Lonely Planet Writer

Get this real life experience of earthquakes and volcanoes at Iceland's new Lava Centre

The largest volcano and earthquake exhibition centre in Europe has just opened in Iceland and it will give visitors a real life experience of what it is like to be nearby one of these massive events.

Iceland is one of the most active places in the world when it comes to volcanic activity. If you’ve always been fascinated by volcanoes but too afraid to get close to them then this is the experience for you. The Lava Centre was opened on  1 June and aims to give a detailed explanation as to what exactly is going on inside a volcano without any of the risk.

Courtesy of Ásbjörn Björgvinsson
The Lava Centre. Image courtesy of Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson

The centre is situated one hour away from the capital city of Reykjavik in the town of Hvolsvöllur and it couldn’t be in a more better location. It sits beneath three active volcanoes, Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla and Katla. Everyone remembers Eyjafjallajökull when it disrupted flights in Europe back in 2010, but Hekla is the one to watch as it erupts once every ten years. This centre will offer a 360-degree view of the volcanoes so when one of them erupts, the Lava Centre will be the best seat in the house to watch them from.

Courtesy of Ásbjörn Björgvinsson
The Lava Centre. Image courtesy of Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson

Inside the centre the experience is equally as fascinating. The whole experience is designed to be interactive and visitors can feel exactly what a volcanic eruption is like. There will be fake ash clouds to walk through, a tunnel with magma flowing around it and a room that shakes like an earthquake. As well as that there will be a cinema with HD footage of real life eruptions and a 12-metre-high volcanic simulation.

Image courtesy of Ásbjörn Björgvinsson
The Lava Centre. Image courtesy of Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson

There is also a restaurant serving up food and a souvenir shop selling locally made products. If you would like to find out more about the Lava Centre or book tickets you can find out more here.