Drangey

Top choice Island

in Tindastóll & Grettislaug
© subtik / Getty Images
© subtik / Getty Images

The tiny rocky islet of Drangey (drown-gay), in the middle of Skagafjörður, is a dramatic flat-topped mass of volcanic tuff with 180m-high sheer cliffsides rising abruptly from the water. The cliffs serve as nesting sites for around a million seabirds (puffins, guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes, fulmar, shearwaters and predatory gyrfalcons), and have been used throughout Iceland’s history as ‘nature’s grocery store’ (for locals seeking birds and eggs). Drangey Tours offers fabulous three-hour boat trips to Drangey.

Grettir’s Saga recounts that both outlaw hero Grettir and his brother Illugi lived on the island for three years and were slain there. Brave (foolhardy?) saga fans come to the area to recreate Grettir’s feat, swimming the 7km between Drangey and Reykir.

Note that puffins have usually departed Drangey by mid-August.