The municipalities of Árborg and Flóahreppur in South Iceland share a rich history, beautiful scenery and a friendly population of 8.817 people. The largest town is Selfoss and about 13 kilometres south of Selfoss are the villages Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri which are located next to the seashore. The regions and its surrounding areas have endless possibilities for travellers. You may have heard about the Icelandic nature, the culture, the sagas and want to experience all of it. Maybe you are planning a conference or just want a place where you can relax and enjoy the quiet. Look no further for the region has all of this and more. If you are staying in one of the many accommodations available in Árborg and Flóahreppur then there are countless possibilities for trips and tours. You can go on a scenic walk, go bird watching, trips to the seashore, kayaking, horse riding, enjoy beautiful scenery while quad biking or have history brought to life on a historical Saga tour. You can visit one of the many geothermal swimming pools, go fishing or golfing, visit museums, taste the local food, browse all sorts of handcraft or just go for a walk around the area. This is only a fraction of the endless options that await you in the region and its surroundings and if you are wondering how to get around there are car rentals, taxi services, four wheel private tours, bus rentals, scheduled tour buses or public transportation. So don’t wait, pick up the phone or write an e-mail to one of the many travel companies at your disposal.
Árborg and Flóahreppur is your destination!
One of Iceland's most popular tourist areas, inland Árnessýsla boasts a wealth of natural wonders and well-marked historical sites. Hot springs and geothermal heat characterise the region and make their impact on the culture of the area, as well as on the historical sites marking milestones in the history of the country and society of Iceland. The inlands in Árnessýsla stretch from Þingvellir to the Þjórsá river and into the central highlands. The inhabitants are abut 2600 and live in four municipalities: Bláskógabyggð, Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur, Hrunamannahreppur and Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur.
Ásahreppur is a community on the western edge of Rangárvallasýsla and takes its name from "the ásar", natural ridges in the area. On the Ring Road the community has its limits from the bridge of Þjórsá river in the west and to the east the boundary is about 500 m from Landvegamót. There has been a bridge across Þjórsá since 1895. Ásahreppur has about 170 inhabitants who have agriculture and service as their main employment. The nature varies between grassy swamps, reclaimable land, farm areas, hills and ridges. The biggest nesting place of the grey lag goose is in the swampy desolated area of Frakkavatn. The structure of habitation is mostly clusters of farms around the ridges, Vetleifsholtscluster, Áscluster, Ásmundarstaðircluster, Hamracluster, Sumaliðabæjarcluster, and Kálfholtscluster. In the area of Ásahreppur there are many artificial caves, used as animal houses up to the 20th century, but in the first centuries after the settlement of Iclenad it is said they were used for human habitation. Schools and other basic service for the inhabitants of Ásahreppur are kept up in good co-operation with their neighbouring communitys in Rangárvallasýsla, Skaftárhreppur and Mýrdalshreppur.
Eyrarbakki, pop 526, is a friendly village that, in earlier times, used to be the largest commercial community and the main harbor on the South Coast of Iceland. A large number of preserved houses from the period 1890-1920 are situated in Eyrarbakki and therefore a visit is like reveriting a 100 years back in time. Other popular tourist attractions are The Eyrabakka Martime Museum and the Árnessýsla Folk Museum, located at legendary "The House" in Eyrarbakki, built in 1765. A fine campsite, hostel, guesthouses and restaurant, are also in Eyrarbakki. On the rocky shoreline you can witness an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as watching the surf break. It is an ideal spot for hiking and bird watching. The Flói Bird Reserve lies northwest of Eyrabakki. It is an important nesting area, especially for wetland birds and is listed in The Bird Life International Association.
Flóahreppur is a peaceful municipality situated in South Iceland, between the two large Salmon Rivers Hvítá and Þjórsá. Flóahreppur is famous for it´s wide panorama view in all directions, range of mountains, glaciers and islands. In the area is Iceland´s most voluminous Waterfall Urriðafoss, were Þjórsá River falls off the margin of Þjórsárhraun a Lava Field that came about 8.000 years ago and is one of the largest known Lava-flows anywhere on Earth. Flóahreppur is a paradise for people who love nature and bird-watching. Bird-life around the area has great variety and is an interesting choice for bird-watchers. Here you can see Icelandic birds in their natural environment without any difficulties. Flóahreppur is also ideal for walking, cycling and riding.
Culture in the area has historical deep roots and great emphasis is placed on the preservation of cultural heritage, whether it is crafts, inventions, history, traditional farmhouses or churches. In Flóahreppur you will find variety of recreational possibilities and services such as accommodations, museums, craft workshops, farm lodgings and country boutiques - to name a few. Flóahreppur is a vibrant community with a diverse society, which offers a number of events and gatherings, both new and old traditional ones. Flóamanna Saga is one of the Icelandic Sagas and preserves memories of this area.
