Kerid Crater, Kerið in Icelandic, is a volcanic crater lake in Iceland, also nicknamed The Eye of the world. We’ve visited the lake and listed when and why you should visit it.
About Kerid Crater
Kerid Crater, Kerið in Icelandic, is a volcanic crater lake in Iceland formed 3000 years ago when the magma chamber of a volcano collapsed. This event created a funnel-shaped crater with a depth of 55 meters.
The Kerid crater is part of the Tjarnarhólar crater complex located in the Grímsnes area in South Iceland. You can also find the Seyðishólar and Kerhóll craters in the same region.
The Kerid crater is a popular destination with tourists and tour guides. It is located in a volcano zone next to The Golden Circle – Iceland’s most famous sightseeing route. It’s also an interesting spot for photographers because the crater lake has a unique blue color. Its surroundings mainly consist of red and black volcanic rocks, making it an Instagrammable place.
These colors have given the Kerid crater the nickname The Eye of the world because when you look at the lake with a drone from above, you’ll notice it has the shape of a human eye.
Basic facts about the Kerid Crater in Iceland
The Kerid crater is located on private property, so the Kerid crater entrance fee is 400 ISK (+- 2.5 euro). The reason why the landowners charge their visitors is to help preserve and protect the crater. This entrance fee allows you to walk around the rim of the volcanic crater.
|Basic Facts about kerid crater|
|Region||Grimsnes South Iceland|
|Depth||55 meters deep|
|Type||Natural Lake; volcanic crater lake|
|Names||Kerid Crater, Crater Kerid, Kerið, Kerith|
|GPS coordinates||64.0413° N, 20.8851° W|
|Entrance Fee||400 ISK (+- 2,56 euro)|
The Legend around the Kerid Crater
Legend has it that the Kerid crater lake is connected to a lake that lies on the mountain Búrfell; As soon as the water of the kerid crater lake descends, the water level of the lake that lies 5 kilometers further on the mountain Búrfel rises, and vice versa.
How was the Kerid Crater formed?
The thing that makes the Kerid crater in Iceland unique is that it was formed by a collapsing volcano instead of an exploding volcano: most volcanic craters are formed because the volcano makes an outward explosion of rocks, magma, and debris.
Various studies in the Grímsnes region failed to find any evidence of such an explosion, which is why it’s rumored that the Kerid crater is actually a caldera: a crater formed by the inward collapse of a volcano’s magma chamber. The weight of the volcano’s cone became too heavy for the empty magma chamber to carry, which would have been why the volcano collapsed.
According to these studies, the 3000-year-old Kerid volcanic crater lake is quite young: most calderas and craters in Iceland are twice as old, which also explains why the crater has such a unique color: the iron deposits and minerals are still relatively young, which creates such a vivid red color.
The Golden Circle & the Kerid Crater
Kerið is located relatively close to Iceland’s world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route, making it an increasingly common stop in tourists’ and tour operators’ planning.
The Golden Circle starts in Reykjavik and passes through Iceland’s three most popular locations: the “Golden Waterfall” Gullfoss, the geysers in the Haukadalur Geothermal Valley, and the Þingvellir National Park – which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
How to reach Kerid Crater in Iceland (map)
Since the Kerid crater is located close to the Golden Circle, it is easily accessible by car: from Reykjavik, you should follow Iceland’s Ring Road (Road 1) for 47.5 kilometers, then make a left turn to Road 35.
Kerið is located about 50 meters from the road and has a parking lot.
When to visit the Kerid Crater
What might surprise you the most about Iceland is the fact that the weather is rather mild. Even though this beautiful country is very far north, it’s also close to the gulf stream which causes the temperatures in winter to hover around the freezing point, while they often reach 20 degrees Celsius in summer!
Kerid Crater during summer
The main reason the Kerid crater’s view is so astonishing is the aqua-blue water and red volcanic rocks. The crater is magnificent at sunset.
Kerid Crater during winter
During winter, the lake freezes over, and snow covers the landscape. This still makes the crater admirable; however, the ice makes the path quite slippery and dangerous.
What to do at Kerid Crater
While the Kerid crater is a stunning and scenic location, there isn’t much to do other than walking around the crater’s rim and going down to the water.
