Iceland: Inside the Volcano-Thrihnukagigur Volcano

When I stumbled upon this tour, I had to do it.  It was one of the priciest tours we have ever done, but when in the world do you have a chance to go inside a volcano?  Actually, only in Iceland and only the Thrihnukagigur Volcano.

Here is a special on CNN about the reporter’s experience.

Here is Lisa on the bus, so excited to get there.


This is the only volcano in the world that you can go inside and the tour is only available during the summer months.  The hike to the volcano is not too difficult, but you should be able to walk a long time.  On a nice summer day, it is a 45 minute hike up there.  The path is not paved, so beware of rocks.


This was us right before we started the trek in our matching fleece sweatshirts.  I made sure to pick bright colors so that we couldn’t lose each other.




This particular volcano is about a 45 minute ride from Reykjavik.  It is natural phenomenon.  As the tour guide mentioned to us, normally when a volcano erupts, the chambers collapsed in such a way that it sealed and dormant.

When we went, it was even more difficult of a hike. We went at the end of May, the snow still didn’t fully melt, so we had to make our trek through about 6-7 inches of soft snow.  Yes, you heard right, half melted snow.  T, our tour guide said this is very unusual and most of the time it should have already melted, but with our luck, it didn’t.  I will not lie, the hike was miserable and I felt like I should have trained on the stair master beforehand because by the end my Gluteus Maximus hurt!




It was so hard to walk through that for almost an hour each way.  Even my waterproof boots could not protect my feet.  There were points when I thought I couldn’t make it and I kept thinking, will these two guides carry me up?  Do they have dog sleds?


Lisa for some reason was so fast and she would look back and I would get slower and slower.  I really struggled to keep up even though I swear I was walking fast.

Look at my struggle and the distance between me and the people ahead of me.


Throughout the hike, there would be a few stops where we would learn about the landscape and fun facts about volcanoes.


Finally, after a very difficult hike, we got to step into a small house or what is called base camp.  Here we had time to warm up with some hot tea or coffee before putting on gear to go down into the volcano.

There are also restrooms, but it’s an outhouse.  I told Lisa I had issues going because it was blowing cold air on my booty and I just couldn’t go.  She laughs because she lived a year in China and there they just squat over a hole.  #firstworldproblems.

When it was our turn to go, we put on the harness and hard hat and made our way up the side of the volcano.  It was so windy up there and then you arrive at the opening.


The view from the top of the volcano.



As we got lowered into the volcano, it was a little surreal. You can see drops of water coming from above and the ground floor.  And we got photobombed again.


Once we got down there, the walls were all different colors. The temperature dropped even lower than when we were outside, and of course the area was rocky.







Lisa and many other well balanced people were hopping along without even a second thought. Our tour guide, T ran around like it was a paved running track.  I mentioned that to him and he laughed because I struggled.  Anytime we had to climb anything, I got on my hands and feet, Lisa documented this of course.


I never expected the inside of a volcano to be so colorful and rocky.  It actually reminded me of a cave.




T noticed we liked to take a lot of pictures, so he offered. Little does he know, when you offer to take pictures, you become our designated picture man.  On one of our last pictures as we were leaving the volcano, T looked at us and said, you girls have the most static smile I’ve ever seen and it’s not fake, it is truly a genuine smile. This takes years of practice and thousands of pictures to achieve this.

T even took a picture with us!


We even got to touch the volcano.


Once we got back, we each got homemade soup before we headed back down for a ride home.


The guides stay in the back of the group to make sure everyone is ok. When he announced for us to head back, I booked it so I wouldn’t be last again.  Well, that was a fail.  I kept up for a little bit and then again, I must have lost traction and everyone kept passing me. Lisa stopped during the trek to wait for me.  When I saw her I just waved her on and yelled, go save yourself!

I survived, but in all our years of traveling, this excursion wore us out.  We got back to the hotel and slept the rest of the day. We didn’t even eat, so when we woke up we had to hunt for the few places that were still open at 1 AM!

Our survival faces.


This was definitely a unique experience and so incredible that it’s the only place in the world that you can do this.  I would recommend that you do this when you go to Iceland. It is only available in the summer months, but you won’t regret it.  Never in your life do you have a chance to post a picture on Facebook with the status: Reporting from Inside a Volcano. #insidethevolcano.

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