During the period from mid September until March/April if you are lucky you might see pink clouds dancing around the sky just like a Symphony Orchestra playing in the sky a breathtaking and unforgettable performance. That´s what we call the Northern Lights some call it Aurora Borealis. That is just one of the Winter-Charms Flóahreppur has to offer. A visit to Flóahreppur is a unique experience that you will not forget. The people of Flóahreppur welcomes you to experience our heritage, beautiful and peaceful environment, but first and foremost the wonders of Flóahreppur.
Flúðir is a rapidly growing community in the centre of Hrunamannahreppur district, about 25 minutes off the main Ring Road. The area is considered to be very fertile and beautiful. Litla-Laxá, a clear spring river runs through the village in an attractive basin. Miðfell, a small mountain, towers over Flúðir, and gives the surrounding area a distinctive look. Good walking and riding paths lie to the top of Miðfell. Up there you will find an impressive lake and from the top there is a great view over the area.
The main sources of employment in Flúðir are services, industry and horticulture. Geothermal heat is utilised for greenhouses, and here is the biggest mushroom factory in Iceland. The surrounding area is a popular location for summerhouses. Flúðir has excellent services available for visitors. Among those are a grocery store, a restaurant, a swimming pool, accommodation in the three star Icelandair Hotel Flúðir, a camping ground, an information centre, a golf course, a horse rental, a bank, a post office and a small airfield. A folk museum is at the farm Gröf.
Inhabitants in Rangárþing ytra (westen Rangárþing) are 1526 (year 2016). The borders of the district are by Ásahreppur district, from the river Þjórsá in the west, to the glacier Vatnajökull in the north. The south borders are from the glacier Mýrdaljökull to the river Eystri-Rangá. In Rangárþing ytra are extensive agricultural productions. In the area you can find many well known nature resources and historical places for example Hekla, Landmannalaugar and the sagatrail of Njáls saga. The district's most populated area is the town Hella with 823 inhabitants(year 2016). Hella's primary businesses are service for the agriculture, inhabitants and the tourism industry. At Hella you can find, a bank, a post office, a tourist information center, a hotel, guesthouses, camping sites, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, a healthcare center, a sport center, a swimming pool, primary school, car services, rescue team, gas stations and other businesses and public services.
Hornafjörður is a blooming community close to the biggest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull in the south eastern part of Iceland. The district's most densely populated area is Höfn. In this region you are located at the base of Vatnajökull, and the scenery is breathtaking. Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Europe, is situated in the community. In the last few decades tourism has grown enormously and has, in fact, become a major economic sector in the community. Diverse services are provided, including hotels, camping sites, restaurants, shops, swimming pools, golf courses, marked hiking trails and various museums, such as maritime museum, a stone collecton, two national park visitor centres and the centre of the great writer Þórbergur Þórðarson.
Höfn's growth in the 20th century from a small village to today's town was a result of the development of a relatively diverse fishing industry. The landed catch is now more varied than in other fishing towns, including high-value species such as the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), but a good part of the Icelandic lobster catch is landed at Höfn. In recent years the town has promoted lobster as a central part of its image, for instance with a "lobster festival" that is held each summer. Höfn actually means harbour, though repeated dredging has proved necessary to keep the entrance of the harbour safe from sand deposits.
Great numbers of people pass through or by Hveragerði each year. With a population of about 2300 and located only 45 km from Reykjavik, Hveragerði may be viewed from the vantage point of the Kambar mountain slope, as it spreads out across a 5000 year-old lava field. Throughout the year, pillars of steam may be seen rising up from the town - and in summer it is truly a green community, abounding in trees. A green revolution is taking place as areas of woodland in and around Hveragerði expand, with the locals working together in order to further develop their blossoming town.
Certainly the most precious gem of the town of Hveragerði is its geothermal area - surely there are not many communities in the world with hot springs literally in their back yard. For safety reasons, the geothermal area is securely fenced off, but may be visited by arrangement with the tourist information centre.
A new hot spring area emerged from the ground in the earthquake that shook Iceland´s southern part on 29th May 2008. It is situated on the hillside rising above the town.
Several very active hot springs throw colourful mud and clear water up into the air and are a spectactular sight.
Besides the hot springs, Hveragerði has much to offer. Trout and salmon swim in the Varmá river, berries are for the picking on the heath to the west of the town, and the area abounds in excellent walking routes. Not to mention the swimming pool, hot baths, whirlpools, a natural sauna and a fitness centre. Also the NLFÍ Health and Rehabilitation Clinic offers opportunities to seek health and happiness.
Hvolsvöllur - Rangárþing eystra with a population of about 1800, is a vast district in central South Iceland and ranges from the highlands to the sea. It boasts a great number of geological wonders, a fact which led the area to be a part of Katla UNESCO Global Geopark along with two other districts to the east; Mýrdalshreppur and Skaftárhreppur. Rangárþing eystra is known for its many beautiful nature scenes like the waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, Þórsmörk which is a paradise for hikers and the famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
The district's most densely populated area is the town Hvolsvöllur with about 900 inhabitants. Hvolsvöllur's primary businesses are services for the agriculture, their surrounding areas and the tourism industry. Hvolsvöllur is in fact the only town in Iceland which has not been established by the sea or a river, but entirely as a center of service for the area. Only about 100 km from Reykjavík, Hvolsvöllur is an excellent location from which to base for exploration of South Iceland. Its central location makes it ideal for day trips in the region and then back for a good night's sleep in one of the area's many types of accommodation. You can find a lovely green area in the center of town where you can stretch your legs, let your kids play and enjoy a picnic and each summer you find there an outdoor exhibition by local area photographers. Only 30 minutes from Hvolsvöllur you can find Landeyjahöfn from where you take the ferry to Vestmannaeyjar.