In general, Iceland’s rules state that you can swim in any lake, which doesn’t explicitly forbid the activity. However, because Kerid Crater lake is private property, the landowners marked it with a sign that explicitly forbids swimming.
Other attractions near Kerid Crater
The region around the Kerid crater is known as a Volcanic zone, which means many craters and many crater lakes can be found nearby. Since Iceland’s Golden Circle is only 230 kilometers long, most tourist spots are nearby.
We created an Iceland Attractions Map to help you plan your trip and find your way around the country. It includes information on popular attractions, hidden gems, and practical information such as transportation, parking, and Airbnb options. Below our favorite spots!
- Seyðishólar crater. A volcanic crater with the most striking colors is located only a few kilometers from Kerid.
- Selfosskirkja church. An impressive church was built between 1952 and 1956 and later expanded between 1978 and 1984.
- Reykjadalur hot spring. A natural hot spring originates from a warm water river.
- Urrioafoss Waterfall. The second-highest waterfall in Europe is expected to disappear since an underground energy powerhouse is planning to be built.
- Skalholt cathedral. A historic church in the South of Iceland, which found its origins in 1056.
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: a 60 meters tall waterfall, part of Seljalands River.
- Fjadrargljufur Canyon: a 100 meters deep and 2 kilometers long canyon, formed by erosion from the Fjadrárgljúfur River, known for its rock formations and colorful walls.
What to pack when visiting Kerid Crater
Packing the right clothing for your trip to Iceland is essential since it is known that the weather conditions can change rapidly! So, the best thing you can do is pack the right clothes to tackle every activity and discover Iceland while being safe and comfortable.
|Waterproof and wind jacket||The jacket’s base layer keeps you warm, and the top layer is waterproof and windproof for maximum coverage.|
|Hiking shoes||You will most likely hike several kilometers, making good footwear necessary.|
|LARQ Bottle||We personally have invested in a LARQ water bottle, which we bring to all our hikes. It contains a UV-C Light technology that neutralizes many harmful bacteria and contributes to our zero-waste lifestyle.|
Photographing Kerid Crater
The most important part of photographing the Kerid volcanic crater lake is to bring your polarizing filter, especially because the sun appears – or disappears – so beautifully over the edge of the crater, making it easy to create unique content.
It is allowed to fly drones over the Kerid Crater; as long as you respect the new 2021 European drone regulations, you can fly here.
NEW European Drone regulations
Since 31st December 2020, new European Drone Regulations have been in effect. Read our summary of these EU drone regulations to understand how it impacts you and your drone.
When visiting the Kerid Crater in Iceland, our camera backpack contained several cameras and lenses, each with its function and use – I’ve listed all of them below.
|Our Camera backpack|
|Canon EOS 60D||A Canon DSLR camera with a fast autofocus and a mid-range price, released in August 2010.|
|EF-S 18-55mm IS||A wide-angle to a mid-telephoto zoom lens for digital single-lens reflex cameras with an EF-S lens mount.|
|EF-S 55-250mm IS||An inexpensive, light, entry-level telephoto zoom lens that has image stabilization and delivers quality images.|
This guide on Canon lenses for traveling provides a comprehensive overview of some of the best options available, including wide-angle and zoom lenses, to help you capture stunning photos of your travels.
Aspiring photographers sometimes struggle to capture landscape photos, so we decided to share our picture’s technical details. The key to understanding these details and taking better photos is knowing the basics of exposure and understanding how it impacts your photography.
