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Katla Geopark

Katla Geopark includes geological features of global significance. Over 150 volcanic eruptions have been recorded in the area since the 9th century. The eruptions created the landscape and influenced where people settled. Through the centuries, man and nature have affected the region's history. The area is constantly changing due to the volcanic activity.

A geopark is defined as a territory, which includes a particular geological heritage and a sustainable territorial development strategy to promote development. It must have clearly defined boundaries and sufficient surface area for true territorial economic development.

The Geopark covers about 9% of Iceland, 9542 km2, and follows the borders of three municipalities, Skaftárhreppur, Mýrdalshreppur and Rangárþing eystra. About 2700 people live within the Geopark.
GeologyIceland lies astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where tectonic plates move apart from each other, causing a rift zone. A mantle plume exists below the country, centred beneath Vatnajökull ice cap. In South Iceland the interaction of the rift zone and the mantle plume results in complex and diverse volcanic activity. Volcanic activity and its widespread effect on the area's nature and landscape make Katla Geopark very special.

The Geopark is in the most volcanically active area of Iceland, and the volcanic systems at Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, and Grímsvötn are particularly active. The region is characterised by central volcanoes, eruptive craters and fissures, rootless cones, lava fields, table mountains (tuyas), and hyaloclastite ridges which trend SW-NE, like the rift zone.

Ice caps are prominent in the landscape, topping the highest volcanoes. Outlet glaciers and glacial rivers flow from them and glacial landforms, e.g. moraines and ice-dammed lakes, occur in the area. Large floods, usually glacier outbursts associated with subglacial eruptions, have formed outwash plains in the lowlands. The oldest bedrock in the area is about 2.5 million years old, and can be found at the base of Lómagnúpur, an old sea-cliff (671 m). Other interesting features in the Geopark are fossil-bearing xenoliths, and tephra layers which are useful for dating (tephrochronology).

Katla Geopark
GPS Points N0° 0' 0.000" W0° 0' 0.000"
Road number


Travel directory for Katla Geopark

The official travel index of Iceland


Cottage in Reykjaskogur
  • Reykjaskógur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 565-4846
Álftröð Guesthouse
  • 566-6246
Skogar Apartment
  • Kennarabústað 2
  • 861 Hvolsvöllur
  • Skíðabakki 1
  • 861 Hvolsvöllur
  • Hrafnagil
  • 816 Ölfus
  • 866-9772
  • Klettholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-1340, 499-2540
Bed & Breakfast
  • Rauðhóll
  • 851 Hella
  • 844-8538
Syðri Kvíhólmi
  • Syðri Kvíhólmi
  • 861 Hvolsvöllur


Snjólína ehf.
Tour Operators
  • 845-9009
Tour Operators
  • 780-7444
Creative Tours Iceland
Tour Operators
  • 849-9542
Nordic Paradice
Tour Operators
  • 777-6658
Tour Operators
  • 694-9385
Icelandic Events Management and Travel Advisor
Tour Operators
  • 565-5800
Skogar Guesthouse
Tour Operators
  • Skógar
  • 861 Hvolsvöllur
  • 894-5464
Adventure Point
Tour Operators
  • Hof
  • 785 Öræfi
  • 899-2248
Tour Operators
  • 772-8979
Natura Travel
Travel Agency
  • 697-9515
Kristján Einir Traustason
Tour Operators
  • 898-7972
Fjalla Steini
Tour Operators
  • 892-5110
Ice Trekker Guides
Tour Operators
  • 857-9748
Lost In Iceland
Tour Operators
  • 786-0005
Secret Local Adventures
Tour Operators
  • 899-0772
Volcano Air
Tour Operators
  • 863-0590
Easy Iceland
Travel Agency
  • 776-1100
Tour Operators
  • 691-1849
Tour Operators
  • Kálfafell 1b
  • 880 Kirkjubæjarklaustur
  • 848-9872
Imagine Iceland
Travel Agency
  • 659-1015
D - Travel
Tour Operators
  • Kaldasel 3
  • 109 Reykjavík
  • 849-3466
Tour Operators
  • Dynjandi
  • 781 Höfn í Hornafirði
  • 894-4251
Óskar Haraldsson
Tour Operators
  • Rafræn þjónusta / Web service
  • 101 Reykjavík
  • 892-0301
Tour Operators
  • Rafræn þjónusta / Web service
  • 810 Hveragerði
  • 647-4755

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

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Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn