Plans to Move Skógafoss Parking Lot Further Away, Start Charging

skógafoss waterfall in south iceland

Construction of the new parking lot near Skógafoss, a popular waterfall on Iceland’s South Coast, is currently underway and scheduled to be completed by September 15. Vísir reports.

The development of the new parking will increase the distance to the waterfall, and some within the tourism industry have critiqued the decision, as it may make the waterfall less accessible to elderly and disabled people. Anton Kári Halldórsson, mayor of the municipality, has defended the development and stated that the new path will only be some 500 metres.

Paid parking to begin in September

In conversation with Vísir, Anton confirmed that the new parking fee would begin in September. He also stated that it would be comparable to other tourist destinations in region, citing Þingvellir and Seljalandsfoss.

“You pay, and there’s no time limit at the site,” he said. “You can choose to pay through an app, online, or at the machine. There will be a camera system there.” The new parking lot is reported to be about twice as large as the former.

Read more: Privately Owned Tourist Sites

As stated, the decision has proved unpopular among some in the tourism industry.

Icelandic authorities have stated in the past that tourism needs to be slowed down, and that increasing the time visitors spend at each individual site provides both a better visitor experience and is also more sustainable, as it better spreads the environmental impact of mass tourism. Some have viewed the recent developments at the popular waterfall as a part of this initiative, which seeks to slow down visitors to Iceland.

The new, longer path to the waterfall could also complicate matters for less mobile visitors. Responding to to Vísir, Anton stated that further developments are in the pipeline as well, including a new viewing platform for the waterfall, a new visitor centre, new bathroom facilities, and a new building for the ranger.

He stated further that the construction has gone well so far and it has not impacted the tourist experience at the site.

 

Tourist Traps in Iceland… And How To Avoid Them

Akureyri sign post.

What infamous tourist traps in Iceland should you avoid during your time in the country? What activities might take advantage of a visitor’s naivety, and how can you ensure the best value of money throughout your trip? Read on to learn more about the tourist traps you should avoid on an Iceland vacation! 

The Icelandic tourism industry is adept at permeating the myth that operators – no less, Iceland itself – can do no wrong when it comes to providing their visitors with a faultless and memorable vacation experience. 

Don’t hold this against them – whereas once it might have been the catching of fish, it is the snaring of tourists that now drives the engine of Iceland’s economy. Given the wealth of fantastic natural sights, and the fascinating cultural hubs this island boasts, one can hardly blame the Icelandic people for capitalising on what the Norse Gods have bestowed them.

túristi tourist ferðamaður tourism
Photo: Golli. Tourists at Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

A word of warning – while this article is, of course, intended to attract visitors to Iceland, it may poke fun at the innocence some cannot help but demonstrate while exploring the land of ice and fire… as raiding marketeers have deemed it.

Do not take offence, for you, surely, are not the type of person to be so willfully drawn in by what amounts to be snake-oil salesmen dressed in horned helmets. 

Keeping an open mind in Iceland


There is no need to read this article suspiciously. Most of the time, no lies are told about the absolute majesty on offer here. But sometimes – and, rarely – foreign guests might realise they have been oversold on aspects of the
essential Icelandic experience.

There is no need to sit in the Blue Lagoon feeling you’ve been had! It might be a wonderful spot, but if it’s not for you… you should not go. 

The Blue Lagoon Iceland
Photo: Golli. Blue Lagoon

As stated, tourism is what drives Iceland’s economy – much like a Scandinavian version of Disneyland, if one might be so bold as to suggest it – and it is not unwise to realise that it does the Icelanders, or anyone who call the country home, extremely well to ensure guests are provided, or sold, the best experiences possible. 

If you were to believe such promises without once questioning the validity of your purchase – bless your naivety. 

Again… don’t get us wrong. Iceland is an incredible place to visit, filled with wonder of nature and cultural highlights that can be found nowhere else on the planet. This is so true that validating the fact is completely asinine. But, we would be doing an enormous disservice to guide you into purchasing packages that do not suit you, or that you may regret upon experiencing them. 

