The small island of Grimsey has a unique claim to fame as it is the only point in Iceland that crosses the Arctic Circle, at 66°N latitude. Located 40 kilometers (25 mi) off the north coast of the mainland, visitors arrive by boat from Dalvik or by air from Akureyri to explore the area on foot with its striking beauty and abundant birdlife.

Despite its northerly latitude, the island is very green and its ‘true north’ location allows for outstanding picture taking during the Midnight Sun of summer with unmatched views of the Northern Lights during winter.

Grimsey’s less than 100 inhabitants are energetic and welcoming, offering visitors special certificates for having crossed the Arctic Circle. According to local folklore, the island was once inhabited by giants and trolls, but now only their descendants remain.

How to get to Grimsey island?

The easiest way to get to Grimsey Island is by ferry from Dalvík village, in the summer time the ferry leaves daily (except saturdays) at 9:00 and the ride takes about 3 hours. You can also fly with Norlandair, which offers flights from Akureyri Airport in the summer time.

Birding in Grimsey island

Some 60 species of sea birds reside on Grimsey and it is home to the only nesting ground of the tiny Dovekie, or ‘Little Auk’, which make it perfect for bird watching.

Grimsey Island is located 41 km from the mainland and is the most northern settlement in Iceland. The island is crossed by the Arctic Circle at 66° N and therefore belongs partly to the north-pole! Every visitor in Grimsey receives a special certificate for having crossed the Arctic Circle.

Grimsey is 5.3 square kilometers and reaches 105 meters above sea level at its highest point.

The island has ca. 100 habitants, which economy is mainly connected to the fishing industry. The island has a rich birdlife and has become an increasingly popular tourist destination over the last years.

Boat and air transportation is available during the summer. The boat operates from Dalvik village and the flights are operated by Air Iceland

Check out our complete guide to travelling in North Iceland.