Breišaföršur Bay

Breišaföršur Bay
Breišafjöršur Bay, which means Wide Bay separates the Westfjords from the rest of the country. The Snęfellsnes Peninsula to the south, divides the south coast of the country into two large bays, Breišafjöršur Bay and Faxaflói Bay. Breišafjöršur Bay is about 50 kilometers wide and is encircled by majestic mountains, such as Snęfellsjökull Glacier and a volcano and the mountain range of of the Westfjords. The bay is rather shallow and many small islands, sometimes said to be innumerable, can be found in Breišafjöršur and Flatey Island is probably the most renowned of them. Today only few islands are inhabited, and most only during the summer months, but many of the islands in Breišafjöršur have a long history of human inhabitation.

History

Flatey Island is an important place in the Icelandic history but one of the finest and largest manuscripts ever written in Iceland, Flateyjarbók or the „Book of Flatey“ which was written on calfskin in the 14th century, was for some time preserved in a small library in Flatey Island. Flateyjarbók is now preserved in the Įrnastofnun Institute in Reykjavik and considered one of the finest national treasures of Iceland“s history and literature.

Ferry

A ferry called Baldur, crosses Breišafjöršur Bay daily between Stykkishólmur town on the north coast of the Snęfellsnes Peninsula and Brjįnslękur, located on the south coast of the Westfjords and makes a short stop enroute at Flatey Island, which is the only island on the Bay that is inhabited all year round. The Breišafjöršur Bay is very rich in birdlife as well as other wildlife and cruises around the many beautiful islands are available from Stykkishólmur town in summer.

Birdlife

Flatey is a popular tourist resort in summer due to its rich birdlife but many species of seabirds nest on the island every summer, for example there is a large nesting colony of Arctic Terns on Flatey Island. There is a small hotel on Flatey Island but only open in summer. Around the coast of Breišafjöršur Bay are also the largest nesting grounds of the White Tailed Eagle, an endangered bird species that have been protected in Iceland for decades.

Hotel

There is a small hotel on Flatey Island that is only open in summer.

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