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“The Cathedral of Mother Earth” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inside The Volcano

Inside The Volcano
Thrihnukagigur Volcano, Reykjavik 210, Iceland
+354 863 6640
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Ranked #22 of 257 Activities in Reykjavik
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Descend into the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano in Iceland.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The Cathedral of Mother Earth”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Thrihnukagigur was a memorable experience! My husband and I were looking for something unusual to do in Iceland and this was it. I really think the trip experience depends very much on the weather. We took the 10 am tour and it was raining and super windy. In fact the tours for the rest of the day were cancelled due to the weather. Our 2 mile walk to Thrihnukagigur was a challenge fighting the mud and rocks. We were told “not” to walk on the lichen/moss spongy surface as represented on the video. Again, because of the rain very few took their cameras out to take pictures during the walk. Hiking boots are a must! We spent more time looking down than up to dodge rocks and watch the mud. We arrived about an hour and half later at the base camp, a trailer, next to the volcano. The wind was so high that the hut was vibrating and the trek to the top of the volcano was not for the “faint of heart.” Guides provided harnesses and helmets with lights. As we approached the volcano we were warned that the winds would be even stronger for about 5 meters, till we arrived at the opening. Yep it was frightening, but true to form it stopped. Then we hooked up, walked the plank, hooked onto the suspended scaffold (window washing unit) and down we went. If you have a fear of heights this is not the tour for you. The decent into the volcano was incredibly peaceful and absolutely beautiful. The colors and textures were stunning and very unique. We had about 30 minutes in the volcano to climb around, take photos and just admire the beauty. My photos just don’t do it justice. The ascent was just as captivating, the soup and tea at the base camp were delightful, but the hike back to the bus was even more challenging than the arrival. As a result of the rain and high winds the shortest path was down the side of the volcano. The biggest challenge was fighting the rain, hail and high winds at our backs.
I have been hiking in rain before, but the winds made the trip challenging, despite my years of working out. I hope they do put in a pathway, so that more people can experience the stunning beauty of geology, without the stress and strain.
When I arrived back to the hotel I told my friends, “We have been to “The Cathedral of Mother Earth;” it was moving, beautiful, inspiring and scary at the same time. We are reminded of this religious experience each time we climb a flight of stairs and breathe through bruised ribs!
Be smart, if the weather is bad reschedule, it it's good enjoy!

Visited August 2013
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Simply amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

There are two things you absolutely should do while visiting Iceland - one is to visit the Jökulsárlón glacier/iceberg lagoon and the other is to do this descent into the volcano - the only place on Earth where you can do this. It's about a half hour bus ride to the site and then a 3 km hike to the volcano over the lava field. it is truly the opportunity of a lifetime!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

The hike can be tricky but its part of the experience. The guides were friendly and full of knowledge. We felt safe during the tour and the soup was awesome (homemade). The feeling you get once inside the volcano is simply amazing and powerful. A must do!

Visited August 2013
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Northport, New York
1 review
“Favorite Iceland Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Let me start by saying that this tour was NOT on my list of things to do in Iceland. I booked it because it was the one thing that my son really wanted to see while on our Icelandic vacation and I felt that our chosen activities should be done together as a family. That being said, I worried about the prospect of going into the volcano right up until the day our scheduled tour arrived. I am afraid of heights and am not usually fond of touring caves either. I was quite shocked to find that this tour turned out to be the best of our Icelandic experiences. Our guide was genuine, knowledgeable and very pleasant. We parted with hugs and the feeling that we had made a friend. During our hike up to the volcano she pointed out many things of interest with regards to the Icelandic landscape. That in itself was a really nice experience. We were blessed to have a beautiful day but even in the rain, the trip would have been worth it. When we arrived at the camp near the opening of the volcano, we were served drinks before breaking off into groups to go down inside. The guides waiting for us at the camp were equally friendly and introduced us to the orphaned baby arctic fox they were raising. I would not expect that she'll be there in 2014 though if they are successful in their ultimate goal which is to get her independent enough to fend for herself in the wild. When our turn came to go down into the volcano I must say, that for a person who is very challenged when it comes to tolerating heights, I found the elevator ride doable. The harnesses we were all provided to wear were clipped to the elevator railing so there is an added sense of security. In addition, I was too distracted by the amazing colors and lava drippings frozen in time along the walls to pay much attention to my distance from the ground below. We had a warm day outside but it was quite cool in the volcano so dressing in layers is definitely a must. After exiting the volcano we headed back to the camp for a lamb stew which I did not expect to be anything special considering the fact that the camp seemed pretty basic. It was delicious! As far a logistics go we had several older people on our tour and they seemed to do fine if they took their time. They brought walking sticks and made a point of watching their feet so as not to trip on the many stones along the way. There were some inclines but much of the walk was flat but extremely uneven. We wore sturdy shoes and packed a backpack with cheap waterproof clothing (Frogg Toggs top and bottom sets) in case of rain. I definitely would not want to be in that cold volcano soaking wet. Thankfully we did not need them and were able to return them to the store unused when we returned home (just a thought if you are like us and would have no other occasion to wear waterproof pants). There are also outhouses at the encampment but they are VERY basic so I opted to hold off. Still good for an emergency though. Anyway, all that being said, if you have the opportunity to experience this tour I would highly recommend it. It is definitely once in a lifetime and I am thrilled that I put my reservations aside and went for it!!!

Visited July 2013
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Albany, New York
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Attraction Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We did the tour on Monday 29 July 2013. While the hike in and out is relatively flat, it is uneven because of the lava. But that is what makes the hike interesting -- and the guide's explanations of the different kinds of lava, plus the speculation on who might have lived in the small, warm tunnels. The magma dome is stupendous -- the colors and the aging of the rocks as you descend are what makes the experience quite fascinating. The meat soup after the ascent was quite welcome and delicious. The arctic fox pup that the folks had rescued was an enjoyable diversion. All in all, excellent. I would do it again. Dress warmly and in layers. The temperature at the bottom of the dome is 42 F (5.55 C). One shell should be rain gear. Hiking shoes make the trip more navigable. Bring sturdy gloves for working your way around the bottom of the dome. Jim S.

Visited July 2013
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