Having been around since 1963 – long, long before the tourism boom of the 2000s – you best believe that Iceland Review has your (and Iceland’s) best interests at heart. So, now that we’ve qualified our respect for the country we call home – and you, of course – let’s take a look at a few realities that you should avoid during your time here. 

Don’t shop at 10/11 convenience stores 

Nettó Hagkaup Bónus Iceland Fjarðarkaup
Photo: Golli. Bónus supermarket

For anyone with the luxury of choice, 10/11 sells nothing of importance; let’s get that out of the way from the beginning. Understandably, your instincts might be different upon spotting the luminous green and white of their logo, but do not be fooled… 

Should you desire a packet of biscuits, toilet paper, potato chips, candy, shampoos, chocolate bars – there are always, always, places that will sell you the exact same product for much cheaper. Sure, it might very well be easier to stop at 10/11… after all, it’s right there… but you would be doing yourself a disservice.

Prices at 10/11 are elevated beyond belief, as though it were designed specifically for the purpose of deceiving foreign visitors. 

Shoppers in Iceland
Photo: Golli. Shoppers in downtown Reykjavík

Aside from the typical convenience store items on sale, 10/11 also sells a range of hot products, including pastries, hot dogs, and pizza. Now, we understand better than anyone that, sometimes, hunger defies financial awareness, but know that these warm treats are not generally of the best quality. 

(The one exception could be Sbarro pizza, which is only sold at 10/11 in Iceland, and in truth, is rather delicious if you’re inclined towards guilty culinary pleasures.)

Actually, Sbarro pizza might be the only reason to stop by 10/11, and only if you’re in need of a quick snack. Otherwise, you can find cheaper alternatives in other shops. The best options are called Bonus and Kronan; both supermarkets are the logical choice for those sticking to a vacation budget.  

Save your drinking for Happy Hour 

Cocktails in the making at Tipsy, Reykjavík.
Photo: Golli. Cocktails in the making at Tipsy, Reykjavík.

The wonderful – if not sometimes unfortunate thing – about drinking is that it lends itself to more drinking. 

Oh, what a surprise this is

Outside of Happy Hour, this can cost you a pretty penny in Iceland – and by that, we mean an absolute fortune – which, no doubt, is surprising upon looking at your bank balance the next day. 

Icelanders are very aware of this – after all, they like sipping on alcohol as much as the next heathen. The local way of getting around it is to drink plenty before even heading to the bars and clubs, but this does not tend to be the best way forward for visiting guests. After all, you have a snowmobiling tour booked for tomorrow… 

People partying in Reykjavík Iceland
Photo: Golli. Reykjavík nightlife

Hence the many Happy Hours on offer throughout the city. The vast majority of bars offer happy hour, which you can track through the Appy Hour app developed by local newspaper, The Reykjavík Grapevine. You can download it on Google Play and the Apple Store

If you’re not mobile savvy, it is wise to inquire as to whether you’re purchasing during Happy Hour or not, or at least, try to schedule your drinking within the timeframe. 

Don’t get us wrong; drinking too much will still cost you during your happy hour, but it may lessen the dent in your wallet. Ultimately, it comes down to how much fun you’re having, and how much money you’re willing to sacrifice for it. 

Skip taking an Airport taxi

Taxis at the airport
Photo: Golli. Taxis at Keflavík International Airport

Upon landing in Iceland, visitors will normally take a shuttle bus from Keflavík International Airport to their accommodation in the city. 

These handy shuttle services are operated by respected companies like Grey Line and Reykjavík Excursions, the latter of which runs the FlyBus. It is possible to book tickets for the shuttles in advance, at the airport itself, and sometimes during your flight. 

However, be aware that taxi cabs also hang around outside the terminal.

