Iceland Volcano Eruption Near Litli Hrútur 2023
Iceland’s newest volcanic eruption began on the afternoon of 10 July 2023 in the Fagradalsfjall volcano system, with a 900-metre-long fissure opening up. Just 11 months after the last eruption, the new fissure sparked excitement from locals and tourists alike.
The third eruption in three years, the new fissure followed thousands of earthquakes over a period of several days. Magma broke through the surface, shooting fountains of lava metres into the air. The eruption site has been named Litli-Hrútur (Little Ram).
Where is Litli-Hrútur Located?
The new eruption is on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 30 kilometres southwest of Reykjavík. The fissure is not underneath a glacier, so no ash cloud would disturb air traffic.
How to Get to Litli-Hrútur
As news broke about the latest eruption, people began asking how they could get a glimpse. It’s no easy feat. It is important to note that the volcano site and Reykjanes region can be closed due to safety reasons. We recommend always checking www.safetravel.is before heading out to explore.
The shortest hiking route to the eruption site is a 20 km round trip over rugged terrain. For most people, the hike takes around 6-8 hours, plus the time you spend at the eruption site. There is no public transportation to the site, so you must drive to the parking area.
There are two paid parking lots (P1 & P2), and the fee is 1,000 ISK and is valid for 24 hours. Fees are paid electronically with detailed instructions at the lots. Before heading out, make sure you are prepared with proper clothing, food and water, sturdy hiking boots, and a charged mobile phone.
Is Litli-Hrútur Safe to Visit?
There are several factors to consider before visiting an erupting volcano; however, there is no danger since the volcano stopped erupting on 5 August. When a volcano erupts, visibility can be low, and dangerous gas levels can shift quickly and be harmful.
Make sure you check www.safetravel.is for the latest updates on safety conditions. And the authorities can close access to the hiking trail if gas levels reach a dangerous level or if weather conditions are poor.
Recent Eruptions at Fagradalsfjall
There hadn’t been a volcanic eruption for 815 years on the Reykjanes Peninsula until 19 March 2021. The area awakened when a fissure vent appeared in Geldingadalir to the south of Fagradalsfjall mountain.
The 2021 eruption emitted fresh lava until 18 September 2021. Another eruption began on 3 August 2022 and ended on 21 August 2022, similar to the 2021 eruption. A third eruption appeared to the north of Fagradalsfjall near Litli-Hrútur on 10 July 2023 and ended on August 5th, 2023..
After hundreds of years of calmness, the Reykjanes Peninsula awakened in 2021 and continues to quake and spew lava.
Evening Closing Time
During the active volcano eruption, July 30, authorities instituted a closing time to ensure that visitors remain safe. The eruption area was open daily until 18:00. However, the site is now open 24/7.
Keep in mind that the eruption site is not a safe area as new erupting fissures/craters can open up anywhere without notice. For the latest information on the safety of the eruption site and closing times, visit www.safetravel.is.
Learn About Volcanoes at Perlan in Reykjavík
In the heart of Reykjavík, Perlan’s Forces of Nature exhibition allows guests to feel the immense power of volcanoes, earthquakes, and geothermal energy that powers the island. Tourists can learn about the volcanoes that form when heat and pressure build up beneath the earth’s surface. The earth’s weak points tend to be along fault lines where tectonic plates converge or diverge, as in Iceland’s case.
The exhibition is a unique, family-friendly museum experience that entertains and informs. Perlan is also home to exhibitions featuring ice caves and northern lights.
Is the Icelandic volcano Litli-Hrútur still erupting?
No, the volcano stopped erupting August 5, 2023.
Are there services near the eruption?
The area of the eruption is in a remote area on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Before you leave for the hike, make sure you have all the supplies you need, as there are no services close to the eruption site. The closest town is Grindavík, where you can buy food and beverages. Make sure you are prepared for the hike.
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