Top choice in Heimaey

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 defend the harbour (not too successfully, however – when Algerian pirates arrived in 1627 they simply landed on the other side of the island). Its walls were swallowed up by the 1973 lava, but some have been rebuilt. Above them, you can see the remains of the town’s old water tanks, which were also crushed by molten rock.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Heimaey attractions

1. Landlyst

0.05 MILES

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,…

2. Stafkirkjan

0.08 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)…

3. Public Park

0.34 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

0.39 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

0.45 MILES

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

0.53 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

0.58 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. Stóraklif & Heimaklettur

0.66 MILES

The top of the craggy precipice Stóraklif is a treacherous 30-minute climb from behind the N1 petrol station at the harbour. The trail starts on the…