The Official Travel Guide for Northwest Iceland


Towns & Villages



Picture gallery



Museums & Exhibitions



Historical places



Natural beauty



Churches



Handcraft



Hydroelectric Powerstation



Natural beauty in Northwest Iceland




Austurdalur
Álka
Blanda
Blöndugil
Borgarvirki
Drangey
Hallárdalur
Hópiđ
Hrútey
Hveravellir
Hvítserkur
Kambfoss
Kattarauga
Kálfshamarsvík
Kotagil
Ketubjörg
Kolugljúfur
Króksbjarg
Laxárdalur
Málmey
Mćlifellshnjúkur
Spákonufell
Spánskanöf
Tindastóll
Vatnsdalsá
Vatnsdalshólar
Vatnsdalur
Vatnsnes
Vatnsnesfjall
Víđidalsfjall
Ţingeyrar
Ţórđarhöfđi


Austurdalur
Austurdalur is the easternmost valley in Skagafjörđur. There are remains of woods in Jökulsárgil, close to Merkigil, and in Fagraghlíđ in the middle of the valley. These are the highest (over sea level) wood remains in Iceland. The river Austari Jökulsá runs through the valley runs and is almost impassable. A cable car was constructed over the river at Skatastađir and is still in use. Before its arrival the only means of transport was through the canyon Merkigil. The Jökulsá river was bridged in 1951. A great walking trail runs out of the valley from Ábćr where there is still a church standing. Austurdalur was deserted in 1997 when the farmer at Merkigil died while passing through the canyon.

Álka
To the west of Grímstunguheiđi runs the river Álftaskálará or Álka. It runs through a tremendous canyon, Álkugil, down to Vatsndalur, just outside of Grímstunga. A marked walking path lies from the road along the canyon.






Blanda
The source of the river Blanda is in the southwest side of the glacier Höfsjökull and it runs into Húnaflói bay at Blönduós. The catchment area of Blanda is estimated to be 2370 km2 and is among the longest rivers in the country with a length of circa 125 km. Its source is calculated to lie at a height of 800 m. The river is one of the main salmon rivers in Iceland and has often yielded a catch of almost 3000 salmon in one summer. Before the river was dammed in 1990 the salmons spawning grounds reached almost to the foot of the glaciers.

Blöndugil
Is a savage canyon, which the Blanda has dug between Auđkúluheiđi and Eyvindarstađaheiđi. With all its curves it is about 18 km long. The road on Auđkúluheiđi (kjalvegur) lies not far from the canyon. The canyon reaches Reftjarnarbunga, but here the river is dammed due to the lagoon at the hydroelectric power plant. The canyon is in most parts around 50 - 100 m deep and very steep. At Tinndabjörg it is very tremendous, about 200 m deep. At Blöndugil is the so-called Gretti's run and here the cliffs are about 20 m a part. It is possible to walk the entire canyon in the summer before the lagoon fills up and this hike is worth it.

Borgarvirki
Borgarvirki lies between Vesturhóp and Víđidalur, and at 177 m over sea level it dominates the surrounding region. It is a volcanic plug (gosstapi) and the sagas explain that in earlier centuries it was used for military purposes. It is a unique natural phenomenon, altered by humans in earlier centuries. Up on the fortress is a viewing disk. For those who travel around Vatnsnes it is ideal to call into Borgarvirki and experience the phenomenal atmosphere, which you can find at this magnificent site.

Drangey
The island Drangey is in the middle of Skagafjörđur and it is a 200 metres high palagonite/tuff mesa. The island is only accessible from one point, which is known as Uppganga (the way up). The island has a huge bird population. In olden times the island was the main food source for the people in Skagafjörđur and was known as the milch cow of Skagafjörđur. Grettirs saga says that the outlaws Grettir and Illugi, sons of Ásmundur, dwelled on the Island for 3 years between 1028-1031. The swim by Grettir from Drangey (Drangeyjarsund) is famous. Many folk tales are connected to the Island. Travel to Drangey - see sightseeing and adventure tours.

Gullsteinn
North of the field at Stóru-Giljá, a few metres from Route 1 (the main highway) is a large stone. The stone is known as Gullsteinn (Golden stone) and it is told that farmer Kođrán, the father of Ţorvaldur Víđförli, believed in the stone. Kođrán did not want to be baptised by his son because he thought the protective spirit of the stone would become angry. Bishop Friđrekur then went to the stone and sang over it until it exploded. A few metres from the stone is a memorial was raised in 1981 to remember that 1000 years had passed since the missionary work of Ţorvaldur Víđförli and Bishop Friđrekur.

