Flatey in Breiðafjörður

flatey

Flatey island is a legendary island and it is like a utopia where everything you see is simple but perfect. No cars, no unwanted noises harmony all over the place. Spending some time mingling with the locals and exploring the whole place can make your stay in Iceland rewarding.

About Flatey

flatey harbourFlatey island is a legendary island and it is like a utopia where everything you see is simple but perfect. No cars, no unwanted noises harmony all over the place. Spending some time mingling with the locals and exploring the whole place can make your stay in Iceland rewarding. A peaceful and simple Island is what Flatey is. Located in the northwestern part of Iceland this island is actually believed to be a huge glacier form to be an island during the Ice Age. The Island measures about 2 kilometers long and about one kilometer wide. Commonly called as “flat island” since most of its area is flat and there are hardly any hills. During summer you can see at lots of people visiting the island but during winter the maximum is five people. The only point where there were 120 people who lived in Flatey was in 1942 that left in 1967 to live in the villages nearby the island was left alone for so many years. But despite of this, the buildings were preserved and still you can visit them up to this day.

History of Flatey

In the late 19th century, Flatey was known to be the center of the cultural and artistic center in Iceland. There was once a monastery which was founded in 1172 and is proudly located at the highest point of the island; this has been the guide of knowledge of the locals. There are only a few buildings built in Flatey and it includes a schoolhouse that was built in 1929, a church but has been closed in 1884, a lighthouse uprooted in 1913 and renovated in 1963 and a radiotelegraph which was constructed in 1931. The church at Brettingsstaðir in Flateyjardalur valley was taken apart and moved in Flatey to be preserved in 1960. Samper, a painter, painted the interior of the church with scenes of the simple island life. Right next to the church is an old library established in 1864 and the home of the “Flateyjarbók” the largest medieval Icelandic manuscript. The village houses were repainted and restored and now became summer houses of some few lucky owners. They now call it the “old village” The beautifully kept old houses are charming and the whole place looks like a movie set. And it was actually used in some movies, one of the most notable was “The Honor of the House” which was based on the novel by the Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness.

Daily life

flatey oceanThe locals way of living in Flatey is somewhat astonishing since they have preserved the simplicity of the island. They tend sheep to be slaughtered in the mainland, cows for milking, some hens and such, fishing due to the fact that Skjálfandi bay is generous of cod and lumpfish, and since Flatey have rich soil, so locals are into agriculture as well. When you are looking for a simple life then Flatey is the best place to start with.
The island which is far away from the cities bright lights and noises has been the habitat of great flocks of different bird species. There are at least 37 species of birds in the island during their breeding season, one of the species is the famous puffins. This is what the tourist most likes of in this island.

How to get to Flatey?

To get to Flatey will be with a ferry boat called Baldur. It has trips going there twice a day. You can camp in Flatey if you want to bring your tent with you but you can also stay at Hotel Flatey which is located at the very heart of the island. It has this classic Scandinavian style and the rooms were cozy with the most welcoming and the friendliest staff. It is actually one of the restored buildings and was restored to perfection! Well, what do you expect in Flatey? Nothing but perfection! Flatey is indeed a rare and special place that when you visit, you might not want to leave. You can get more info on Flatey here.
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