Westman Islands Tours

Best Westman Islands Tours in Iceland

Explore Iceland's largest selection of Westman Islands tours. Discover this South Coast archipelago's volcanic beauty and see the world's largest puffin colonies.
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Explore the Westman Islands in Iceland

The Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar in Icelandic, are a captivating archipelago located off the south coast of Iceland. These islands offer a unique and breathtaking destination for travelers seeking to explore Iceland's natural beauty and rich history.

Westman Island tours provide an unforgettable experience combining stunning landscapes and cultural insights. One of the highlights of a Westman Island tour is the chance to witness the awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes.

The islands were formed through volcanic activity, and visitors can explore the dramatic landscapes shaped by eruptions, including Eldfell, a volcano that erupted in 1973.

The lava fields and rugged coastlines are a testament to the dynamic geological forces in this region.

Aside from its geological wonders, the Westman Islands also boast a rich cultural heritage. A visit to the charming town of Heimaey, the largest island in the archipelago, offers a glimpse into the islanders' way of life.

You can learn about the history of puffin hunting, see the local fishing industry in action, and even visit the Eldheimar Museum, which provides insight into the 1973 eruption and its impact on the community.

For nature enthusiasts, the Westman Islands are a birdwatcher's paradise. The islands have countless seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and kittiwakes.

Birdwatching tours are popular, allowing visitors to get up close to these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.

Westman Island tours in Iceland offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, geological wonders, and cultural experiences.

 Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking an adventure off the beaten path, these islands have something to offer every traveler.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best Westman Islands tour in Iceland?

A popular Westman Islands tour in Iceland is the scenic boat tour in Vestmannaeyjar. The one-hour tour explores the coastal beauty of the islands and costs approximately 119 USD. The excursion has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars from around 18 travelers.
Another top-rated Westman Islands tour in Iceland is a super jeep day tour from Reykjavik. This day tour costs around 431 USD and includes transfers from the capital city.
Another popular Westman Islands tour is the RIB boat tour of the Westman Islands with transfer from Reykjavik. This day tour costs about 178 USD.

Is it worth visiting the Westman Islands in Iceland?

Visiting the Westman Islands in Iceland is well worth it. These enchanting islands offer a unique blend of stunning volcanic landscapes, abundant birdlife, rich cultural history, and a welcoming island community.
Witnessing the raw beauty of recent volcanic eruptions, getting up close to puffins during nesting season, and exploring the charming town of Heimaey make for an unforgettable experience.
The islands also provide a quieter and less touristy escape than some of Iceland's more crowded destinations, making it an ideal addition to your Icelandic adventure. The journey to the Westman Islands is as rewarding as the destination itself.

What is the cheapest Westman Islands tour in Iceland?

One of Iceland’s cheapest Westman Island tours is a 45-minute tour of the Beluga Whale Sanctuary and Puffin Rescue. This tour costs around 25 USD.
Another cheap Westman Islands tour is this enchanting bike tour. This five-hour tour costs approximately 29 USD and lets you experience the Westman Islands on two wheels.
Alternatively, this affordable lava tour on the Westman Islands with a local expert includes a hike through a lava field to the peak of a volcano. This private tour costs about 42 USD.

Where are the Westman Islands located?

The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar in Icelandic) are located off the southern coast of Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean.

What are the main attractions in the Westman Islands of Iceland?

The main attractions include the town's old harbor, Eldfell volcano, which last erupted in 1973, the internet-famous Elephant Rock on the cliffs of Heimaey, the Eldheimar volcano museum, and Eldfellshraun lava field, where locals bake rye bread in the warm lava rocks.

How much time should I spend in the Westman Islands?

A day trip will allow you to visit all the major attractions. However, you could explore the islands at a slower pace and spend two days there if you wish.

Which of the Westman Islands should I visit?

Heimaey is the only island of the archipelago inhabited, and you can find all the major attractions there. You can, however, join a boat tour that takes you around the smaller islands and into some of their many sea caves.

How do you reach the Westman Islands?

You will need to take a ferry from a port on the South Coast of Iceland. You may need to drive to Landeyjahofn or Thorlakshofn or fly from Reykjavik.

Where can I buy a ticket to the Westman Islands ferry?

You can buy tickets at the Westman Islands ferry website. Booking in advance is recommended. The Westman Islands is a popular destination during the summer for visitors and locals alike, especially during the first weekend of August when the "Thjodhatid i Eyjum" music festival is held on Heimaey island.
Some Westman Islands tours may include ferry crossing, so check the information on the tour page.

When is the best time to visit the Westman Islands?

