LAVA: a museum dedicated to volcanoes and earthquakes in Iceland

LAVA, musée du volcan en Islande

LAVA, an Icelandic center dedicated to volcanoes and earthquakes, opened its doors on June 1, 2017 in the town of Hvolsvöllur.

The town of Hvolsvöllur lies some 100 kilometers east of Reykjavik. Located close to three of the country’s most imposing volcanoes – Hekla, Katla and the famous Eyjafjallajökull – Hvolsvöllur was chosen as the site for a center dedicated entirely to volcanic phenomena and earthquakes.

This museum offers visitors an educational and interactive experience that brings them closer to these impressive geological phenomena.

A larger-than-life tour

Among the museum’s highlights is a 12-metre-high structure representing the flow of magma beneath the country, what Icelanders commonly refer to as Iceland’s « fiery heart ». An artificial smoke cloud has also been recreated, as has a volcanic ash cloud. A cinema allows visitors to observe various geological phenomena through high-definition images. Last but not least, tourists can visit a platform with a 360° view of the volcanoes in the vicinity of the center.

A volcanic land

Iceland’s geological activity is unique and particularly fluctuating. LAVA sheds light on this characteristic, which is also at the origin of the country’s creation.

It’s not the first time Iceland has bet on geology as a tourist attraction. The Guardian reminds us that several activities have been developed around the same theme in recent years, such as the immense ice tunnel dug into the heart of the Langjökull glacier, or the giant lava cave called Vidgelmir, which reopened its doors in 2016 after several refurbishments.