|Shutter Speed||10 sec|
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How much time do you need in Kerid Crater? ›
On average, most tourists tend to spend around half an hour to 1 hour at Kerid, taking photos and walking around the crater's edge. Many other crater lakes can be found in this area, a region known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone.Is Kerid crater worth seeing? ›
“Stunning sight!” An old volcanic crater with beautiful, blue water, Kerið Crater is definitely worth a visit.How long does it take to walk Kerid Crater? ›
Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 23 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and running, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring.How do I get to Kerid Crater? ›
If departing from Reykjavik, simply follow Iceland's Ring Road (Road 1) for about 35 minutes (47.5 kilometers) before turning left onto Road 35, just before you reach Selfoss. This should be an obvious, well-marked turn. After another 10 minutes of driving, you will reach the parking lot for the Kerid crater.What is the best time of day to visit Crater Lake? ›
Arrive prior to 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds. The annual average snowfall in the park is 43 feet… yes, feet! Given that the elevation of the lake's rim is 7000 to 8000 feet, snow clouds that move through the park can completely hide the lake from view, sometimes for days at a time.How much is the entrance fee card to Kerid Crater? ›
There is a small entry fee of 400 ISK (Around £2.50, $3.20, or EUR2. 60) to visit Kerid that goes towards preserving and protecting the precious crater. In exchange for the entry fee, you are free to walk around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings for as long as you wish.What is the best month to visit Crater Lake? ›
The most popular months to visit Crater Lake are July, August, and September. That's when the park's roads, trails, and facilties are usually fully open. May and June are months of transition in the park, as winter slowly gives way to summer.What should I wear to Crater Lake? ›
But Crater Lake is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so it's relatively cool even in summer. Temperatures plummet in the evenings, so bring long pants and a jacket to wear.Which Crater Lake entrance is best? ›
Rim Drive is the best way to see Crater Lake from every angle! The 33-mile road loops around the caldera and has 8 main viewpoints and 15 turnout vista points, each offering more stunning views than the last.How deep is the water in Kerid crater? ›
How deep is the lake in the Kerid crater? Scientists first measured the water depth in the 1950s. At its deepest the lake is between between 8 and 9 meters (26 and 30 feet).
Is Crater Lake a hard hike? ›
Hike options from moderate to difficult intensity featuring wildflowers and lava flows. Though fairly steep, this hike offers unbeatable views of Crater Lake, Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship.How hard is the walk to the volcano in Iceland? ›
The hike to the Volcano is rated difficult for inexperienced hikers and moderate for skilled hikers. Icelandic weather is famously unpredictable so proper research and clothing are key for a good experience. Good hiking boots are recommended for this trail as the terrain is steep both up and down.How far is it to walk to Crater Lake? ›
Cleetwood Cove trail offer the only lake shore access in Crater Lake National Park and offers spectacular lake views and access to the lake at the bottom of the trail at and near the boat dock. The steep trail takes from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and is 2.2 miles RT with an elevation gain of about 700 ft.Can you drive to see Crater Lake? ›
Allow a minimum of two hours (including sight-seeing stops) to circumnavigate the lake by car or motorcycle, and longer if you are driving a larger vehicle or towing. Traffic goes both directions on Rim Drive. Rim Drive is often shared with bicyclists. It is narrow, winding, and does not have shoulders.Can you go to Wizard Island in Crater Lake? ›
Take in the Views from the Lake!
For visitors seeking to explore Wizard Island, we offer either a boat cruise or a quick shuttle ride straight to the island. There is a 2.2-mile round-trip trail (down to the boat dock and back) that drops approximately 700 ft.
Visitors can swim at designated areas, but beware -- the water is usually very cold! The water of Crater Lake is a deep, gorgeous blue.Is it worth it to drive to Crater Lake? ›
Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park takes a bit of effort to reach but one sight of the lake makes the drive worth it. There are two easy ways to access Crater Lake from Seattle, the fastest is down I-5 through Eugene and the other takes you along Oregon State Hwy 97 past Bend, Oregon.How cold is the bottom of Crater Lake? ›
How cold is the water? The average temperature (below 300 feet deep) is 38°. In the summer, the surface can warm up to 55° or 60°.Can you see Crater Lake for free? ›
All visitors at Crater Lake National Park are required to pay an entrance fee. Please be prepared to show your physical pass or digital pass on your mobile device. Photos of physical passes will not be accepted.Do you have to pay to see waterfalls in Iceland? ›
Just a short drive from Reykjavik (under two hours) to West Iceland, these waterfalls are easily accessible, even in the winter. You can visit them year-round and parking is free.
Is it free to see Crater Lake? ›
Entrance Fees for Crater Lake National Park
Your fees are put to work improving visitor services and facilities. Thank you for supporting your national parks! Private Vehicles - $30 in the summer (mid-May to October 31), $20 in the winter (November 1 to mid-May).
