After being dormant for approximately 5000 years, Helgafell volcano woke up and began to erupt on 23 January 1973.
See the dramatic consequences of an eruption up close
The same night a 1600 metre long fissure opened up from north to south with around 50 to 60 active craters. More than 400 houses got wasted in the eruption, and new houses have now been built on the west coast of the island. After some days the craters closed except for one, where a new volcano Eldfell, started to take shape. Today Eldfell (“Fire Mountain”) is a 200 metre high mountain. The top of Eldfell is still warm today. Before the eruption, the harbour was unprotected from the eastern winds and the entrance was 800 metre wide - today it is only 160 metre wide and is considered one of the safest harbours in Iceland. In 2004 the islanders started to dig out the houses that had been buried under ash during the eruption, and this is some of the things you will see on this tour.
Eldheimar, a museum of remembrance
The tour ends at the Eldheimar volcano museum. The exhibition focuses on the 1973 volcanic eruption and you will get a glimpse into peoples lives on Heimaey before and after the eruption that would change their lives forever. The entrance ticket is included in the tour, and you can stay as long as you want to explore the exhibitions at your own pace.