The crystal clear waters of Silfra attract drysuit-clad snorkellers and divers from around the world. Formed by the divergence of the Eurasian and American tectonic plates, it continues to widen by 1-2 cm each year. In Summer, the glacial runoff water 'warms' to 3 degrees Celcius.
Hardcore divers ahead
Not your usual road-side warning!
A diver negotiates one of the shallower sections of the crack. The deepest section of Silfra is 64m in a cave under the car park, however tours are only allowed in open water, to a maximum depth of 18m.
A diver heads back across an old lava field with 30kg of equipment at the end of the day. With hood, gloves, drysuit, insulation suit and thermals, you can remain pretty warm and dry for an hour or two in the near-freezing water.
Only the hardest plants grow in old lava fields, including moss and wild berries.
Seljalandsfoss, famous for the path that runs behind the falls
The ferry from Landeyjahöfn to Heimaey, a 45min trip.
A tourist boat lines up, ready to head through a cave tunnel at Vestmannæyjar
Perched in the middle of the Vestmannæyjar campground is a recreation of some 9th Century turf-roofed dwellings that were found nearby in the 1970s
A young kittiwake shelters between rocks in the Vestmannæyjar campground
Vestmannæyjar campground, sited in an old volcanic crater. The location is fairly sheltered and there are some short, exposed, hikes on the ridge above.
A sheep in Summer dress sits atop the cliffs of Vestmannæyjar. View from Stórhöfði in the SW corner of the island
Suðeray, Vestmannæyjar. The building is a clubhouse for locals who sometimes visit the island for fishing or catching puffins. Some sheep are perched along the cliff edge, the only current residents.
Suðeray, Vestmannæyjar. The building is a clubhouse for locals who sometimes visit the island for fishing or catching puffins. The sheep perched along the cliff edge and thousands of birds are the only current residents.
A Kittiwake in flight above the southern cliffs, Vestmannæyjar [cropped image]
Ræningjatangi (Pirate Cove)
In 1627, Algerian pirates landed here, at the Southern end of Vestmannæyjar, before taking over the island by deadly force.
Icelandic sheep, Vestmannæyjar
Friendly Icelandic horses, Vestmannæyjar
Western coast, Vestmannæyjar
Sæheimar aquarium and natural history museum, Vestmannæyjar. Check out the friendly Puffin! www.saeheimar.is / www.sagnheimar.is
Puffin display, Sæheimar natural history museum, Heimæy, Vestmannæyjar [editorial use only]
Bird display, Sæheimar natural history museum, Heimæy, Vestmannæyjar [editorial use only]
Marine life display, Sæheimar aquarium, Heimæy, Vestmannæyjar [editorial use only]
A langoustine gets the attention of a Northern Stone Crab, while safely sheltered in a glass tube. Sæheimar aquarium, Heimæy, Vestmannæyjar
Atlantic Catfish, Sæheimar aquarium, Heimæy, Vestmannæyjar
New land formed from the 1973 volcanic eruption on Vestmannæyjar. Ironically, the unscheduled land extension made the harbour safer and more sheltered!
Ruins of homes from the 1973 volcanic eruption on Vestmannæyjar. Over time, some homes have been uncovered from the metres of ash that fell and caused the full evacuation of the island. There is a detailed 'Pompei of the North' exhibition built around some of the excavated buildings.
Ruins of homes from the 1973 volcanic eruption on Vestmannæyjar. Over time, some homes have been excavated from the metres of ash that fell and caused the full evacuation of the island. The volcanic debris is now a good source of road and building material for the island. Many houses are still buried.
Vestmannæyjar campground and golf course from the rim of the crater
Vestmannæyjar campground and golf course from the rim of the crater. This panorama can be printed up to 86cm wide at photo quality, or larger as a poster.
An exposed and exciting hiking trail along the top of the Vestmannæyjar crater
Free-roaming Icelandic sheep use a natural cave shelter halfway up the Vestmannæyjar crater
Road 208 into Landmannalaugar
Road 208 into the SW highlands of Landmannalaugar
This van is at the smaller end of Iceland's monster 4wds! Rhyolite hills of Landmannalaugar beyond.
Campers enjoy the 38C geothermally-heated river below Landmannalaugar's lava field. Even hotter water flows in the far side - too hot to swim in [editorial use only, faces have been blurred]
Landmannalaugar campground at the end of Summer