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Hike from Grjótagjá to Hverfjall crater

Grjótagjárvegur, Iceland



8 miles

Route Type



Added by Wesetthesails

This hike starts from Grjótagjá cave, in Lake Mývatn area, North Iceland. The distance is approximately 12 km (7.5 miles), count around 3 hours to complete one way as there is a lot to see out there.


Grjótagjá is a lava cave that used to be a popular bathing place before the water temperature got too high (around 50°C). If the blue water that fills up the cave is hypnotizing, it is worth checking out the fissure on the « roof » of the cave and the lava stones on site. There you can feel the forces of Nature !

The route from Grjótagjá to Hverfjall takes you through black sand plains and lava fields. The ascent of the crater is easier from the North side than the South side which is more steep. It takes 15 minutes to go up.


It is still unclear whether the official name of the crater is Hverfjall or Hverfell so use whichever you can pronounce :)   Hverfjall tephra cone crater was created 2500 years ago, after a powerful explosion. The crater has a diameter of one kilometer and is 140 meters deep. 

Once at the top, you will be rewarded with an astonishing 360° view over the lava fields, Mývatn lake, Viti as well as Vindbelgjarfjall (529 meters).

After taking the path along the rim of the crater (3 km), walk down the steep hill on the South side and on into Dimmuborgir arches and tunnels.


Dimmuborgir lava formations appeared following an eruption 3000 years ago. The lava field collapsed due to soft lava underground, resulting in unique lava formations, often compared to trolls. There are a few paths taking you through the area taking from 15 minutes to one hour. The red route (one hour) heads towards Kirkja cave, which looks like a church entrance. 

We just took the same way to go back to Grjótagjá.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike Hverfjall and Dimmuborgir

Bathe in Myvatn Nature Baths

Explore Hverir Geothermal Field

Hike around Höfði

Hike up Vindbelgjarfjall

Hike to Leirhnjúkur