Private 2-Hour Lava Tour on the Westman Islands with a Local Expert

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Description

Summary

Tour starts
Vestmannaeyjar - høfn, Iceland
Duration
2 hours
Difficulty
Easy
Languages
English, Icelandic
Minimum age
None

Description

Explore the Westman Islands off Iceland's South Coast and learn about the archipelago's fascinating history on this two-hour private tour. If you want to hike through a newly formed lava field and volcano and listen to the stories about some significant events in the area, then this excursion is for you.

The Westman Islands or Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago off the South Coast of Iceland, known for having the world's most abundant number of nesting puffins. 

But what makes the archipelago more interesting is the Eldfell volcano and the story of its past eruption, which you will hear about on this tour.

First, you'll meet your local guide at the pier on Heimaey island, the archipelago's only inhabited area, and be briefed about the tour.

You'll then walk in the direction of Skansinn, an Icelandic landmark steeped in history. 

Made of hewn lava blocks, Skansinn was built in the 16th century. This lovely verdant area was supposed to be a fortress but failed to be one in the face of the Algerian pirates who had wreaked havoc in 1627.

Your guide will then take you to the Heimaey stave church, a gift from Norway to Iceland to commemorate the millennial anniversary of Iceland's conversion to Christianity.

You'll also visit the Landlyst museum, considered the oldest building in Westman Islands and where Iceland's first birthing center was opened.

After exploring Skansinn, you'll move on to the tour's next highlight, the lava field. Unlike some lava fields in Iceland, which were formed earlier, this one was created only a few decades ago during the 1973 eruption.

Your guide will then take you up the slope to see the source of that eruption, the Eldfell volcano. 

After a moment of hiking, you'll reach the volcano's peak and witness the most breathtaking view of the island and the ocean.

While you take in the spectacular view, your guide will share the shocking stories of the 1973 volcanic eruption. 

In the wee hours of January 23, 1973, while the entire town was asleep, a fissure opened up without warning and began to erupt furiously, giving birth to the Eldfell volcano. 

This incident resulted in a mass evacuation and the destruction of around 400 homes. But despite the damage to the island, the residents refused to give it up, so they later returned and made the place inhabitable again.

After hearing the story, you'll look at the beautiful view differently, this time with awe at the inhabitants' resilience and love for their beloved island.

You'll then descend from the volcano and hike back to the town, where you can grab a bite or visit the museum dedicated to the Eldfell volcano's birth and eruption. 

Don't miss this chance to discover the Westman Islands' notable sites and hear about the resilient stories of the archipelago's inhabitants. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

Local guide with historical and cultural guidance

Activities

Hiking
Sightseeing
Cultural Activity

What to bring

Camera
Comfortable warm outdoor clothing
Hiking shoes
Water bottle

Good to know

Remember to wear warm, comfortable clothing and hiking shoes, and ensure you're in proper shape for the hike, which is moderately challenging.

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