Read John McPhee's The Control of Nature to understand Heimaey's volcanic significance.


The Westman Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions along a 30 km long fissure lying south-west to north-east. The largest island is Heimaey, 13.4 km2. Most of the islands have steep sea cliffs, and are well vegetated. Bird hunting and egg collecting are traditional to the islander's culture.