Take a battery powered-boat to the world's largest puffin colony. A new electric ferry has helped connect Iceland's mainland to this small archipelago - also called the Westman Islands - off the country's south coast, where the world's largest puffin colony has turned many residents into active conservationists.

From May to September, Heimaey, the main island, becomes a favorite weekend destination for Icelanders, who fill up sleek new villas during the frequent concerts and festivals, while cruise ship passengers can be seen racing around the outer islands on rib boats, visiting the Beluga whale sanctuary and riding A.T.V.s into the crater of the Eldfell volcano.

Home to one of the country's most important fishing communities. Vestmannaeyjar has been hailed by the local media as the '' food capital of Iceland.'' [ Nicholas Gill ]


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