On tour in the beautiful Grímsey, north Iceland. Discovering this island positionated on the Arctic Circle, inhabitated by thousands of puffins and other seabirds and surrounded by imposing sea cliffs and the rough Atlantic ocean.
Grímsey is a small island (5.3 square kilometres) in the country of Iceland, 40 kilometres off the north coast of the main island of Iceland. The Arctic Circle runs through the island, while the entirety of mainland Iceland lies south of the Arctic Circle.
Grímsey is the northernmost inhabited Icelandic territory: the islet of Kolbeinsey lies further north, but is uninhabited. The closest land is the island of Flatey, in Skjálfandi bay, 39 kilometres to the south.
There are steep cliffs everywhere except on the southern shoreline.
Despite the northerly latitude, the climate is generally mild, because of the North Atlantic Current, which brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico. Though treeless, the island’s vegetation cover is rich, consisting of marshland, grass, and moss, and the island is home to many thousands of birds, especially puffins and arctic terns.
Grímsey is a popular tourist destination for visitors who wish to experience the Arctic Circle. The island is served by regular ferry and aircraft passenger services from the mainland.
The church on Grímsey was built from driftwood in 1867 and renovated in 1956.
The island has acquired a long-standing reputation for being a bastion of chess-playing.
On learning this, the American scholar and keen chess player Willard Fiske took a protective interest in Grímsey in the 1870s, sending supplies, supporting the economy and leaving money in his will, though he never once visited.