Hergilsey Island

Region: West Iceland
Coordinates: 65.432849° N 23.0178054° W

About Hergilsey

The first documented source mentioning this island is the “Book of Settlements” in connection with the settlement of Island Flatey. The son of Thrandur in Flatey, Hergils hnapprass, settled there and then his son, Ingjaldur. According to the “Gisla Saga” he was driven away from there by Borkur digri for having sheltered Gisli, when he sought him.

The island probably was alternatively occupied and abandoned during the centuries, but in 1783 farmer Eggert Olafsson with his family and others resettled it. It remained occupied until 1946. The island property covers about 30 other islets where hay was made and seals and birds were hunted. The home island is not large enough to support so many people, 60 altogether, as lived there after the resettlement in 1783.

Geothermal activity occurs on some of the islets, such as Reykey and Sandey. One of the islets Oddbjarnarsker, played such an important role in the economy of the whole Breidafiord Area, that it is mentioned separately.

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