The Lava Centre in Iceland is now open. It’s safe to say that volcano enthusiasts are extremely excited and are already flocking to visit the Centre. Ásbjörn Björgvinsson, the Lava Centre’s marketing director, says that demand for a Centre like this has been growing in the past few years. “People are not only very interested to learn about volcanoes and the creation of Iceland. They want to feel and experience the force of a volcano eruption in a safe setting.”
So far, the response from visitors has been beyond expectations, Ásbjörn says. “We’re absolutely thrilled. People love the show and tell us they’ve never experienced anything like it. This summer will be great, and we´ll see if the volcanoes will behave or not.”
The exhibition is in one word: dramatic. Visitors will not only learn about Iceland’s interesting and unique geology. The exhibition is interactive and gives people the thrill of experiencing a volcano eruption. They will feel what it’s like to stand in an artificial ash and smoke cloud and walk through a corridor that shows the effect of magma flowing. They´ll even get to experience what earthquakes feel like.
The exhibition is in the small town of Hvolsvöllur, about one hours drive east of Reykjavík. The Lava Centre is perfectly situated beneath three well known volcanoes: Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla and Katla. Many people recognize the name Eyjafjallajökull since it shut down most flights in Europe in 2010. But not everyone knows that Katla has the potential to do much more damage, and Hekla erupts on average once every 10 years.
At the Lava Centre, visitors will have access to a 360-degree viewing platform of the volcanoes. Ásbjörn says the viewing platform will be invaluable when the next eruption occurs. “Both Hekla and Katla are due for an eruption soon and the platform is the best spot to see them in action.”
The exhibition has other dramatic and impressive features. Including HD footage of volcano eruptions and their consequences, shown on a cinema screen. And a 12-meter-high structure that shows what the mantle plume under the country might look like and how magma flows beneath Iceland.
Visitors can sit down after the show and enjoy a meal at Katla mathús, the on-site restaurant. There’s also the Rammagerðin souvenir store where visitors will find handcrafted souvenirs among other items. At the information center, visitors can enquire about tours and travel options in the area.
The Centre is open every day from 9:00 – 19:00 and tickets are available on the website.