Extreme Iceland Tour: Part 5 – Eldhraun Lava Field

After some of the most spectacular waterfalls I’ve ever seen, and after the most amazing black sand beach at Reynisfjara, Iceland had something different in store for the next leg of the Extreme Iceland two-day tour – miles and miles… and miles of the vast Eldhraun Lava Field, known to locals as No Man’s Land.

I’m from Texas, and driving across this vast lava field reminded me of driving across West Texas.

The Eldhraun lava field covers an area of 218 square miles.

The lava field was created during the cataclysmic Laki Eruption of 1783 and 1784 when a volcanic fissure poured out 42 billion tons of basalt lava. The eruption killed more than 50% of Iceland’s domestic animals, more than 20 percent of the human population and affected weather patterns in Europe, North America and as far as Indonesia. Many historians believe the volcanic ash from the eruption could have contributed to the French Revolution by hindering crop growth, prompting Marie-Antoinette to issue her famous quote “let them eat cake” during widespread bread shortages.

There are several places along Ring Road where trails through the lava field have been roped off for visitors.

Almost the entire lava field is covered in moss. During the summer months the moss turns green. This visit was in June and the moss was just beginning to turn green.

Location of the “Scenic Green Lava Walk” at Google Maps