Norway’s not traditionally known as a hotspot for volcanoes like Iceland or Japan, but are there even any volcanoes in Norway at all?
There are no active volcanoes on mainland Norway, but Norway’s island Jan Mayen has an active volcano. Mainland Norway has a long history of volcanic activity, but they are now all dormant or gone. There are also hundreds of underwater volcanoes outside the Norwegian shores.
So Norway kind of got volcanoes, but not really. You won’t need to fear a volcanic eruption when visiting Norway, but we still have a long history of volcanoes both above and below sea level.
Let’s take a closer look at Norway’s only active volcano, the underwater volcanoes in Norway and the history of Norwegian volcanoes!
Norway’s only active volcano: Beerenberg at Jan Mayen
Beerenberg is Norway’s only active volcano, and has erupted a total of six times in the last 250 years. The last eruption was in 1985, and it could potentially erupt at any point now.
The volcano is 2,277 meters high, and it’s considered the northernmost active volcano in the world.
There are no people living anywhere close to the island, so an eruption would not cause any direct damage, but there is speculation that a big eruption could cause flooding due to melting glacial water on the island.
PS. Keep in mind that Jan Mayen is nowhere close to mainland Norway. It is a small island located closer to Iceland and Greenland.
It’s very, very difficult to visit Jan Mayen and see Beerenberg for yourself, but there are some cruise ships that offer a short stop close to the island. Actually getting ashore to the island is even more difficult, and requires a permit.
Underwater volcanoes in Norway
If you count underwater volcanoes as volcanoes (as you should), then Norway is actually full of volcanoes. There are hundreds of active underwater volcanoes in the ocean off the Norwegian shore!
Most of these underwater volcanoes are several thousand meters below the sea level, so an eruption is not even noticeable on land unless you have special measuring tools.
However, if we look to Jan Mayen again, then there’s underwater volcanoes that are as shallow as only 20 meters below the sea level. An eruption here could potentially create new land, increasing the size of Norway!
Norway did historically have volcanoes
Norway has a long history of volcanoes, but we need to turn the time back several million years to find active volcanoes on the mainland.
This is so long age that the volcanoes are long gone, and you can’t even see the shape or any trace of them. These volcanoes are not active at all, so there’s no risk of a volcano eruption in mainland Norway.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.