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South Iceland 

The Green Island´s Vestmannaeyjar


Geologically speaking, the Vestmannaeyjar are quite young. Volcanic   activity in the area probably started about 100-200,000 years ago.   However, it is believed that the islands of the archipelago are considerably   younger than this, from the last 10-20,000 years.

The islands were all created by the volcanic activity originating on the seabed.   Nonetheless, Heimaey, the main island, is probably the only island that has   been formed by the combination of several eruptions. The volcanic belt on which the islands lie covers 700-900 square kilometers,   and there are about 80 known craters in this area, of which only 17 or 18   are above sea level. Most of these volcanoes have erupted in recent times (geologically-speaking),  that is to say during the last 10-12 thousand years. If you want to read more about geology you can go to Geology Info The history of the settlement in the Westmann Islands   (Vestmannaeyjar) is at least as old as that of the settlement of Iceland which   is considered to have taken place in 874 A.D. Carbon dating from the   archaeological excavations in Herjólfsdalur (“Herjólfur´s valley”, where the   Vestmannaeyjar festival now takes place) certainly indicate that   Vestmannaeyjar was inhabited at that time, if not even earlier.

©Guðmundur E.Jóelsson

Kirkjubær in the autumn 1972 taken from Axlarstein. Now under ash .


©Guðmundur E.Jóelsson

 Taken over to Klif from Axlarstein in the autumn 1972.     On the morning of Tuesday 23rd January, 1973, at 1.55.a.m. an   eruption began from a 1600-metre rift  on the eastern side of Heimaey in the Vestmann Islands. The eruption came without warning and was totally unexpected.  A few mild quakes had been felt from 10 p.m.

 My parent  house E-Oddstaðir

  I remember my mother told me when one of the quake did come at the same time did refrigerator start and people did think that was the reason for this fine vibrant, the sharpest of them occurring at 1.40 a.m. On Monday night, 22nd January, people in Heimaey   went to bed at the usual time, as on a normal weekday. All the boats were in harbor, for during the day there had been a   south- easterly gale, force 12, with rainfall. Just before 2 a.m. there was a telephone call to the police station in the town centre. Information was   received that an eruption had started a short distance above and east of   Kirkjubær,” the church farm” at the easternmost end of the town. I did live in the house that was ca 400 meters from the rift. I remember I was walking down to the harbor when I was walking over the infield the field was covered with small crack we did walk over ,but everyone did come away from this without hurts but my childhood place where gone forever.   Pompeii of the north is in Heimey where you can see ruins who have been dig up from the ash.         There is lot to do in Heimaey much to see and many good restaurant and guesthouses. Many walking path lies around the island for example walk on the highest mountain Heimaklett where you have fantastic view over Vestmanna island and over to the mainland. Other path lies to Herjólfsdalur where the campsite is and to Kaplagjótu . From there walk south to Stórhöfða .Walking path is on the new mountain Eldfell and to the old one Helgafell. I recommend you take a boat trip around the island, where you see many beautiful caves, birth live is huge even can go to other islands to see them. Nature museum is something people must see, regional museum is in the same building and take time to see how the live was in the earlier time.       There is many guests home and hotels in Heimaey.Hotel Þórshamar have hotel and guest houses. Be sure to take look at all information

How to get to Vestmannaeyjar ?

It is 2 possibility . by ferry from Landeyjar harbor with the ferry Herjólfur. The  cruise take around 30 min from landeyjar harbor but it can go from Þorlákshöfn if the weather is very bad.

   By fly with eagle air from Reykjavik   and it takes 20 minutes to fly between Rek-Ves

There is more activity finding on Heimaey there is 1 of the best golf path in Iceland ,you can spent days there and always see  something new so don’t hesitate to take a trip to Heimaey . More information click on the picture .


 ©Guðmundur E.Joelsson

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