The island Viðey is the largest one of the Kollafjördur Bay, near Reykjavik. So far, this island is still my favorite spot. Not just in Reykjavik but in Iceland in general. I went to the island on my first day, being kind of depressed in the morning after arriving in Iceland. This island lightened up my mood a lot. It is close to my accommodation and I took the bike to the ferry. I spent my whole day there, wandering around. Once I left the area of the peace tower and the Viðey house, nobody was there expect me. Partly I sat there for over an hour just drawing and watching the nature. You can get to the island Viðey by taking the ferry. There is a summer (May 15 – Sep 30) and winter (Oct 1 – May 14) schedule. In the summer it leaves quite regularly but in the winter time only once or two times a day. The ferry leaves either from the harbor downtown or from the harbor in Laugardalur. During the summer time the last one leaves at 6:30pm – do not miss it! Both ways together cost around 12 Euro.
Imagine Peace Tower on Island Viðey
Also called the tower of light because it you can see a beam of light illuminating the sky for a few months. The light is projected from a white stone monument. It has the words „Imagine Peace“ carved into it in 24 languages.
The Imagine Peace Tower was built by Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon. Hence, it lightens up from his birthday October 9 til December 8 to his death. Additionally, the light lit from December 21 til 31 during Christmas and New Year time, on February 18 and from March 20 til 27. Underneath the light tower, one million wishes are buried from the project called Wish Trees, initiated by Ono, too.
The island Viðey & the Viðey house
Originally the island was actually settled by Icelanders. Today, you basically cannot see that anymore except some ruins. The history started with Skùli Magnùsson constructing his private home on the island in the 16th century. After him other important Icelanders lived on the iceland until the 20th Century. It developed to a fishery island and grew in population. However, after the fishery closed in the 50s, they moved back to the main land and it was used for summer residences for a while.
The Viðey house was designed by Danish architect Nicolai Eigtved and is nowadays a restaurant. Next to it, the second oldest church of Iceland is built. Behind that find hiking paths, a horse rental and a riding school. I was able to spend there my whole day, hiking from the Viðey house to the one end and then to the other one. To the right of the Viðey house, is the Imagine Peace Tower and a lot of hiking paths. To the left you find old ruins and the still existing school house.