Our second day in Iceland began after a much needed night of sleep. I was worried that I would have trouble sleeping because it doesn’t really get dark there in May. But wearing a night mask, closing the shades and getting barely any sleep the previous 48 hours, it was no trouble at all.
We woke up after an amazing 4 hours of sleep. Haha. We had to be on the road early as we were headed to Vestmannaeyjar, also known as the Westman Islands, and needed to catch the ferry to get there in time for our RibSafari boat tour. It was about a 2 hour drive southeast to reach the ferry to Heimaey, the largest of the Vestmannaeyjar islands.
The ferry takes about 35 minutes to reach Heimaey. The waters were a little choppy for our trip and there were a couple of times I thought there was a chance I might get sick. Pro Tip: If you are prone to sea sickness, get there early so you can get a window seat. Also, be sure to book your ferry ride in advance. The trips sell out.
The ferry arrived at Heimaey, the largest island of the all the islands in the Westman Islands, and in fact, it’s the only one that’s populated. The first thing we wanted to check out was the lighthouse at the top of the island. Heimaey is known for many things, amazing scenery, strongest winds in the northern hemisphere, puffins and sheep. The weather wasn’t too bad. The temperatures were in the low 40’s Fahrenheit. But they aren’t kidding about the winds.
After visiting the area around the lighthouse and seeing the sheep, we made our way back down to the town and grabbed some lunch at Krain before heading down to the water for our Rib Safari boat tour around the island.
We had to put on these dry suits just in case we fell overboard. The water there is quite cold and these suits will save your life. I had my camera wrapped in plastic, but once we got out on the water, I realized that there was no way I’d be shooting with it due to the splashing from the waves. So I stowed the camera in a storage bin on the boat. No way I was going to risk getting salt water all over my Nikon Z9.
After the boat tour, we drove around the island some more and learned about the Eldfell volcano which almost wiped out the town when it erupted January 23, 1973. The volcano’s lava flow threatened to close off the harbor, the island’s main income source via its fishing fleet.
Below is a view of the town from our walk on Helgafell, a dormant volcano
After walking around the volcano, we headed back into town and stopped at the Brothers Brewery for a few beers before boarding the ferry for our return to Kópavogur for some much needed rest before our next adventure.