Information about Kerið

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in Grímsnes, South Iceland.Photo from Minibus tour of the Golden Circle | The Classic Sites and Kerid Crater.

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in Grímsnes, South Iceland. It is close to the three major sites that comprise Iceland’s world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route, and makes for the perfect detour.

Kerið and the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is Iceland’s most popular tourist route, which it is possible to explore on many tours in many different ways, or to traverse yourself. Its three main highlights are Gullfoss, or the ‘Golden Waterfall’; the Haukadalur Geothermal Valley, with its many springs and geysers; and Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland and the birthplace of the country’s parliament.

Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.

Many operators define their tours from the others with extra stops, and Kerið crater is the most popular of these. It is approximately 40 minutes drive from Þingvellir and Haukadalur in different directions, allowing visitors to return to Reykjavík

If travelling to Kerið crater alone, please be aware that there is a small charge to walk upon it, of 400 ISK (about two Euros, or three US dollars). This is only to help the landowners preserve and protect the crater; after all, it is on privately owned land.

Other sites you may want to detour on when travelling the Golden Circle are the Sólheimar ecovillage, the Fontana Spa in Laugarvatn, the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir, and the Friðheimar tomato and horse farm.

Geology of Kerið

Kerið is approximately three thousand years old, making it approximately half the age of most volcanic calderas found in Iceland. This is the major reason as to why Kerið’s slopes are red in colour, rather than a volcanic black; the iron deposits are, geologically speaking, fresh.

This vivid redness is part of the appeal of visiting this crater. The crimson rocks contrast dramatically with their surroundings, particularly the intense azure colour of the waters within the crater lake, and the verdant bursts of vegetation.

Kerið is approximately 55 metres (180 feet) deep, 170 metres (558 feet) wide and 270 meters (886 feet) in circumference. It is possible to take a path right to the crater’s edge, to fully encircle it, and to descend down to the pristine waters of the crater lake.

Many crater lakes can found in this area, a region known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone. The area surrounding it is of barren, stark lava fields, further illustrating the volcanism of the region.

Scientists believe that Kerið was once a cone-shaped volcano. Upon eruption, it is widely believed that the volcano depleted its magma reserve, causing the foundation to fall in upon itself and result in the formation it has today. Of course, this was two thousand years before settlement, so no one is quite certain.

At some point in the centuries following the collapse, Kerið crater filled with water. The resulting lake is between seven and fourteen metres deep, depending on the time of year and the amount of rainfall.

The reason it is so vividly coloured is because of the minerals from the rocks, seeping into and dyeing the water the aquamarine colour for which it is renowned.

 

Services near Kerið

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Kerið

Ingólfsfjall

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Bromr. Ingólfsfjall is a 551 metre (1807 feet) tall tuff mountain, named after the country&rsquo...

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Sólheimar Ecovillage

Sólheimar (“Home of the Sun”) is an eco-village in southwest Iceland, in the municipality of Grímsnes og Grafningshreppur,...

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Lyngdalsheiði

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Christian Bickel. Lyngdalsheiði is a heathland in South Iceland, known for its numerous caves. ...

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Selfoss (town)

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Golden Circle

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Hengladalsá

Hengladalsa is a river in Southwest Iceland.  The river has its source by the Hengill area, from valleys Innstidalur, Middalur and Fremstidalur,...

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Hveragerði

Hveragerði is a town and municipality in the southwest of Iceland. It is often nicknamed ‘the Earthquake Town’ or ‘the Hot Spr...

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Reykjadalur

Reykjadalur, the Valley of Steam, is a beautiful geothermal region close to the southern town Hveragerði. It is a popular place for hiking and h...

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Urriðafoss

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Árni Hjaltarson Urriðafoss is a waterfall in the Þjórsá river in so...

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Nesjavellir

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Nesjavallavirkjun

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Gretar Ivarsson. Nesjavallavirkjun is a geothermal power station in southwestern Iceland, operated by O...

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Skálholt

Skalholt is a historical site and an ancient bishop seat in South Iceland. History From 1056 to 1785 Skalholt was one of two episcopal seats in Icel...

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Brúará

Brúará is a spring-fed river in west Iceland which runs by the boundaries of municipalities Biskupstungur and Grímsnes.  ...

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Laugarvatn

Photo from Golden Circle with Northern Lights, Fontana Spa & Traditional Cuisine Laugarvatn is a hamlet of around 200 people, by the lake of...

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Þingvallavatn

Þingvallavatn (anglicised as Thingvallavatn, “Lake of the Parliament”) is a rift valley lake located roughly forty minutes drive f...

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Hellisheiði

  Hellisheidi is a lava plateau east of Reykavik, approximately 380 m high. Iceland's main highway, Route 1 passes through it, leading east....

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Arnarhóll

Arnarhóll is a hill, situated on the eastern end of Reykjavík’s Old Harbour, and a district in the capital’s downtown area...

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Hrafnagjá

  Hrafnagja is a 7.7 meter long canyon, 68 meters at its widest, located at Thingvellir National Park in South Iceland. The Hrafnagja canyon ma...

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Eyrarbakki

Eyrarbakki is a fishing village in south Iceland with a population of around 570 people, located at the end of the great Þjórsá&nb...

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Stokkseyri

Stokkseyri is a village of about 445 people in South Iceland, founded on the great Thjorsarhraun lava. In former times Stokkseyri was an important fis...

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