Somewhat akin to scavenging ravens, these privateers prey upon unsuspecting tourists who might have thought Keflavík was closer to the hotels, hostels, and AirBnB’s prevalent across Reykjavík. Of course, one shouldn’t blame the drivers, who themselves are only making the most of a ready-made opportunity – just don’t let yourself be that opportunity. Save yourself your trauma! 

While accepting their service is well within your rights, the cost of this forty-minute ride is sure to hammer your wallet, which is completely unnecessary straight after arriving in the country. You may as well invite yourself to your own mugging. So, do yourself a favour and prepare other, more financially savvy travel plans. 

Avoid buying pretend Icelandic Sweaters

icewear in vík

The famed woollen sweaters – Lopapeysas – worn by rural Icelanders have become iconic urban fashion wear over recent years. Never one to miss a trend, tourists are often eager to snag one during a trip. 

If you were to form a mental picture of your typical Icelandic fisherman or farmer, they would be wearing an Icelandic sweater everytime. 

Now, this article – or, this writer, at least – would never go as far as to say Icelandic sweaters are cool, but popular they are. That much cannot be denied. 

Some more forgiving people might say that it’s understandable why this clothing item has become synonymous with Iceland’s culture. The Lopapeysa is hand-knitted from new wool sourced from local sheep, then fashioned with cool patterned designs. 

Golli. Hjörleifur Stefánsson, farmer in Kvíaholt, and his sheep

While it might not be as trendy, as say, crocs, it is synonymous with an Icelanders’ perception of how people should dress in the 21st Century. Typically, you’ll find plenty of tour guides wearing them while taking visitors on exciting outdoor excursions across the country.   

Many shops across Reykjavík sell these iconic sweaters, but always make sure to buy them from reputable sellers. With the influx of souvenir stores across Iceland’s towns, some places might sell cheaper knock-offs that fail to fully capture just why the lopapeysa is so perfectly suited for winter wanderers. 

So, always check the label, and even go as far to inquire with staff should you suspect the quality is inauthentic. If you’re looking for places where you can leave doubt at the door, stop by such shops as the Nordic Store and the Handknitting Association of Iceland

Understand what defines a Volcano Tour… 

Meradalir eruption, August 2022
Photo: Golli. Meradalir eruption, August 2022

Iceland is an incredibly volcanic country.  It is sat atop an enormous magma plume that rests between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. 

By now, this fact is so well known that it almost defies belief someone would have the gall to patronise their readers so much. And yet… 

Lava fields spill out across a landscape carved with rocky fissures. A landscape dotted with ancient tunnels once filled with flowing magma. Wherever you look, the results of a prior eruption are apparent. 

Unsurprisingly, many activities are sold as Volcano Tours, dedicated to exposing guests to the volatile geological forces that have come to define this island. 

However, given that there have been many active volcanic eruptions over recent years, some visitors might expect that all of these so-called Volcano Tours will take them to a mountain currently blasting lava into the air. 

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One could not be blamed for getting confused. Volcano Tours might cover anything from experiencing a hollowed out lava tunnel to hiking over ancient lava fields. 

Still, some Volcano Tours will take you directly to an active eruption – granted that an eruption is actually happening and it is safe to approach! 

Ultimately, volcanoes are temperamental natural forces. So, these tours tend to be opportunistic, and only available during certain episodes of increased volcanic activity. 

The moment a volcano becomes active, expect a variety of helicopter, hiking, and Super Jeep tours to become on offer. Observing a volcano is a rare occurrence, so these tours are competitive in terms of seats available. 

There is no need to buy bottled water in Iceland

Goðafoss Waterfall, Iceland
Photo: Golli. Goðafoss Waterfall in Iceland.

This tourist trap is self-explanatory! Iceland has, arguably, the cleanest water you’re ever likely to find. It originates from the island’s pristine glaciers, travelling by way of lava-fields, where it filters naturally among the volcanic rock.

By the time it’s pouring out of your kitchen tap, Icelandic water is at its purest and most refreshing! You can theoretically drink from streams and freshwater rivers in Iceland without worrying about how safe it is. 

