The Thrihnukagigur volcano (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
There’s only one volcano where visitors can descend into a magma chamber, and it’s just 13 miles outside of Reykjavík, Iceland.
Thrihnukagigur — or “Three Peaks Crater” — opened to the public in 2012 after a campaign from cave explorer Árni B. Stefánsson to make it accessible. The visits have continued into this year, and from May 15 to September 13, tour operators Inside the Volcano will transport you down 394 feet on an open-air cable lift elevator into the heart of the volcano through a 12 foot by 12 foot cinder cone opening.
Inside the volcano (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
The volcano, located in Bláfjöll Country Park, has been dormant for 4,000 years, although that doesn’t mean it will never explode again. Iceland is a volatile place, sitting on top of where the Eurasian and North American plates slide apart. However, Inside the Volcano offers this confidence on their site: “We know what you are probably thinking — This is crazy and must be dangerous. But don’t worry, you will be surrounded by expert guides at all times and you can rest assured that extreme safety precautions are taken at every step of the process.”
Still, it’s not an adventure for the mild of heart — there is a 45 minute hike just to get to the entrance of the volcano. However, after you make it down past the walls of cooled magma in their vibrant patterns, you’re greeted with traditional Icelandic soup and drinks. The cost per person is ISK 37.000 (~$327).
Bláfjöll Country Park (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
Volcano entrance (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
The magma chamber (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
Volcano walls (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)
At the bottom of the volcano (photograph by Olikristinn/Wikimedia user)