There are places in Iceland that simply need to be experienced. Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) are fill that group by virtue of their natural beauty, the bounty of their wildlife, particularly birds, and by being historically and geographically one of Iceland´s most distinctive places. The islands are part of a young and still active submarine volcanic system, most of them coming into being 10-20.0000 years ago.
Vestmannaeyjar is a small group of islands off the south coast of Iceland. There are a total of 14 islands in addition to a number of rocks and skerries that make up the archipelago. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited though several of the outer islands each have a small cabin that is used over the summer during bird hunting season.
Heimaey may only be about 13 km2, but that small area contains enough magical scenery and birdlife to delight the visitor for days. There have always been visitors to the islands, but as an industry tourism is recent. It is even possible to put a date to its birth: 1973 after the eruption, when visitors from all over the world came to view the aftermath and remains of the catastrophe. Thirty years later, Eldfell, the new cone, and the cooled and hardened lava flows, have become part of a magnificent environment. Other popular attractions are one of Iceland´s best 18 hole golf courses, deep sea fishing, bird- and whale-watching and hiking: up volcanoes, over lava fields or along the shore. Museums tell the history of the two- and four-legged inhabitants of the land as well as those of the air and the sea through the centuries. Comfortable accommodation is available as well as first class restaurants and coffee houses.
There are many places in Vestmannaeyjar / the Westman Islands of Iceland that are ideal for bird watching. In Storhofdi puffin view point shelter you will have fantastic view over the puffins. And with the boat trips you will have excellent view over all the seabirds of Westman Islands.
Puffins are the most popular birds for general visitors to Iceland and between April and August hopefully no visitor should go home disappointed as Iceland boasts the world’s largest Puffin population and Westman Islands have the largest puffin colony of Europe. Real Puffin enthusiasts should make the trip to Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago where the influence of Puffins is everywhere.