Helgafell volcano and red lava slope of Eldfell volcano on Vestmannaeyjar Island Heimaey.

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Top choice in Heimaey

The 221m-high volcanic cone Eldfell appeared from nowhere in the early hours of 23 January 1973. Once the fireworks finished, heat from the volcano provided Heimaey with geothermal energy from 1976 to 1985. Today the ground is still hot enough in places to bake bread or char wood. Eldfell is an easy climb from town, up the collapsed northern wall of the crater; stick to the path, as the islanders are trying to save their latest volcano from erosion.

It's around a 1.5km hike to the top (taking 30 minutes to one hour), where it can get windy. Limited parking is available at the bottom of the volcano.