WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will have the opportunity to work on the historical island of Viðey for the 16th year in a row with our host, the city of Reykjavík.
Viðey is a popular destination during the summer among Icelandic and foreign visitors. Volunteers will help prepare the island for the autumn/winter season. Volunteers will beautify the surroundings by cleaning up the area, especially along the coastline, for instance by hand-picking garbage or collecting trash blown by the wind or brought by the sea to the shores and surroundings.
SEEDS volunteers may carry out some gardening activities as well and possibly make and maintain walking paths. Well maintained paths enable people to visit the area without damaging it and this important work also helps to improve safety for visitors. Depending on the advance of the project and weather conditions, volunteers may have other possible tasks such as checking up and repairing garden furniture.
The working day normally runs from 09:00 - 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee; however, please be prepared for some flexibility due to the nature of Iceland's changeable weather.
The weather conditions in Iceland are unpredictable and the temperature in May can drop during the evenings. Be prepared to experience all kinds of weather and be sure of bringing warm clothing, since most of the work will take place outdoors. Volunteers should have motivation to work outside and work in all kinds of weather, as it can get cold and rainy. Bring warm and/or waterproof clothes (overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats) walking shoes/boots, as the activities take place outside.
As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as depending on the weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in a local house on Viðey Island, in shared rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag. The house has an equipped kitchen. Volunteers will receive food ingredients and be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: Viðey or “Wood Island” is the largest (1.7 km²) island in the Kollafjörður Bay, just outside Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. The island is covered by many species of plants and at least 30 species of breeding birds have been counted here. Viðey was inhabited from soon after the settlement of Iceland already in the 10th century and at the beginning of the 20th century around 100 people lived there. Today the island is uninhabited.
There is a regular ferry connection between the island and the harbour of Reykjavík. The island is only a few hundred metres away from the city and the trip takes a few minutes. This makes Viðey so special; it is a peaceful place, very close to the busy city life of the capital. There are hiking and cycling paths around the island and there is no motor traffic allowed. It also features intriguing sculptural artwork, amongst them all nine pairs of basalt pillars that comprise Richard Serra’s work “Áfangar” and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine Peace” column, a tower of light, which is supported by the widow of John Lennon. Other places of interest on Viðey are related to archaeological research.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL: Closest international airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
Meeting time is 14:00 (2:00 pm) on September 6 at SEEDS’ Office located at Grettisgata 3a, 101 Reykjavík.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 350 (Euros). The fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid in cash on arrival. It includes transportation from the meeting point to the camp (on the first day) and a whale watching trip worth around EUR 200 with tour operators.
We will have free rides with the ferry to the city during free time but it is subject to its schedule. Other excursions (Golden Circle, South Shore, Hot River, Snæfellsnes or Reykjanes Peninsula) can be arranged at discount fares for SEEDS participants in case there is additional free time after work or during the weekends.
SEEDS is not a travel agency; we do not have guides and our trips are organised for volunteers to have the chance to travel together and to support SEEDS fundraising. Subject to availability and number of participants.
It may be very cold and/or rainy, so we recommend bringing warm and waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats) and good walking shoes, as some of the activities take place outdoors.