Hrísey Community Guidelines

The pearl of the fjord

Hrísey is in the middle of the fjord Eyjafjörður and often referred to as the pearl of the fjord. It is Iceland’s second largest island, 7,5 km long and 2,5 km at its widest point in the south.

Hrísey has been populated since the times of the earliest settlements in Eyjafjörður, around 890. Up until 1862 only farmers lived on the island, but when Jörundur Jónsson (Shark Jörundur) moved to the island that year with his family, the fishing industry expanded and the local community grew. The current population of Hrísey is about 160.

The island has a flourishing community, magnificent panoramic views of the fjord and a rich birdlife. It is believed that up to 40 bird species breed on the island, the ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) being the most prominent.

There are several marked trails on the island and the small seaside village with its colorful old houses is enjoyable to visit.

There is a variety of things to do in Hrísey. The House of Shark-Jörundur hosts an exhibition about the island’s history and the history of shark fishing in earlier centuries. Along the nature tracks one can experience tranquility in beautiful surroundings, enjoy the island’s varied bird life and visit some of the island’s natural phenomena. Take a dip in the sea, visit the nice geothermal pool, or buy some local products.

Recommendations / What to do:
  • A stroll around the village: Colorful old houses, some with a quilted exterior with prepressed iron plates.
  • The house of Shark-Jörundur: The oldest house on the island contains the history of the island‘s history and of shark fishing.
  • The birdlife: Watching and photographing the birds is Try to look for the ptarmigan which has a special place among the island’s birds and is found on the community’s official crest.
  • Hikes: Hrísey is very much about the nature and the best way to experience it is by taking a walk. There are different circular walks available ranging from about 2 to 5 km. On some of the routes you can stop by the Energy Zone and get an energy boost.
  • Take a swim: The local geothermal pool is a great place to have a dip and close by you can find stairs down to the beach where one can enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea.



  • Enjoy a stroll around town, or a hike along our trails which are surrounded by beautiful nature. Please leave all flora, birds, and heritage untouched. Leave no trace and put your trash in bins (also gum and nicotine pouches). You can find garbage bins in the village.
  • There are few sidewalks in the island – so in courtesy to the locals try to walk on the left side of the road so that vehicles can pass.
  • Please respect the privacy of the locals by not flying drones over the island and in the village.
  • The northernmost part of Hrísey is privately owned and protected land, accessible through a gate on the road. Permission must be obtained to enter, by calling a number on the gate.
  • Hrísey is known for its tractors, which locals use for Feel free to take pictures of them but please do not enter them without permission.
  • Please be respectful of the local’s privacy by not entering houses or private gardens. You can of course take pictures of these buildings but please do not take pictures through windows of people´s homes.
  • Our children use much of the island as a playground. Please do not take pictures of them without permission from their parents or guardians.
  • We have a grocery store and a handicraft store, as well as a self-service shop/kiosk which is open 24/7. You help sustain our community by shopping locally – thank you!
  • There is no ATM available in Hrísey, but Icelandic kronas and most credit cards are accepted.
  • We have excellent drinking Please enjoy it from the tap by the local restrooms.
  • Public toilets can be found close to the harbor, beside the handicraft store.
  • The church and the House of Shark-Jörundur are open during summertime. Opening hours can be found at
  • Our local geothermal pool is a great place to visit – remember to bring a towel and a swimming suit. Every guest is required to wash thoroughly without a swimsuit before entering the pool.