Hallárdalur
Hallárdalur is a narrow and imposing valley. It is now deserted but was extensively inhabited until the 1950s. The Hallá, a salmon river, flows from the valley. The valley has many ideal walking paths.

Hópiđ
Hópiđ is a large lake, located approximately in the middle of Húnaflói. The county boundary passes through the lake but a larger part of it lies in the eastern county. At about 29 km2 it is among the larger lakes in the country. It is a tidal lake.







Hrútey
Hrútey is a peculiar rock island in the middle of the Blanda river just above the bridge. The island is protected nature reserve. It has a lot of bird life and there has been extensive tree planting and construction of footpaths. The Island Hrútey is located in the heart of the town Blönduós just next to the camping area at the river bank.




Hveravellir
Hveravellir is a geothermal area to the north of Kjalhraun. It is one of the largest geothermal areas in the country, with hot springs. Hveravellir is located in a hollow between the lava and Breiđamel at about 650 metres above sea level. The geothermal area is on a low bulge. The hot spring Öskurhólshver was in former times so loud "that it could be heard from a quarter of a mile away"(Travel book of Eggert and Bjarni). The hot springs act differently, Öskurhólsver vents steam, Brćđrahver and Eyvindahver give off small waterspouts and Bláhver and Grćnihver have still water in their bowls. There are many formations of sinter and the water flows over the sinter bulge.

Eyvindarhver is named after Fjalla-Eyvindur. He dwelt here for a while together with Halla, but the history tells of many other outlaws who have found protection in Hveravellir. A ruin, which is called Eyvindarkofi, is in a lava rift not far from Eyvindarhver. About 1 km south of the Travel Associations cottage is a stonewall in a rift in a high lava hill and this is called Eyvindarétt.

Tales tell that Magnús sálarháski, a famous wanderer from the last century, had made an attempt to camp at Hveravellir but he only lasted there for three weeks. He stole a lamb and boiled it in a hot spring and he thought he heard it beg for mercy but then said these famous words, which later became a proverb "No one has mercy by Magnús". However the lamb sank and he had no use out of it except for the lungs, which floated to the surface. He lived on the lungs the first week, his saliva the second week and on the mercy of god the last week and according to him that that week was the worst In the summer of 1965 The Icelandic Meteorological Office placed a weather recording station just north of Hveravellir and since then people have lived there and daily weather reports are made.

Hvítserkur
Hvíserkur is a 15 m high monolith, which stands just offshore from the land of Ósar. Many bird species live there and the rock bares their mark, as it is white from bird excretement.




Kambsfoss
Kambsfoss (waterfall) in Austurá in Austuárdalur is accessible and very beautiful. It is perhaps best known because it has the highest salmon stairs in the country. The biggest waterfalls in Húnaţings vestra are Kolufossar in the well-known Kolugljúfri (canyon) in Víđidalur. Víđidalsá flows from there into two magnificent waterfalls. It is easy to get to these waterfalls via a bridge, which has been laid to them. Bergárfoss is also in Víđidalsá a bit before Kolufossar.

Kattarauga
Is a rather deep pit below the road in the land of Kornsár at Vatnsdalur. Here there are three small floating islands, which are an unusual natural phenomenon and this is a protected area. The Council for Nature Preservation has set up an information sign by the pond.





Kálfshamarsvík
This is a little inlet in the north of Skagi. A lighthouse is located on the small penisula, Kálfshamarsnes, it was first raised in 1933 and rebuilt in 1939. Alongside the peninsula are sea cliffs of beautiful formations of basalt columns formed about two million years ago. They are a peculiar natural formation. Around the turn of the 19th century fishing was conducted from Kálfshamarsnes. About 100 people lived at this location and in its neighbourhood. After 1930 the fishing declined and around 1940 the settlement was deserted. In the year 1999 information signs were put up which describe the settlement.



Kotagil
Kotagil is a savage gorge in Norđurdalur (the northern valley) which lies not far below the farm Fremra - Kot. It is easy to walk into the gorge from Route 1 (the main highway). In the gorge you will find fossils particularly fossilised parts of trees.

