Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crossing the Arctic circle

Once you come up all the way to Akureyri, then you literally are just a few miles away from the Arctic Circle.

And who would say no to an inviting trip all the way to the northmost inhabited island of Iceland - Grimsey -lying on the Arctic Circle that is a home to a very special community of around 150 people and around 1000 seabirds?

The island (of about 5 square kilometers in area) stands alone far out on the horizon as a blue cliff, sourrounded by the wide Arctic Ocean, about 40 km off the north coast of Iceland.

The islanders live in a small village by the harbour - a prosperous and fertile community with many children. The courages fishermen of Grimsey harvest the rich fishing banks all around the island but often venture bravely in their small motorboats much further north on the Arctic Ocean.

Summer in Grimsey means sun 24 hours until late July, when twilight begins to decsend around midnight. Something very special for all those who are used to stars on the dark summer skies at nights. The birds nesting in 100-metres high cliffs are a paradise not only for birdwatchers and it´s not a surprise that Grimsey belongs to one of the best birdwatching sites in the country.

Are you motivated enough to check this island out, enjoy unique local life and even get a certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle? Here are the possibilities:

You can get to Grimsey either by ferry from Dalvík or by plane from Akureyi.

Taking the ferry
It´s an experience on its own to sail for 3 hours from Dalvík, eventually spotting whales on the way, exploring the island including its 800-year old church and going back the same day.

It´s important, though to bear in mind that boat departs from Dalvík only 3 times a week. It leaves from Dalvík at 09:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The ferry comes to Grímsey about 12.00 at noon and departs back to Dalvík again at 16.00, the same day.

Bookings are to made at the following e-mail: jon.arnar.helgason@samskip.com

Taking the plane
During the summer time until the end of August, local company AIR ICELAND, flies every day between Akureyri and Grímsey. The flight takes around 30 minutes and the schedule is as follows:

Akureyri - Grímsey: departure 13.00

Grímsey - Akureyri: departure 14.45

Bookings, directly at the webpage: airiceland

PS: Although Grímsey lies on the Arctic Circle, the island enjoys mild climate.

We look forward to hearing all your impressions from your local Grímsey experience, in this special and warm community of 100 islanders and thousands of puffins.

1 comment:

  1. Trip to Grimsey was one of my top highlights of Iceland experience. It was the most relaxing place in Iceland: beautiful nature where I could walk lonely in silence, accompanied just by birds and friendly horses. A breathtaking view to Iceland mountains and fjords from the north from all the different spots and angles, incl. from window of the Gullsol hostel (right by the Grimsey harbour) where I spent the night in comfort for a good price. All the people were very relaxed and friendly there, including all the staff I met at the Gullsol hostel, ferry, the local airport and the pilots - they all were very nice and informal, and did their best for me, the only tourist there, to enjoy my trip as much as possible. Definitely a place I must return one day!

    Peter (trip there in October 2009)