Viking Tours of the Westman Islands
Experience the Haunting Music of Bird, Man and Whale
Mountainous, mysterious, and one of those places on virtually every tourist’s wish list. Seen from the mainland, the jagged archipelago rises dramatically from the horizon, breaking the skyline from Iceland’s south coast with a sort of ‘come hither’ look that you cannot evade.
The Herjólfur ferry, from its brand new port just outside of the town of Hvolsvöllur, plies the waters that separate the islands from the mainland, making the easy 25–30 minute crossing several times a day. Now you have no excuse not to see the Westman Islands!
The Circle Tour
A fun and refreshing way to sight-see in the Westman Islands, Viking Tours’ specially designed tour boat takes you around the main island of Heimaey, 2 or 3 times a day in summer.
The 90-minute tour gives you a chance to peek into caves, observe puffins and concludes with the haunting saxophone music which fills the singing cave of Klettshellur, renowned for its superb acoustics and performed beautifully by Sigurmundur Einarsson, director of Viking Tours.
The Coach Tour
Another delightful way to explore the island is by Viking Tours’ coach which departs from the main harbour every day, year round. The guided tour takes you to the still-warm Eldfell crater which erupted over the whole island in 1973, the effects of which are easily observable throughout Heimaey. You will also get a chance to observe puffins at Stórhöfði.
10 million puffins can’t be wrong
In staggering numbers, these adorable birds flock to the archipelago year after year, the first arriving on schedule around the 12th–14th of April. “The best time of day to see them is in the late afternoon and early evening when the puffin parents return to their burrows after spending the day fishing on the sea”, says Sigurmundur.
Westman Islands Whale watching
With whole families of Killer Whales and dolphins arriving in July, the Westman Islands are a great place for whale watching, boasting the largest population of these sea mammals in Iceland. Viking Tours can organise a whale watching tour for you on request.
All Viking Tours’ trips begin and end at the cosy Café Kró down at the main harbour, where you can take in the 55 minute film about the 1973 eruption and learn how this singular event changed the face of the Westman Islands forever. – EMV