Eldborg crater stands like a guard on the boundaries of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Mýrar in West-Iceland. Eldborg crater, which literally means Fortress of Fire, is the most perfectly shaped crater I have ever seen here in Iceland.
This scoria crater, which has erupted twice, is believed to have been at its most active some 5,000-8,000 years ago.
It is easy to hike to the crater and have a peak inside it. The hike to Eldborg back and forth is ca 6 km and it takes ca 1.5 hours to hike both ways, depending on how fast you walk. We walked very briskly so better prepare for a 2-hour hike all in all of leisurely walk, so you can enjoy the surroundings.
The hike is easy in itself, but one has to look down at the trail the whole time as it leads through a lava field with rocks on the trail.
When we got up to the roots of the volcano it started being very rocky, so the chains fitted to help people climb up the steps to the top of the crater proved very useful indeed. The height of the crater is 100 meters above sea level and the ascent is 60 meters.
It is sometimes possible to see ravens which nest inside the crater, but I have so far not spotted them on my hikes to Eldborg crater, hopefully one day I will see them.
Once you reach the top of the crater you will be able to see other craters in the vicinity, not as beautifully formed as Eldborg though. Around Eldborg there are ca 5 craters in a very short eruptive fissure, Eldborg crater being the biggest one.
What makes Eldborg crater so distinct is that it is very symmetric. It has got a circular shape with a narrow lava edge all around the crater, which is characteristic of scoria craters. The crater is 50 meters deep, 250 meters long and 180 meters wide.
I had been ill with the flu for 5 weeks when I visited Eldborg with Nicetravel so I was in no shape for a hike up to the top of a crater. But up I went although I was the last one of the group to reach the top and felt faint half way up. This is where the chains came in handy. When I had finally crawled to the top it was almost time for the others to descend! As you can see from my photo below then I am quite raggedy looking ;)
When I descended a couple of minutes later I noticed the beautiful colours of the lava. I seek out colourful and oddly shaped lava on my travels in Iceland, be it above ground or inside the lava caves, and I was thrilled to see all these different colours in the lava at Eldborg.
Lava can be so extraordinary colourful.
Eldborg crater was declared as protected back in 1974. Let's step lightly and leave nothing behind but our footsteps - and of course take nothing but photos :)
So many volcanoes in Iceland look nothing like a volcano, or should I say the traditional shape of what many of us think a volcano should look like. When we are driving foreign visitors around they without fail ask us to point out a volcano to them. The only thing we can say to them is to have a look around as there are volcanoes all around us in Iceland, but only a few of them are shaped so distinctively as Eldborg crater.
You can see the distance to Eldborg crater in my photos below. What is so lovely about the hike to Eldborg is that you can see this beautiful volcanic vent drawing closer and closer during your hike.
A music hall in Harpa concert hall has been named after the crater and one of Icelandair's planes is named Eldborg.
To get to Eldborg crater from road 54 turn onto the road for Snorrastaðir farm and drive for a short distance. Leave the car at the parking lot of Snorrastaðir farm and hike from there.
To reach this area you can either rent a car in Reykjavík or join one of the many guided tours of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. I know that a hike to Eldborg is sometimes included in the Snæfellsnes National Park day tour by Nicetravel and it should also be included in Your Spiritual Trip to Snæfellsness Peninsula.
You can also follow my Snæfellsnes peninsula guide, which is a guide in 5 parts in chronological order of the entire peninsula.
Here you can see the exact location of Eldborg crater on the map.
And if you want to read up on the entire guided tour of the Snæfellsnes peninsula with Nicetravel then I have written a travel-blog on it called the Mysterious Snæfellsnes National Park day tour.
Snæfellsnes is also included in these self-drive tours: