The northerly island of Iceland is the central focus of the "Land of Fire and Ice" explorer voyages package, and it offers travelers a chance to experience the wonder of one of the worlds most beautiful and mysterious Arctic habitats. The journey will take passengers to almost every corner of Iceland and grant them the rare opportunity to discover some of the lesser-known natural splendor that flourishes in the more frigid conditions seen on the island. One of the stops along the way will be the isle of Vigur - a landmass located just off Iceland's northwestern coastline. While permanent human residents are sparse in this corner of the country, the animals that occupy this stretch of land have been flourishing here for a millennia. Take advantage of all the incredible Hurtigruten voyage deals today and secure your spot on the voyage to this picturesque Icelandic isle!
Brief history of Vigur Island
This remote bastion on the edge of the Arctic remains somewhat of a mystery to archeologists due to a significant lack of exploration and excavation on Vigur Island. The known history of Vigur only extends back about 200 years when the first settlers established their homes here. The original community consisted of three different families, and you may be surprised to learn that their ancestors are the only permanent residents who live on Vigur today. Their original homes are some of the only establishments you'll find on the island today, and each one has been beautifully restored so tourists can gain a better understanding of the conditions faced by the isle's earliest known inhabitants.
The windmill, built in 1840, is the only one of its kind in all of Iceland and was used up until 1917 to grind wheat from Denmark. It's accompanying eight-oar row boat is more than 200 years old, and it is still used to ferry sheep from the mainland. The Viktoria House is the second major landmark, and Beatles fans will be happy to know that it was constructed using Norwegian wood in 1862. The building has been carefully preserved and is open for tour groups, so be sure you don't miss this pristine historical relic.
Vigur's natural attractions
While man-made structures are certainly few and far between on Vigur, what the island does not lack is wealth of avian inhabitants. Birds of all shapes and sizes can found throughout this natural sanctuary, especially during seasonal changes when migratory patterns bring hordes of temporary dwellers from their southerly winter homes. Puffins, eiders, guillemots and Arctic terns are among the full-time occupants that are most commonly spotted by visitors, while passerine species such as snow bunting, pied wagtail and meadow pipits tend to be slightly more reclusive. White-tailed eagles and gyrfalcons are also known residents of Vigur, though it is rather rare to spot one of these majestic birds during a short stay.
It may seem somewhat strange, but visitors would be wise to carry around a tall stick while exploring Vigur. Arctic terns are especially volatile and are prone to attack humans on occasion when they feel threatened. This is where your stick comes into play. The terns will focus their assault on the highest point of their adversary. Holding the stick above your head will prompt the tern to direct its attention toward your clever distraction as opposed to your head should you choose to ignore this choice piece of wisdom.
Aside from the terns, all the other birds on the island are quite accustomed to close contact with humans. The puffins are not only adorable but quite humorous as well. Watch them stuff their faces full of sand eels or small fish then waddle back to their hovel to feed their chicks. Also, don't forget to bring your camera to capture close-ups of a few of these amazing creatures!