Iceland is surrounded by landscapes and sceneries which can stun anyone right from the first view. Small islands, canyons, and cliffs truly lend Iceland, a heaven-like touch. Westman Islands or Vestmannaeyjar is one such island which contributes to the beauty of Iceland, making the country rich in terms of beauty. Incredible natural beauty is crowning over the Westman Islands. If you are a history enthusiast, this place will surely be of interest.
What to expect from Westman Islands
The islands are named after Irish slaves as Irish were called ‘Westmen’ in pre-modern times. A group of islands, Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands consists of 15 islands and 30 rock stacks. The archipelago is situated near the South Coast of Iceland. It is well known locally for the world’s largest population of nesting puffins. So, if you want to see the puffins closely, observe or click them, there is a special looking point here. The main island which is called Heimaey has a modest strength of approximately 4300 people. The cheerful and vibrant vibes Heimaey island draws locals and visitors from across the world. Six of the islands have single hunting cabins. For those who have not come across the enriched and mesmerizing seabird life of Iceland should visit this place. Several kinds of whales and dolphins can also be spotted here. Do not forget to keep your camera as you will be having so many capture worthy moments while roaming at Westman Islands. You can plan your journey by ferry or plane also.
Brimming with history and culture, Westman Islands is home to Sagnheimar Folk Museum which has many traditional and non-traditional cultural things to see and know about. The museum has photo spots installed at distances which will entice you to bring home great memories via pictures. It has detailed collected information about pirate attacks in the islands.
Beluga Whale Sanctuary, situated in Heimaey will also be a good experience if you are intrigued by the sea life here. It was created to protect the amazing marine life that Iceland is blessed with. Not just for the thrill, this place is also significant to gather knowledge and interesting anecdotes about sea life, especially whales.
When to Visit Westman Islands
Summers are generally considered great for visiting Westman Islands. In August or September, there are chances that you can spot and click baby puffins. The days are long and chilly, so the scope to travel for a longer duration increases. But note that on the first weekend of August, Westman Islands holds the largest festival of the year in Iceland, called Þjóðhátið. People from all over Iceland travel to the islands for a music festival and party all night long. It is a great experience if you are up for the fun, but tickets are usually sold out months in advance. Although you can visit here throughout the year, precautions are to be taken for winters. If you want to see snowfall, then winters are good for you. Since there are almost all the cliffs and mountain ranges around the area get covered with snow during winters. Packing a thick jacket and boots with a good grip is mandatory in any season. Even summers can get quite chilly in Iceland. They would keep you warm and help in conquering long walking distances on uneven grounds. Do follow weather forecasts consistently. Winters in Iceland can be bad as some frequent snowstorms and tides can be dangerous. Keep enough supplies with you of energizing snacks and water as long distances might drain your energy.
Where to stay near Westman Islands
There are various options where you can choose to lodge near Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands. From hotels and guest houses to camping grounds, you can pick your stay. Puffin Nest Capsule Hostel offers all the basic amenities at affordable prices. If you are with your group of friends and looking for a decent place to stay with limited money, this is a viable option. With facilities like sightseeing and separate dining, they also offer free Wi-Fi and parking services. Lava Guesthouse is another feasible option if you are visiting the Westman Islands with family. They have spacious rooms with a great range of facilities.