#flatey

 

Breiðafjörður to the west of Iceland is adorned with islands and islets, skerries and pillars. A few of them have been inhabited throughout the centuries and even today some of them are being utilized as farmland and nesting sites for eider ducks. Only one island, Flatey, is still inhabited. It has between five and ten permanent inhabitants, but during summer population increases considerably.  In 1942 Flatey (The Flat Island) carried 120 inhabitants going about their daily lives, farming and fishing. But, times change and so do people's priorities. During the next twenty years, nearly all the inhabitants moved away. Living in Flatey was considered not too cool. Of course, no one could sell the island properties. They were simply left to rot.

But, as we know the tides are constantly turning. Suddenly, in the 1970s Flatey became quite the rave. Everyone wanted to visit. Gradually, property owners returned to renovate their houses. The old hotel was spruced up and reopened. Ever since everything has been upwardly. And Flatey is most certainly worth the visit. It possesses an extraordinary atmosphere and an ethereal stillness.

The island is merely two kilometers long, and its width is less than one kilometer. Cars are prohibited on the island, which has only one gravel road leading from the ferry dock through the old village. The village consists of several beautifully restored old houses, a hotel with a very decent restaurant, a church, and a library. And this remote library holds one of Iceland's greatest treasures: Flateyjarbók, Iceland's largest medieval manuscript.

To get to Flatey, you simply board the Baldur ferry in Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula or at Brjánslækur on the south coast of the Westfjords.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Flatey on the map of Iceland

Only one island, Flatey, is still inhabited.

If you want to enjoy Iceland, be sure to take it real slow and easy. Fast-forwarding through the island can give you a lot to exclaim about, but if you take the soulful way, it will give you so much to enjoy. There are many hidden treasures lying around. Brjánslækur may not look like much from the outset. It is, of course, the jetty for the ferries to Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, via Flatey. Most people immediately leave the dock and hurry off to somewhere else. But, apart from being by the beautiful and pristine Vatnsfjörður, this particular spot in Iceland has Surtarbrandsgil.

In Surtarbrandsgil, you will find the best-preserved plant fossils in Vestfirðir, approximately 12 million years old. Leaf traces from various types of plants are quite clear, i.e. maple, elm, spruce and pine. The fossils are very beautiful but also educational. They tell us that the climate in Iceland 12 million years ago was similar to the Mediterranean climate today.

A short distance away, by the shoreline, you will find the ruins Flókatóftir. They are believed to be the ruins of Hrafna-Flóki's settlement. The ruins of the first houses raised in Iceland.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Brjánslækur on the map of Iceland

Brjánslækur is the jetty for the ferries to Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula