Born from volcanoes and forever at their mercy, Heimaey is a small fishing village with a history as rocky as it is intriguing.

In January 1973, Eldfell volcano erupted in the middle of the night and forced the evacuation of the entire island. The eastern portion of Heimaey, where 400 homes and buildings were buried, is now an active archaeological excavation known as “Pompeii of the North.” Discover firsthand the results of the eruption and the process of unearthing homes in a truly unique project.

But the island also owes its incredible beauty to volcanic activity. Steep, jagged cliffs with lush vegetation rise from the sea, making Heimaey a hiking and sightseeing paradise. The vegetation also supports a wide variety of sea and bird life, including the world’s largest puffin colony in the summer. A wide variety of water and cave safaris are available (a cruise around the entire island takes about 90 minutes).

While focusing on a shot can be tough with the majestic surroundings, play a round of golf at the Vestman Island Course (midnight tee time in a volcanic crater, anyone?), named by Golf Digest as one of Europe’s most enjoyable courses.

Eldheimar Museum

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An aerial view of the colorful houses of Heimaey, Iceland

Eldheimar Museum

Begin your discovery of this fascinating island with an understanding of the forces of nature that created and expanded it. Tour the Eldheimar Museum, an excavated house from the 1973 eruption that covered one third of the town with pumice and forced its evacuation in the middle of the night.

Saeheimar Aquarium

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Two pelicans at the Saeheimar Aquarium in Heimaey, Iceland

Saeheimar Aquarium

Equal parts aquarium, natural history museum, and puffin sanctuary, discover as much about the island’s marine life as their affinity for the local puffin population. Every summer, island children rescue thousands of lost, disoriented baby pufflings and bring them to the aquarium where they’re nursed and re-released into the wild.

Eldfell Volcanic Cone

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The volcanic cone of Eldfell in Heimaey, Iceland

Eldfell Volcanic Cone

Despite being only about 725 feet tall, a smooth (and safe) walk up the path along the Eldfell volcanic cone created in the 1973 eruption is a must-see exhibit of nature’s majestic might. Enjoy unsurpassed views of the island and harbor (which the eruption nearly sealed off).

Heimaey, Iceland At a glance

Current Weather:
7°C / 44 °F
Current Time:
8:51:24 pm2018/10/22 20:51:24 pm
Monday, October 22
UTC/GMT +00:00
Icelandic Krona
Exchange Rates:
  • 0.01
  • 0.01
  • 0.01
  • 0.01
  • 0.01
  • 0.61
  • 0.03
  • 0.18
Local Details:
GPS: 63°25'36.41"N 20°20'25.58"E
Size: 13.40 KM2 (5.17 MI2)
Population: 4,500
Density: 336 Pop/KM2 (130 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: 354

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