Hiking to the volcano is not straightforward. You need to be prepared, dress a certain way and follow the conditions closely.
On this page you will find all the info you need when you are preparing for the hike towards the volcano.
By following these guidelines you lower the chance of accidents on your trip. You will also make the region safer for everyone and lower the stress on the rescue teams in the area.
In case of an emergency always call the emergency number, 112.
You need to bring your phone. We have made a free map you can download on your phone and use offline once you get to the eruption site. The map shows both parking, the trails and your location.
Once you have installed the app. You can get the map for free from here.
Downloading a map is important. Fog can roll in quickly at Reykjanes and a lot of people have gotten lost in the fog or during the night so far.
With the map on your phone you will always be able to find your way back to the track.
Both the app and the map are free of charge. Everybody should have it on their phone before doing the hike!
In Iceland we use the three-layer system when hiking. A base layer for removing moisture, mid layer to keep you warm and an outer layer to protect you from the elements.
The purpose of the base layer is to get sweat away from the body. We need to choose a base layer that transports sweat away in order to keep you warm.
Wear a base layer made out of synthetic material or wool. Synthetic materials are water-resistant and dry quickly. Wool absorbes the water and prevents it from staying in contact with your body. Wool also dries quickly and is a good insulator.
Do not use anything made of cotton as a base layer. Cotton absorbes the water and keeps it next to your body. It does also take a long time to dry. In fact we do not want any of the layers made out of cotton due to low insulaton, water absorbtion and how long it takes to dry.
Most Icelandic people use wool as their base layer do to the insulation advantage it has but synthetic materials work fine during the summer as well.
The mid layer is there to keep you warm. We want the mid layer to keep air locked in. The locked in air will help you maintaining body heat.
Fleece, synthetic insulated material, down or wool are the best candidates for your mid layer. If it is cold use a thick mid layer. It also possible to use more than one mid layer in order to stay warm.
The outer layer protects you from the elements. We want our outer layer to secure us from both wind and rain. Make sure the outer layer is breathable so it will let sweat out while keeping the rainwater from getting in. Most outer layers are marked with either Gore-Tex or Windstopper. Those brands are high quality and breathable.
In addition to the layers you will need socks intended for hiking, hat and gloves made for cold weather.
You do not neccisarily have to were your middle or outer layers at all time during your hike, but you need to bring all three layers with you. Weather in Iceland changes both quickly and frequently. When hiking it is neccesary to be prepared for the weather to take the wrong turn or the hike taking longer than planned.
You will need hiking boots for both viewpoint A and viewpoint C. The hiking boots have to have ankle support. The trails are uneven and ankle injuries are common. Hiking boots are expensive, but it is possible to rent a pair in Reykjavík.
The hike will take a few hours and you will need some energy along the way. Bring food and drinks in your backpack.
Trail mix and some snacks will help you while doing the hike. Take at least 1 liter of water for each person. There are no rivers or streams along the way and all surface water can be polluted by volcanic materials.
You can not buy any food or drinks with you along the trail. You will also have to carry all your trash with you back to the car park.
Sometimes there are food trucks at the parking, but do not count on those when planning your hike. There are grocery stores in Grindavík.