Iceland Day 7 part 2

On the afternoon of day 7, we had our most extreme activity. 5 days before we left for Iceland, a volcanic eruption began. Within hours, we got an email from one of the companies we'd booked a tour with saying we could book a guide to take us there. We made a quick decision, and decided to do it.

Over the next week, we kept getting emails warning us off the hike. They told us it had been reclassified as a challenging hike, and that children were not recommended. Then the government officially banned children under 12 going (good thing Leah's 12). We were excited to go, so we stuck with it.

We were supposed to meet our group at the parking lot at 4:30, but were running late (didn't count on Reykjavik traffic). We got there right as the tour was supposed to leave, but couldn't find our guide in the sea of people. After phone calls and emails, we finally found our guide and rushed to catch up with the rest of the group.

Meradalir volcano hike

Around half way, we got to see the field of mostly cooled lava rock from last year's eruption.

Lava rock

The hike itself was tough. 14km round trip, with a maximum ascent of 350m. The majority of that was maybe 1km in and was really steep. About a third of the hike was over very rocky terrain, but the rest was on nice dirt paths that had been created since the eruption began (we went to see it on day 13 of the eruption).

Volcano hike

After a couple of hours, we topped a ridge and saw the volcano. It was incredible.

Initial volcano view

Meradalir volcano on day 13 of the eruption. The eruption began with a 100m fissure, but much of that has stopped, concentrating the lava flow in one area. A cone has just started to develop there, so this is a baby volcano. Depending on how long the eruption lasts, this cone may continue to grow bigger and bigger.

Meradalir volcano

I took some video footage of the volcano in the rain and heavy wind. It was so awesome. Note that this is an HDR video, and is best viewed on an HDR display.

Leah, Molly, and Jen found a great spot to sit and watch the volcano from the hillside next to it.

Watching the volcano

3 girls and a volcano

Here we are, in Iceland next to an erupting volcano.

Us and a volcano

The eruption was nice and active, constantly throwing lave into the air.


The hillside next to the volcano was really steep, but I decided to try to walk down to the edge of the lava flow to get as close as possible. I made it down (though fell a couple times on the way). It was much warmer down there.

Up close to the volcano

That's my hand, touching the cooled lava rock (though still a bit warm).

Touching lava rock

Here's a view of the volcano erupting from ground level.



While I was down next to the lava rock, a bride and groom came down with their photographer to take wedding photos. Icelanders are tough.

Wedding photos

As we left the volcano, our guide invited us to his "souvenir shop", where we could pick a lava rock to take home.


The weather was nice as we started out hike to the volcano, then got very windy and rainy after the first hour. It got even nastier on the way back, including fog/clouds that reduced visibility a lot while walking through the rocks.

Hike back

Here's a view of all the switchbacks that formed the primary ascent on the way there. This hike was tough, and we weren't' sure if the girls would make it up. Molly in particular struggled to breath during the hike, which made even more sense when she tested positive for Covid two days later. But they both pushed through, and were rewarded with a once in a lifetime experience. If you ever get the chance to see an erupting volcano up close, don't pass it up.

Our trip to Iceland was amazing. We highly recommend going if you get the chance. Also, we planned this trip ourselves using lots of online resources, but the biggest and most helpful resource was Jeannie at Iceland With A View. Her videos and blog posts were so helpful in planning, and we referred to her guides constantly while traveling around. Big shoutout to her for helping us have such a great trip.

Table of contents for the whole trip

  1. Day 1 - Reykjavik and Lava tunnel
  2. Day 2 - Golden Circle
  3. Day 3 - Vestmannaeyjar
  4. Day 4 Part 1 - Ice Cave
  5. Day 4 Part 2 - Black sand beach, puffins, and waterfalls
  6. Day 5 - Glacier hike
  7. Day 6 - Glacier Lagoon
  8. Day 7 Part 1 - Blue Lagoon
  9. Day 7 Part 2 - An active volcano

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