Islands of Iceland II: Viðey

Viðey.

Viðey. Photo: Ragnar T. Sigurdsson

Welcome to the second in our four-part Ea­ster series present­ing and celebrat­ing some of the is­lands which decorate the ed­ges of this is­land nati­on. Our next dest­inati­on is Viðey.

Viðey

The uninhabited island of Viðey lies just one kilometre from the coast of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

It is linked by a ferry service to the mainland Reykjavik.

The island was the site of an important Augustinian monastery from the thirteenth century through to the Reformation of the sixteenth century.

Viðeyjarstofa, built 1752-55.

Viðeyjarstofa, built 1752-55. Photo: mbl.is/Sigurður Bogi

The large stone building on the island – in fact, one of the largest in the country – is called Viðeyjarstofa and was built by ‘father of Reykjavik’ Skúli Magnússon in the mid eighteenth-century. The last inhabitants of the island left in 1943.

The most recent addition to the island is Yoko Ono’s ‘Imagine Peace Tower’, a monument to her late Beatle husband John Lennon. The Tower – beams of light penetrating the Reykjavik sky – is lit on special occasions.

Imagine Peace Tower.

Imagine Peace Tower. Photo: mbl.is/Styrmir Kári

How to get th­ere

BY FERRY

Ferries take passengers over to Viðey from two points in Reykjavik – Skarfabakki harbour (all year round) and Ægisgarður harbour (summer only).

There are three round trips a day on weekends only from Skarfabakki during the winter season, then 6-7 round trips every day during the summer season. They is one daily round trip from Ægisgarður in the summer.

The return price is ISK 1,200 (€8.50) for adults and ISK 600 (€4.30) for children (7-15). It is free for children under seven and holders of the Reykjavik City Card.

Ferry is the only way to get to Viðey...

Ferry is the only way to get to Viðey... Photo: Styrmir Kári

Accomm­odati­on

There are no hotels or hostels on Viðey, meaning that the island is best taken in as a day trip. Camping is, however, possible – but permission must be sought at the café inside Viðeyjarstofa.

What to do

The island is covered with delightful walking paths, ideal for exploring in the fresh air and taking in the interesting sights of the island’s abandoned village.

...unless you're up for a slightly braver option.

...unless you're up for a slightly braver option. Photo: Sjósunds- og sjóbaðsfélags Reykjavíkur

In the past, Laxnes Horse Farm have taken horses over to Viðey to offer visitors horse-riding tours, and the island is a landing spot for many species of bird.

Walking the island in the fresh air is the main ...

Walking the island in the fresh air is the main attraction. Photo: Styrmir Kári

If you need nourishment after a day’s activities, drop in to the Viðeyjarstofa café for a drink and a waffle.

Join us again tomorrow as Is­lands of Ice­land mo­ves on to the is­land of Flatey.

Viðey, a haven just 1 km from the city.

Viðey, a haven just 1 km from the city. Photo: mbl.is/Styrmir Kári

Viðeyjarstofa in the winter.

Viðeyjarstofa in the winter. Photo: Ómar Óskarsson

Currency

USD USD 103.38 EUR EUR 121.90
GBP GBP 137.07 DKK DKK 16.38
NOK NOK 12.52 SEK SEK 12.25
CHF CHF 104.49 JPY JPY 0.92

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