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I took a 1-day trip from New York to Iceland just to watch lava erupt from a volcano. Here’s what it was like and why it should be on everyone’s bucket list.


After Iearning that the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted, I booked a flight to Iceland to see it for myself.

I departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport and landed at Keflavík Airport.

Jordi Lippe-McGraw


I have a lot of unique interests, from hunting truffles to exploring abandoned castles, but witnessing natural spectacles, like tornadoes, tops the list.

So when I heard about a new eruption at Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano, where I could watch lava shoot into the air from a visible (yet safe) distance, I had to see it in person. 

I previously booked a trip to see Fagradalsfjall in 2021, when it last erupted and became the first active volcano in the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark in over 800 years. The activity petered out until this August, when Fagradalsfjall erupted once again. Only this time, people could see inside the bubbling crater from a nearby hill.

Because my trip revolved around nature, I couldn’t exactly plan it far in advance. I had to act fast. After all, a volcanic eruption can last anywhere from several hours to several years.

Just eight days after the eruption made the news, I, a self-proclaimed lava hunter, was on a hill in Iceland watching new earth form. And I did it all — flying from New York to Reykjavík and back — in less than 35 hours.

Here’s what the bucket-list experience was like.

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