I have had the pleasure of visiting this delightful island three times now - twice in the summer months (2010 and 2014) and also in October 2013 when I was privileged to see the Imagine Peace Tower switched on. It really is a delight, so close to Reykjavik and yet it seems, so far away. I can only imagine what living here must have been like.
The island though is larger than it looks - it takes several hours to walk around and explore properly. As you get off the boat the path leads you up past the café where you can walk in many different directions. Left takes you to the Imagine Peace Tower and further on, a delightful black sand beach (a great place for a picnic), which is flanked by a small lake (watch out for the Arctic Terns). Right takes you towards the remains of the now abandoned village, while the centre path takes towards the coast for the walk through the bird colonies - they may chirp loudly as they swirl overhead, but they are only trying to divert attention from their young. Make sure though that you stick to the paths, as you don't want to trample those precious eggs.
Once back at the café, you can relax on the terrace watching the world go by while enjoying a coffee or perhaps a chilled beer - yes, they also do gluten free cakes. Then it is back to the boat for the ride back to civilisation.
Most of the ferries go from the pier at the Cruise Terminal which is literally just across the water, but this is a bit of a trek from downtown, so during the summer season, three boats a day also go from the old harbour - at 11.50am, 2.50 and 4.50pm. They also stop at Harpa along the way - you must though make sure that you purchase or collect your ticket before you embark, even for holders of the Welcome to Reykjavik Card, for which the ferry is included. For non card holders, a return ticket costs 1100 ISK. The boats of course also run during the winter months, although sadly only at the weekends.
For such a small island, there is such a lot to do - the walks and the views are always beautiful whenever you go, and as for that Lighting Ceremony - it is night I shall never forget.
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