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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a volcano looks like? If you’re obsessing over becoming a volcano watcher after seeing a re-run of Dante’s Peak on the tele, then have we got a tour for you! 

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Iceland is the first country in the world to offer tourists a chance to venture down into the magma chamber of a volcano. We’re talking about the place where the lava comes from, folks! Visitors on the tour won’t be hiking down into Eyjafjallajokull, the one that erupted a few years ago, but rather Thrihnukagigur which hasn’t erupted for more than 4,000 years.

Thrihnukagigur, whose name means “Three Peaks Crater”, is located a mere thirty minutes away from Reykjavik by car. From there, visitors must trek across a lava field up to the mouth of the volcano. From there visitors will take an open cable lift down to the bottom of the crater, a 120m descent. With a guide, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the volcano for about an hour before taking the cable lift back up. The opening at the mouth of the volcano is a mere 4m by 4m.

What makes Thrihnukagigur unique?

When a volcano erupts the lava normally cools into hard lava to block the entrance. This was not the case however the last time that Thrihnukagigur erupted. Instead the magma in one of the three chambers solidified on the walls instead of blocking the entrance.

The magma chamber is as high as three Statues of Liberty stacked on top of each other. There are tunnels as well that go as far down as 200m.

Tour details

The tour will run for 6 weeks this summer, from June 15 to July 31st, 2012 and costs ISK 37,000 (approximately £180) per person. A bit steep but a portion of this will go towards funding Icelandic volcano research. Participants must be aged 12 or older and have a certain level of physical fitness to be able to complete the two mile trek to the opening in the crater and back again after the tour. It’s safe to say this volcano is not wheelchair-accessible. Check out flights to Reykjavik if you’re interesting and find more information on the tour at insidethevolcano.com.

Would you trek down inside a volcano?

Img: Dyntr / Flickr cc.

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