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Kerid Crater: A Beloved Stop Along the Golden Circle

In the Land of Fire and Ice, with volcanoes being the order of the day, most will expect to see a crater or two while visiting the island. But those who have the fortune of visiting Kerid will tell you that they definitely did not expect what they found there.

Kerid is definitely not some boring hole in the ground as far as your typical crater goes, and its beautiful bright blue-green water adorns many of our tourist postcards and brochures. In this article, we’ll tell you precisely what makes Kerid Volcano Crater so unique and how to plan a trip to this impressive site.

Kerid Volcano Crater

What Makes Kerid Crater So Special?

Kerid Crater is a very unique crater in Iceland. The site is awe-inspiring because of its sheer magnitude (the crater is 270 meters long, 170 meters wide, and about 55 meters deep), but the inviting bright blue-green water is its most distinct feature.

Although this pool of water is referred to as Kerid Crater Lake, it’s not as deep as you might expect a lake to be, ranging between 7 to 14 meters in depth (but this also depends on the amount of rainfall). This geological wonder is an extraordinary sight not to be missed when traveling to Iceland.

Where is the Kerid Volcanic Crater in Iceland?

Kerid Crater can be found in the south of Iceland. It’s just 15 kilometers north of Selfoss and almost 70 kilometers from the capital city of Reykjavík. This makes Kerid Crater the ideal day outing from the nearby cities and towns, but as it’s located so conveniently close to our popular Golden Circle route, it’s also the perfect stop on your road trip around the island.

How to Get to Kerid Crater

There are a few ways one can get to Kerid:

Via a Tour

We have many tour operators and private guides here on the island that either offer Kerid as a destination on one of their existing tour packages or will be more than happy to take you on a customized private tour.

Via a Self-drive

As we already mentioned, this is an excellent option, with it being on the Golden Circle route, and by driving yourself, you’ll always be in complete control of your time and itinerary. It’s also very easy to drive to Kerid. Get onto the Golden Circle and start driving towards Selfoss Waterfall. A mere 15 kilometers north of the waterfall, you’ll find Kerid just off Highway 35.

Camper rental Iceland

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Kerid Crater?

There is a small entrance fee of 450 ISK (about $3.30) at the Crater, but it’s all for a good cause as the money goes towards preserving the crater and surrounding area. The parking is free of charge.

The Kerid Crater Hike

Part of what makes an outing to Kerid Crater so much fun is the Kerid Crater hike. You don’t need to be an avid hiker to take on this hike. The hike is an easy loop trail of just 1.4 kilometers and has a well-maintained pathway, making it family-friendly. 

How Long Does it Take to Climb Kerid Crater?

The hike will take 20-40 minutes, depending on your pace and how often you stop to admire the magnificent views.

When is the Best Time to Visit Kerid Crater?

Although Kerid is open all year round, we highly recommend that you plan your visit for Iceland’s summer months of June to August. That’s because you’ll have the most daylight hours to explore the crater and surrounding area, the weather will be nice for an outdoor adventure and hike, and the Kerid Crater Lake won’t be frozen.

For many months of the year, the bright blue-green water adorning so much tourism material turns into a milky sheet of ice. It’s this same ice and snow that can make the hike not only unpleasant but dangerous as things become wet and slippery.

Visit Kerid Crater

How Long Does a Visit to Kerid Crater Take?

If you’re planning on parking and just taking a quick peak and a snapshot of Kerid, you can be out of there within minutes, but if you’re planning on exploring the crater and hiking around, you should set aside about an hour and a half for the entire outing.

How was Kerid Crater Formed?

Opinions on this have actually changed throughout the years, but it is now believed that Kerid was created after an eruption 6000 years ago. Kerid Crater Lake is actually the groundwater seeping through where a magma chamber collapsed. Its water is such a bright blue-green color because of all the minerals from the soil and surrounding rocks.

What to See & Do Near Kerid Crater

One of the perks of being located on the Golden Circle is that you’ll find plenty of attractions nearby. Once you’re done exploring the crater, you can look forward to any of the following:

Kerid crater lake

Where to Stay Near Kerid Crater

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options if you want to stay over for a night or two to explore the region properly. Irrespective of your budget and preferences, you’ll find something to suit you and your needs. These are just a few options that come highly recommended:

Is Kerid Crater Worth Visiting?

There are so many reasons to visit Kerid Crater in Iceland. If you have any interest in geology, Kerid is a must. If you enjoy admiring beautiful things, Kerid is a must. If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, Kerid is a must.

If you plan on making Kerid a stop along your Golden Circle road trip, we recommend renting a campervan in Reykjavík. That way, you’ll have your accommodation and transport sorted and simply add to the unique experiences to be had here on the island.



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