Iceland ~ Fagradalsfjall

May 18, 2021

Always wanted to see a serious active volcano up close and Iceland's newly erupted Fagradalsfjall turned out to be perfect.

Iceland is a geothermal cauldron as its two tectonic plates pull it apart, so Fagradalsfjall erupted right on a plate boundary.

The helicopter ride was a great, scenic, and lazy way to see Fagradalsfjall.

Seeing the eruptions from the helicopter was wild and breathtaking. The pilot circled the volcano just close enough to be thrilling but not too dangerous.

Fagradalsfjall, locals told me, was increasingly acting like a geyser. It would erupt then pause, catch its breath for a couple of minutes, then erupt again.

My helicopter photo here shows the large, growing lava fields as well as Fagradalsfjall in repose.

Back down on the ground, a good path to the main viewing locations had been made by Icelandic authorities who got tired of evacuating so many people daily due to broken legs. The hike was not too steep, as you can see, but fairly long.

While the helicopter ride was amazing, seeing the eruptions from the ground was no less awe-inspiring.

At my locations I did not see lava moving forward — but, as the sky darkened, the lava that looked cold in the daytime came alive with this burning glow.

Every day was windy and cold (30s and low 40s) so, after many hours in the cold wind, the cozy heat of the lava felt good.

The fireworks are more vivid as it gets darker. This time of year some darkness descends around 10pm to 2am.

This was my best video, taken from the ground, of Fagradalsfjall erupting.

On a clear evening, this was the peak eruption view from my hotel room.

I did not bother to go into Reykjavik and stayed three nights in the nice little town of Keflavik close to Fagradalsfjall, the Blue Lagoon, and the airport.

Two previous trips covered far more territory around the fantastic island, but this short, compact visit was pretty darn incredible!