Iceland: Running Highlights

Run a Volcano! Eldfell on Heimaey Island

Author photo

A unique and accessible running experience!  There are many volcanoes in Iceland that offer great hiking, but Eldfell offers one of the better opportunities to ‘run a volcano’. The island of Heimaey is a 40-minute ferry ride and is a wonderful spot to visit. Eldfell is the result of a huge eruption in 1973 that lasted 6 months and literally added 2.1 km to the island’s surface. The setting is well preserved, with a series of paths that ascend to the summit (about 200 meters), which has great views and some still warm rocks.

View from Eldfell. Author photo.

The hike is quite runnable, with a gentle, winding slope that ascends about 200 meters over about 2 km. The wide, gravel path is easy to follow, with good interpretive signs. There are some tributary paths and roads in the area if you’d like to add to your run.

  • About 2 km each way
  • 200 meters (fairly gradual ascent)
  • can walk or run from town -- it's less than 1 km