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Iceland Attraction: Thrihnukagigur Volcano Tour

thrihnukagigur

An incredible look at the Thrihnukagigur volcano’s intact magma chamber. (from the Inside the Volcano website)

The Thrihnukagigur volcana in Iceland just gave me another reason to visit again: a tour company that takes people down a 400-foot descent into a volcano’s intact magma chamber.

The Thrihnukagigur volcano is 20 minutes from Reykjavik. It last erupted 4,000 years ago, one of the staggering number of volcanoes you can see in Iceland. But this one is just a bit different: A company called 3H Travel is set to begin tours into the magma chamber of Thrihnukagigur.

Into the magma chamber … this is incredibly rare. No other volcano I’ve seen has an intact magma chamber. Instead, they just have a bowl-like crater; I imagine the magma chamber’s remains are below, buried after a collapse of the lava above. To see this wonder, visitors hike the volcano; at the vent, a mechanical lift brings handfuls of people in at a time. (See the video at the bottom.)

The Inside the Volcano tour group claims Thrihnukagigur is unique in every sense of the word. I’m inclined to believe them since I’ve never seen or heard of any other volcano like this – much less one with a tour into the magma chamber.

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From the outside, Thrihnukagigur is unassuming. What’s inside, though, we’ll astound anyone with a functional set of eyes and an appreciation for geology.

The season for this tour is short: June 15-July 31. Future plans call for 3H Travel to bore a hole in the side of Thrihnukagigur; that will spare the squeamish a ride in a lift, and the less fit a trip up the volcano’s slopes.

I can’t emphasize this enough: The Thrihnukagigur Inside the Volcano tour is the most amazing opportunity I’ve ever heard about, and I am completely deflated that I missed out on it. I was just too quick to get to Iceland, I guess!

And now that Denver has seasonal service from IcelandAir, it’s an even better time to get out there. The Denver flights are great for the Southwest and Rockies – no more slog to JFK or Boston, nor a backtrack to Seattle.

So there you have it: a one-of-a-kind attraction and an easy way to get there. Could you ask for a better time to go to Iceland and go inside the volcano? Nope.

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