Flatey Island

Flatey is the only inhabited island of the 3,000 small islets dotting the dramatic Breidafjordur Bay. Significant for its combination of natural features and historical heritage, Flatey Island (UNESCO) is often visited by ferry passengers stopping on their way between the Snaefellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords.

Throughout the winter there are only a handful of residents living on Flatey. Many families arrive in summer to help renovate lovely old timber houses of their ancestors that are perfectly preserved examples of what an Icelandic village used to be. Beautifully kept old houses in cheerful colors embody the spirit and prosperity that Flatey enjoyed as the commercial and fishing hub of Breidafjordur during its heyday around 1900.

A major source of pride in the small community is the Book of Flatey, which is considered one of Iceland’s most impressive ancient Saga manuscripts and a copy is beautifully preserved in the world’s smallest library. Flatey was further an essential cradle of culture in Iceland, and its former monastery, built in 1172, was a center of knowledge situated on the island's highest point.

Nature lovers and bird watchers flock to the island of Flatey for the unique volcanic scenery that provides plenty of nesting places for the large number of bird species found there. The area supports over 230 recorded species of vascular plants and around 50 regular breeding bird species.