Westman Islands Tours

Westman Islands tours introduce you to an archipelago of 15 islands and 30 rock stacks off Iceland’s South Coast. Explore the area by boat, visit the puffin colonies that nest there throughout summer or immerse yourself in the region's colourful history and culture.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the main attractions in the Westman Islands?

The main attractions include the old harbour, Eldfell volcano, Elephant Rock, Eldheimar museum, Eldfellshraun lava field and many more.

Can I see whales around the Westman Islands?

Yes, you can. There are whale and bird watching boat tours which run throughout the summer months.

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 make absolutely sure 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 is one of the most reliable.

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

How does one 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 either Landeyjahofn or Thorlakshofn or else take a plane from Reykjavik.

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

You can buy ferry tickets at the harbour. However, booking in advance is advisable. During the year's most busy travel seasons, such as during the bank holiday which falls on the first weekend of August, you will need to book tickets in advance.

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 would take around 20 minutes from Reykjavik.

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

No, during the last major eruption in 1973, there was not a single fatality. Furthermore, the islands are constantly monitored for volcanic activity and warnings will be issued well before any significant event.

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 land of the Westman Islands is 17 km² (6.5 mi²).

How many people live in the Westman Islands?

Approximately 4,300 people live on the Westman Islands today.

Why are the islands called the 'Westman' islands? Who was this west-man?

The ‘Westmen’ was a nickmame used by the Norse people to describe the Irish. The islands were named after two Irish slaves who killed their master and fled to the Vestmannaeyjar before they were killed in retribution by their former master’s brother-in-law and Iceland’s first settler, Ingólfur Arnarson.