I arrived at Iceland’s main airport, Keflavik International Airport, at 6:00 a.m. and I was driving on Route 1 in the rental car by 7:30 a.m. I wasn’t expecting that I would be exploring the Land of Fire and Ice so quickly. Now, what would be my first stop? It was too early to check-in to the first guesthouse that I booked. After looking at the map, I noticed that Kerid (Kerið) Crater Lake wasn’t very far away and only slightly outside of the Golden Circle. Specifically, my GPS said that it was about 1 1/2 hours away (or 108 km). So, by about 9:00 a.m. I was being mesmerized by the 55-metre deep crater. It’s part of the larger Tjarnarhólar area, a collection of crater-hills.
I knew that the volcanic crater has a lake in its bowl. What I didn’t know was that when the water level rises in Kerid, it falls an equal amount in the small lake on the mountain Búrfell in the Grímsnes district, and vice versa. It’s like some mystical seesaw! Once believed to be an explosion crater formed 3,000 years ago, geologists now believe it to be a collapsed magma chamber at the end of a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 6,000 years ago.
As I walked the path lining the rim for visitors to walk around, I peered down into the crater and I was quickly impressed by the milky blue-green water amid stark black and deep red volcanic slope, while the less steep side is covered in rihc green moss. The steep circular slopes resemble an ancient amphitheatre.
Bjork once performed on a raft in the middle of the lake here while fans lined the crater. What a surreal experience that must have been!
There’s an easy-to-navigate path down to the bottom of the crater. Once I reached the bottom I soon realized that it acts like a cocoon for sound. The wind and nearby road noise disappeared. It felt peaceful and the water was still, creating a mirror effect.
The crater is located 15 km north of Selfoss, right off highway 35. A car park is located directly next to the crater.
Have you been to this picturesque volcanic crater lake? Leave your comments below.