Akurey is an island in Kollafjörður Bay in west Iceland. It is best known for its puffin watching opportunities in summer.
Location of Akurey
Kollafjörður bay borders Reykjavík, and is part of the greater Faxaflói bay. Akurey is one of several islands here, the most popular being Viðey, which is home to the Imagine Peace Tower and the Milestones artwork.
It can be seen from land in clear weather; the best place to see it is from the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, a few kilometres from the centre of the capital, at the lighthouse of Grótta.
History of Akurey
Akurey is first mentioned in Icelandic writings that date back to 1379, but as Reykjavík was the first part of the country to be permanently settled, it would have been known about for about four centuries before that.
The island was bought in 1969 by the city itself, and became part of the municipality of Reykjavík in 1978. It is not inhabited, but increasingly popular due to its puffin watching opportunities.
Wildlife at Akurey
Sixty percent of the world’s Atlantic puffins nest in Iceland from May to September, and many do so surprisingly close to Reykjavík. Akurey and the isle of Lundey are particularly of note for their density of the birds.
Puffin watching tours departing from Reykjavík harbour go to one of these, depending on conditions. Such tours normally include binoculars to allow you to get close up views of the birds bobbing on the water, circling overhead, or nestling on the rocks with their partners.
Late in the season, you may even see the pufflings. Of course, on these trips, you are also likely to see other seabirds such as guillemots and fulmar.
It takes just a few minutes for a boat to reach such prime puffin watching spots as Akurey. If you wanted to see them but were only travelling by car, you would have to drive over two hours to reach Dyrhólaey, on the South Coast.
At Akurey, lucky visitors may also see a range of creatures in the surrounding waters, such as seals, porpoises, dolphins, and, on rare occasions, whales. In summer, certain whale watching trips incorporate a trip to Akurey as well.