Vestmannaeyjar Circle Route

Discover the colorful island on the south coast with it's rich volcanic history.

Vestmannaeyjar Circle Route

The Vestmannaeyjar, or "Westman Islands" are a small group of island on the south coast. The main inhabited island is Heimaey, which has been settled for centuries. Volcanic activity on the island is abundant, in 1973 a large volcanic eruption occured right outside of the town. When it finally finished after several weeks of ongoing lava flow, the island had increased by 2 squale kilometers! This hike will show you all parts of the island: the harbour and it's bustling small town (with 2 soccer clubs), the volcano that erupted in 1973 and an iconic rock formation that looks like an elephant. In the summer month, the rocks are busy with puffins and other seabirds.

Hiking around Vestmannaeyjar, or the Westman Islands, is a unique and exciting experience that offers stunning views and the opportunity to explore a remote island archipelago. The Westman Islands are located off the south coast of Iceland and are accessible by ferry from the mainland. Once you arrive on the islands, there are numerous hiking trails to choose from, and this track here takes you up the popular trail to the top of Eldfell volcano, which offers panoramic views of the islands and the surrounding ocean. In addition to the stunning natural scenery, hiking around Vestmannaeyjar also gives you the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and puffins.

The fastest way to go to Heimaey is via ferry, the terminal on the main land has a large free car park and you don't need a car on Heimaey itself.



5-8 h


12 km







Weather today




Road conditions




5-8 h


12 km


2/5 - Longer hike with some optional ascents. Outside of the urban area, the paths are not always clearly signed.

tourist density



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Food & Drink

Café Varmó, Strandvegur, Vestmannaeyjabær, Island


Herjólfur, Skildingarvegur, Vestmannaeyjabær, Island


Bónus, Miðstræti 20, 900 Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland


Krónan, Strandvegi 48, 900 Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland


(Nearest) address

Landeyjahafnarvegur, Iceland


The island can be reached year-round, but the hike up the volcano isn't possible in the winter.

GPS Coordinates

63.443778, -20.273444

Distance to Reykjavík

Reykjavík is 137 km away. It takes about 106 minutes (or 1.8 hours) to drive by car.

Distance to nearest town

Heimaey is the nearest city at 1 km distance. It takes about 1 minutes (or 0 hours) to drive by car.



This is the parking lot for the ferry, plenty of space and easy to find.

Way to start of hike

take the ferry over to the island

GPS Coordinates

63.530861, -20.119111

Google Maps Plus Code

GVJM+82 Búðarhólshverfi, Iceland


around 200


none, but frequent pedestrian activity


none, but frequent pedestrian activity



Tips for visiting

Recommended Car Type

normal car, we recommend leaving the car at the ferry, because the island is quite small.

Don't miss

The view towards the main land from Eldfjall is amazing on clear days. On the west side of the island, try to find the elephant rock!

Recommended Equipment

Sports or hiking shoes

Photo Opportunities

All along the route - on good days towards the main land, where Eyjafjallajökull visible. And the two remote islands where the ferry passes are magical as well!

Animals to see

Depending of the season: puffins and other sea birds, local sheep and horses

Do's and don't

Stay on the paths, don't leave trash behind, don't take rocks from the volcano

Things to watch out for

The slopes of the Eldfjall volcano can be slippery, the volcanic sand can damage sensible camera equipment - don't drop your camera!

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