Isn’t Elephant Rock just fantastic? It really does look like a sleepy elephant dipping his trunk into the ocean. And Elephant Rock is just one of the many sights to see and things to do on this small Icelandic island.
The island of Heimaey is just 7 x 4 kilometres and has a population of only just over 4000. People population, that is. The human population is vastly outnumbered by the wild puffins that live and breed on the island. In fact, puffins are so much part of life on the island that puffin images are used as decoration wherever you look.
Every year the local population, and especially the children, form special ‘puffin patrols’ to help young birds that have become lost or disoriented.
Between the beginning and the middle of August, the baby puffins are ready to leave their nests on the cliffs. Because of civilisation, the lights from the town easily distract and disorient them so the puffin patrols save many lives. Today, visitors incudes families with young children who gather with the locals to help save the baby birds.
The island is very welcoming to travellers and well geared-up with tours, places to stay and museums. The islanders also welcome visitors and will gladly regale you with stories of the 1973 volcanic eruption – a huge natural disaster which nearly destroyed the island.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.