25 km long crater row called Lakagigar was created during a relatively
short, intensive, and catastrophic eruption
between the 8th of June 1783 and February 1874. It was among the biggest
and poisonous lava eruptions of the earth during historical times.
It created two vast lava fields with a total area of 565 km²,
and the total volume of tephra emitted
was estimated to have been 12,3 km³. The consequences were
enormous. Between 53% and 82% of the domestic animals and 20% of the
human population perished as a result.
As Iceland was
under Danish rule at the time, it was debated in the
Danish parliament to evacuate the remaining 40.000 Icelanders,
and find them new homes in Jutland, but the Icelanders would hear
nothing of that. Most of the craters are now covered with Woolly
Fringe Moss and the landscape is, to say the least,
picturesque. The crater area was proclaimed inviolate in 1971.
The Laki Area is now a part of the National Park Skaftafell.
This part of the Interior offers clear trails to follow, so it mostly
depends on the time the individual travellers have to spend in the area.
Long hikes require good planning, preparations, and physical fitness.
The psychology has to be considered as well. Sometimes the vast,
barren landscapes, and the solitude overwhelme hikers, who are
travelling alone and do not meet a soul for days on end.
offers daily tours to the Laki area from the hamlet Kirkjubaejarklaustur
and the National Park Skaftafell during summer.
Warden at Laki
(in Blįgil), tel. 8551095
From the crossroads
road #1 40 km
Klaustur 51 km.