Inside the Volcano - Thrihnukagigur Magma Chamber - IV01
One of the most remarkable natural phenomenons on the planet
The dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano is a truly unique natural phenomenon. With the necessary gear and equipment, this tour opens the gates to an almost surreal volcanic realm. All you need is the willingness to do a moderate 45–50 minute hike (in order to get to the crater) and the guts to descend 120 metres (400 feet) to the bottom of the volcano's magma chamber in an open cable lift.
39 000 ISK per person
Duration: 5–6 hours,
Minimum age: 12 years old
Departure times: see the booking system
Pick-up starts 40 min before tour departure*
Included: meat or vegetable soup, safety gear and equipment, hotel transfer
Bring: good hiking shoes, warm and rainproof clothes and drinking water. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can be very different from ground level. Wear warm clothes (sneakers and jeans are unsuitable and will NOT do you any good!)
* Important note regarding pick-up:
Travelers will be picked up at hotels and guesthouses, then taken to the booking office at Laekjatorg Square (downtown Reykjavik). The bus to the volcano will depart from there. If you are staying near that location it's best that you walk to the booking office, and show up there 15 minutes before departure.
If you are meeting us at Laekjartorg Square, please select "Booking office" from the dropdown list.
For more information, send us an email:
Fitness level: Moderate (the difficulty is 2–3 out of 5). No knowledge of hiking or climbing is required. The hike is on slightly hilly and uneven ground. This is NOT a tour for those in limited physical shape.
Distance walked: 3 km (2 miles) each way for some 45–50 minutes, with a guide
Don’t worry, expert guides will be with you at all times and you can rest assured extreme safety precautions are taken every step of the way. Please watch the video at the bottom of this page because this will give you a good idea of the experience.
We ask all visitors to behave responsibly during the tour. This environment is extremely sensitive and we expect all visitors to leave no footprint behind. Whatever you carry in with you, you must also carry out.
Simply put, Iceland is one giant geological hotspot. The country is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, with eruptions occurring every 3–4 years on average. But why is Iceland so active? It is mostly due to its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American plates are moving apart – and therefore literally opening the earth’s crust. The Thrihnukagigur volcano sits in the center of this ridge.
The volcano Thrihnukagigur
The Thrihnukagigur volcano is dormant. It last erupted over 4,000 years ago. There are no indications of it erupting again in the near future. The volcano’s name, quite unpronounceable for anyone other than locals, would be directly translated as "Three Peaks Crater".
The three craters (one of which you will be descending into) are prominent landmarks, standing against the sky on the highland edge, about 20 km (13 miles) southeast of the capital area, and within the protected area of Blafjoll Country Park.
The most north-easterly of the three peaks is a small cinder cone, standing about 35 m/100 ft higher than its surroundings. At the top of this cone is a funnel-shaped opening, about 4×4 m (12×12 ft) wide, this is the entrance of a huge 120 m (400 ft) deep, bottle-shaped volcanic vault, measuring 50×70 m (160×220 ft) at the bottom. Volcanic passages continue down to the southwest, to a total depth of about 200 m (700 ft).
The beauty of the crater mostly consists of the various coloration found inside and its enormous and to some extent intimidating size. To put it in context, the ground space is equivalent to almost three full-sized basketball courts sited next to each other and the height is such that the full sized Statue of Liberty would easily fit into the chamber. So make no mistake – this chamber is colossal!
The magma chamber
This magma chamber is one of a kind of magma chamber and is often referred to as the heart of a volcano. It’s there that the liquid rock waits to find a way through to the surface, causing a volcanic eruption. In most cases, the crater is usually closed after the eruption by cold, hard lava.
Thrihnukagigur volcano is a rare exception to this, because the magma in the chamber seems to have disappeared. It’s believed that the magma solidified in the walls or quite simply retreated to the depths of the earth, just as if someone had pulled out the plug, letting all the magma run down out of the chamber.
Inside the volcano
You will spend up to an hour inside the volcano (or less if you prefer), and there is plenty of time to take as many photos as you wish. However, you are not allowed to take away rocks and stones from the crater. Expert guides will be with you at all times, in the cable lift and on the ground in the magma chamber.
While waiting for everyone in the group to complete the volcano visit, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Icelandic meat soup, hot coffee / tea / chocolate and perhaps some sweets. Don´t be surprised when we ask for your email – we would like to send you a quick survey to complete after the tour.
Finally, accompanied by a guide who is with you at all times, you walk back over the lava field. The coach will be waiting for you in the parking lot, ready to drive you back to Reykjavik.
Outdoor clothing to wear
The weather in the mountains can be very different to the city. A warm sweater and jacket are very useful, not least because it’s always the same temperature inside the crater – about 5–6°C (42–43°F). That’s cold! This is a trip to be remembered. Don't forget your camera! Yes, you can take as many pictures as you want! Most of all have fun!
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NOTE: The minimum age for this tour is 12 years
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