Still, you’ll find many places across the country still attempting to sell you bottled water. Sometimes, it will be under the guise of ease of accessibility, other times because sordid claims are made that particular brands are, somehow, even cleaner than what appears naturally.

Don’t buy into it – you’re far better off purchasing a dedicated water bottle, filling it up as necessary for free. 

Be realistic about how much you’ll see on your trip 

South Coast travellers
Photo: Golli. The South is one of Iceland’s most stunning regions.

Iceland is a big country. With the sheer amount and variety of natural and cultural attractions on offer, remain realistic. There is no chance you can experience everything without staying for a couple of months, or more.

It is much better to pick which attractions you want to see, then work them within your time frame.

For example, the popular Golden Circle sightseeing route can be experienced in a single day and is comprised of three major attractions – Gullfoss Waterfall, Þingvellir National Park, and Geysir Geothermal Area. It makes for a great choice regardless of whether you have two days in the country, or two weeks. 

Looking at the aurora borealis in Iceland
Photo: Golli. Travellers observing the Northern Lights in Iceland

If you are interested in visiting the North, the Westfjords, or the East, it will require more time and pre-planning. Almost all visitors start their journey in Reykjavík, which is in the southwest of the country. Therefore, it is important to stay aware of how much is possible with the time you’ve allotted yourself. 

One way to simplify this process is by purchasing a multi-day bus or SuperJeep tour. These excursions take guests to a handful of each region’s main visitor’s sites. They also provide an itinerary listing what attractions you’ll visit each day, and how long you spend at each. 

You can browse some of the various multi-day tours on offer before cementing your own schedule. 

In Summary 

Visitors at Gullfoss waterfall
Photo: Golli. Gullfoss waterfall in the wintertime.

For the simple fact that there are not many tourist traps listed in this article, rest easy. You must realise that, by and large, experiencing an Icelandic holiday comes with very little you should worry about.

All in all, Icelanders and Icelandic companies have a visitor’s best interests at heart. It is the best way to make sure this genial Nordic island maintains its reputation as an unforgettable holiday destination.

Still, wherever you choose to visit on Earth, there are little nuances that it’s wise to stay aware of! 

So, when you’re planning your trip to Iceland, just remember to tread lightly in certain places. Be it on the ice, or when navigating purchases and the logistics of your time here. 

Blue Lagoon Closed Due to Earthquakes and Eruption Threat

Blue Lagoon Earthquakes REykjanes Svartsengi

The Blue Lagoon, a popular bathing spot on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, has been closed to visitors from today until November 16. Strong earthquakes rattled the area around midnight last night, the continuation of an earthquake swarm that began in late October. A magma intrusion is forming underground just west of the lagoon, but there are still no signs an eruption is imminent.

Reykjanes earthquakes intensify

Over 10 earthquakes over M3 were detected near the lagoon starting around midnight last night, with the strongest measuring M5, the most powerful quake since an earthquake swarm began in the area around October 24. That quake was felt as far as Selfoss, South Iceland, and Dalabyggð, West Iceland. A magma intrusion is forming 4-5 km [2.5-3.1 mi] below the surface of the peninsula, just west of the Blue Lagoon and Þorbjörn mountain. There have, however, been no signs of volcanic unrest.

Blue Lagoon criticised for staying open

A notice from the Blue Lagoon cited the disruptions to their guests’ experience last night and the prolonged strain on their employees as the main reasons for the closure. Two days ago, Reykjavík Excursions decided to suspend all transport to the lagoon citing staff and customer safety. The Blue Lagoon remained open at the time, despite criticism from the public and the Suðurnes police force.

Read more about what’s happening on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Rainbow on Skólavörðurstígur to Be Made Permanent

Skólavörðustígur Reykjavík pride LGBTQ+

The popular rainbow on Skólavörðustígur street in central Reykjavík, a symbol of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, will now become a permanent fixture. Reykjavík City Council approved a motion yesterday to redo the painted rainbow using wear-resistant material. A redesign of the street released in 2021 initially proposed scrapping the rainbow but was met with protest.

