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Hverfjall volcano is a very popular Icelandic attraction that goes by two names; Icelanders can’t seem to decide between Hverfjall or Hverfell. However, the more common moniker is Hverfjall. The almost perfect circular shape of Hverfjall is part of what makes it such a must-see volcano in Iceland. Oh - and the fact that you can walk the whole way around its circumference!
The famous Hverfjall crater was formed approximately 2,500 years ago in a brief but enormous eruption. A landslide believed to have occurred during the eruption caused the south part of the crater to fall, only slightly spoiling the symmetry of the crater. The volcano rises for 200m, with a diameter of 1km, and is in Northern Iceland in the Lake Myvatn area.
What makes this volcano so popular with visitors is its accessibility. You can find Hverfjall volcano just off Route 1, along the south of Myvatn Lake. There is a visitors parking area at the foot of the volcano.
One of the main activities to undertake at Hverfjall is to hike it! It’s actually possible to walk around the entire circular crater. Moreover, the hike is easy enough for children so visiting Hverfjall is a great family activity!
There are two public paths for hiking Hverfjall volcano. All other routes are strictly prohibited. One path is located next to the visitor’s parking area. It is a steady climb on a wide path to the top. This path is good for people with a lower level of fitness, looking for a shorter hike or with small children. The other path is found at Dimmuborgir. Dimmuborgir are strange lava formations found in the Younger Laxa Lava Field, where it’s a 45 minute walk to the base of the Hverfjall crater and then an even steeper climb to the top. This is definitely a more challenging trail and great for hikers with more experience.
Once you reach the top of Hverfjall volcano you can walk around the crater at your own pace but in general it takes 1 hour. From the rim of the crater you’re rewarded with magnificent views of the crater itself, as well as the landscape including Lake Myvatn and surrounding mountains.
Once you’ve conquered Hverfjall, there are many other hiking trails to tackle and natural wonders to see.
To make the most of your visitor to Hverfjall volcano, make sure you’re prepared. Good hiking shoes and warm clothing are always essential as the area can get quite windy. A walking pole will also be invaluable for hikers with a lower level of fitness. However, it is true that Hverfjall is generally an ‘easy’ hike suitable and safe for young children.
A very accessible gravel path takes you from Route 1 to the base of the crater and there is ample parking. There are also well maintained bathroom facilities close to the visitor’s parking area. If you take provisions, be sure to take waste away with you. Respect the area and stick to the two public paths.
Hverfjall is an impressive volcano that is accessible to all and make for great stop on a day out in Northern Iceland!
Have you been to Hverfjall volcano in Iceland? Please share your experience and advice on the comment section below.