour. It´is the only place in the world where you can enter a volcano so although the tour was pricy it felt really really special. It was also extremely beautiful, so worth every penny. Can highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Iceland.

A wonderful and eye-opening trip!! Everyone should go

This tour is amazing! Starting with a good hike to the base camp, then you'll walk up to where the elevator into the volcano is, and take the elevator down. Taking the elevator down is surreal and then you get a good 30 mins down there walking around by yourself! When it's over, we enjoyed a very good lamp soup at the base camp before the hike back. Finally, Thora was a great tour guide! Make sure to dress warmly as it is cold inside the volcano. The hike will warm you up, so dress in layers.

Absolutely incredible experience! Apart from stunning views inside the vulcano, the trip itself was great - very nice and involved staff, great views during the walk to the vulcano, nice souvenir for each of the participaints (bandana), tee and coffee as much as you want and traditional Icelandic meat soup to warm you up after the trip. I recommend it to everyone!

This was easily our favorite thing we did on our trip to Iceland. The 3 km hike to the mountain itself was a little rough with all of the soft snow on the ground (for those who aren't used to the various moods of snow: very wet melting snow is the hardest to walk through), so if you have a chance to this either earlier than mid-May (when I assume the snow isn't as soft and slushy) or after the snow is gone, you'll find that hike a little easier to do. Once at the mountain, there is water, coffee, and tea waiting for you, as well as a quick break to catch your breath. The inside of the volcano is spectacular, though I would warn you that moving about the magma chamber can be interesting due to the massive amounts of rocks on the ground. Safe paths are clearly marked, but there are no hand rails or stairs to help. Once back at the base camp, there's an exceptional cup of soup waiting for you (with a vegetarian option) to warm you back up before the hike back. Absolutely once in a lifetime, and the care and courtesy of the guides involved really make you feel welcomed. Worth the expense!

UNIQUE, interesting....I would do it again ! The greatness of the landscape makes you realize how small you are ! I can still see everything in front of my eyes...just like in a movie. If there is something in Iceland nobody should miss...it's this...it's the only place in the whole WORLD where you can see a volcano from inside, without burning your fingers and feet..;) One other important thing we loved: the groups are small, you don't have the impression you're just a number...keep it this way, if you can.... A BIG THANK YOU to all guides and colleagues...UNIQUE experience ! I didn't regret it any moment ! Once again, a big THANK YOU to everybody !

I absolutely LOVED this trip! The descending into the volcano, followed by the colorful cave was truly a unique experience. During the hike up to the caverns, the guide had a lot of great stories to tell about the mountains near there and things that have happened inside the cave. This is a must-see if you enjoy colorful, otherworldly nature.

Amazing trip all the way. Started with a walk in the lava field where the guide told us all about the area we were walking in. then we go to the Base camp and got all the safety gear and in the elevator. The volcano it self is just the most amazing place ever. Amazing colors everywhere and we got good time to walk around and the guides answered all our questions. In the end of the tour, we got this AMAZING Icelandic meat soup before the walk home. 10 stars out of 5 possible for this amazing trip.

I was engaged inside this volcano and it was the most amazing place I have been to. I had no clue that my husband was going to propose there because I was too overwhelmed with all the colours and textures inside the volcano. And when he started to propose, even the staff inside the volcano staged it for him and provided us with champagne. Such a romantic mind blowing experience! I definitely recommend this tour!

This trip was incredible. Going down this volcano was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. I have recommended my friends and family to visit Iceland just for this tour. Although it´s a bit pricy it is still worth every penny. My recommendation is this: do not miss this tour!

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. To experience the awesome primordial power of a magma chamber from deep within is an exercise in stupefaction that should be on everyone's bucket list.

This tour is entirely surreal, and one of the most vivid memories I have from Iceland. The whole experience from the trip in, to the main event itself was great. The tour was run by friendly knowledgeable guides, pointing things out all along the way. I would highly recommend this tour, despite it's price, it's something everyone should experience at least once.

There is not space here to describe this experience. The guides were just fantastic and a real part of this trip. We had wind, rain and cold on our climb to the volcano but the photos we took because of that were just fabulous. I won't spoil the fun for those wanting to go on this excursion but I will say one thing: Don't let the price scare you off. It's worth every penny.

I booked this tour last summer and it was the reason why I went back to Iceland. I wish I could have seen it again but it only operates in the summer. If you are here then you should not think twice if this is worth your money. It definitely is!

This was wild. One the strangest and most memorable times I have had in my life. I love Iceland, it´s such a magical place I want to live there. Go on this tour and you will understand what I mean.

This can only be described with one word: incredible. Going down the volcano was one of the best experiences I have had in my life. It made my trip to Iceland unforgettable. If you can only do one tour this should be the one.

Great tour and an amazing experience!

Very good!

Incredible experience. I thought that I had seen it all but this was just amazing. I can´t believe I waited so long to see it. Next summer, I will definitely go again!

Tour guides and staff at the base camp were super friendly. The view inside the volcano was stunning. The lamb soup when we got back was warm and tasty. I shall cherish those memories. However, truth be told, the trip didn't start so well. I waited outside my guesthouse in the rain for an hour but the tour bus never showed up. Called +354 5197999 and the man who answered the phone said I was barely understandable (which is weird given that I speak fluent English) and hung up the phone, never to pick it up again. Then I contacted Gray Line who provided the transport and was told that the bus had already left. I had to take a taxi all the way from the city center to the volcano, which costed a fortune.

If you are considering this tour, please read my comment!!!!!! You should know about this. What I feel really angry about this tour is that the pickup by Gray-line was late for more than 30 minutes, leaving the two of us waiting outside in the cold. AND when the driver finally came, she did NOT even say SORRY. The attitude of the employee at the bus terminal was also REALLY BAD. It seemed to me that they feel you SHOULD wait for them, not bearing in mind that we are the customers paying for the service. We did NOT pay 250 pounds each for this kind of service and attitude. What is worse, me and my friend did not have time for breakfast because we were standing outside another guesthouse for the pickup. When we finally arrived at the bus terminal, we were trying to buy some bread really quickly. However, the driver came and blamed US for being late and making the trip late. He compulsed us to go to the car, without any breakfast. This is not the only time of the pick up service to be late. I had to wait for more than 10 minutes for my last tour with Grayline. I have to say that Gray-line as an employer failed to deliver a quality service to the clients. AND I will definitely tell my friends from CHINA about how bad my experience with this company was both through social media and words of mouth. If Grayline does not pay attention to this issue, I am sure that there will be more angry customers like me. The serious consequences of that is obvious. On the good side, the volcano was very nice and beautiful. The girls working at house below the volcano were kind and helpful. I must say the lamb soup does an excellent job in both warming a cold body up and keeping body warm. Volcano trip would be much better if another travel agency would provide the pickup.

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