Öræfajökull is an ice-covered volcano in south-east Iceland. It is the largest active volcano in the country, and on its north-western rim is Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest peak in Iceland. Geographically Öræfajökull is considered part of the Vatnajökull glacier, and the area covered by glacier is inside the bounds of Vatnajökull National Park.
Öræfajökull has erupted twice in historical time. In 1362 the volcano erupted explosively, with huge amounts of tephra being ejected. The district of Litla-Hérað was destroyed with floods and tephra fall. More than 40 years passed before people again settled the area, which became known as Öræfi. The name literally means an area without harbour, but it took on a meaning of wasteland in Icelandic. An eruption in August 1727 to 1728 was smaller, though floods are known to have caused three fatalities.