Sep 16 2016

This is the view that awaits you when approaching the small island Hrísey in the ferry called Sævar. The island has been called the Pearl of Eyjafjörður which is located on the north coast of Iceland; only a 35 minutes drive from Akureyri. With a small population of about 170 people, Hrísey has many cute and colorful houses. The island is 7.67 square kilometers, and the residential are takes up a small portion of that, while the rest is fruitful vegetation along with a large range of bird species.

Hrísey Island

Photography and tourism are changing these days rapidly.  Nowhere is this more obvious when you are traveling in Iceland?  Cameras are getting lighter and closeness to the subject easier.  Even small phones have sophisticated cameras that give great photos.  People traveling in a country like Iceland that offers so many photo opportunities can stop wherever they like if the are on a self-drive tour, in a rent a car or their own car.   Sometimes people prefer to take selfies with the subject behind them and sometimes the just want to document the place and the natural wonder. 

If the subject is difficult to photograph, like puffins that have a tendency to place themselves on the highest part of a cliff, photographing can get difficult.


Skrúður is a steep and grassy island at the mouth of Fáskrúðsfjörður. It is in many ways quite remarkable. With rich fishing grounds surrounding the island fishermen from the mainland frequented it throughout the year. On the island you will find high and spacious caves, Skrúðshellir, which was the fishermen's home away from home, so to speak. Indeed, the island was a kind of food basket for the locals who would hunt birds and collect eggs there. Not being able to return home on the same day, or the following day, due to weather wasn't a problem. There was always enough room in the caves.

The folklore part

The superstitious lot was not too keen to go there, though. According to legends, there were once three brothers, giants, living on Skrúður and the two neighboring islands, Streitishvarf, and Papey. The one living on Skrúður wanted a wife. He made a trip to the next vicarage on the mainland, at Kolfreyjustaður, and abducted the priest's young and beautiful daughter.

Vegetation at Skrúður

The vegetation on Skrúður is quite remarkable. It stays green throughout the year due to being richly fertilized by the myriad of birds nesting there. The local farmers used to take their sheep to graze there during the summer. But, in the fall when they went back for them, some of some of the sheep was unaccounted for. The blame was, predictably, blamed on the Giant and his missus that angered the farmers so much so that they asked the Catholic bishop at Hólar in North Iceland to, please, visit their area to drive the giant away.
Different legends maintain the giant was always a great help to those in need, such as shipwrecked fishermen, and always refer to him a the farmer on Skrúður.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Skrúður on the map of Iceland

Skrúður is a steep and grassy island at the mouth of Fáskrúðsfjörður.


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.

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.