“It’s wonderful that the rainbow will keep its place permanently, as it is a symbol of the Human Rights City Reykjavík where everyone is welcome,” stated City Councillor Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, chairman of the city’s Environment and Planning Council. “This monument is very important in the minds and hearts of all of us who fight for the human rights of queer people who have been under attack. A symbol of queerness and queer struggle truly belongs in the heart of Reykjavík.”

The proposed redesign of Skólavörðustígur, which was initially presented in 2021, will now be adapted around the rainbow. The LGBTQ+ community will be involved in consultations to ensure that the symbol of its struggle, the rainbow, continues to hold an important spot in this location.

The rainbow was first painted on Skólavörðustígur in 2015 and has since become an identifying symbol of central Reykjavík, with tourists and locals alike stopping at the site to take selfies. Álfur Birkir Bjarnason, director of the National Queer Organisation of Iceland (Samtökin ’78), welcomed the decision to make the rainbow permanent. “This is good news for all queer people in Iceland and cements one of Reykjavík’s most visited landmarks,” he stated.

Government and New Landowner Agree to Protect Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a popular tourist site in South Iceland, is being sold from one private owner to another. The Icelandic government had the right to step in and purchase the land for the state, but forewent that right. However, Environment Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson and the purchaser of the property have signed an agreement to work toward protecting the site.

The picturesque canyon and the surrounding area, covering 315 hectares, was put up for sale six years ago. A buyer made an offer on the property earlier this year and was accepted. However, as Fjaðrárgljúfur is on Iceland’s Nature Conservation Register, the state had pre-emptive purchase rights to the land. This means that if it chose to do so, it could step in and take over the purchase from the prospective landowner. The government ultimately decided not to exercise that right, but the Environment Minister has now signed an agreement with the to-be landowner that is expected to ensure the canyon’s protection.

According to a government notice announcing the agreement, the Environment Ministry did not consider it necessary to intervene in the purchase in order to guarantee the area would be protected. The agreement ensures the protection of the area, and necessary infrastructure development, will be a joint project between the state and the new owner.

Parking fees may be instated

Until now, no admission or parking fees have been charged at the site. The government notice states that in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act, “collection of fees shall not impair or impede the free movement of persons through the protected area who do not use the car park,” and that “the collection and disposition of fees that may be charged for the parking of motor vehicles shall be in its entirety used to develop services, operations, and infrastructure for those travelling in the area.”

The notice also states that neighbouring landowners whose land contains part of the canyon have expressed their willingness to collaborate on the protection of Fjaðrárgljúfur.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Purchase Offer Accepted

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

The Icelandic state needs to decide whether it will purchase Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a popular tourist site in South Iceland, Fréttablaðið reports. The canyon is up for sale and an offer from a private investor has been accepted, but the state has pre-emptive purchase rights to the land. The purchase price is estimated between ISK 300 and 350 million [$2.3-2.7 million; €2.2-2.5 million].

The canyon and surrounding area covering 315 hectares was put up for sale six years ago. A buyer has now been found, and the sale manager revealed that they were Icelandic and work in tourism. The state can step in and buy the land if Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson decide to do so, but they have a limited window of time.

Fjaðrárgljúfur has been managed by the Environment Agency of Iceland in recent years. The agency has closed the area for weeks-long periods in recent years when tourist traffic was causing damage to the fragile vegetation around the canyon. The spot was not well-known to foreign tourists until it appeared in a music video by Justin Bieber in 2015, which put it on the map.

Until now, there has been no admission fee for visitors to the canyon. It is not known whether the private purchaser aims to profit from the land by charging admission.

