Take a walk on our most recent lava field, many meters above the street level and buildings that used to be, where you will find signposts to mark their former place and aid the imagination. A fine walk would include the “geothermal” area, where the returning islanders constructed a heating system for their houses using the heat from the cooling lava, then eastward to Prestavík and Viðlagavík and then end in Gaujulundur, a lava garden, an oasis in a desert.
Play golf, nine or eighteen holes on a course chosen by the magazine Golf Digest as one of Europe's 200 most enjoyable courses. Players have even been known to forget to hit the little white balls, being too engrossed in the view and their surroundings.
Sail around the islands, a roundtrip taking about 90 minutes. Accompanying you is a guide who might perhaps be in the mood to play trumpet or saxophone inside one of the caves. You will see the birdlife up close and personal and, if lucky, whales playing their various games.
Whale watching/sea Angling sightings of whales, dolphins and puffins depends on season are frequent around Vestmannaeyjar. Trips can be booked directly with companies at Vestmannaeyjar Harbour.
Climb Heimaklettur, the highest rock formation on the islands. Its highest peak is no more than 283 meters, not demanding too much of your valuable time. Neither does it demand arduous climbing as ladders have been placed in the most difficult areas. And the view from the top is magnificent, whichever direction you prefer to look.
Drive to the top of Stórhöfði, the windiest place in Iceland and possibly the whole of Europe, where four calm days are the limit in an average year and wind speed can pass 100km/ph. Needless to say the view is fabulous.
Swim in village's fine swimming pool, where the salt water makes it even easier and more enjoyable to swim. Afterwards you can relax in the sauna or if you prefer more exercise, visit the gym.
Go round the harbor on your own two feet or by car and have a look around one of the cleanest harbor areas in Iceland. The harbor is usually teeming with activity, not least Friðarhöfn Peace harbor when the catch of the day is beeing landed.
Visit Landakirkja, the local Lutheran church and the oldest building on Heimaey. A dignified house of God with a pulpit in the centre, right above the altar. On Sundays, everyone is of course welcome to attend the service.
Visit the scene of Tyrkjaránið, the Turkish plunder: Lyngfellisdalur, Ræningjatangi Robbers spit, Prestasteinn Priest rock Sængurkonusteinn Childbirth rock, Fiskhellar Fish caves and Hundraðmannahellir the Cave of Hundred. We can unreservedly recommend the local theatre company´s production of Tyrkjaránið 1627.
Horse riding is a popular activity amongst locals as well as visitors. One company offers one hour to five hour long trips.
See the Volcano filmThe Volcano film is now shown in Eldheimar the Volcano Museum.
annual social events
Þjóðhátíð, Vestmannaeyjar's national festivalThe Festival, as it is simply called, is unquestionably the best known festival in Iceland, attracting the greatest number of mainland visitors. Held in Herjólfsdalur on the first weekend in August, it is a 3-4 day outdoor festival where having a good time is everyone's easily fulfilled aim. The whole weekend is packed with entertainment of all description, including the traditional bonfire, fireworks and the famous "hillside sing-along". Specially built structures fill the valley, not to mention the large white tents of the locals who literally move house during the festival and prove their famed hospitality by welcoming guests to coffee, smoked puffin and other delicacies.
Celebrating the end of the eruption.This has become a fixed event in Vsetmannaeyjar's social life. It is held on the weekend following 3rd July, the day in 1973 when the eruption was officially declared at an end. On Saturday night the island's pubs open their doors and floors to musicians of all descriptions who are encouraged to sing and play to their hearts delight. A great number of former islanders choose this weekend to come back home for a visit.
The thirteenthThe 13th day of Christmas, traditionally a festive day in Vestmannaeyjar. A torch-lit parade of fascinating creatures: The ancient Icelandic ogress Grýla and her less than lovely husband and sons, as well as elves, fairies, demons and trolls join the locals at a huge bonfire and splendid fireworks.
Sailor's daySailors' Day, although a national day of festivities, has always been particularly dear to the hearts of the people of Vestmannaeyjar, not surprisingly so, considering their history. Festivities are held on the first weekend of June with a full programme on both Saturday and Sunday, emphasising seamanship connected sports as well as various entertainment for the general public.
17th JuneIceland´s national holiday. This day was for a long time not given as prominent a place in Vestmannaeyjar as on the mainland. The reason presumably was their own national holiday in August, a considerably more important event in islanders' minds. During recent years, however, Iceland's national holiday has been shown the respect it is due with a parade and outdoor festivities.
The puffling time
An annual event, unique to the Westman Islands and a particular favorite time of year for the children. It is impossible to put a more precise date to it than early to mid-August, as it is determined by the pufflings themselves. Leaving their cliff nests, they fly into town attracted by the electric lights and discover a harder and considerably more complicated world than they have been used to. Everywhere, however, saviours are waiting: The local children, armed with their cardboard boxes, prepared and ready to gather the lost and totally bewildered pufflings, rescue them and take them down to the shore to release them into the sea. In recent years whole families have visited Heimaey to take part in the puffling adventure, a unique event, full of joy.