Budahraun Lava Fields Travel Guide
Budahraun is a vast lava field in the Snaefellsnes peninsula with diverse vegetation of over 130 plant species and is home to the famous Budir black church.
Visit this West Iceland attraction through guided and private tours such as this 12-hour Snaefellsnes peninsula private tour. Travelers on a more extended vacation with more flexible timing can explore the area through this eight-day summer self-drive tour of Iceland with Snaefellsnes.
Unlike most lava fields in Iceland, Budahraun has rich flora covering it, making it a protected nature reserve since 1977.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Diego Delso. No edits made.
Where is Budahraun Lava Field Located?
The lava fields of Budahraun, Búðahraun in Icelandic, lie on the southern coast of the scenic Snaefellsnes peninsula, 110 miles (178 kilometers) from Reykjavik. Budahraun is just one of the many diverse natural attractions in Snaefellsnes, a reason why the peninsula is also known as "Iceland in miniature."
For tourists exploring the Snaefellsjokull National Park or Arnarstapi village, it's only a short drive to the Budahraun lava fields.
What to See at the Budahraun Lava Field?
Budahraun is an expanse of moss-covered lava fields extending east toward Faxafloi bay and west to the Hraunlandarif sandspit. Its eastern part, which covers around 2471 acres (1000 hectares) of land, is a protected conservation area because of its rich flora and geology.
The volcanic eruption of the Budaklettur volcano nearly 8,000 years ago created these lush fields. You can still see the Budaklettur crater standing at 289 feet (88 meters) in the middle of the area. On one side, you can also find the opening of the 1253-foot (382-meter) Budahellir cave.
Sightseeing, hiking, and photography are the most popular activities in the area. For example, Budir beach, which features rare golden sands, is an excellent place to capture panoramic views of the sea, lava formations, and sometimes even seals.
Meanwhile, there are hiking trails that run through and around Budahraun that adventure-seekers will find interesting. The old track called Kletsgatta will even lead you through the Budaklettur rock and the Budahellir cave.
Vegetation in the Budahraun Icelandic Lava Field
Apart from its stunning lava fields and the unique black church, the most recognizable feature of Budahraun is its lush vegetation.
Over 130 plant species are thriving in the vast lava fields of Budahraun, some of which are native to Iceland, like the protected Paris quadrifolia. The area has as many as 16 species of Icelandic burkina and sundews and 11 species of ferns, like male and beechfern.
Although parts of the conservation area are rocky and sandy, mosses and other flowering plants still grow here.
Attractions Near Budahraun and Budir Black Church
Budahraun and its historical Budir black church are only some of the breathtaking tourist spots in the Snaefellsnes peninsula. This region is full of scenic views, from towering volcanoes and mountains to beaches and waterfalls.
One of the most famous mountains in Iceland, Mount Kirkjufell, lies on the peninsula. Kirkjufell mountain, standing at 1519 feet (463 meters), is just the average height for Icelandic mountains, but its distinctive peak easily stands out from the rest.
If you want a better coastline view, a trip to Arnarstapi village is one of your best options. The fishing village has a fascinating cliff and arch called Gatklettur, which are great photography subjects.
For those who plan on exploring the peninsula for multiple days, Arnarstapi has a selection of accommodations, such as the Arnarstapi Cottages and Arnarstapi Hotel. While there, you may also enjoy the village's amenities, from gas stations to restaurants.