small island of Papey is of great interest for birdwatchers. Estimate
of 30.000 couples of puffins (Fratercula arctica) stay there over the
summertime. The island is also inhibited with a lot of other
black-gulls like the Common guillemot (Uria aalge). Furthermore, Papey
is a popular place for Common Eider and the Black-legged Kittiwake to
lay their eggs. 124 species of plants have been found on the island.
Guided tours run to the island, everyday at 1:00 PM, over the
summertime. During the boat trip, visitors have the chance to see seals
and take some really nice photographs on the island.
Papey, the main island, is about 2km2 but it is surrounded by many
outlaying islands, teeming with various birds and you can also find
seals on the reefs. There are many big fowling cliffs in Papey and as
long as its history, men have jumped from ledge to ledge, collecting
eggs. The fowling cliffs are magnificent, reaching 20 – 45 m in the
Papey’s history plays an important role for the history of Iceland,
because Irish monks are thought to have lived there before the Viking
incursion. They went away when the Vikings came because they didn’t
want to live among heathens. The island itself is named after the
monks, who were Papar and other local names also remind of them like
Írsku hólar (Irish hills) and Papatættur.
In Papey there is an old apartment house which Gísli in Papey built
in the beginning of last century. There you can also see the smallest
and oldest wooden church in the country, built in 1807.
A little north of the house there is a beautiful hill tower called
Einbúi (The Loner). That’s where the church of the fairies is supposed
to be. Above the main fowling cliffs stands an expressive rock called
Kastali (The Castle). All the fairies of the island are supposed to
live there and have always been allowed to live there in peace and
friendship with other inhabitants of the island.