One of the most exciting experiences you can have in Iceland during summer is a boat tour. Whether is a boat tour on one of the glacier lagoons or a boat tour on the ocean, Iceland will surprise you with breathtaking landscape and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
You probably have seen on the internet photos of the “Elephant Rock” and also photos of an island that has only a building on it. Those are some of the most popular photos from Iceland that you will see online, but where were they taken? Westman Islands!
Located in the South of Iceland, Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago that has 15 islands and 30 rock stacks around them. Is one of the most interesting places in Iceland as it has a rich and not-so-happy history but rich geology. Also, Westman Islands have rich wildlife that includes many species of birds and the largest population of puffins, the first beluga whale sanctuary in the world, and many other species of whales on the ocean waters near the islands.
You can experience all those natural wonders from a boat tour around the Westman Islands. We recommend you three boat tours on Westman Islands that are operated by our friends from RIB Safari.
This tour is 1,5 hours and will take you around Heimaey in Vestmanneyjar (e. Westman Islands) and you will see the island from the sea which is spectacular. During the sailing, a guide will tell you about the history of the islands, sagas, the geological history, the volcanic eruption on the island in 1973 as well as inform you about Surtsey-the youngest island in the world which is a part of the archipelago. You will see various rock formations and sail along the new lava from the eruption in 1973.
Photo source: ribsafari.is
Also, on the cliffs of the islands, numerous species of birds are nesting every year during the summer and you can get a closer look at them. In the middle of the summer, if you are lucky you can also see whales and seals in the waters near Westman Islands. During the sailing, you will visit two sea caves, “Fjósið”, which is inside the cape Höfði, which is known to be the windiest place in Europe and Klettshellir which is known for its marvelous acoustics.
The boat that will take you on this amazing trip is called Teista and it is a large boat with a capacity of up to 80 people but during Covid, the boat will take only half of its capacity. There are a lot of seats as well as standing places.
All you need to bring is warm clothes, your camera to catch all those breathtaking moments, and your adventurous spirit.
The prices for this tour are 4 400 isk for children (0-12 years old) and 8 700 isk for adults (+12 years old).
This tour is one of the most popular tours around the Westman Islands and is operated with a RIB speedboat. On this trip, you will see the small islands around Vestmannaeyjar, the famous elephant rock, a lot of wildlife, nature, and sea caves. You will get to know the history of Vestmannaeyjar and see unique rock formations. The guides will take care of you and will offer you great guidance.
Photo source: ribsafari.is
In this tour, every passenger will be provided with protective clothing; a float suit, and a life jacket. All you need to bring is a hat and gloves, as well as your camera and your smile.
Note that this tour is not recommended for pregnant women or persons with back problems. Also, we recommend not participating with children under 6 years old. Rib speedboats are small and as their name says they are speed boats and can be dangerous for persons mentioned above.
The prices for this tour are 7 200 isk for children (6-12 years old) and 13 400 isk for adults (+12 years old).
On this tour, you will see “everything” around the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago on a RIB speedboat. You will be taken around all the small islands in the archipelago. You will see all the amazing geological formations, the famous elephant rock, and lava formations from the eruption that happened in 1973. Also, you will get closer to the wildlife of the archipelago, to all the birds that are nesting on the cliffs during summer, and if you get lucky, to the marine wildlife around the islands.
Photo source: ribsafari.is
Your guides will take you to Súlnasker, which is without a doubt the most magnificent island or skerry in the Westman Islands. The island’s cliffs rise up 60-70 meters and stand on four posts. During the tour, you will learn about the history and geology of the islands and also about the wildlife around the islands.
The tour includes protective clothing, a float suit, and a life jacket for everyone. What you need to bring is a hat and some gloves as the weather can be changeable and the temperatures may be low on the sea.
As this tour is operated with RIB speedboats, it is not recommended for pregnant women or persons with back problems, as well as for kids under 6 years old.
The prices for this tour are 10 200 isk for children (6-12 years old) and 19 400 isk for adults (+12 years old).
All those tours are operated from the main island of Heymaey. The meeting point is at Básaskersbryggja, Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland, so you have to be already on the island as there is no pick up from the mainland.
To get to Westman island there are two options: to take the ferry or to fly from Reykjavik domestic airport. The ferry may be the handiest way as you can go to the ferry harbor if you are around the area. Before the pandemic, the tickets for the ferry were booked in advance and the ferry was always fully booked. You can take your car on the ferry also, but you have to book in advance as there are limited numbers of cars that can be taken on the ferry. Of course, you can go there without a car, the island is small and can be discovered on foot if you are lucky and the weather is beautiful. If the weather is bad you may need a car. Also, if you are on the Heymaey island and the weather is bad, the price for the ferry is changing and you may be sent to another harbor to take the ferry.
The island is very visited during the summertime as then the weather is beautiful and less changeable during the day. According to the visitwestmanislands.com, the prices for the ferry are: “adults (16-66 years old) 2.000 isk, teens (12 – 15 years old) 1.000 isk, seniors (67 years and older) 1.000 isk, children (0 -11 years old) free of charge. Prices for vehicles are Motorcycle: 2.000 isk, Bicycle: 300 isk, Car under 5 m length*: 3.000 isk, Car over 5 m length*: 4.000 isk, Automobiles with trailers, etc. 6-10 m*: 6.000 isk, Automobiles with trailers, etc. 10-16 m*: 8.000 isk.”