top of page
  • Writer's pictureVisit Askja

Discover the Amazing Lava Field of Holuhraun

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Iceland is a small volcanic island that attracts many tourists every year. Here you can find powerfull waterfalls, spouting geysers, and massive glaciers. But although all of this is spectacular, let’s be honest. It can be seen in other places in the world. There is one thing, well maybe not one but several, that you will not be able to find that easily. It is the volcanic lunar-like landscape of Askja caldera and the lava fields. Amazing, inhabited by mysterious trolls, stretching to the horizon, completely black or overgrown with green moss.

An amazing view on Holuhraun lava field with the Vatnajokull glacier in the background

Lava fields cover a huge area of Iceland, around 30% of the island. Due to the unique shape and colors they have become one of the favourite landscapes for photos from the trip. There is one in particular that you should visit and definitely bring some nice photos from this place. It is Holohraun lava field.

What is a lava field?

Volcanoes are an important factor in making Iceland look the way it does. They define the nature of this land by creating vast lava fields covered with moss, jagged peaks and huge craters. Lava fields are also called a lava plain and are a vast area covered with the lava flows than come from a volcano eruption. After a time it cooled down and created a unique basalt landscape.

Lava fields in Iceland

As mentioned above, there are several lava fields in Iceland that are worthy of attention.

The Eldhraun lava fields are located in the South of the Icelandic highlands. They were created during possibly the largest volcanic eruption in history. This is the largest lava field in the world. The eruption of the Laki volcano took place between 1783 - 1784. For the Icelandic world and nature it was a cataclysm. Despite the terrible results of the Laki eruption, the vast lava field that was created as its effect, is a very popular attraction for thousands of tourists. This place is even more impressive after rainfall as the moss acquires an intense green color.

Another lava field worth seeing can be found in the Snæfellsjökull National Park. It is located in the western part of Iceland on the Sneafellsness Peninsula. It is called Budahraun and it is located on the south coast of the peninsula. It came from the eruption from the Budaklettur. There is a hiking trail for trekking fans between Budir and Frambudir which is around 2 km long. Make sure you take your camera with you because the area is really lovely. You will be able to see the old fishermen’s huts and trading booths on your way. It is rather an easy walk and takes around 3 hours so make sure you allow enough time for the trip.

Lava field in Grindavik in Iceland covered with green moss

For those who are not planning to go that far, we have some good news. There is another lava field located near Grindavik close to the Blue Lagoon. To get there you need to drive around 20 minutes to the east from Grindavik and there you will already notice how the landscape drastically changes. You will be able to see the vast lava fields covered with moss. When you get to the final destination, you will find several places to park your car. There are also several paths to have a walk along the fields. Be careful where you step though, in because the moss is really delicate and can be easily damaged.

Holuhraun lava field

Holuhraun might be the youngest lava field in Iceland. What is the story behind this place? The lava that was forming these places has been there since 1797 and new layers were created for many years.

On the 29th of August, 2014 a crevice eruption of the Bárðarbunga (Bardarbunga) volcano occured. It continued for quite a long time, until February 27th, 2015. The volcanic system of this volcano is known as the longest one in Iceland, it reaches up to 190 km. It is all hidden under the Vatnajokull glacier.

The lava coming our of the volcno was flowing underground and the volcanic eruption occurred from the crevices in Vantajokull National Park. 1400 cubic meters of lava covered an area of 85 km2. The lava temperature reached up to 1,175 C degrees. When the lava flow reached the glacial Jokuls a Fjollum river, it cooled down.

Lava rocks created in the Holuhraun lava field which is the youngest field of its kind in Iceland

Holuhraun is a very volcanic area located above the Askja volcano and Bardarbunga volcano system. Even so, it attracts  lots of people and fans of volcanoes that are not scared or afraid of a possible eruption.

It is located near Askja crater, around 15 kilometres (9 miles) away. Due to its remote location it is quite difficult to get there driving on F-roads. The road to reach there is unnamed and it leads from the route F910.

106 views0 comments


bottom of page