The Westman Islands,
"The Pearl in The Ocean", is an archipelago of about 15 islands and 20
cliffs. The southernmost island, Surtsey, is the latest addition, created
during the longest historic eruption of the country in 1963-1967. The only
inhabited island, Heimaey, was struck by an unexpected eruption in 1973
and all the inhabitants had to be evacuated immediately. The Islanders base their livelihood on the
fisheries and fish processing and tourism.
Their fish processing amounts to about 15% of the
export value of fish products of Iceland. Communications between Heimaey
and the mainland are good, regular flights to and from the capital, a
shuttle service to and from the farm Bakki on the south coast, and a car
ferry from and a car ferry from Landeyja Harbour
on the sout coast. in the Bakki area will take over in
2010. A flight from the capital
takes about 20 minutes.