Papey (Friar's Island) is an island off the east coast, close to the Djúpivogur village. It is approximately two square km but has was from earliest settlement, until the 20th century. The name is Celtic, derived from Papal and indeed the first settlers there were two Irish monks. According to old, Icelandic manuscripts, the monks used to live on the mainland until the "rightful" settlers came along around the year 900. Those were, of course, the heathen Norse, who chased the peace-loving monks away from their sight. Two of the monks managed to escape to this tiny island where they founded a hermitage. Out of sight, and out of mind, the settlers living on the mainland soon forgot them.
A small island inhabited until 1948
Earliest records of families living in Papey were documented after the year 1000. And it was inhabited until the last full-time resident left in 1948. In spite of the island being no more than a rock in the ocean, life was pretty good there. No matter how hard life became on the mainland, the Islanders always had enough to eat: lamb, birds, eggs, fish, seal and shark, and later on, potatoes that they grew themselves.
Visiting the island is very nice. The old houses are quite well preserved and on the tiny island you will also find the oldest wooden church in Iceland.
Wonderful opportunity to see the puffin up close
The island is renowned for its birdlife and is a good place to see puffins among other species up close. Ther is only one way to visit Papay, and that is by boat. In the moths of June, July and August the boat from Papeyjaferðir runs a service with a guide every day to Papey from Djúpivogur village.
Below is the location of Papey island on the map of Iceland