Day Trip to Iceland's Vestmannaeyjar, Westman Islands
While exploring the southern coast of Iceland, we decided to hop on a ferry and go over to Vestmannaeyjar, also known as Westman, for the day.
The island is probably most famously known for being the home of puffins and the devastating volcanic eruption in 1973. What started off as a whim with no expectations, turned into an amazing day adventuring off the beaten path.
Once we took the ferry over to Vestmannaeyjar we found ourselves in a very quaint fishing town. Since it was early in the morning, it was pretty quite. We didn’t have any real plans or knowledge about the island so we just set off on foot to see what we could find.
And what did we find? Puffins on everything!
As we headed through town we were instantly in love with the quiet, quaintness of the city. Everything seemed so calm and pretty untouched by the lively tourism on the mainland.
As we worked our way through town, we saw much more than a sleepy fishing town but a vibrant art community. Not only where the streets were filled with brightly colored buildings lined up in a neat row, but many were covered in beautiful murals.
There was something about the murals against the already breathtaking landscape that left us in awe.
The town runs right into the side of a small mountain, volcano, or large hill? Not sure what it was but it sure was a sight to see!
Since it was only our second day in Iceland, we were still in utter awe of what the landscape looks like and immediately we walked the perimeter until we found a path that looked manageable. We had no idea where it would take us or how long it would take but we just went for it. And thankfully we did, the view was awesome!
If you come during the right season, you can see puffins all over the cliffs of Vestmannaeyjar however we visited just as the migration season had ended and all the puffins had retreated to warmer climates for the winter. That meant the only place to see a puffin was at the Sæheimar Aquarium, a very small natural history museum, which is also home to Iceland’s most famous puffin Tóti.
Tóti literally just free roams the museum, posing for guests and giving a little bit of sass when he’s had too many selfies.
Fun Story: Tóti was sitting on top of a table allowing guests to snap selfies. Katelyn and Hannah both were able to get photos with him but when Marc leaned down for a photo opt, Tóti got up and jumped off the table and put himself to bed. The museum clerk looked at us and said “when he’s done, he’s done.”
Shopping and Eating
Vestmannaeyjar was only one of our stops for the day and we were eager to get back on the road to make it to the day’s final destination before nightfall, so we didn’t get a lot of time to check out the shops and restaurants. However, there were plenty of options back in town!
In hindsight, we should have taken more time to research Westman before we came here. There are plenty of excursions, trips, tours, and more available at visitwestmanislands.com.