Book Lakagigar Volcano Expedition
Duration 8 hours. Departure from Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Join the full day tour to Lakagigar Craters in Vatnajokull National Park. You will travel on a Super Jeep specially modified in Iceland to be able to deal with the tough surroundings in the highlands and on glaciers. The main focus is on individuals on these guided small-group tours with a maximum of 11 passengers.
Iceland, the land of Fire and Ice
From the time the first settlers, the Norwegian Vikings, came to Iceland around the year 874, people have lived in the shadows of volcanoes and glaciers. Icelanders have learned to deal with the harsh weather, floods from the glaciers and eruptions for the past 1000 years.
Iceland is a geologically young land. It is located on the Iceland hot spot and Mid-Atlantic Ridge which runs through it. It is known worldwide for its immense geological activity and large glacier and has therefore often been nicknamed the land of Ice and Fire.
In Iceland, it can be expected to have new eruption every 3-5 years. Most of them are small and happens in volcanoes far in the highland. It is usually not affecting many people. But in the year 1783 on 8th June, it started an eruption that changed the life in Iceland and in the whole world for many years. In fact, the devastation from the 1783 eruption was far more widespread than Iceland. In Iceland, the fallout from the eruption was known as the “Móðuharðindin” (Mist Hardships) as the poisonous gases the craters released were so deadly that 80% of sheep and 50% of horse and cattle perished, as did 20-25% of the human population.
The gases released by Laki contributed to several years of unusual weather patterns across Europe, North America and Africa. North America experienced longer, colder winters. In Europe the weather remained erratic, with the impact on crops in France greatly affecting poverty, spurring the French revolution in 1789.
All in all, millions around the world died in the aftermath of these historic Laki eruptions.
This was the largest eruption since the settlement of Iceland and the accompanying lava flow (Eldhraun) was the third largest on earth since the last Ice Age. Eldahraun is thought to be around 600 square kilometers and up to 15 cubic kilometers.
The stories from the time Laki was erupting, only 240 years ago, becomes live when Trausti and Guðmann tell you about their own experience during the Grímsvötn eruption 2011. Although it is not comparable to Laki eruption, they share with you their experience on how waking up in total darkness not seeing your own hands because of ash falling from the sky. About the total silence because the ash was so thick it suffocated all sound. It’s maybe hard to compare with the farmers 1783. They lived in turf houses and of course no information available about the situation. Except of course when they went to church on Sundays to get some comfort by listening to the priest. It is hard to compare to today’s people in modern houses with radio, internet and TV to get the latest news. Lakagigar eruption lasted for 8 months comparing to Grímsvötn only 8 days.
Lakagigar is a part of Vatnajökull National Park. On the 5th of July 2019 Vatnajökull National Park was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The decision, which was taken at a meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was confirmed that the natural environment of the Park and the Nature Reserve at Lónsöræfi have a unique value to humankind.
You will travel in a specially modified huge super jeep with experienced local guides.
Super Jeep is a four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicles equipped with massive suspension systems and tires ranging from 38″ to 46″ size. Besides using enormous tires, these vehicles have reshaped bodies to house the larger wheels, extended suspension, and a special lift kit to increase the ride height.
Click here to learn more about the specially modified Super Jeep
What are the benefits of taking guided super jeep tour to Lakagigar with Secret Iceland?
Lakagigar, also known as Laki Craters, is a volcanic fissure in Iceland that erupted in 1783-1784, causing one of the most significant volcanic disasters in history. Here are af few reasons why taking a super jeep tour to Lakagigar with Secret Iceland can be a good idea:
- Access: The area around Lakagígar can be challenging to access without a super jeep due to the rough terrain and rivers to cross. Super jeeps are specially designed and modified in Iceland to handle difficult terrain, so they can take you to places that other vehicles cannot. This means you can explore more of the area, including some hidden gems that you may not be able to access otherwise. One other big benefit is to be able to start your hike on one spot and end at another as your guide will move the car to the end of the trail.
- Scenic beauty: The Lakagígar area is incredibly scenic, with vast lava fields, volcanic craters, and other geological formations. The unique landscape is of an almost breathtaking otherworldly beauty with its rugged beauty and barren landscapes. Your local guide will make sure you will not miss out any of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring spots in the area, making it an unforgettable experience.
- Educational experience: The Lakagigar eruption had a significant impact on Iceland’s history and the world’s climate. A guided super jeep tour with Secret Iceland will give you the opportunity to learn about the eruption’s effects, the geology of the area, and Iceland’s volcanic history. You can also learn about the efforts of the locals to restore the area’s ecosystem after eruptions.
- Personalised tour: Super jeep tour with Secret Iceland are with just a few people per vehicle, so you can get a personalised experience. The tour guides are locals and are knowledgeable and passionate about the area, so you can ask questions and learn more about the place you are visiting.