Ketubjörg
Ketubjörg is a more than 120 high cliff in Skagi just to the south of the farm Keta. Ketubjörg is an old extinct volcano or crater. There is a rich bird life in the cliffs. Tales tell of trolls who lived in the cliffs and because of them the road to the cliffs was sometimes impassable.





Kolugljúfur
When you drive through Víđidalur you come to Kolugil, which stands by the Víđidalsá river. Right below the farm the river flows a peacefully down in a magnificent canyon, which is known as Kolugljúfur, and there are waterfalls, which are named after the Troll woman Kola and are called Kolufossar. It is immensely powerful to drive to the side of the canyon and look at this peaceful river plunge over magnificent waterfalls. This sight will not leave you unmoved. At the canyon are information/history sign and tourist utilities.

Króksbjarg
A little to the north of the farm Hof at Skagaströnd are 40 - 50m high cliffs by the sea and they reach out to Kálsfhamarsvík for about 10 km. The southernmost are named Króksbjarg, Skriđbjarg, Bjargabjörg and the furthest north is called Bakkar. Some seabirds, mainly fulmar can be found in the cliffs,.

Laxárdalur
Laxárdalur lies parallel to Langidalur. There used to be considerable habitation in the valley and until 1930 there were 20 farms. There is substantial vegetation is in the valley and many farms there were considered good although in the winters it is faces very heavy snowfalls. Tales tell of Máni the first settler in the valley who lived in Mánaskál. His burial mound is in Illviđrahnjúk on the east side of the valley near the county boundary. There you can see a mass although it's difficult to make out. Its said it does not bring good fortune to dig in the mass - Mánahaug. The valley is ideal for walking.

Málmey
Málmey is an island on the east side of Skagafjörđur. Even though it is long and low it still rises as high as 125 m above sea level. The island was inhabited until 1950. Folk tale say that no one may live there for longer than 20 years. If this rule were broken the housewife would disappear and never be seen again. The first lighthouse in Iceland was built in a church on the island. Journey to see Málmey - see sightseeing and adventure tours.



Mćlifellshnjúkur
Mćlifellshnjúkur is 1138 m high. It stands on its own and rises above all the neighbouring hills. It is said that on a bright day the mountain can be seen from ten counties and therefore the view from it is great. A marked walking trail runs up to the top of the mountain and begins by the road to Mćlifellsdalur.




Selavíkutangi
Selavíkurtangi is about 40 km north of Skagaströnd at Kaldranavík. Just out from the shore at a distance of about 40 - 50 m you can see seals at as they lie sprawled on the reefs and gaze with curiosity into the eyes of the tourists. They can be very numerous.

Spákonufell
Spákonufell is one of the most impressive and peculiar mountains in this area. It is 646 m high. The name of the mountain derives from Ţórdís the prophetess who lived on a farm of the same name as the mountain, situated by its roots in the 10th century. She was the first person to settle in Skagaströnd. At the top of Spákonufell there is a good view of the surrounding area. A marked trail runs to the top of the mountain from the farm Brandaskarđ.

Spánskanöf
Spánskanöf is situated in Skagaströnd just to the north of the estuary of Laxá in Refasveit. There can be found a very steep drop to the beach, about 40-50 meters. There is a lot of bird life is in the cliffs and reefs out from the shore. It is worthwhile to do this route. The Sagas tell that at this spot Spanish pirates came to land and headed for the vicarage at Höskuldsstađir. The priest gathered his men and stallions, had brushwood tied to the stallions and set on fire. Then the stallions were pushed towards the pirates and some of them died on the field and others fell into the cliffs. The name derives from this encounter.

Tindastóll
Tindastóll used to be called Eilífsfjall and is 989 metres above sea level and is one of the biggest mountains of the county, about 20 km long. It is mostly comprised of basalt but you will also find Rhyolite on the south east side of the mountain. Many folktales are connected to Tindastóll among which is one about a wishing pond where you can find wish stones. There are also tales of a giant that lives in the mountain and rows daily to Drangey to hunt birds.

