Eyjafjallajokull volcano, how to pronounce quinoa


Eyjafjallajökull became one of Iceland's most famous landmarks when it erupted in 2010 and brought all air traffic to a standstill with its gigantic cloud of ash. He was featured on all popular TV channels around the world with his difficult-to-pronounce name. This is not just a volcano but actually a glacier and is related to the famous Katla volcano. You can read all about it here!

Eyjafjallajökull is one of the few stratovolcanoes that can be found in Iceland. This means that there is an ice cap covering the volcano's collapse crater - so a glacier can erupt! Many of us know the name Eyjafjallajökull for this very reason. In 2010 it broke out and caused a stir with the ash clouds that moved as far as Europe and shut down air traffic for five days!

The 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull was exceptional and it takes a long time to search in the past to find a comparable eruption. It has been compared to the eruptions of the mighty Katla volcano, which last erupted in 1918, almost a century ago.

What kind of volcano is Eyjafjallajökull?

Eyjafjallajökull is a stratovolcano and its veins follow an east-west direction. It consists of basalt and andesite lava.
Most of Eyjafjallajökull's historical eruptions have been quite explosive as the volcano is fed by a magma chamber that rests under the mountain. The magma chamber has its origin in the meeting of the continental plates of the mid-Atlantic ridge. Eyjafjallajökull is therefore part of a volcanic chain that stretches across Iceland. Its closest and very well-known neighbor is Katla and it is assumed that the two volcanoes are more connected than other volcanoes, since an eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull has almost always been followed by an eruption of Katla.
Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 920 and 1612.

Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010

A large number of activities took place at Eyjafjallajökull at the beginning of 2010. As a result of severe activities such as earthquakes and landslides, there was a small effusion in the northern part of Fimmvörðuháls. The outbreak began on March 20 and lasted 23 days. He then paused for two and a half days before starting again on April 14 on the summit of the stratovolcano Eyjafjallajökull. During the first five days the glacier melted significantly and some glacial rivers appeared. There were also ash clouds that reached all the way to Europe.

Photo by Signý Ásta Guðmundsdóttir

The Eyjafjallajökull eruption can be divided into four parts:

From April 14th to 18th:

Abundant eruptions and much explosive activity took place as the water reached the magma and further shredded it. This part was characterized by countless clouds of ash with finer chemicals. The largest ash fall took place on April 17th and spread to southern Europe.

From April 18th to May 4th:

Now there was a combination of explosive eruptions and flowing lava. The strength of the explosions was less than in the days before and the effect of the water was limited. Earthquakes were common and there was less magma to reach the bottom.

From May 5th to 17th:

The eruption began to cool down, there were eruptions at more irregular intervals and no new lava flowed.

From May 18th to 22nd:

Lower magma flow and the smoke from the eruption decreased. The outbreak ended on the night of May 22nd.

During the eruption, almost all air traffic was suspended for the next five days, affecting more than 100,000 flights. The second eruption, the true Eyjafjallajökull eruption, lasted 39 days. It started a few weeks later in June, but the activities were very limited.

What does the name Eyjafjallajökull mean?

Eyja means island.

Fjalla means mountain.

Jökull means glacier.

Put together, the name can be translated as an island-mountain glacier.

The land that stretches from Eyjafjallajökull to the sea is often called Landeyjar (for example, the name of the ferry terminal Landeyjarhöfn comes from this name) and the reason for this lies in one of those stratovolcanic eruptions in which the glacier water melted by the heat of the eruption is almost all of it Covered land, leaving nothing but land islands. The people sailed between the farms on the islands, where the origin of this place name lies.

Eyjafjallajökull is therefore a mountain glacier over the islands. Located in Eyjafjöll, translated as 'mountains of the islands'.

The pronunciation of Eyjafjallajökull

It's a tricky thing! The name Eyjafjallajökull didn't seem hard to pronounce until we Icelanders listened to all the non-Icelandic speakers. Now things got pretty complicated!

Here are videos on how to NOT pronounce it:

And how to CORRECTLY pronounce Eyjafjallajökull:

Eyjafjallajökull's location

GPS: 63 ° 37'12 "N 19 ° 36'48" W.

Eyjafjallajökull is located in the middle of southern Iceland between Skógafoss and Mýrdalsjökull in the mountains of Eyjafjöll. It is surrounded by mountains such as Stóra-Dímona and Þríhyrningur.

The main outlet glaciers of Eyjafjallajökull are Gígjökull and Steinholtsjökull. Gígjökull runs out of the mountains near the valley of Þórsmörk, but Steinholtjökull is further in the highlands and is less known to the general public.

Hiking on Eyjafjallajökull

There are two options to hike to Eyjafjallajökull's 2010 eruption site.

First of all there is the famous Fimmvörðuháls path.

