Puffin - Birdwatching – Flatey Island (appr. 4 h)
We sail to Flatey Island harbour in a speed boat – take a walk with a guide for an excursion in beautiful surroundings. The island has rich bird habitat, including species such as the Arctic Tern and lots of Puffins which you may walk up to – up close. The island offers up to 30 different species of birds during the breeding season. It’s an excellent and unique experience. From there we head back to Húsavík and sail by the awesome mountains of Kinn. We may even see some whales on our way back. We are also happy to make adjustments to this tour to accommodate any special requests.

Season: May 20th – Aug. 10th Daily at 09:30 & 17:00 hours.
Included: Guide, light refreshments & extra clothes if needed.
Price: ISK 5,800 per person.  Minimum of 6 required. Contact us for further information or other time schedule requested. info@gentlegiants.is

FLATEY ISLAND is situated in Skjálfandi Bay, only 14.7 nautical miles from Húsavík. The island is about 2.5 km long and 1.7 km wide. It is a low-lying island; the highest peak only rises about 22 metres above sea level! That’s why it’s called Flat Island.











Flatey Island seen from air. Photo © Mats,

Flatey Island was settled early in historic times and the number of inhabitants increased during the first decades of the 20th century. In 1942 the population reached its highest number, 120 people.









                                    Flatey Island harbour entrance

The inhabitants in Flatey Island mostly earned their living from fishing. The fishing grounds around the island are extremely good, and rich in species such as cod and lumpfish.

The island is fertile and well vegetated, so the islanders also practised agriculture for their own needs mostly – each home kept a cow for milking, few sheep, hens etc.

Many structures were built in Flatey Island while people lived there, e.g.:

  • A schoolhouse was built on the island in 1929.
  • The first lighthouse was built in 1913 and rebuilt in 1963.
  • A pier was built on the southern part of the island.
  • A church was built on the island in early years, which was shut down in 1884. However, in 1960 a new church was consecrated.
  • A radiotelegraph was put up on the island in 1931.








The church









The old schoolhouse

The community on the island was very active when the population was at its highest. However, it was hard for a small community like Flatey Island to compete with other communities, which grew faster as electricity and hot water was brought to each home. People started leaving the island and moving to Húsavík, and in 1967 the last inhabitants left. It hasn’t been permanently inhabited since. However, many people and tourists visit the island during the summertime. There are also privately owned summer houses on the island.








The lighthouse and some of the old homes









A view from the harbour


Flatey Island is a natural haven for birdlife! It is extremely rich and diverse. Therefore it attracts many people and tourists to the island. The island offers more than 30 different species of birds during the breeding season. Hereunder is a list of bird species that have be seen on Flatey Island.

Icelandic – Latin – English – German

Lundi– Fratercula arctica Atlantic Puffin – Papageitaucher

Æðarfugl – Somateria mollissima – Common Eider – Eiderente

Kría – Sterna paradisaeaArctic Tern – Küstenseeschwalbe

Teista – Cepphus grylle – Black Guillemot – Gryllteiste

Dílaskarfur – Phalacrocorax carbo - Cormorant – Kormoran

Fýll – Fulmarus glacialis – Fulmar – Eissturmvogel

Rita - Rissa tridactylaKittiwake – Dreizehenmöwe

Sendlingur – Calidris maritimaPurple Sandpiper – Meerstrandläufer

Hrossagaukur – Gallinago gallinago – Common Snipe – Bekassine

Óðinshani - Phalaropus lobatus Red-necked Phalarope – Odinshühnchen

Jaðrakan – Limosa limosa – Black-tailed Godwit – Uferschnepfe

Spói – Numenius phaeopusWhimbrel – Regenbrachvogel  

Stelkur – Tringa totanus – Redshank – Rotschenkel

Sandlóa – Charadrius hiaticula Ringed Plover – Sandregenpfeifer

Tjaldur – Haematopus ostralegusOystercatcher – Austernfischer

Heiðlóa – Pluvialis apricariaGolden Plover – Goldregenpfeifer

Lóuþræll – Calidris alpinaDunlin – Alpenstrandläufer

Tildra – Arenaria interpresTurnstone – Steinwälzer

Stokkönd – Anas platyrhynchosMallard – Stockente  

Rauðhöfðaönd – Anas penelopeWigeon – Pfeifente

Toppönd – Mergus serrator Red-breasted Merganser - Mittelsäger

Urtönd – Anas crecca – Teal – Krickente

Duggönd – Aythya marilaScaup – Bergente  

Grágæs – Anser anserGreylag Goose – Graugans

Rjúpa – Lagopus mutusPtarmigan – Alpenschneehuhn

Skógarþröstur – Turdus iliacusRedwing – Rotdrossel

Þúfutittlingur – Anthus pratensisMeadow Pipit – Wiesenpieper

Maríuerla – Motacilla alba – White Wagtail – Bachstelze

Steindepill – Oenanthe oenantheNorthern Wheatear – Steinschmätzer

Hettumáfur – Larus ridibundus – Black-headed Gull – Lachmöwe

Svartbakur – Larus marinus – Great Black-backed Gull – Mantelmöwe

Sílamáfur – Larus fuscus – Lesser Black-backed Gull – Heringsmöwe

Hávella – Clangula hyemalisLong-tailed Duck – Eisente

Álft – Cygnus cygnusWhooper Swan – Singschwan

Hrafn – Corcus corax – Common Raven – Kolkrabe

Fálki – Falco rusticolus – Gyrfalcon – Gerfalke









Two puffin couples









   Male Eider ducks, puffins, and Red-necked Phalarope
at the harbour entrance









Two friends, a Puffin and an Arctic Tern .....











A Redshank resting









Puffin runway .....









Two female Eider ducks on a watch out .....










A Long-tailed Duck nesting











An Arctic Tern chilling out .....


"What's up my friend...... ?"


FLATEY ISLAND is perfect for experiencing great nature, a variety of rich birdlife and historic times! From May 20th we will be sailing daily to the island at 09:30 and 17:00. Feel free to contact us for more information!




One of our boats in Flatey harbour










A piece of Art with an anchor and mountains of Vik & Flat Island Valley










Leaving Flatey Island in the evening










Midnight sun in Flatey Island


                                                                                   Photos©Gentle Giants




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