Iceland is a land of superlatives. It also has what is touted on Instagram as the loneliest house in the world on a dramatic island just off the southern coast of the country. Iceland is an impossible other-worldly country that leaves visitors spellbound. If one would like to see an alien landscape, then consider visiting this volcanic little country.

Iceland is also the only country in the world where one can go down into the empty magma chamber of a volcano. Thrihnukagigur (spelled "Þríhnúkagígur" in Icelandic) is close to the capital Reykjavik and was only discovered in 1974. Another unique attraction in Iceland is the Arctic Henge that's still under construction - it is a pagan henge that harks back to the days when Iceland was pagan.


The Island Of Elliðaey

The name of the island is Elliðaey (or Ellirey), it is the most northeastern of the Westman Islands (an archipelago of 15 to 18 islands and islets). Elliðaey is a small island measuring 0.45 km2 (110 acres; 45 hectares) - which is enough to make it the third-largest island of the group. There is no permanent population on the island.

  • Island: Elliðaey or Spelled Ellirey
  • Archipelago: Part of The Westman Islands
  • Size: 0.45 km2 (110 acres; 45 hectares)

The island is accessible by a rope located on its lower east side and by boat from the mainland - there are a total of two mooring spots on the island. There are also reports that there are some lonesome cattle as well as sheep wandering about grazing on the island. There are no trees on the island which is covered in grass steppe.

Like the rest of Iceland, the island is volcanic. There are two craters on the island called Litli Bunki and Stóri Bunki.

There is little information about the Icelandic history of the island in English.

Related: Is Iceland Worth it In The Winter? Here's What To Consider

The Hunting Lodge "Ból"

But what the island lacks in people, it makes up for in puffins. The loneliest "house" on the island is actually a bunting privately owned hunting lodge. The Elliðaey Hunting Association built the hunting lodge there in 1953 although the building there today likely dates from 1987. It remains the only building on the island. The name of the lodge is "Ból" and is used as a base for puffin hunting by a private hunting club.

  • Hunting Lodge: The Only Building On The Island
  • Known For: Its Large Population of Puffins

The hunting season is the summer months and there are tens of thousands of breeding pairs of puffins on the island.

Related: The Best Time To Visit Iceland And Why Everyone Wants To Visit This Mesmerizing Island

What To Know Of Puffins

There are small alcids and are pelagic seabirds who feed mostly by diving into the water. Their preferred breeding habitats are coastal cliffs or offshore islands. They tend to nest in burrows in the soil or in crevices in the rocks. The species found in the North Atlantic Ocean is the Atlantic puffin.

  • Species: Atlantic Puffin
  • Listed: As Vulnerable

The Atlantic puffin breeds in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Atlantic provinces of Canada. It is most commonly found in Iceland's Westman Islands. Unfortunately, its population has been declining rapidly and is now listed as vulnerable.

The Atlantic puffins are now generally protected in the countries they are found. In some countries like Iceland (where they are also eaten), hunting is still permitted, but there are strict laws to prevent overexploitation. There are some calls in Iceland to ban the age-old tradition of hunting them due to dwindling numbers.

The Þrídrangar (or Thridrangar) Lighthouse

The hunting lodge is far from the only impossible structure on a dramatic island. Even more impressive is the Þrídrangar (or Thridrangar) lighthouse and which is also located near the Westman islands in southwest Iceland.

  • Access: By Helicopter Only
  • Location: Near The Vestmannaeyjar (or Westman) islands In Southwest Iceland
  • Built: Construction Started In 1938 Before World War Two
  • Workers: Had to Scale The Cliffs Without A Helicopter

It was built just before World War Two and the workers had to somehow scale the abrupt cliffs. Once one sees this bewildering work of nature and human ingenuity, one can never unsee it. Take one's time to explore the many coastal attractions of Iceland.