The best time to visit depends on your interests. Summer (June to August) is ideal for puffin watching and pleasant weather. However, the islands offer unique experiences year-round, including winter, when you can witness the dramatic landscapes.

How can I visit the Elephant Rock in Iceland?

The internet-famous Elephant Rock is a unique basalt rock formation in the shape of an elephant off the cliffs of Heimaey, the largest island of the Westman Islands of Iceland.
We recommend a RIB boat tour of the Westman Islands with a transfer from Heimaey Harbor to see the Elephant Rock in all its glory.
The tour will also take you into some of the islands' sea caves and engage in some puffin watching during the summer.

Can I see whales around the Westman Islands?

Yes, you can. Whale and puffin-watching boat tours run throughout the summer months around the Westman Islands.

When is the best time to see the puffins in the Westman Islands?

The puffins arrive in May and stay until September each year. To ensure you see them, you should schedule your travel to the Westman Islands between early June and late August.
While there are plenty of places to find puffins in Iceland, the Westman Islands have the largest puffin colony in the world, with over 1 million puffins nesting there each year.

What wildlife can I expect to see, besides puffins?

In addition to puffins, you can observe various seabirds, such as guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars. Seals are also sometimes spotted around the islands.

Are the Westman Islands accessible all year round?

Yes, ferries and planes run scheduled trips during all seasons. The ferry takes just over 30 minutes, and a flight from Reykjavik takes around 20 minutes.

Can I visit Eldfell volcano on a tour?

Yes, there are guided tours that take visitors to the summit of Eldfell volcano, where you can learn about its eruption in 1973 and enjoy panoramic views of the islands.
You can hike to the summit of Eldfell volcano on this private tour of the Westman Islands, this eight-hour tour with a RIB boat ride, and this super jeep day tour from Reykjavik.

Are there hiking trails for all levels of hikers?

Yes, there are hiking trails suitable for different skill levels. Some trails are easy and offer beautiful coastal views, while others are more challenging and lead to higher vantage points, including the summit of Eldfell volcano.

Are the Westman Islands dangerous because of the volcanic activity there?

The islands are constantly monitored for volcanic activity, and warnings will be issued well before any significant event. During the last major eruption in 1973, there was not a single fatality.

How many islands make up the Westman Islands?

The Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar, are an archipelago of 15 islands and 30 rock crops and stacks off Iceland's South Coast. Only one, Heimaey, is inhabited.

How large are the Westman Islands?

The total surface area of the Westman Islands is approximately 6.5 square miles (17 square kilometers).

How many people live in the Westman Islands?

Approximately 4,300 people live on the Westman Islands today, all residing on the only permanently inhabited island of Heimaey.

Why are the islands called the 'Westman' islands?

The 'Westmen' was how Norse people referred to the Irish in the Middle Ages. The islands were named after two Irish thralls who killed their master and fled to the islands in the 9th century.
They were then chased down and killed in retribution by their former master's brother-in-law and Iceland's first settler, Ingolfur Arnarson. Since then, the islands have been called Vestmannaeyjar, or 'Westman Islands.'

Is there accommodation on the Westman Islands?

Yes, hotels, guesthouses, hostels, and campgrounds are on the main island of Heimaey. It's recommended to book accommodation in the Westman Islands in advance, especially during the summer months.

Are there any festivals or events on the Westman Islands?

Yes, one of the most popular events is the Thjodhatíd festival, held annually in August. It's a massive outdoor festival with live music and a lively atmosphere. The islands also host other cultural and sporting events.

Is it possible to visit historical sites on the Westman Islands?

Yes, you can explore historical sites and museums that showcase the islands' Viking heritage and the impact of volcanic eruptions on the community.

What activities are available for families with children on Westman Islands tours?

Families can enjoy activities like exploring lava fields, visiting museums, puffin watching, and taking boat tours suitable for all ages.

Can I go swimming or enjoy hot springs on the Westman Islands?

There is a geothermal swimming pool on Heimaey called Saeheimar, where you can relax in a warm pool. However, there are no natural hot springs on the islands.
If you are interested in swimming in Iceland's geothermal pools, you could take a hot springs tour instead.

What should I pack for a Westman Islands tour?

Be sure to bring warm, waterproof clothing, comfortable shoes for walking and hiking, sunscreen, and binoculars for birdwatching. You should also bring a reusable water bottle, snacks, and a camera.

Is it possible to visit other islands in the Westman Islands archipelago besides Heimaey?

Yes, some boat tours offer the opportunity to visit other smaller islands in the archipelago, which can provide a more secluded and peaceful experience.
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