What You Need to Know About the Westman Islands

Vestmannaeyjar is known for its exotic birdlife and volcanic activity. This region of Iceland is an archipelago, which has fifteen islands. Heimaey is the only island where people live yet 2400 enjoy calling it home. They are also known for having the second largest fishing station in all of Iceland, therefore fisheries are the main industry on the island.

To arrive at Heimaey you have to travel via the ferry, which is thirty minutes from Landeyjahöfn and it is approximately five miles from the mainland. If you are travelling from Reykjavik, you can book a flight via Eagle Air.

Heimaey

A Bit of History

During the year 1973, the Eldfell volcano erupted and 400 houses were covered in lava and ash. Some thought the event would cause the locals to move yet many came back and rebuilt their homes and communities.

Eldfell Volcano

Vestmannaeyjar is known for their birdlife. Currently, they have the largest puffin colony, which consists of millions of puffins.

The Present

Since the incident occurred in the seventies, Heimaey archipelago has fascinated the world. Tourists come each year so they can look at the Eldfell Volcano and see the mess that it left behind. Additionally, there is the Eldheimar, a spring, that visitors love going to. When approaching you will see the colorful roofs and you will be amazed to notice you can see into some of the buildings. Some establishments and homes still look like they did the day the volcano erupted. You will see plates on the table, dishes in the sink, and more. You may be a little spooked but it is an amazing thing to experience. If you decide to go to the onsite museum, you are definitely going to experience things that you will never forget.

Eldfell Volcano

Make sure you stop by the Eldheimar information center so you can learn about Surtsey. This is one of the youngest and most southern islands. It originated during an underwater eruption that took place from 1963 to 1967. It serves the purpose of a living laboratory.

There is also a museum in Vestmannaeyjar that you will want to stop by too. You can get there by ferry and it is open year round. It is the perfect attraction for you to view during the day.

Heimaey

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)

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