This trail can be done in a day or two, depending on whether you plan to stay here. This tour is nicknamed the Þórsmörk volcano hike and starts in Reykjavík with a start in the Þórsmörk valley up to Fimmvörðuháls to see the newly formed craters Magni and Móði and back. The total route is around 14 kilometers long.

The two-day version of the Fimmvörðuháls hike starts in Reykjavík, but takes you from Skógar, home of the famous Skógafoss waterfall, through the highlands via Fimmvörðuháls to the Þórsmörk valley, where you will spend the night and the hiking trails the next morning to be able to enjoy.

Second, there is the hike on the real Eyjafjallajökull glacier. This was a fairly popular hiking trail before the eruption, but since the glacier became a little smaller with the eruption, the trail has received less attention since then. This hike is rated as challenging and should only be undertaken by experienced hikers with a guide.

Facts about Eyjafjallajökull

  • Eyjafjallajökull consists of a volcano that is completely covered by an ice cap.
  • The Icelanders were very surprised when Eyjafjallajökull started to erupt, waiting for other volcanoes to erupt!
  • The height is 1,651 meters.
  • Nobody died during the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull.
  • When the eruption started on the Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail, it created two new volcanic craters called Magni and Móði.
  • Eyjafjallajökull supplies the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Other volcanoes near Eyjafjallajökull

The nickname the land of ice and fire is often used for Iceland. The fire is related to volcanic activity that can be found all over the country. Many don't know, but when Eyjafjallajökull volcano started erupting in 2019, Icelanders were just as surprised as the rest of the world. Because they had actually expected that one of the other volcanoes that were due would go up.

The volcanoes that are in close proximity to Eyjafjallajökull are the stratovolcano Katla and the mountain volcano Hekla.

Katla volcano

The mighty Katla is a stratovolcano, which is basically a glacial volcano or a volcano under a glacier. The last eruption happened in 1918 and caused a gigantic flood, which made the land grow two kilometers to the sea. Since then, however, the sea has removed much of the land that it gained. Katla is located in an outlet glacier of the breathtaking Mýrdalsjökull and is named after the massive volcano Kötlujökull. In recent years, the Katla area has served as a location for Hollywood films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as the region looks very similar to a star and is often described as a lunar landscape.

Many believe that Katla is the next volcano to erupt. However, in this case there would be floods on the south coast, because the meltwater of the glacier reaches an alarming level when a volcano begins to erupt under the thick ice. The volcano is monitored every day and the eruption would not take anyone off guard, so no need to be afraid. The danger areas would be evacuated and visitors brought to safety.

Hekla volcano

The powerful and active Hekla Volcano, nicknamed “The Gate to Hell”, was once the most famous volcano in Iceland. It is still one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, but was surpassed by Eyjafjallajökull after its eruption in 2010. The volcano has been active for thousands of years. The first eruption was recorded in 1104 and the most recent in 2000. Hekla sits on a fissure four kilometers long on the surface. Folk tales made people believe that this was an entrance to hell for lost people!

The mighty volcano can be discovered from a great distance, as it rises 1,491 meters in an otherwise flat terrain. Chances are you'll see Hekla while exploring the south coast.

Movies & TV shows filmed on Eyjafjallajökull

Some of the more famous series and films that were filmed on Eyajfjallajökull are for example

  • Top Gear (2010) - James May drove up the volcano in a Toyota Hilux in a 2010 episode of Top Gear. It reached the top just a few hours from the eruption, but May and the crew left the area before the eruption began.
  • The Amazing Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Accommodation and hotels near Eyjafjallajökull


  • Stóra-Mörk
  • Skálakot Hotel Restaurant
  • Hotel Anna
  • Hotel Skogar
  • Hotel Skogafoss
  • Hotel Edda Skogar
  • Hotel Selja


Guest houses

  • Holt Guesthouse
  • Skógar Guesthouse
  • South Iceland Guesthouse
  • Guesthouse Rauðafell
  • Guesthouse Drangshlid
  • Kvíahólmi Apartments
  • Dalsel Guesthouse

Cabins and cottages

  • Volcanic huts in the Þórsmörk valley
  • Ásólfsskáli Cottage
  • The garage
  • Stóra-Mörk III

Camping near Eyjafjallajökull

Þórsmörk Slyppugil: a fantastic and quiet campsite with great facilities, open from June to September. A start and end point of many Thorsmörk hiking trails.

Price: for adults 1300 ISK per night + 500 ISK for a shower.

Camping Hamragarðar is only about 2 km from Ring Road 1. This is open all year round and offers an easy hike to the Gljúfrabúi and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

Price: For adults 1500 ISK per night + 300 ISK for a shower.

For electricity you pay 1000 ISK for 24 hours and the washing machine and dryer 500 ISK each.

Campsite Skógar near the Skógarfoss waterfall and the historic town of Skógar. The facilities are open all year round

Adult price 1500 ISK per night + 300 ISK for a shower.

Interesting places near Eyjafjallajökull