Reykjanes Eruption: Landowners Ban Helicopter Landings

Geldingadalir reykjanes eruption volcano

Helicopter company Norðurflug has been banned from landing at the eruption site by the landowners of the area, Fréttablaðið reports. The landowners state helicopters are disruptive and spoil the experience of hikers at the site. Norðurflug representatives say the fee landowners are demanding is exorbitant.

The ongoing volcanic eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula is located on a private lot of land called Hraun. On June 29, the landowners of Hraun filed a court injunction to ban Norðurflug from landing at the site. One other helicopter company, Halo, also lands at the eruption site, but they have reached an agreement with the landowners regarding a landing fee.

Read More: Parking Fee Implemented at Reykjanes Eruption Site

Norðurflug and the owners of Hraun had been negotiating for some time regarding a landing fee that would be paid by the helicopter company to the landowners but had failed to find a price both parties would accept. Norðurflug says they are prepared to pay landowners for access to the area, but have pointed out that the price proposed by them, (reportedly 20,000 ISK) is much higher than the price they pay to land at Reykjavík Airport, for example, (around 5,000 ISK), where helicopter operators have access to services. If landowners are charging for access to the eruption, Norðurflug representatives state, they should provide services in return, which Norðurflug says is currently not the case.

Reykjanes Eruption: Lava Cuts Off Main Hiking Path

lava geldingadalir eruption volcano reykjanes

Lava is now flowing across the main hiking path to the Geldingadalir eruption in Iceland, which has been ongoing for nearly three months. Both of the marked paths to the eruption’s active crater were closed yesterday after lava began flowing across the main trail. The secondary trail, which is open today, is more challenging for hikers, as it’s both steeper and slightly longer. Vísir reported first.

Third Path Being Marked

The secondary path, known as trail B, is open to visitors today. Gunnar Schram, Chief Superintendent of Suðurnes Police stated the path is suited to more experienced hikers than trail A, which remains closed. Authorities are currently marking a third, new trail to the eruption and trail B will remain open to the public until it is ready.

For less experienced hikers, Gunnar suggests visiting Nátthagi valley, which is being filled with lava from the eruption. “It’s quite an experience to walk into Nátthagi, where the lava flows down into the valley,” he stated.

Located on the Reykjanes peninsula, the eruption in Geldingadalir began on March 19 and shows no signs of stopping. Experts say there is no way to predict how long the activity will last.

Reykjanes Eruption: Man-made Protective Barriers Submerged By Lava

Aerial view of lava flowing from the Geldingadalur crater and the audience gathered to admire it

Lava from the Fagradallsfjall eruption is now flowing over both protective barriers erected in an effort to hinder its progress into Nátthagi, RÚV reports. The flowing lava is now only 2 km from the road along the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula but experts disagree on if and when it will reach the road if the eruption continues, with estimates ranging from a week or two to several months. Authorities are currently weighing their options for further measures to protect infrastructure from the eruption.

Lava could reach the road in weeks or months

Lava is now pooling in four places by the eruption site, in an unnamed valley south of the eruption, in Meradalir, Geldingadalir, and Nátthagi below the unnamed valley. The shortest route to the road along the peninsula is from Nátthagi, just over 2 km but lava from Meradalir could also reach the road. In addition to the road, authorities were interested in protecting some fibre optic cables in Nátthagi. Experts don’t agree on how long it would take the lava to flow from Nátthagi but have guessed that it would be from one or two weeks to one or two months.

Golli. The protective barriers were made from material found on-site and were meant to slow down the lava flow by allowing the lava to pool and gather
Golli. Hikers admiring lava from the Reykjanes eruption
Golli. The protective barriers were made from material found on-site and were meant to slow down the lava flow by allowing the lava to pool and gather

Authorities weigh options for further protective measures

Superintendent with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Response Rögnvaldur Ólafsson told RÚV that the protective barriers had been built because it was a relatively simple operation. Authorities are looking into what kind of structures can and should be erected to affect the flow of lava from the eruption to protect infrastructure in the area. “We’re looking into what options are in the situation. We started this operation in the mountain because it was a relatively simple operation. We hoped for better results but the conditions changed by the eruption site and the lava started streaming towards the south towards Nátthagi. So these barriers we erected lasted shorter than we had expected” Rögnvaldur stated.

