Combination Flying Tour | Lakagigar Craters, Grimsvotn, and Glaciers
Join this scenic flight over Lakagígar crater chain to witness their spectacular beauty! The Lakagígar system is centered on the volcano Grímsvötn and including the volcano Þórðarhyrna. It is one of only seven subglacial volcanoes under Vatnajokull glacier.
Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers are nearby, along with the beautiful river Tungnaá, flowing from the western edge of Vatnajökull and completing the stunning landscape.
Lakagígar's eruption in 1783 had the largest discharge caused by volcanic activity ever to have been witnessed, taking place over a period of months and changing the scenery of Iceland forever. The craters are especially beautiful when viewed from above, with moss creeping over the black volcanic rock.
From Lakagígar, you'll fly over the colourful valleys of Landmannalaugar in the Icelandic highlands, formed in an eruption around the year 1477. Then, you'll return to Skaftafell Nature Reserve, one of the most beautiful forested areas of Iceland, tucked beside a glacier.
Skaftafell is part of Vatnajökull National Park, with many glacial tongues and the glacier-topped peak of Hvannadalshnjúkur looming over the land. The trees here are fed by the glacier streams, which have restored the land to green lushness. It used to be a farm which was abandoned when it became barren due to erosion and now it is one of the most favourite spots in Iceland to enjoy the scenery.
This tour will also take you over to the large glacier lake/volcano Grímsvötn, where you can see the contrasts between the glacier and the hot springs. Grímsvötn is a basaltic volcano which has the highest eruption frequency of all the volcanoes in Iceland. The most recent eruptions in Grímsvötn were in 2011, 2004, 1998 and 1996. This tour is a real combination of ice and fire!
Don't miss this flight over the geothermal landscape, from mountains to glaciers. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Duration: 1,3 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
Lakagigar, in the south of the Icelandic highlands, is a row of craters, formed during one of the largest eruptions in recorded history, known as the fires of the River Skafta, or ‘Skaftareldar’ in Icelandic. The area has some of the most stunningly attractive landscapes in Iceland.
The majority of the craters are today covered in racomitrium moss.The total area of the lava field is 565 km&³2; and the estimated volume of volcanic material is over 12 km&³2;. The Skaftareldar eruption that formed the craters in the 18th century led to crop failure, disease and disasters in Iceland. Some believe that the arirbourne haze from the eruption, blocking the sunlight in the northern hemisphere, may have contributed to the French revolution in 1789.
Landmannalaugar ("The people's pools") is a vast area of stunning and unique beauty, the true heart of Iceland's southern Highlands.
Landmannalaugar is a truly rare area, both geologically and aesthetically. The area can be found nestled beside the raven-black Laugahraun lava field, a sweeping expanse of dried magma which originally formed in 1477. Landmannalaugar itself is made up of windswept rhyolite mountains, a rock type that creates a full spectrum of dazzling colour on the mountainside. Shades of red, pink, green and golden yellow all change their tone, keeping in movement with the sun rays and creating an area of wilderness that resembles no place else on earth.
Landmannalaugar is primarily known for its natural geothermal baths, hence its name "The People's Pools". For centuries, Landmannalaugar has served as an area of shelter and respite for weary travellers who use these soothing springs as a means to relax after tiring excursions. Today, visitors to the highlands should always bring a swimsuit and towel, just in case one of these naturally occurring hot pools should crop up along the hiking trail.
The area marks the northern end of the Laugavegur, one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails. It is also home to many other notable trails, however, including the path onto the mighty Mt. Brennisteinsalda ("Sulphur Wave"). Visitors can also traverse the trail up the Bláhnjúkur ("Blue Peak") volcano, whose summit allows for a sweeping view of up to five glaciers on clear days.
Multiple operators run daily tours to Landmannalaugar from mid-June to mid-September, during which time The Icelandic Touring Association operates a small shop, three camp sites and a mountain hut equipped with sleeping bags and accommodation for up to 80 visitors.
- Find Highland Tours here
Skaftafell is a nature preserve in Oraefasveit. It used to be a national park of its own but joined the larger Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.
Skaftafell is notable for its rich flora, growing between sands and glaciers, and overall for its amazing and contrasting scenery. You can take short and easy trails to the waterfalls Svartifoss and Hundafoss, as well as Skaftafell glacier, with the mountain Kristinartindar and Morsardalur valley further off.
Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those seeking to climb Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.
Grimsvotn refers to subglacial lakes and a volcano of the same name that lie in the western part of Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier, in the Icelandic highlands. This volcano is the most active in Iceland.
The volcano is of the the basaltic type and is mostly covered by ice. It measures around 900 m in diameter and up to 1000 m above sea level.
The volcano in the same fissure system as Lakagigar. Lakagigar's' eruption of 1783-4 was one of the greatest in historic times. Grimsvotn erupted at the same time and this eruption lasted until 1785.
Most of Grimsvotn's eruptions have been subglacial and the area has produced great glacier bursts, mostly from the glacier rivers Skeidara, Sula and Nupsvotn, with enormous amounts of water flooding south to the sea.
The name Grimsvotn alludes to the subglacial lakes, but is used for the whole volcano. A part of Grimsvotn volcano that protrudes through the glacier is known as Grimsfjall mountain. There the Icelandic Glacier Research Society has set up a cabin, but access to the cabin is severely limited. A prior agreement with the association has to be reached if one wishes to stay there, and in any case one should never travel the glacier unless veing highly experienced with it or accompanied by seasoned guides.
Grimsvotn has had several eruptions in the recent past. Week-long eruptions occurred in 1998 and 2004, the latter disrupting air traffic for a short term though no glacier floods occured at either eruption.
Some tremor was recorded in 2010 and 2011 saw an eruption that was Grimsvotn's strongest in a 100 years and lasted from May 21st to May 28th. While there were no glacier floods this time, the ash rose as high as 20 km and disrupted air travel widely in Europe, resulting in 900 flights being cancelled.
Possible future activity
It is believed that the recent eruptions may mark the beginning of an active period where an eruption may be expected every 2-7 years. Activity in the Bardarbunga stratovolcano has also been associated with an increased activity in Grimsvotn.
75 minute flight