Grímsey Island

Grímsey is a green, grassy and particularly agreeable island, probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. Many visitors go there solely to step across that line, south to north.

The island is 5.3 km2 in area, its highest point is 105 metres and the distance from “Iceland” is 41 km.

Life on Grímsey is bright and energetic, and the inhabitants are of a happy disposition, working and playing with equal wholeheartedness. A good swimming pool was opened there in 1989. The inhabitants of the island do their shopping in the village store, Búðin, which is privately owned, and sells a wide variety of goods. There are two guesthouses on the island, one of which is open all year round.

The ferry, Sæfari, sails from Dalvík to Grímsey 3 days a week all year round. There are also regular flights by Air Iceland, 3 times a week during winter and 7 days a week during summer.

Photo: Friðþjófur Helgason

A pearl on the Arctic Circle north of Icleand –

Grimsey island – far away in the north: the home of one hundred people – and one million seabirds. Courageous fishermen live there with their families. The island stands alone far out on the horizon, a blue cliff, surrounded by the wide Arctic Ocean, about 40 km off the north coast of Iceland; it is about 5 square kilometres in area.

The fishermen of Grimsey harvest the rich fishing banks all around the island but often venture in their small motorboats much further north on the Arctic Ocean. An endless ocean which often turns wild, with storms and frost, the waves even 15 m high. Or the polar ice may drift from the north and keep the ocean frozen all around the island. – At other times, such as during summer, the same ocean may be a shining mirror.

The islanders live in a small village by the harbour – a prosperous and fertile community.
The chorus of seabirds, never stops during the 24 hour long day – there is no night in Grimsey during the summer, not until late July when twilight begins to descend around midnight. – The birds nest in the high cliffs that surround the whole island, except by the harbour.

During winter the daylight is very short; most of the sea birds stay far away, out on the open sea.

In the village, the fishermen’s families live a modern kind of life today; the island has its own school, swimming pool, shop, good harbour and airport connection.

A ferry connects Grímsey with the mainland (town Dalvik) three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the whole year. More days offered in summer. Bookings and more info: The sailing takes about 3 hours.

Flights connect Grímsey with Akureyri on a regular basis the whole year i.e. thee flights a week during winter (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) and daily flights during summer (year 2012 from 10.06 – 20.08). The flight takes about 30 minutes. Bookings: tel: +354 460-7000 or on

Possibility of a guided tour (1-1,5 hours) around the island in wintertime but only if arranged before the flight.

There are two guesthouses in Grímsey:
Guesthouse “Gullsól”, open all year. Phone +354 467 3190, email: [email protected].
Guesthouse “Básar”, open all year. Phone +354 467 3103, email: [email protected]

The restaurant “Krían” is open during summer phone +354 467 3112, during winter the restaurant is only open if pre-booked.

The grocery store  “Búðin” – open daily. Phone + 354 467-3102.

Photo: Friðþjófur Helgason