Vatnsdalsá
Vatnsdalsá is a river formed from many smaller rivers from the heaths of Grímstunguheiđi and Haukagilsheiđi. Where Miđkvísl and Fellakvísl join the river becomes the Vatnsdalsá. The deserted farm of Réttarhóll lies to the east of Fellakvísl and there for a time lived Björn Eysteinsson (1848 - 1939). To the west under Bótarfell the Vatnsdalsá river flows through a deep channel and a little to the north it plunges into a deep canyon and through many waterfalls down to the Vatnsdalur valley. In the years 1945-1965 there were plans to run the river Blanda westward towards Kólkuflói and dam it along with the Vatnsdalsá to a 400 m fall down to Vatnsdalur, but because of nature preservation views nothing became of this. The highest waterfall is called Skínandi (the shining) a name that suits it well. A little lower are the waterfalls Kerárfoss and Rjúkandi. Lower in the canyon by the farm Forsćludalur is the large waterfall Dalfoss, and Stekkjarfoss. Vatnsdalsá river has always been one of the best angling rivers in the country, both regarding salmon and trout. A walking path is marked along the canyon from the farm Forsćludalur to the waterfall Skínandi.

Vatnsdalshólar
Vatnsdalshólar have a peculiar appearance and for a long time there has been uncertainty over their origin. Some thought they were glacial formations and others believed they were formed by a volcanic eruption. Currently there is no doubt that a giant landslide from Vatnsdalsfjall Mountain created the hills long before Iceland was settled. The hills have many variations in colour and shapes, some are black from the basalt and others are golden brown from the rhyolite, some are conical in shape and yet others are crescent shaped.

The Vatnsdals hills spread for over four square km. There are considered among three natural phenomenon in Iceland, which are countless. The others are the lakes at Arnarvatnsheiđi and the islands at Breiđafjörđur. To the south of Vatnsdalshólar and to the west of the road is Ţórdísarlundur a grove which the Association of people from Húnavatn county in Reykjavík have planted, built and fenced. In the grove is a memorial to the first child born in the county, Ţórdís the daughter of old Ingimar from Hof. She was born there some time around the year 895.

Vatnsdalur
Vatnsdalur valley lies between Víđidalsfjall (993 meters above sea level) and Vatnsdalsfjall (1018 meters above sea level) and it is about 25 km long. As told in the Vatnsdćla Saga old Ingimundur and his men believed the valley was grassy and a good farming so they settled there. The Vatnsdalsá river flows through the valley and is known for its angling. Huge and terrible landslides have come down form Vatnsdalsárfjall mountain into the outer part of the valley. The biggest ones fell in the years 1545 and 1620. The first one took the farm of Skíđastađi in Vatnsdalur and 14 people were killed. The landslide of 1720 took the farm of Bjarnastađi and killed 6 people and some farm animals.



Vatnsnes
At Vatnsnes peninsula possesses a variable wildlife, many natural wonders, powerful historical trails and a beautiful environment. At Vatnsnesi is one of the largest seal colonies in Iceland. In many places it is easy to get close to the seals to see them up close.









Vatnsnesfjall
Vatnsnesfjall puts its mark on the west Húnavatn County. Its highest point Ţrćlsfell is 906 meters above sea level. Numerous valleys meet in a circle around the mountain. You can drive up to the mountain from Helguhvammur at Hvammstangi.







Víđidalsfjall
Víđidalsfjall stands in the beautiful environment of Víđidalur valley. Its highest point is 993 meters above sea level. A walking path runs up to one of its peaks Rauđkollur and from there you will find tremendously beautiful views. In Víđidalsfjall you will also find Gálagil a renowned historical site of executions in earlier times. According to folk tales this is a very haunted place.




Ţingeyrar
Ţingeyrar was known as one of the largest farms and church sites in Húnaţing. From Ţingeyrar church is one of the widest and most beautiful views in the county. No farm in the county was as large as Ţingeyrar and rich men and chieftans lived there throughout the ages. Ţingeyrar lies close to Miđhóp and from there lies a reef almost covering the lake. It is likely that these are the estuary /eyrar from which the name Ţingeyrar is derived.




Ţórđarhöfđi
Ţórđarhöfđi is an extinct volcano not far from Hofsós. The cape is joined to the land by a sand bar but between them lies a sea lagoon - Höfđavatn. Ţórđahöfđi, Málmey, Drangey and Ketubjörg at Skagi are considered to be remains of a very old and large extinct volcano.






Top of Page




Hvammstangi Blonduos Skagastrond Saudarkrokur Varmahlid Holar Hofsos

Our good neighbors: Strandir