The South

Sitting behind a volcanic ledge, right off the road to Landmannalaugar, hides an enormous crater. Hnausapollur erupted around 11,000 years ago, now it's filled with piercing blue turquoise water. Those in a 4WD can drive right up to the edge of the crater and peer into it from the car. It's also possible to carefully walk around the rim or obtain a permit (3500kr) from the Mountain Mall and go fishing in the lake below.

There's no road sign on the F208 pointing out this magnificent sight, which is around 200m from the road. Look for a dirt path leading up to a hill on the left before you reach Frostastaðavatn lake.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The South attractions

1. Stútur

3.97 MILES

Roughly translated as 'bottleneck', the Stútur crater sits on the Norðurnámshraun lava field and is signposted off the F224 road. Two fairly steep trails…

2. Natural Pool

4.48 MILES

Boardwalks from Landmannalaugar's info hut lead to a geothermal hot pool flanked by volcanic hills. It's not officially a 'bathing area', but visitors are…

3. Hekla Volcano

19.87 MILES

One of Iceland's most active volcanoes, Hekla stands at 1491m, and has erupted 20 times since 874, most recently in the year 2000. In a 4x4, it's possible…

4. Háifoss

22.16 MILES

Iceland’s second-highest waterfall, Háifoss is a magnificent 128m-high cascade that plunges off the edge of a majestic plateau into an undulating lava…

5. Gjáin

22.3 MILES

A walking path from Stöng farm takes you a couple of kilometres to a lovely little lush valley, Gjáin, full of twisting lava, otherworldly caves and…

6. Stöng

22.83 MILES

Buried by white volcanic ash in 1104 during one of Hekla’s eruptions, this ancient farm once belonged to Gaukur Trandilsson, a 10th-century Viking who…

7. Lakagígar Crater Row

23.61 MILES

The crater row is fascinating to explore, riddled with black sand dunes and lava tubes, many of which contain tiny stalactites. At the foot of Laki,…

8. Laki

24.23 MILES

Although the peak called Laki (818m) did not erupt, it has loaned its name to the 25km-long Lakagígar crater row, which stretches northeastwards and…