Rögnvaldur stated that no decision has been made on what further protective measures will be erected in Nátthagi. When erecting the protective barriers, it was already foreseen that more extensive measures would have to be built. Asked what possible measure could entail, Rögnvaldur replied: “It would possibly be guiding barriers, directing the flow of the lava in a particular direction. Or we could erect similar barriers to the ones we made above Nátthagi, slowing the flow of the lava and allowing it to pool.”

Lava on the hiking trail could threaten eruption views

The road across the southern part of the peninsula isn’t the only trail in danger, as the lava is also flowing south towards Geldingadalir, approaching a mountain pass on the main hiking trail toward the eruption. If the eruption continues, the lava could cross the pass, flow over the hiking path thereby closing access to the hill closest to the crater. “[Preserving the hiking path] is less of a priority for us,” Rögnvaldur stated. “But it could happen that lava flows over the hiking path, in which case a new path will presumably have to be built.”

The protective barriers were erected at the height of 4 metres but were later raised to 8 metres. Only one of the barriers was fully built when lava started flowing over it, the other one stood at 6 metres. The structures were built from material from the area and while authorities weren’t confident the barriers would stop the lava, they hoped it would slow it down. Engineer Hörn Hrafnsdóttir who was in charge of the project stated that while the barriers likely wouldn’t stop the lava flow, their construction would offer valuable experience for future lava-related projects.

Below is a 3d model of the lava flow from the eruption since May 18, a few days before the lava crossed the protective barriers:

Aerial photos of the lava flow can also be seen on a map from the National Land Survey of Iceland.

Reykjanes Eruption: Lava Flow Increases By 70%

Aerial view of lava flowing from the Geldingadalur crater and the audience gathered to admire it

There are no signs the ongoing eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula will stop soon, according to experts. Lava flow at the site has increased by around 70% according to the latest data from the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences. Fountaining lava is spewing molten rock up to one kilometre from the active crater, where some is starting brush fires. Authorities are working to make the site more accessible to visitors.

Eruption Now Twice as Powerful

According to data gathered on May 10, the lava flow at the Geldingadalir eruption increased significantly last week, from 8 cubic metres per second to 13. “Increased flow has gone hand in hand with rising lava fountains and a powerful advance of lava into Meradalir valley,” a notice from the Institute states. “The eruption is now twice as powerful as it has been for most of the active period.” The volume of the lava expelled by the eruption, which has so far lasted for nearly eight weeks, has now reached over 30 million cubic metres and covers an area of nearly 1.8 km2. The Geldingadalir eruption is exceptional in that the vast majority of eruptions decrease in strength after they begin. According to the Institute notice, “there is no way to predict how long the eruption will last of whether lava flows will continue to increase.”

The video below was taken on May 5, 2021.

Flying Lava Sparks Brush Fires

The eruption site was closed to visitors yesterday: lava rocks expelled by the active crater were landing as far as one kilometre away and sparking brush fires around the eruption site. Smoke from the fires was wafting over the hiking path to the site, causing danger to potential visitors. Yet the biggest danger at the site seems to be the hiking path itself, which has caused two to three broken ankles per day according to Jón Haukur Steingrímsson, a geotechnical engineer at Efla, who is working on improvements to the eruption site.

Modifications Shorten and Improve Hiking Path

“There are a lot of people there who are just relatively inexperienced hikers, who are going there. As we enter the summer and we start getting tourists it’s only going to increase more,” Jón Haukur told Vísir. Last week the first slope on the path was modified to make it less steep. “It made a big difference right away how everything just went a lot more smoothly there.” Other modifications are forthcoming that should make the trail easier for hikers. A new parking lot, closer than the current temporary lots at the site, will also shorten the hike by 1.2-1.3 kilometres in each direction.