Westman Islands now an easy day-trip from Reykjavik

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by quinet
by

by quinet

A new ferry pier on Iceland's south coast will soon provide the first high-speed link to the jewels in Iceland's volcanic crown, Vestmannaeyjar or the Westman Islands.

Previously travellers wishing to visit the 18 islands, which are home to Iceland's largest puffin colony, had to fly or face a 2 hour 45 minute ferry crossing from Þorlákshöfn pier, on the Reykanes peninsula.

From July 2010, a new pier at Bakkafjara will reduce crossing times to just 25 minutes. Ferries will journey to Heimaey, the largest and only inhabited island, up to seven times daily.

This is good news for those touring the southern coast and staying at nearby Hella. With Bakkafjara just a 1 hour 30 minute nip down route 1 from Reykjavik, it will also make day trips from the capital easier.

Iceland Excursions, for example, will run day tours departing from Reykjavik on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from July - September, costing around £155.

The trip will include visits to puffin colonies at Storhofdi and the 'Pompeii of the North' excavations, where visitors can witness the destruction caused by the violent eruption of Heimaey's Eldfell volcano in 1973.