Information about Katla Geopark

The landscape of Skaftafell within the Katla Global Geopark in South Iceland.

Katla Global Geopark is a project of UNESCO and the European Geoparks Network, with the aims of promoting sustainable development and protecting the natural environment within a designated space surrounding one of Iceland’s most active and known volcanoes, Katla. 

Katla Global Geopark is the first Geopark designated in Iceland. Its borders lie between the rivers Eystri Rangá and Núpsvötn in the south, and stratovolcano Bárðabunga underneath Vatnajökull glacier in the north. Within the park, you’ll find volcanoes, glaciers, black beaches, lava fields and waterfalls. With a strong emphasis on sustainable nature tourism, the park is set to introduce visitors to environmental values and local culture.



Geology and Nature

The nature of Katla Global Geopark is singular on a worldwide scale, due to glacial outbursts having created vast black sand plains, while the lowlands are cut through by glacier rivers. Underneath ice-capped mountains rest powerful volcanoes, including the world's largest volcanic canyon Eldgjá and the crater row Lakagígar, both of which have created the lava fields and pseudocraters that dot the area. 

Extraordinarily varied rock formations are also found everywhere within the park, as well as numerous waterfalls that have their sources in the park’s glaciers and glacial rivers. These include the famous South Coast falls of Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi. Besides from Katla volcano, Iceland’s most notorious volcanic ice cap Eyjafjallajökull―that last erupted in 2010 with massive effects on European air traffic―is also within the park.

History and Culture

The Geopark is characterised by a long history of active volcanism and glacial outbursts. Since the Settlement of Iceland, this interplay has greatly affected human life and cultivation in the area. The park includes many old buildings, historic farmsteads and ancient ruins, such as the turf chapel at Núpstaður and fishing village Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Services near Katla Geopark

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Katla Geopark

Eldhraun

The vast Eldhraun lava field (“Fire Lava“), in the south of the Icelandic highlands was created in one of the greatest eruptions in reco...

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Fjaðrárgljúfur

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a beautiful, dramatic canyon in South Iceland, close to the historic town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Fjað...

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Systrastapi

Systrastapi (“Sister’s Rock”) is a historical rock hill and natural attraction west of the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, in ...

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Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Kirkjubæjarklaustur (referred to locally as ‘Klaustur’) is a village of...

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Fagrifoss

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Nave111. Fagrifoss (the Beautiful Waterfall) is located in southeast Iceland near the Lakagígar ...

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Myrdalssandur

Mýrdalssandur is an outwash plain located between the rivers of Kúðafljót, in the east, and Múlakvísl, in the w...

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Þakgil

Photo from: Þakgil and Remundargil Canyons - Beautiful Hidden Gems in South-Iceland. Þakgil ('Roof Canyon') is a hidden cany...

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South Iceland

South Iceland is the most popular part of the country amongst travellers and contains some of Iceland’s most beautiful natural attractions. A...

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Katla

Katla is one of Iceland’s most explosive volcanoes, located underneath Iceland’s fourth largest ice cap, Mýrdalsjökull. Sinc...

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Hjörleifshöfði

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by, Axel Krisinsson.  Hjörleifshöfði is a 221 m (725 ft) high mountain in South Iceland...

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Eldgjá

  Eldgja is the largest volcanic canyon in the world, 270m deep, 600m at its widest and around 40 km long.  The canyon lies paralel with t...

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Foss a Síðu

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Debivort. Foss á Síðu is a historic farm in southeast Iceland, renowned for its folkl...

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Strútslaug

Strutslaug (also known as Holmsarbotnalaug) is a geothermal pool in the South Highlands, north of Myrdalsjokull glacier and close to Torfajokull glaci...

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Katla volcano

Katla (meaning “Kettle”) is one of Iceland's largest and most active volcanos. Situated in south Iceland, Katla is partially buried un...

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Mýrdalsjökull

Mýrdalsjökull is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country's fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 600 ...

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Bláfjöll

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Reykholt The Blue Mountains, otherwise known as Bláfjöll, are a beautiful mountain range in the sou...

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Uxatindar

Uxatindar is a mountain peak in the southern highlands which stands 642 metres above sea level. It is green with moss throughout summer and is ...

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South Coast

The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle. This incredible shoreline stretches f...

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Reynisfjall

  Reynisfjall is a tuff mountain on the South Coast of Iceland. It is five kilometres (three miles) long, 800 metres (2625 ft) wide and 340 metr...

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Vík í Mýrdal

Vík í Mýdral, or just Vík, is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 kilometres (110 miles) fro...

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Tours near Katla Geopark

Ice caving by Katla Volcano Day Tour from Reykjavik on Minibus

Book this tour today to enjoy the well-loved South Coast with a twist of adventure as your......

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