The walking track to Blátindur – The dazzling heights of Dalfjall

The walking track to Blátindur – The dazzling heights of Dalfjall

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.

The Valley of Magic, Herjólfsdalur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandHerjólfsdalur 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 intimidating steepness of Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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.

Blátindur hike, walking track, Herjolfsdalur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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, Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

The daunting peaks of Dalfjall.

View to Stafsnes from Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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.

Blátindur hike, walking track, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

This is where you have to start scrambling…

Blátindur hike, walking track, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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.

View from Blátindur into Herjólfsdalur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandGrassy 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.

Herjólfsdalur panorama from Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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

View to Herjólfsdalur from Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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.

View to Blátindur, Herjólfsdalur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandBlátindur 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.

View to Herjólfsdalur from Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandWilderness Coffee with a view! 🙂

Top of Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandLooking 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…

Top of Blátindur, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandSitting 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 🙂

Blátindur hike, walking track, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandBumslide section down the first ridge.

Blátindur and coastal lava flow, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandLooking up to Blátindur from the coastal lava flow.

A candle on Blátindur

Occasionally, some candles have appeared near the top ridge too… 😉

Candles on Blátindur top ridge, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

You can read how to get to Vestmannaeyjar in this article.

(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High

This is one of the top-5 blog posts of 2017.

Share your thoughts at the bottom of this page. Or simply press the ‘like’ button below if you enjoyed reading this post 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

Follow the Wilderness Coffee & Natural High page on Facebook for more stories and regular updates.


Here’s a little surround view from the top of Blátindur:

More stories & inspiration

Vestmannaeyjar! – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

Eldfell erupting a rainbow

Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Pico del Teide – A volcanic playground

The walking track to Helgafell – The twin volcano

Share your thoughts

%d bloggers like this: