Blátindur is not for the faint-hearted. It’s that imposing peak rising up majestically above Herjólfsdalur, and it requires some serious scrambling up its steep and craggy slope. There are no chains or ropes along the track, nor any carved out steps. So you have to be prepared to crawl on hands and feet up on rocky paths, and sometimes even bumslide down the track if necessary. Safe to say that it’s not a good idea to do this walk when there is a stiff breeze howling around the peaks.
But the effort is worth it. The views from the top ridges into the magical bowl of Herjólfsdalur are absolutely dazzling. Down the other side there are fleeting views onto hidden beaches and a bewildering array of jumbled rocks.
Herjólfsdalur with the Elephant Rock just above the sea on the left side. Blátindur is the pointy rock jutting out in the middle of the Dalfjall formation behind it.
The intimidating cliffs of Blátindur
Only a few meters shorter than Heimaklettur, Blátindur – the Blue Peak – is the second highest peak on the island of Heimaey, rising 273 abruptly sheer meters from the valley floor. The famous Elephant Rock (Fílinn) is on the sea side of Dalfjall, the bulky group of peaks above Herjólfsdalur where Blátindur is part of.
Looking up its sheer cliffs is quite intimidating…
The start of the track
The scramble up to Blátindur starts at the western end of Eggjarnar, the ridge above Herjólfsdalur. You can do it as an extension of the ridge track, or go up directly on the zigzag path from the bottom of the valley – on the left side as you look into it.
It takes about 20 minutes of solid plodding up to the ridge, and another 20 minutes of scrambling to the top. But you will need plenty of time & margin to enjoy the breathtaking views too 😉
Once you’re on the ridge, you’ll see a sheeptrail on the left, weaving its way up along the back of Blátindur. The path leads to a wall of rocks, seemingly ending there. Next to it is a gravel slope, sliding all the way down into the ocean below.
The daunting peaks of Dalfjall.
View down to the hidden beach of Stafsnes.
Scrambling up the slope
This is the part where it gets a bit trickier. It may look like a discouraging dead end at first sight, but it is possible to scramble your way up on a tiny path between the rocks. You just have to be very careful, check for loose rocks & gravel, and a firm hold with each step you take.
This is where you have to start scrambling…
Breathtaking views will be your reward!
Then an unexpected view suddenly unfolds before you, as you emerge from the rubble onto a welcoming and comfortable grassy plateau. It will – literally – take your breath away.
Grassy plateau and view from the first ridge towards Herjólfsdalur, Vestmannaeyja town and Eldfell in the distance.
The views are mind-blowing 360 degrees around, and nearly impossible not to capture in panorama.
Four volcanoes in one view. Only Hekla is hiding its head behind the clouds…
The upper ridges
The upper ridges of Blátindur are connected by a series of little plateaus. A small path leads across them, with dazzling views and steep drop-offs to both sides.
The last humpy ridge before Blátindur itself requires some more scrambling and precarious balancing across a very narrow path, before you get to the two metal sticks that mark the top.
View down to the last bumpy ridge, with a lava bomb lodged in its side.
The dazzling views from above
As I gaze upon the Valley of Magic, I shall fear no heights… 😉
Finally, when you haul yourself over the last ridge, you will be greeted by this jaw-dropping sight.
Blátindur looming over Heimaey, casting its mighty shadow majestically into the bowl of Herjólfsdalur.
There is not much room to lounge about, but it’s possible to find some sheltered rocks to sit on and enjoy a picnic lunch and a Wilderness Coffee with a view.
Wilderness Coffee with a view! 🙂
Looking back from the top of Blátinder, marked by two metal sticks.
The other side of the top rocks & sticks has a bit more space and a grassy ledge. However, there’s a rather abrupt drop-off around its edges…
Sitting on the ledge at the top & enjoying the views (and the balmy weather!)
Views down to the coast, and a rainbow over the sea just as I reached the top 🙂
Bumslide section down the first ridge.
Looking up to Blátindur from the coastal lava flow.
A candle on Blátindur
Occasionally, some candles have appeared near the top ridge too… 😉
You can read how to get to Vestmannaeyjar in this article.
(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High
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Here’s a little surround view from the top of Blátindur:
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