The closest actual town to Crater Lake is Prospect, which has a historical hotel (here's a story about it from the Mail Tribune newspaper: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050817/BIZ/308179989&cid=sitesearch.What age group is Crater Lake for? ›
Great Books Guide: For 10 to 11 year olds.Is Crater Lake crowded? ›
Last year, Crater Lake National Park was the quietest it's been in a decade. A total of 527,259 people visited the park in 2022, according to National Park Service data, a 19% decrease from 2021 and a 30% decrease from 2016, when a record 756,344 people visited the beautiful blue-hued lake in southern Oregon.What is not allowed at Crater Lake? ›
Firearms, bicycles, and motorized vehicles are not permitted in the backcountry. Pets are permitted on leash in developed areas only. Pets often threaten small wildlife. Even well-behaved domestic pets leave scents that disturb the local wildlife.Is 1 day enough for Crater Lake? ›
While there is much more to Crater Lake National Park than just the lake, the lake definitely is the highlight. And, you can easily complete the scenic drive around the lake in as little as half a day. So, even just one day at Crater Lake provides time for a couple of short hikes and a fairly complete visit.Can I sleep in my car at Crater Lake? ›
During the winter months, all overnight vehicles must be left at Park Headquarters located three miles below the rim. In the summer, vehicles may be left at designated trailhead parking areas or nearby pullouts. A valid park entrance pass and backcountry camping parking permit must be displayed on your dashboard.How much time do you need at Crater Lake? ›
Ideally, you should spend at least one full day and one night at Crater Lake. Getting here can be a bit of a hassle (far away and long lines to get in the actual park), so once you actually do make it, you don't want to worry about getting back in your car and heading back if you can help it.Are there bathrooms at Crater Lake? ›
Restrooms at Rim Village are open 24 hours.Can you drink directly from Crater Lake? ›
Consuming Crater Lake water would conflict with the park's mission to preserve the lake. The park's water claim for the lake is for the preservation and protection of all natural habitats and the conservation of scenery. It is not for human consumption.
Are there fish in Kerid Crater? ›
Are there fish in Kerið Crater? Yes, there are some tiny, silver-coloured fish in the lake of Kerið Crater.What is the deepest volcanic crater? ›
The Apolaki Caldera is a volcanic crater with a diameter of 150 kilometers (93 mi), making it the world's largest caldera. It is located within the Benham Rise (Philippine Rise) and was discovered in 2019 by Jenny Anne Barretto, a Filipina marine geophysicist and her team.What is the meaning of Kerid? ›
Kerið (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈcʰɛːrɪθ]; also Kerith or Kerid) is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, along the Golden Circle.How many waterfalls are at Crater Lake? ›
There are three primary waterfalls within the park's borders including Vidae Falls, Plaikni Falls & Duwee Falls.Can you swim to the bottom of Crater Lake? ›
Good question! Short answer, yes, but there is actually only one place where it is safe and legal to get down to the lake shore and swim at Crater Lake National Park. It is the Cleetwood Cove Trail, which usually opens mid to late June.How long is the ride around Crater Lake? ›
Riding Rim Drive
Each year, increasing numbers of bicyclists come to Crater Lake National Park to ride around the lake and enjoy the spectacular views. Rim Drive is 33 miles (53 km) and physically demanding with steep grades at high altitude.
Ideally, the clothing you choose should be specialist gear that wicks moisture off your skin, rather than a fabric such as cotton which once wet, stays wet. Choose a merino wool or synthetic base layer, for instance, and a fleece or wool jumper on top to keep you warm.
Price: ISK 47,000 for adults and 23,500 ISK for children (8-12 years od).Can you walk across lava? ›
If you needed to walk across lava, it is possible. If it is pahoehoe lava (the smooth glassy type) it will support your weight after only 5-10 minutes once it stops moving. It will still be pretty hot and uncomfortable, and probably might melt your boots, but if you absolutely had to get across such a flow you could.How much does it cost to go to the crater? ›
|Crater Lake National Park|
|Per Vehicle||Park Specific Annual Pass|
|May 13, 2018||$25||$50|
|Jan 1, 2020||$30||$55|
What trail has the best view of Crater Lake? ›
Mount Scott Trail
The hike takes you to the highest point in Crater Lake. Mount Scott tops out at 8,929 feet. You have incredible views overlooking Crater Lake in the distance and the surrounding area from the summit. You'll start along East Rim Drive and hike along the ridgeline up to Mount Scott.
