Flatey Island | Your Complete Iceland Travel Guide to Flatey

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Basic Information

  • Island located in Breiðarfjörður in West Iceland. 
  • Puffins nest here during summer. 
  • Only two permanent residents on the island – other houses are only for summer stays. 
  • Cars are not allowed on the island. 

The vibrancy of colors truly comes alive at Flatey Island. There are many exquisite islands in Iceland and Flatey is one of them. Ideally maintained, beautiful, old houses stand in lines behind the paths on the island. It is located in Breidafjordur fjord in the northwestern part of the country. The name ‘Flatey’ comes from the flat formation of the village, where no mountains are visible. It is almost a kilometer wide and two kilometers long.

Flatey Island in west Iceland

The Beauty of the flat island

Among the group of approximately forty other small islands in the vicinity, Flatey is the largest one. The entire island can be easily covered by walking. As you walk through the island and reach the end of it, the road becomes narrower. Visitors can enjoy the abundant wildlife which surrounds the island. The birds in the area mainly include migratory birds such as puffins and the arctic terns among others. Although, the puffins can only be found on the island during the summers. Explorers can spend a quiet time on the flat island as the atmosphere is very relaxed. There are many sheep that can be found taking a stroll in the area.

You would be amazed to know that there are only two permanent residents here. Only a few people remain on the island during the winter season. Other locals and residents come here during the summer, primarily to enjoy the beauty of the island but also to serve the tourists.

Flatey Island in west Iceland

Exploring the Vicinity

Another thing that the noteworthy island includes is The Flatey library, which was constructed in 1864. Later the library had to shift towards the east side to make space for the church. If you have a knack for reading, you can visit this fully functional library which offers interesting books to read. Confined to a small wooden structure, the library has about a hundred books. The neighboring church is also worth visiting. There is a mural painted by the renowned artists Baltasar and Kristjana Samper on the ceiling of the church. The visitors find it quite attractive. Beautiful and majestic depiction of Jesus adorning a traditional Icelandic woolly sweater. A scene from the history is depicted on the mural and all the people featured were the residents of the place at some point in time.

You will find the Flatey cemetery nearby. Here the visitors can have a peek at how different life used to be. There is also a bar called Saltkjallarinn, which is full of life. You can taste here the Flajito, a lip-smacking rum drink flavored with Icelandic nature.

northern lights in Flatey Island in west Iceland

Getting to the Island

Cars are strictly not allowed on the island. To reach the Flatey island, you have to board the ferry from either Stykkishólmur on Snæfellsnes Peninsula or Brjánslækur in the Westfjords. You can move towards the ferry after leaving your car in one of the areas. This small little island has only one gravel path that leads through the old village from the ferry port.

During the summer, the ferry visits Flatey island twice a day. There is a passenger boat available for travelers which offers connectivity to Reykhólar.

Flatey Island in west Iceland

Flatey Island on a map

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