Drangey Island

Drangey Island

Drangey, one of the most distinctive landmarks in Skagafjordur, is a 200m high flat-topped island in the fjord. For many centuries, Drangey was an important larder for the people of Skagafjordur and they harvested both seabirds and their eggs. 

It is only possible to climb to the top from one place, Uppgonguvik. During the summer months, boat trips run from Saudarkrokur and Reykir (north of Sauðárkrókur).

Grettir the Strong, a 9th-century outlaw, whose tragic story is told in Grettir’s Saga, is said to have lived the last years of his outlawry on the island, along with his brother and a slave called Glaum. 

Grettir was known for his strength and the Saga tells how when their fire went out, Grettir swam to the mainland to fetch glowing embers.

The island’s steep cliffs made it easy to defend but Grettir was no match for sorcery. Enlisting the help of a witch, his enemies were able to attack, wound and kill him. 

Kerlingin (the old lady) is an offshore stack, according to legend, a troll lady who was caught by the sun with her husband and a cow whilst crossing the fjord and turned to stone. 

Drangey is the cow but the old man, who was situated north of the island, collapsed during an earthquake in 1755.