top of page
  • Writer's pictureVisit Askja

Viti Volcano Crater in Askja

Nestled in the remote central highlands of Iceland, Viti is a crater in an active volcano that captivates with its complex of nested calderas within the Dyngjufjöll mountains. This geological marvel, accessible only a few months each year, offers a unique glimpse into Iceland's dynamic earth forces. The area's stark beauty and lunar-like landscape even served as a training ground for NASA's Apollo astronauts, preparing them for their moon missions.

Viti volcano crater

Historic Eruptions and Their Impact

Askja's 1875 eruption was a cataclysmic event, casting a shadow over Iceland with its ash cloud. This eruption led to significant agricultural challenges, poisoning pastures and causing widespread livestock deaths.

The resulting hardships spurred a notable emigration wave, as Icelanders sought better lives elsewhere. The 1961 eruption, though less devastating, reshaped Askja's landscape, creating new geological features and altering existing ones, a stark reminder of the ever-changing nature of our planet.

Viti Crater: A Volcanic Wonder

Formed in the aftermath of the 1724 Krafla eruption, Viti Crater is a stunning geothermal lake, renowned for its striking blue waters. This natural wonder, whose name evokes images of the underworld, offers a unique bathing experience in its warm, mineral-rich waters.

Situated at a tectonic crossroads, Viti not only captivates with its beauty but also serves as a vivid illustration of the immense geological forces at play in Iceland's volatile landscape.

Öskjuvatn Lake's Mysteries

Öskjuvatn Lake, born from the 1875 eruption, holds deep secrets beneath its icy surface. As Iceland's second-deepest lake, it reaches depths that remain largely unexplored, fueling the mystery surrounding it. The lake gained notoriety in 1907 with the disappearance of German scientists Walter von Knebel and Max Rudloff, sparking theories ranging from natural disasters to otherworldly phenomena. This enigma, coupled with the lake's eerie tranquility, makes Öskjuvatn a captivating destination for those drawn to nature's mysteries.

Öskjuvatn Lake's Mysteries

Journey to Askja and Viti

The trek to Askja and Viti is an expedition through Iceland's untamed highlands. Traversing the F-roads requires resilience and a spirit of adventure, as these paths are only navigable during the brief Icelandic summer.

The journey to Askja is a mosaic of stunning vistas, from vast lava fields to the stark beauty of the highlands. For adventurers less accustomed to such rugged terrain, guided 4x4 bus tours offer a safer yet equally thrilling experience, ensuring a memorable journey through some of Iceland's most remote and spectacular landscapes.

Lake Mývatn: A Nearby Natural Gem

Just a 2.5-hour drive from Askja, Lake Mývatn awaits with its unique geological formations and rich biodiversity. This area, formed around 35,000 years ago, is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and provides a perfect complement to your Askja adventure.

Harnessing Volcanic Power: Krafla Power Plant

Nearby, the Krafla Power Plant stands as a symbol of Iceland's innovative use of geothermal energy. Producing a significant portion of the country's electricity, it highlights the balance between harnessing natural forces and preserving the environment.Regardless of how dangerous and destructive the power of volcanoes may be, they also have a significant role in the Icelandic economy and infrastructure. It’s worth mentioning here that almost 30% of the electricity in Iceland comes from geothermal power plants.

The energy solutions used here are thus both economically advantageous and ecological.

Krafla power plant has a significant part in the production of renewable energy. It is located both close to lake Myvatn and Krafla volcano, and it is the largest power station in Iceland. It produces 60 MW of electricity with 22 boreholes. It is one of the most important power plants in Iceland and one of the tourist attractions in North Iceland.

Krafla power plant

Magma brewing beneath the surface of the earth warms the shell in a way that it provides a neverending source of energy. Icelanders decided to take advantage of that fact and built a geothermal power plant here. The construction of the krafla power plant started in 1974, and due to volcanic activity in the Krafla area, it has to be postponed. Fortunately, there was no damage to the construction and could move forward to be put into use in 1977.

Geothermal energy is one of the most difficult types of renewable energy to obtain. This is because the energy is gathered deep under the surface of the earth. The whole process requires drilling, and the tools used are similar to the technology used for digging oil wells.

Preparing for Your Visit

When planning your trip to Askja and Viti, consider the seasonal accessibility and prepare for a journey through some of Iceland's most rugged terrains. The experience of standing on the edge of Viti crater, overlooking the caldera, and exploring the hauntingly beautiful landscapes of Askja is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

829 views0 comments


bottom of page