Eldfell erupting a rainbow

Eldfell erupting a rainbow

The Eldfell volcano suddenly arrived in a spectacular way on the island of Heimaey (Vestmannaeyjar) on 23 January 1973, and caused quite some upheaval.

After it finished its business on 3 July of that same year, Eldfell now lies dormant and watches over the island peacefully. It sits next to its older ‘twin volcano’ Helgafell.

But occasionally Eldfell still erupts a rainbow… 💜
(and some northern lights too!)

Eldfell volcano rainbow

The photo below really was a lucky one. I was standing at the right place at the right moment when I saw this rainbow erupting from the Eldfell volcano. Just for a few fleeting moments it was there, before it disappeared again.

You can see this view from the HáHá plateau on the Herjólfsdalur hike.

Eldfell volcano erupting a rainbow, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.
The rainbow volcano Eldfell and its twin Helgafell on Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar.

Heimaey eruption 1973

In the middle of the night people in Vestmannaeyja town looked out of their window, and saw the field in their back yard had just started erupting. Huge fountains of liquid fire came straight from the ground and roared up to 150 meters in the air. The Eldfell volcano eruption almost devastated the island, and caused the entire population to evacuate overnight.

Without knowing if they would be able to return, or if their beautiful island would ever be habitable again…

@ Read more about the Heimaey eruption and the Eldfell volcano hike.

Rainbow extravaganza

Autumn brings some unstable & stormy weather on Vestmannaeyjar, but it also creates stunning natural light effects like these. You can often see rainbows of extravagant shapes and sizes all over the island.

Rainbow over Heimaey harbour and Eldfell lava fields, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.
Rainbow over Heimaey harbour and the huge Eldfell lava fields.

End of Eldfell eruption festival

At the start of the Goslok Volcano Festival 2017, a cheerful rainbow also appeared over Eldfell and Vestmannaeyja town. Goslok is the celebration of the end of the eruption on Heimaey. The festival takes place every year in the first weekend of July.

Timing couldn’t have been better! 😉

@ Do you want to see more of this beautiful island? Explore the numerous Vestmannaeyjar walking tracks in this article.

Eldfell goslok rainbow, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.
Goslok rainbow over Eldfell.

Where is Vestmannaeyjar?

Vestmannaeyjar is a volcanic chain of islands just off the south coast of Iceland, directly across from Eyjafjallajökull. They are also known as the Westman Islands. The main island of Heimaey may look tiny on the map, but there’s a lot of spectacular scenery densely compressed into its 13,4 square kilometres. The ferry to Heimaey departs from Landeyjahöfn harbour and takes 35 minutes. You’ll see the turn-off to Landeyjahöfn near the Seljalandsfoss waterfall on the Ring Road.

@ If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you! Your questions, comments and suggestions can also be helpful for other readers. Thank you for sharing.

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Rainbow over the Vestmannaeyjar twin volcanoes, Iceland.
Rainbow over the twin volcanoes, with the island of Bjarnarey in the background.

More to explore & discover

Dalalæða – Spectacular waterfalls of fog

Solar eclipse – A mind-blowing experience

El Hierro – A volcanic hotspot underneath the sea

Haleakala – The House of the Rising Sun

Natural Art – Abstract painting & contrasts

© All photos and content on this website are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you want to use a photo or quote a text from one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and photos on social media, with a tag and mention to Wilderness Coffee & Natural High.

First published: 25 September 2017

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