Shockingly, three out of four of Heimaey’s babies once died of tetanus, due to water deficiency and contaminated soil. In the 1840s an island woman, Sólveig, was sent abroad to be trained as a midwife. The tiny wooden house Landlyst was Sólveig’s maternity hospital (and is the second-oldest building on the island). Today it contains a retro medicine cabinet, a small display of her blood-letting equipment and other 19th-century paraphernalia.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Heimaey attractions

1. Stafkirkjan

0.05 MILES

The bitumen-coated Stafkirkjan is a reconstruction of a medieval wooden stave church (the exact design of the Holtdalen stave church in Trondheim, Norway)…

2. Skansinn

0.05 MILES

This lovely green area by the sea has several unique historical sights. The oldest structure on the island, Skansinn was a 15th-century fort built to…

3. Public Park

0.38 MILES

A nice square to come and eat a picnic or relax in on sunny days. It has a children's play area, including a very fun permanent bouncy trampoline.

4. Sagnheimar Byggðasafn

0.43 MILES

Housed in the city library, this interactive folk museum tells the story of Heimaey from the era of marauding pirates up to the 1973 eruption and beyond…

5. Sæheimar


The Aquarium & Natural History Museum has an interesting collection of stuffed birds and animals, videos on puffins and catfish, and fish tanks of…

6. Landskirkja

0.57 MILES

The lava from Heimaey's historic explosion stopped just short of the Landskirkja in the middle of town. The church’s carved wooden doors feature scenes…

7. Eldheimar

0.59 MILES

More than 400 buildings lie buried under lava from the 1973 eruption, and on the edge of the flow ‘Pompeii of the North’ is a museum revolving around one…

8. Eldfellshraun

0.63 MILES

Known as Eldfellshraun, the Mars-like land created by the 1973 lava flow is now criss-crossed with a maze of otherworldly hiking tracks that run down to…