Let’s talk Lava! An Interview With The Co-Founder Of The Lava Show

Last updated: Mar 12th, 2024

The Lava Show is such a unique experience, there is no other show in the world like it!

Located in Iceland the Lava Show is a family run business, showcasing the experience of a real lava fall and making it possible for people to get up close to it. We were lucky to have the opportunity to interview the Co-Founder Ragnhildur Ágústsdóttir about how the show began, and the experience it creates for visitors.

How did the Lava Show begin?


Ragga and her husband are both lava enthusiasts and have been interested in volcanoes and lava since they were children. “During the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption a smaller eruption happened a month before which was viewer friendly due to no ash cloud forming. We went to see the eruption in person and witnessed the highest lava fall in history at 200m. We were in complete awe of it and wanted to show people what we had experienced.”

In 2015, Ragga’s husband had found 2 professors on YouTube in New York City creating a video of melting lava for scientific purposes. “Pouring lava on ice is the exact process that we needed for the Lava Show to begin.” Ragga emailed the professor to see if they could come and watch the lava pour in person, and so they flew to New York to learn how it worked, how to perfect the process and how to create the Lava Show which opened in Vik in 2018.

Ragga and her husband- Co Founders of the Lava Show

About the Lava Show

There are 2 shows in Iceland, the original in Vik, followed by the show in Reykjavik which opened in 2022. Each demonstration tells a different story, so it is highly recommended to go to both shows when visiting Iceland.



“A quote which we love that was from a teacher is ‘This was the best geology class you could ever attend!’” Ragnhildur, The Lava Show


“Vik is focused on volcanoes in the south coast and tells the story of my husband’s great grandfather who was herding sheep at the source of Katla volcano which erupted in 1918.” Almost all of the volcanoes in the south part of the island are sub glacier, meaning whenever they erupt there is an aspect of a big ash cloud. Exhibiting sub glacier volcanoes, the show in Vik is covered in ice where the hosts can play around with fire and ice to show how they react.

Ragga explained that the show in Reykjavik focuses more on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland as a whole and the Vikings arriving. “The show in Reykjavik is more of an effusive eruption, lava beautifully flows towards the ocean, so we have a steeper lava slide that flows more rapidly.”



Let’s talk about the lava!


“When the Lava Show began the staff tested having 500kgs of lava in the showroom. As you can imagine, this got unbearably hot to the point where the emergency doors had to be opened.” They realised that the amount of lava needed to be cut down to allow people to endure the heat. Reykjavik show has 130-150kg of lava so they can really show the rapid lava flow. As it’s a bigger showroom than Vik more lava is used.
“No show is the same, lava has a mind of its own. Our live hosts must be good at adjusting to different situations, for example putting ice on lava can sometimes create lots of bubbles, but sometimes it can create only one bubble.” Can you imagine having a background in geology but getting to play with lava every day?! This must be every geologist’s dream!


Image of hot Lava

What is the most significant takeaways you hope to impact visitors?


The show gives a respect and understanding of the incredible heat that volcanoes and lava gives off. “People remember the heat from the show most, and it surprises tourist how much the room heats up with the flow of lava.” The bright orange glow of lava is mesmerising as it is, but experiencing the heat of lava in person is an experience that is out of this world!

“Icelanders have the lowest expectations to flowing lava because they are used to eruptions within the environment they live in. But they are really impressed with the heat from the lava and learn a lot from the show. Real flowing lava is the wow moment of the show”. – Ragnhildur, The Lava Show


The second biggest takeaway that Ragga feels is important is learning about how volcanically active Iceland is and how it has impacted the Icelandic people. “The show has a major aspect of storytelling, mixing the two of seeing the landscapes in person, and then going to the show to learn about the eruption. Coupling them together makes it an interesting comparison to a classroom.”


Lava show with running lava glowing and audience watching

Full of engagement, entertainment, and a show that brings out your senses, the Lava Show is not one to miss out on! If you would like to include this in your itinerary, contact us and we can fit it in for your next school trip to Iceland!

Get in touch!

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