- Adventure: Taking a super jeep tour with Secret Iceland to Lakagigar is an adventure in itself. Driving the narrow and bumpy track with several rivers to cross can be a tricky thing, especially if you are not experienced to the drive in the wilderness and landscape is unfamiliar. The ride in the super jeep is super smooth and safe thanks to both experienced driver and the modified super jeep with specially designed suspension system and huge 46″ tires with extra low air pressure that makes the ride super soft. You can relax and enjoy and explore some of the most remote and untouched landscapes in Iceland. It’s an experience that you will remember for a long time.
Overall, a super jeep tour to Lakagigar with Secret Iceland is a great way to explore the area, learn about its history, and experience the Icelandic wilderness in a unique and exiting way.
The founders of Secret Iceland are the brothers Trausti Ísleifsson and Guðmann Ísleifsson.
They were born in the small southern village Vík í Mýrdal. They moved later to Reykjavík with their mother but always kept a strong bond to Vík and their aunts farm Efri-vík in Kirkjubæjarklaustur were they often spend the summers as kids.
In 1992 they started their successful business together as contractors working for Reykjavík City. The main work was to make roads and pavements. The business started small but soon grew to be quite big on Icelandic scale with more than 35 people on pay role.
In the year 2008 everything changed as the bank crisis started in USA. Icelandic banks had become too large and as a result collapsed all as one. The brothers had a bad feeling about the Icelandic banks and started to retracting the sails in their business two years earlier. Many companies got bankrupted and many families lost their homes and saving in the bank crisis. The brothers managed to keep their business but Reykjavík City, were they got all their work almost got bankrupted and stopped all constructions meaning the company lost all work. While waiting for things to get better something happened that changed everything.
On 20th March 2010 it started an eruption in Fimmvörðuháls between the glaciers Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. The eruption was rather small and if you got a super jeep you could easily get there by crossing the glacier Mýrdalsjökull. People were eager get there to see the eruption so just few days later the brothers got the idea of taking tourists to the eruption using the specially modified super jeep they had together. This turned out to be great success and people loved to see eruption in progress. In general, most eruptions are dangerous but this one turned out to be quite “harmless” and “tourist friendly” were you could see it in close proximity and people even tried to barbecue food in the hot lava.
The brothers had found a light in the dark for their business. Going into tourist business with “tourist friendly” eruption in progress was a blast start. This eruption lasted for few weeks but slowly faded out and stopped. Only two days later, Eyjafjallajökull started to erupt. A totally different in size and power and was certainly not tourist friendly. The dark ash soon covered large part of Iceland and even caused problems in the international flight. The fun was over. Airplanes were grounded all over the world and people were stuck on airports everywhere just as in Iceland as well. Maybe going into tourist business would not be so good idea after all. Maybe people would hate Iceland for all the problem it caused.
It turned out to be the opposite. People were interested and wanted to visit this little volcanic Island in the north that caused all this problem, especially after seeing pictures of the landscape.
The brothers decided to proceed the project and started to offer guided tours to Lakagigar (craters of Laki) in summer 2010. They know the area of Lakagigar as their own hand as they started to go there with the farmers when they were only 12-13 years old. Icelandic farmers have put their sheep to the highlands since the settlements and must collect them back before the winter comes. In the tour they tell stories from the old days when they were helping to collect the sheep on their horse and the fact that their father and uncle made the road to Lakagigar in 1964. Today the the road is maintained by the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. It is still a rough track and is not suitable for smaller 4×4 cars.
Secret Iceland is a licensed tour operator, authorised by the Icelandic Tourist Board since 2010.
My son and I did the trip today with Trausti and the Holasport beefed-up Ford Econoline and, despite less than perfect conditions, had an absolute blast (no pun intended). Very freaky landscapes almost reeking of the violence of the 1780’s, coupled with stunning waterfalls, great walks and climbs
Trausti took us to Laki Craters and AMAZING waterfalls, completely breathtaking! It was an amazing experience that I strongly recommend. It was a whole day trip with many stops in some of the most amazing places in Iceland. Thank you so much for this experience, could have not been more perfect!
We did the Full Day Laki Crater tour with Trausti (tour guide) and it was awesome. We got to see so much and it was a great mix of sightseeing and hiking throughout the day. There are places that they take you that are just divine and that so few people probably ever get to see. Would highly recommend!.
We (mother and daughter) just finished an amazing Raki Craters tour. There is no better way to discribe it but: breathtaking. This tour takes you to places you otherwise could not reach and are therefore less touristic but no less breathtaking.
My sister and I did the Mountains, Waterfalls, the Moon, and the Beach tour. We managed to be the only 2 booked, so we had the tour to ourselves. We saw amazing scenery, and were able to take our time at each stop.
The best way to get into the highlands
We lucked out. Our guide was the owner/one of the owners and had been born and raised in the area so was intimately familiar with the geography, geology and farming culture. He was a joy to listen to and we could ask him just about anything we wanted to about Iceland.
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Contact us for more information on the tours or anything else you need to know.
If you have any questions or comments then please don’t hesitate to send us a message and we will do our best to accommodate you.