The Rim Drive is one of the great things at Crater Lake as it allows you see the lake from so many angles without your needing to walk very much. There are overlooks all around the lake with plenty of parking and only short walks to the edge.Do you need reservations for Crater Lake? ›
Crater Lake Lodge – reservations are highly recommended, in fact, don't expect to find lodgings here without 'em. Mazama Village Cabins – also advise advance reservations, just to be sure that you'll have a bed for the night.Are there any animals on Wizard Island? ›
A few species of reptiles thrive on Wizard Island and in dry habitats.Can you walk into Sunset Crater? ›
While you can't hike up to the top of Sunset Crater any longer (due to trail erosion that occurred from overuse), stopping at this park for a few hours is definitely something that you'll want to do while visiting Flagstaff and the surrounding area.What is in the middle of Crater Lake? ›
Wizard Island is a small inactive volcano in the middle of Crater Lake. It is very majestic and adds to the beauty of Crater Lake.How much time do you need for Crater Lake? ›
Ideally, you should spend at least one full day and one night at Crater Lake. Getting here can be a bit of a hassle (far away and long lines to get in the actual park), so once you actually do make it, you don't want to worry about getting back in your car and heading back if you can help it.Can you do Crater Lake in a day? ›
While there is much more to Crater Lake National Park than just the lake, the lake definitely is the highlight. And, you can easily complete the scenic drive around the lake in as little as half a day. So, even just one day at Crater Lake provides time for a couple of short hikes and a fairly complete visit.How long do people spend at Thingvellir? ›
On average, we would say that most of the visitors spend in Thingvellir about two hours. And that was roughly about the same time we spent in Thingvellir National Park ourselves. During this time, you'll be able to walk most of the trails close to the Visitors Center and see all the attractions.How much time do you need in Thingvellir? ›
How Long To Spend In Thingvellir National Park. You can stay as long as you want at Thingvellir National Park. We suggest planning to be there for at least 2 to 3 hours to at least see the highlights.
How do you dress for Crater Lake? ›
But Crater Lake is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so it's relatively cool even in summer. Temperatures plummet in the evenings, so bring long pants and a jacket to wear.What do you wear to Crater Lake? ›
- rain coat and/or warm jacket.
- long-underwear (handy on cold, windy, wet fall days)
- wind or rain pants.
- gloves or mittens.
- warm hat (stocking hat)
- extra socks and shoes for the ride home.
During the winter months, all overnight vehicles must be left at Park Headquarters located three miles below the rim. In the summer, vehicles may be left at designated trailhead parking areas or nearby pullouts. A valid park entrance pass and backcountry camping parking permit must be displayed on your dashboard.Can you swim inside Crater Lake? ›
The blue beauty of Crater Lake extends beyond its depth.
Visitors can swim at designated areas, but beware -- the water is usually very cold! The water of Crater Lake is a deep, gorgeous blue.
The popularity is largely down to the easy accessibility of the route from the capital, and the fact that many of Iceland's top attractions can be found along the route. We definitely recommend the Golden Circle to anyone visiting Iceland.How much time do you need at Gullfoss? ›
Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours at Gullfoss waterfall. One hour is enough time to walk to the upper observation area and take a few photos, and then walk to the lower observation area and have time to soak it in (hopefully not literally).What does the Golden Circle tour include? ›
The classic Golden Circle tour consists of Iceland's three most popular tourist attractions: Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. The route covers approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) and loops from the capital city to the center of Iceland and back.Can you drive the Golden Circle yourself? ›
In my opinion, driving yourself around the Golden Circle is the best way to admire its scenic landscapes and beauty. It's possible to take a pre-arranged tour around the Golden Circle Route in Iceland if you really want to. However, it's important to note that the tours all typically leave at the same time.How long does it take to walk Þingvellir? ›
Explore this 6.5-mile loop trail near Kjósarhreppur, Capital. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 3 min to complete. This is a popular trail for hiking and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.Can you drive to Gullfoss waterfall? ›
Gullfoss Waterfall is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Reykjavik, Iceland, and the drive takes about 2 hours. You can drive here with a rental car, or there are prepackaged day tours that include the waterfall as part of their itinerary.