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.

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Arctic Grimsey Island
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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.

Check out our complete guide to travelling in North Iceland.