1 hour rib tour with a local guide who was born and raised in the Westman Islands. The tour is on a 10 passengers rib boat that sails across the sea in incredible excitement. If you want a little adrenaline in your veins and a tickle in your stomach then this is the tour for you. The captain has many years of experience sailing in the sea around the islands and knows all the caves and secret places as a true native of the Westman Islands.
Westman Islands is an archipelago consisting of 15 islands and in addition there are about 30 ridges and cuts. The islands are steep and in most places covered with grass on the top. Of these, Heimaey is by far the largest or about 13.3 km2 and it is the only one that is inhabited. The largest islands around Heimaey are Elliðaey and Bjarnarey, but they can be seen when sailing out of the harbor. The islands are young on a geological scale and have all been formed in eruptions, the oldest for approx. 12 thousand years.
When sailing around the archipelago, we can see lonely houses in the smaller islands that are uninhabited, we will also see sheep and a lot of bird life. The sheep live on the islands all year round but cared for a limited time during the summer. The houses on the islands are used when descending the cliffs to retrieve eggs from the nests of seabirds, but they are considered a great delicacy. People also stay in the houses when the sheep are cared for and even just to escape modern times. The small islands have always been a great food resource for the islanders and the use of each island was in common and divided between people. When sailing past the islands, we can see ropes used to climb up cliffs to the grassy islands.
Many of the islands have caves that are interesting to explore and on this tour we sail into a cave and even caves. The rock walls on the islands are mostly steep and incredibly beautiful, but also devastating to look at and imagine how people climbed and swung to get eggs in a vital food supply centuries ago. There is a lot of bird life in the cliffs and we can see many species of seabirds flying around or sitting on their nests. The puffin is the most well-known bird in the Westman Islands and puffins can often be seen flying with a sand lance in their beak to feed their pufflings.
Elephant rock is the most famous landmark in the Westman Islands and seeing it from the sea is magnificent. One of the secrets of the islands is the more and lesser-known rock formations reminiscent of animals, who knows unless we see more than just our elephant?
When sailing on a rib boat, it is necessary to be well equipped and guests get a rescue overalls and life jackets. The tour is not recommended for pregnant women or people with back pain or heart problems. During the tour, we sail at high speed and bounce on the wave tops if the weather and sea conditions allow, go into caves and view rock formations. The tour is great fun and should definitely be on the bucket list of those who come to the Westman Islands.