Iceland's Ellidaey Island: Home of the world’s loneliest house

Ellidaey Island is the third biggest island in the Westman archipelago consisting of around eighteen small islands. Photo: Shutterstock/Borkovec

The pictures of the solitary white house that sits on the remote island of Ellidaey have been doing the rounds on social media for quite some time. Interestingly, the house which is placed perfectly on a ginormous rock that protrudes into the ocean is the world’s loneliest house. Covered only by lush greenery, you would see no human presence or concrete buildings in the vicinity of this house. This unique spot is situated on the northeast side of the Westman Islands and to the south of Iceland.

Ellidaey Island is the third biggest island in the Westman archipelago consisting of around eighteen small islands. There aren’t many faunas on this island except a species of Nordic bird called the puffin. The Ellidaey Island Lodge is popularly known as the ‘Ball’ house. Interestingly, there are many fascinating stories about the construction of the loneliest house which is painted in white. It is believed that that house was built by a billionaire to move to the remote island in the event of an apocalypse. However, the house, which has become quite a sensation on the internet, is a hunting lodge constructed by the Ellidaey Hunting Association in 1953. The hunters used to regularly visit the island to hunt the puffins.

There is an old storage hut and a workshop on the hill opposite the lodge. It is believed that the tools that are stored here belonged to the scientists who stayed on the island to study it. Even though the island is deserted now, it was once home to five families. The last family left the island in the 1930s. After that, the island became deserted, with no one inhabiting it. Tourists are allowed to visit the lodge even though it is private property owned by the hunting club. You could take a boat from the nearby island to reach the Ellidaey island. Like any other boat ride in the Icelandic seas, the journey may be precarious with freezing temperatures and giant waves. From the boat, you should jump onto the slope of the rock before climbing the rope to reach the summit.

The small hike to the house gives you a chance to enjoy the beauty of the verdant meadows and the cool mist. There is a fence around the house, giving you the impression that it is occupied. Interestingly, the house has all the facilities like a cozy couch, a stove, a dining area with a dining table and chairs, and a spacious bedroom with ten mattresses and pillows. Besides, there is a bathroom too with a sink, shower, toilet and a mirror. The visitors could record their names and dates of visit in the visitors’ book. Thousands of curious visitors have already written their names in that book. Rainwater is harvested here for various uses.

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