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Westman Islands Vestmannaeyjar
Photo: Golli. The Westman Islands and mainland Iceland seen from Surtsey.

Westman Islands Named Top Travel Destination

The New York Times has named the Westman Islands as a top travel destination for 2024. The South Iceland archipelago appears on the Times’ list of 52 places to go this year, alongside Paris, France, which will host the Olympics this summer, and less conventional destinations, like Maberly, Newfoundland (Canada).

Westman Islands attractions

In its description of what to see and do in the Westman Islands, the Times mentions the archipelago’s puffin colony, which is the largest in the world. It also recommends rib boat trips around the islands, the Beluga whale sanctuary, and riding ATVs into the crater of the Eldfell volcano, which erupted in 1973. The article also highlights the islands’ culinary offerings.

Iceland had over 2.2 million visitors in 2023, according to data collected at Keflavík International Airport by the Icelandic Tourist Board. The numbers have only once been higher: in 2018, when over 2.3 million foreign citizens departed through Keflavík.

Westman Islands Slippurinn restaurant Gísli Matt
Golli. Chef Gísli Matt at Slippurinn restaurant on Heimaey island.

What is interesting about the Westman Islands?

Iceland Review has visited the Westman Islands often in recent years, most recently on an exclusive scientific expedition to Surtsey, an islands in the archipelago formed by a volcanic eruption in 1963. We tasted some of the islands’ culinary offerings via chef Gísli Matthías Auðunsson’s restaurant Slippurinn. One of the island’s best-known locals is musician Júníus Meyvant, whom we visited last year for an insight into his creative process.

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