World first: Iceland offers tour INSIDE a volcano

World first: Iceland offers tour INSIDE a  volcanoHans Strand


Tourists with nerves of steel are being invited to become the first visitors to tour the magma chamber of a volcano in Iceland.

There will be a six-week window from 15 June to 31 July this summer where tourists can discover the interior of the Thrihnukagigur volcano, which has been dormant for around 4,000 years, according to the Telegraph.

The volcano sits around 30 minutes away from the capital Reykjavik, and tourists will have to complete a 40-minute trek across a lava field to the volcano, before reaching the bottom of the crater on a 120-metre descent in a cable lift.

World first: Iceland offers tour INSIDE a  volcanoK Maack



Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant told Aol Travel: "If ever the over used phrase 'once-in-a-lifetime' was more apt, it is now.

"For just a tiny six-week window, before it's closed off for further scientific research, tourists will be able to access the magma chamber of the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano for the very first time.

"With an expert volcanologist guide, visitors will head down a deep 120-metre shaft through the crater opening – the chamber itself is actually higher than the Statue of Liberty.

"A private guide will then take visitors through a tour of the vast chasm, learning about the immense pressure and complex processes that caused the volcano to form over millennia. You cannot fail to be humbled by an experience like this."

Black Tomato's Into the Volcano trip costs from £3,459 per person including flights and transfers. For more information visit blacktomato.com or call 0207 426 9888.

Discover more Iceland adventures below:

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World first: Iceland offers tour INSIDE a volcano

Reynisfjara is a striking beach of black volcanic rock on the western side of the Reynisfjall ridge. Stacks of unearthly basalt columns sit on the black sand, which is surrounded by cliffs scattered with caves and wildlife. 

The mineral-rich hot waters of the Blue Lagoon in the Svartsengi Resource Park are warmed by  fine silica mud, said to be extremely nourishing for the skin. Buckets of the complexion-boosting sludge are placed around the lagoon to be used as a face mask. There's also a cool swim-up bar, a natural sauna and steam room, and amazing views. Entry is £25 per person. Visit bluelagoon.is

Take a trip to the Great Geysir, one of the country's greatest natural attractions. You'll find it near the Langjökull Glacier - the shooting towers of water are a strange and inspiring sight (but, be warned, the sulphur creates a rather pungent smell…).

The ice blue, almost-turquoise colour of the landscape at the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is a sight not to be missed. The 160m deep pool lies at the base of the Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland’s largest ice cap which, in some places, is 1km thick. It has been the backdrop for a host of movie locations, including Die Another Day, Batman Begins and Tomb Raider. The journey to Jökulsárlón goes through some of Iceland’s most spectacular landscape, affording magnificent camera opportunities, including the Skogarfoss waterfall, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the Skaftafell National Park.

Take a drive along the new south coast road to the lobster house of Fjorubordid for fab food. This hotspot for Icelanders is hidden away in the coastal village of Stokkseyri - and many Reykjavikians trek all the way there just for tea.  There's no menu: you're simply served the starter and main for the evening. It's sociable, get-your-hands-dirty fare and tastes fantastic. Prices start at £22 for three people. Visit fjorubordid.is

There's no doubt that Iceland offers one of the best places to spot the Northern Lights. Whether you see traces of the lights or a full-on green extravaganza is all down to luck, really. But whichever way, it's still an amazing experience - and a good test of your photographic skills.

When you're in Reykjavik, make a pit stop at the new Harpa Concert and Conference Hall. Its disco facade comes courtesy of artist Olafur Eliasson, and it houses four halls for music, as well as a lovely coffee shop with a breathtaking mountain vista. The £90m building stands out from the rest of the rustic-looking city, and is well worth a peek.

The pure charm of Reykjavik will bowl you over; from its fizzing mix of cute gingerbread-style buildings to its endless array of museums, galleries, basement cafés and live music bars - all flanked by a stunning mountain backdrop - it's a pretty special city break. Head to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja Church - the tallest and largest church in Iceland with a 75-metre steeple - for magnificent views over the city (pictured). Stop in at the Settlement Museum for a trip down Viking memory lane, and have a coffee at a bohemian bistro/bar like Kaffibarinn, part owned by Damon Albarn. 

The Grillmarkaðurinn (Grill Market) is one of Reykjavik’s newest and most innovative restaurants. The design is inspired by Icelandic nature with moss, basalt columns and fish skin used as decorations, and the general experience leaves you feeling like you stumbled across a really cool secret. Main courses start at £19. Call (+354) 571 7777.

Getting to the Langjökull Glacier through stretches of stubborn, knee-deep snow is an adventure in itself. Once there, the very capable staff from Mountaineers (mountaineers.is) will have you dressed in your boiler suit and helmet in no time, then you're off. The experience of shooting across the vast expanse of the glacier is nothing less than awesome. Mountaineers of Iceland offers a one-hour snowmobiling trip on the Langjökull Glacier, including a Superjeep ride up to the glacier, Golden Circle tour (Gulfoss Waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park) and pick up and drop off to the hotel in Reykjavik for £182 per person. Book at mountaineers.is.

The natural beauty of this waterfall, which is said to be the most photographed in Iceland, will blow you away - but, boy, is it cold. The water crashing down at a rate of around 180 cubic metres an hour into a 35m deep crevice is a real spectacle, but a post-viewing authentic bowl of soup is a must: try a warming, traditional bowl of Kjötsúpa (lamb soup/stew) at the restaurant at Gulfosskaffi.

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