Iceland’s most famous volcano and still very active. The mountain is 1,491 m high and towers impressively above the lowlands of the south. For centuries, Hekla was thought to be the gateway to Hell, where the souls of the damned burned in eternal flame. Hekla is a central volcano that has been piled up along a 40 km fissure, and studies of ash strata reveal that it has been active for at least 6,600 years. Some 20 eruptions in Hekla have been witnessed since the settlement, and another 8 in the vicinity
The best approach for walking on Hekla is from the north or northwest. The explorers Eggert Ólafsson
and Bjarni Pálsson were the first men to climb the mountain in 1750. An exhibition featuring Mt. Hekla has been set up at the Hekla Centre
, at Leirubakki á Landi near Mt. Hekla, in which the nature of the volcano and the "relationship between the mountain and the Icelandic nation over 11 centuries" is explored. The Hekla Centre also provides information about the best route to Mt. Hekla, and hands out certificates to those who hike up the mountain.
. One of the easiest ways to ascend volcanic Mt. Hekla is by driving from Landmannaleið on the west side of Nýjahraun, and stopping at the parking spaces at Rauðaskál, where the peak can be reached by walking along the ridge. The walk is 7 km each way, so a whole day should be set aside for the trip.