Skift Take

Iceland is safe and the volcano's impact has been minimal.

A volcano erupted in southwest Iceland on Monday. Despite the eruption, only the Blue Lagoon spa, Grindavik and areas close the volcano are off limits to the public.

“The volcano right now, at least in its current state, is posing no danger,” said Kristijan Svajnzger, operations manager for Eastern Europe at Intrepid Travel.

What’s the status of the volcano’s eruption? 

The eruption began on Monday, December 18 at 10:17 p.m. ET, on the Reykjanes peninsula northeast of the town of Grindavik.  

This is the fourth eruption since 2021 in the area, and the largest so far with an initial fissure opening of 4km, according to Iceland’s government.

The size of the eruption has been diminishing since Monday evening and the lava flow is estimated to be about one-quarter of what it was when the eruption started, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Is Iceland safe for travel? Is the volcano a risk for travelers in Iceland?

Flights are operating through Keflavik International Airport on schedule.

Major carriers have not cancelled their flights into Keflavik. “At this time, the eruption does not affect our operations or Keflavík airport. Our flight schedule remains unchanged,” said a note on Icelandair’s website.

The eruption does not pose an immediate threat to visitors. Only Grindavik has been evacuated. No additional evacuations have been made, according to Visit Reykjanes.

The eruption is not expected to impact additional populated areas, according to Iceland’s government. Reykjavik and other cities remain unaffected.

The U.S. State Department has not changed its travel advisory for Iceland. It’s a Level 1 advisory, the safest level for a country.

Tour operators Jacada Travel, G Adventures, Intrepid Travel and Road Scholar have not canceled upcoming or ongoing trips to Iceland.

“We are still booking and operating trips to Iceland,” said Jacada Travel Founder Alex Malcom. “Airports remain open and the country as a whole is extremely experienced at dealing with volcanoes in a safe way.”

Which tourist attractions in Iceland are closed?

Only Blue Lagoon is closed. The geothermal spa will be closed through December 27. The Golden Circle, the South Coast and the Northern Lights are open to tourists.

Intrepid Travel, Jacada Travel and Road Scholar have replaced Blue Lagoon in their itineraries with other spas like Sky Lagoon Iceland

‘We have already updated the itineraries and moved from Blue Lagoon to Sky Lagoon,” said Meghan Flynn, association vice president of program strategy for Road Scholar.

G Adventures has offered refunds to clients who included Blue Lagoon in their itineraries, said Yves Marceau, vice president of product.

Can travelers see the eruption?

No. All roads to Grindavik are closed. The entire area around Blue Lagoon has been closed. Authorities have blocked access to the eruption area.


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: iceland, tourism

Up Next

Loading next stories