One of the most interesting volcanoes in Iceland is Mt Öræfajökull – the second most dangerous volcano in Europe. Only Mt Etna is considered to be more dangerous. Now, Mt Öræfajökull has been showing some signs that it’s getting ready for an eruption since Mt Öræfajökull now has new cracks in glacier inside the crater and geothermal water is flowing down in the glacial river from the crater. But – good to know – it could take years or even decades (or perhaps longer) for Mt Öræfajökull to start erupting.
Mt Öræfajökull’s last eruption was in 1726 and before that the volcano erupted in 1362. Both eruptions were dangerous but during the eruption in 1362 the acidic volcanic flood from the volcano killed everyone and everything in the area. The name of the area has been called Öræfi which means desert or wasteland ever since. Nobody dared to live there for decades after the eruption. Now of course the civil protection authorities in Iceland will make sure that the history doesn’t repeat itself so they will be alarming everyone by texting if they think there is any reason to evacuate.
Mt Öræfajökull has the highest peak in Iceland, Hvannadalshnúkur – 2110m high. It is magnificent to see on the way to Vatnajökull national park and ideal to take a break at the roots of the volcano and take a photo when the weather is nice. This area is a part of the tour to the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón which is a very long day tour or a part of a 2-3 days tour to the southeast coast of Iceland. During a multiple day tour you can do some extras, e.g. join an ice cave tour, glacier walk, see the beach sometimes called the diamond beach by visitors in Iceland etc.