Grímsey is a tiny island of just 5.3 square kilometers, located on the Arctic Circle. Its highest point reaches an altitude of 105 meters. The island is situated 50 miles north of Iceland's northern coast. Despite its size, Grimsey is inhabited and home to fewer than a hundred people, most of whom engage in fishing, small farming and tourism.
You can take a four-hour trip with the ferry, spend the night or even a few days. Whatever you choose, a visit to the island is a unique and unforgettable spiritual experience.
The island's small population ensures that each member of the community is responsible to the community and of course, everyone knows everyone else.
For example, a resident of the island named Ragnhildur Hjalta Björnsdottir, manages the Básar Guesthouse, works in a local bank branch, is the manageress of the airport and is also chairperson of the women's club. In an interview with a local newspaper, Ragnhildur said:
"To live happily in such a small community, firstly one has to be at peace with oneself and generous to the community. We have a very active social life so anyone who lives here has really no choice but to take part. We celebrate together every possible event and most people I know from other places tell me that life here despite the size, is much more active than elsewhere. "
For tourists visiting Grimsey, there are plenty of activities. You can go boating that includes sea fishing. Spend the day watching the many birds that nest on the island. One of the main attractions on the island are huge Puffin nesting colonies that can be seen from May until end of August. The Puffin is the national bird of Iceland. If you are not sure about the best place to see them, just ask the locals who are always happy to help. Circling the island on foot is highly recommended and the best way to connect with the intimate tranquility that this small green island offers. Try to chat with the locals, and hear some of their unconventional stories. Stroll along the road and visit the historic church. Pop over to the community center to see what locals do. For those looking for a more symbolic experience you can visit the traditional waypoints that pass the Arctic Circle.
There is a custom among the locals on the island to invite visitors in joining them to celebrate events held on the island. Guests at the hostel will enjoy special treatment from the hostess who will often offer them a ride around the island.
From 12th June until the 20th of August, daily flights leave Akureyri at 13:00. Otherwise, there are outgoing flights three times a week. Another way to reach the island is by ferry that leaves from Dalvík three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at 9:00.