Circumnavigation of Heimaey

Heimaey is most famous for the nearly six-month-long volcanic eruption in 1973 that added some 2.2 square kilometers (0.9 square miles) to the island’s total area. This part of the eastern coast of the island will be pointed out to you if you embark on one of the popular circumnavigations of Heimaey. Other sights along the way include the cliffs near the harbor, home to a number of bird colonies—an estimated six to eight million birds are said to live on the island, including gannets, guillemots and puffins. The Klettshellir cave is large enough for boats to enter, and occasional concerts here show off its surprising acoustics. Finally, while whale sightings can’t be guaranteed, there is a significant population of orcas in the summer, as well as other species in smaller numbers year-round, so your odds are pretty good.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Nearby highlights
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR