Vestmannaeyjar – The Westman Islands are a group of 15-18 islands, depending on how they are classed, and about 30 skerries sand rock pillars, located off the mainland’s south coast. The islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions along a 30-km long fissure lying southwest to northeast. The largest island is Heimaey with less than 5000 residents on 13.4 km2. Most of the islands have steep sea cliffs, and are well vegetated. Bird hunting and egg collecting are traditional to the islanders’ culture.
A Norse timber church, a gift from the Norwegians to commemorate 1000 years since Christianity was accepted in Iceland, was consecrated on Heimaey. The only church of its type in Iceland, it has been situated at the Skans area where a stone wall, built after the Turkish invasion in 1627 occurred, has been rebuilt.
Your morning begins with pick-up from your central Reykjavik hotel by private vehicle. After a scenic drive along Iceland’s picturesque South Coast, arrive at Landeyjahöfn to board your ferry bound for the Westman Islands. Keep your camera to hand as you gaze out across the Atlantic Ocean, and watch as the islands’ jagged cliffs come into view.
Arrive on Heimaey, the largest of the 15 Westman Islands, and head to the Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary. Take a tour of the visitor centre, learn about the beluga whales and why they are here, see their new neighbours in our native species aquarium and puffin hospital. Next, visit the Eldheimar Museum and discover the islands’ most recent volcanic eruption in 1973, and the 1963 eruption that led to the formation of a new island – Surtsey.
Your private tour can be customized to your preferences, so perhaps opt to climb the volcanic peak of Eldfell for spectacular views over the islands, or cruise around the main island on a Heimaey Circle Boat Tour (extra cost).
After a full day exploring the islands, return to Reykjavik, where your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel.
Duration: 14 hours.
Included: Pick-up and drop-off in the capital area, High Speed 4G internet WiFi and Premium Icelandic Glacial Water bottles and Herjólfur (Ferry across from the mainland).
Not included: Food, beverages and other entrance fees.
Attention: Prices are per vehicle, not per person.