Lakagígar craters

  • Lakagígar in the Icelandic highland it is only accessible from late June until the beginning of October.
  • Lakagígar formed in the biggest eruption in historical times


Lakagígar, the Laki craters, is composed of a 25 kilometers row of craters near the eastern side of Vatnajökull ice cap in the Icelandic Highland. In June 1783, the largest eruption in historical times Skaftáreldar began here with terrible consequences for people, not only in Iceland but also in Europe, America, and Asia.  Skaftáreldar eruption is considered to have killed more people around the world than any other eruption. Some have even made the claim that Skaftáreldar initiated the French Revolution as it caused crop failure and devastation in France.  It is the biggest volcano activity on the planet in the last one thousand years, and the lava flow streaming from the craters covered little less than 600 square kilometers of land.   Even the well known Eyjafjallajokull eruption pales in comparison with the consequences of Skaftáreldar. 

A dangerous event produced a stunning landscape

Although an enormous area of land glowed with lava flow and threatened life with toxic steam only about 230 years ago, Skaftáreldar eruption also formed a breathtaking landscape. The activity was such, that enormous carpets of lava flowed on both sides of the mountains between them all the way to shore.  On the west side, the lava filled the (then) largest canyon in Iceland which was 25 kilometers long and is now sleeping under the lava. The whole event changed a large area of landscape forever.

Location in Highland requires 4X4 vehicle

Located in the Icelandic highland it is only accessible from late June until the beginning of October.  It is approximately 40 km from the Ring Road number 1 in the South Region in Iceland on a rather rough road with two unbridged rivers to cross.  The visit requires a good 4X4 vehicle and proper preparation. But although the trip is rather harsh the scenery and the craters are just stunning. 

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Lakagígar on the map of Iceland