Eldfell put Heimaey on travelers’ maps when it erupted in 1973. For six months, the volcano produced clouds of ash and rivers of lava. Most of the island’s residents were evacuated, though most also later returned. In the process, the island actually expanded in area by almost a square mile before the activity subsided. Today, a visit to Eldfell and the island’s other volcano, Helgafell, poses no imminent danger, and you can admire the dramatic natural beauty of the two peaks as you walk into the very center of Eldfell’s crater. The route offers sweeping views of the island, and at some points along the way the soil is still warm to the touch—a reminder that, while Eldfell is dormant, volcanic activity continues underneath the ground.