A new attraction exploring Iceland’s unique and volatile geology is to launch next month. Lava, the Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Centre, is an interactive museum that examines the natural forces that led to the creation of Iceland over millions of years. It opens on 1 June.
Located in the town of Hvolsvöllur, one hour’s drive east of Reykjavik, the centre is in the shadow of three of the country’s most prominent volcanoes, Katla, Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull. The latter became a household name in 2010 when it released an ash cloud that shut down European air space.
The three volcanoes will be visible from Lava’s 360-degree viewing platform, one of the highlights of the centre.
Inside, visitors will find exhibits looking at eruptions that have occurred over the last century in Iceland as well as the geology that causes them. This includes an impressive 12-metre high structure simulating the mantle plume and the magma flow underneath the country – also known as the “fiery heart of Iceland”.
Visitors will also be able to walk through an artificial smoke cloud, experience the ash cloud of an eruption, and explore a corridor that illustrates the consequences of a magma flow – from boiling mud pots to geysers.
Real volcanic eruptions will also be on show in a cinema auditorium, which will screen HD footage of the dramatic natural events.
A number of geological tourist attractions have opened in Iceland in recent years. In February 2016, a new ice cave in the form of a 400-metre circular corridor, was cut into the heart of the Langjökull ice cap; while in May 2016, Víðgelmir, the country’s largest lava cave, reopened with a new walkway and feature lighting.