Kerið (Kerid) Crater, Volcanic Lake in Iceland

Kerid Crater in Iceland

Kerid Crater in Iceland

During our stay in Iceland, we stopped by Kerid Crater (known as Kerið), a volcanic lake located in south Iceland. The crater is part of the popular Golden Circle tourist route that we were following. It is easily accessible with a car park located directly next to the crater.

For the region, the volcanic crater is thought to have the most visually recognisable caldera that is still intact. The crater is known to be 3,000 years old and is apparently much younger than the surrounding volcanic features of the land. This is one of the reasons the caldera is so visible.

Kerid Crater in Iceland
Kerid Crater in Iceland, part of the Golden Circle Route

When visiting the crater, you will notice it is composed of red volcanic rock (rather than black rock). You can stand at the top of the crater and look down at the eerie calm of the lake below. The water is an opaque aquamarine colour.

I decided to climb down into the crater to be next to the water. If you are thinking about visiting and want to climb down, please be careful since it was moderately difficult to navigate my way to the bottom.

Once you get to the bottom (55m down the edge), you can stand by the lake and observe this place. It is kind of strange how the sides of the crater create a cocoon for sound. The wind and nearby road are silenced by the natural walls of the crater. The bottom of the crater feels peaceful with the quiet and static water. It was definitely a meditative location.


How Was it Formed?

I love thinking about how unusual land masses like Kerid Crater were formed so long ago. Although many thought this crater was formed by an explosion, there is little evidence to support this theory.

The current theory is that Kerid was originally a cone volcano which erupted and emptied its magma. Once the magma ran out, the weight of the cone collapsed into the chamber. The lake at the bottom of the crater is at the same level as the water table and not caused by rainfall.

Visiting Kerid Crater in Iceland
Visiting Kerid Crater in Iceland


Kerid Crater Location

Kerid Crater is part of Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone and is located in the Grímsnes area. You can find a map of this location here.


Have You Visited Kerid Crater?

Please share your stories and experiences below.


Continue reading these articles about Iceland

—> My visit to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a glacial lake in south-east Iceland.
—> A complete guide to touring the Golden Circle Iceland Route
—> Bathing in the geothermal spa at the Blue Lagoon in Grindavík
—> My visit to Iceland’s Gullfoss Waterfall along the Golden Circle Route
—> Find out when to go and the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights, weather and more
—> Find the best things to do in Reykjavik

Amy Pritchett

Amy Pritchett

If you truly love nature like me, you will find beauty everywhere.

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