Eldhraun

South coast, Iceland
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Location

In a cataclysmic event, 1783-84, a vast expanse of block lava was formed. The eruption was the largest in recorded history and created a lava field called Eldhraun, or Fire Lava, that covers over 560 square kilometres. This beautiful lava field is located on the south coast of Iceland, just by the country’s ring road. The lava field is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The jagged rocks and twisted formations with deep basins, hollows, statues and cracks seem otherworldly and mystical. With thick overlays of grey and neon-green moss, this location offers almost endless possibilities for the perfect nature shot. An old gravel road lies embedded between the big lava boulders, making you feel like you have been transported to another world. The contrast between the moss and the surrounding black lava adds to its beauty, especially when it rains, making the colours even more vibrant and beautiful.

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  • Climate

    Climate

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  • Lighting conditions

    Lighting conditions

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    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

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Accessibility

The no 1 route in Iceland lies through this area. There is an old gravel road next to the new one that leads you easily 7 kilometres along the lava field. That road is rough, with little or no room to manoeuvre.
Public transportation unavailable
There is no public transportation available in this area
Car recommended
Unchallenging terrain accessible by car
Excellent phone coverage
Great phone coverage without interruptions
Not needed
Guide is not needed

Services nearby

There are lots of hotel options around this area. The village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur is 10 kilometres away with a store, swimming pool, campsite, gas station and restaurants. The nearest hospital is in Selfoss, 192 kilometres away.
Accommodation
< 30 km
Gas station
< 30 km
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
Parking
< 1 km
Restaurants
< 30 km
Shopping
< 30 km

Permits

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The area is owned by the government and private owners.
Shooting requires both the permission from the property owner and the local government permit
This location is on Katla UNESCO Global Geopark’s list.
Property owner unknown

Basecamp and facilities

3 km from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur on the main road is a small parking lot that can be used as a tech base. There are a few privately owned roads that lead to farms further inland that could be used as basecamps of larger sizes with permission from the owners. Kirkjubæjarklaustur lies within 10 kilometres and might be best suited for larger basecamps. Phone coverage is excellent here. No facilities are at this location.

Risk factors

The lava is a jagged scoria stones with big boulders and sharp edges. The lava field is hollow with lots of small and large crevasses, small caves, gaps and fissures that might be hard to spot because of the moss that is covering it. Lava fields in Iceland are preserved by law. The moss is a very delicate ecosystem, and you must follow an existing path or road to prevent damage.

Visitors

The area is a medium tourist attraction where people tend to stop for a short while, take a photo and continue with their journey. The lava field is vast so finding a secluded spot should not be hard. The ring road lies through this area.

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