January 23rd, 1973. In the middle of the night a strange thundering noise fills the air, the earth shakes and the sky lights up with an orange glow. A 1500 meter long volcanic fissure is erupting in the middle of a field 2-300m from easternmost part of town. This is a true story.
This private tour to the wonderful Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) is the only way to get a sense of the feeling the people felt during this life changing event when the earth opened from underneath their feet and lava flowed over their homes. The islands were evacuated and eventually people would dig their houses from the ash hills covering the town. Before being evacuated these brave people fought the nature by trying to stop the lava from closing the harbour, the islands most valuable property.
With a population of approx. 4.200, this friendly fisherman town is both full of history and scenic wonders.
- Eldheimar volcano museum – excellent exhibition depicting the story of the eruption in Heimaey 1973 and how it affected the residents on the islands. You also get the story of Surtsey, an island south of the Westman islands that formed after an underwater eruption making it the youngest land in Europe.
- Rib boats (available add-on) – High speed boat tour visiting amazing caves and landmarks only accessible from sea. This is an experience we highly recommend.
- Walking tour – Scenic walking tour through the puffin nesting area Stórhöfði in the southmost point of Iceland, visit the volcanic hill that caused the evacuation
Heimaey, an Island of 13.4 square km, surrounded by volcanos and wonders of nature. What else could make a perfect day?