The Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar in Icelandic, is a group of 15 islands off the south coast of Iceland. Of the 15 islands, Heimaey is the largest and the only one that is inhabited. Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano. That eruption is also infamous in Icelandic history as it nearly led to the permanent evacuation of the island.
But I can hear you asking “why should I go visit another island when I’ve already traveled to Iceland, which is an island!?”. Hear me out. Even though it’s difficult to describe in person, Vestmannaeyjar has so many interesting things to offer. Whether it’s the landscape, the small community and kind people, or the various activities, I’m confident that you won’t regret visiting the Westman Islands. The islands is probably most famously called “puffin island” as it is one of the largest breeding grounds for puffins in Iceland.
If you’re not there for the puffins, you can check out their volcano museum, scaling and swinging in the bird cliffs, explore the inhabited islands on a boat tour, play some golf, or enjoy some amazing food at a local restaurant. You won’t be bored in the Westman Islands.
How to get there?
Drive to Landeyjahöfn, which is only around 20 minute drive from Hvolsvöllur or approx. 2 hours from Reykjavik. Next, you take the ferry Herjólfur, which will take you to Vestmannaeyjar. You can buy your ticket on www.herjolfur.is
Things to do?
As mentioned above, there are plenty of things to do and see in the Westman Islands. Puffin and volcano minibus tours, rib boat tours, hiking, or visit the Eldheimar Museum.
Best place for your photo?
In front of Heimaklettur or, if you go hiking, on top of the volcano itself.