At Hvolsvöllur you can find the Njál's Saga Center which is fitting since all around town is the scene of action for one of the most famous Icelandic Saga, The story of burnt Njal. In the spring of 2017 LAVA, Iceland volcano and earthquake center will open in Hvolsvöllur with new and exciting possibilities for travelers.
At Hvolsvöllur there is a bank, a post office, a tourist information center, a hotel, guesthouses, camping sites, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, a healthcare center, a fully equipped sports center, a swimming pool, car services, a rescue team, gas stations and other businesses and public services.
Skaftárhreppur district is the centre of the south of Iceland and the perfect location to stay while taking daytours to see many of Iceland's bestt known natural treasures, Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Langisjór lake, Eldgjá fissure, Laki craters and Reynisfjara black beach to name but a few. This is an area where saga meets lava and is easily accessible all year round. Through the app Locatify Smartguide you can find two audio-guides "The Laki eruption 1783-1784" and "Klaustur trail" and learn about more about the history of the area. The district is part of Katla geopark and the gateway to the western part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Kirkjubæjarklaustur - Skaftárhreppur
Kirkjubæjarklaustur was known in olden times as "Kirkjubær" (Church Farm) and was an important farming estate. It is one of the most tongue-twisting words to pronounce of any location in Iceland. Kirkjubæjarklaustur has developed into a village, the only centre of population in the district, with about 150 inhabitants. Kirkjubæjarklaustur, often abbreviated to "Klaustur", is centrally located in the district. Roads radiate from Klaustur in many different directions and the Ring Road runs through the district. The Laki road, just west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, leads into the highlands. The circular Landbrot / Meðalland road serves the southern part of the district. The Fjallabak roads (north and south) lead from the Ring Road into the interior via Skaftártunga. The Álftaver road is a circular route serving Álftaver on Mýrdalssandur.
Kirkjubæjarklaustur is the only place between Vík and Höfn which offers services, including a fuel station, a bank, a post office and a supermarket. Nearby tourist attractions include the Laki craters, the Eldgjá and Skaftafell. An attraction close to the village is Kirkjugólf (Church Floor), a natural pavement of basalt. These are basalt columns down in the earth, eroded and shaped by wind and waves, but only the top can be seen, and they, as the name suggests, have the appearance of a paved church floor. It is a protected natural monument. This lava formation has similar origins as the Giant's Causeway in Ireland. All these attractions contribute to the popularity of Kirkjubæjarklaustur as a stopping point for tourists.
The development of the small village Laugarás started when geothermal activity was discovered in the area. There are numerous horticultural farms in the region and various services; camp site, hotel, greenhouse visits and the Domestic Animal park. The Health Care Clinic for the area is located in Laugarás.
Laugarvatn is a shallow lake, about 2 km2 in size, and is located in the inlands of Árnessýsla, midway between Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir, 100 km from Reykjavík. Under its floor there are hot springs heating the lake so it is warm and suitable for bathing all year round. On its bank rests a village of over 300 inhabitants, also named Laugarvatn.
The Laugarvatnsfjall mountain with its birch-covered slopes on the west shelters the village and also adds to the charm and beauty of the place. Between the mountain and the lake, north of the village, there is a panoramic point (hringsjá) providing a good view over the lake and its surroundings. In addition, amongst the green hills and woods north of the lake the area is suitable for camping, pony-trekking and hiking. Nearby you will find a lot of marked hiking routes.
It is possible to hire a boat or a sailboard to use at lake Laugarvatn. Just outside Laugarvatn there is a golf course and possibilities of angling in lakes and rivers in the area. Laugarvatn is a popular tourist resort for Icelanders, and it is also the site of educational institutions, as for example the Grammar School of Laugarvatn. There are two Edda Hotels located there as well.
Ölfus municipality is located on the south west coast of Iceland, approx. 50 km from Reykjavík capital. The population is slightly over 2000 inhabitants and is growing. The fishing village Thorlákshöfn is the largest in the municipality with approx. 1600 inhabitants.
Ölfus offers a wide range of beautiful landscapes with black sand beaches, cliffs, lava formations, caves, geothermal areas and vivid hot springs.
From Thorlákshöfn village and all over the municipality you have sensational panoramic views over most of the south coast e.g. over the volcanoes Mt. Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull and to the Westman Islands.
In Thorlákshöfn you can find the best surfing spot in Iceland. For beginners the black sand beach is perfect and for advanced surfers the waves by the lighthouse are superb.
Ölfus municipality is a popular viewing point for the Northern Lights in the south due to little to no light pollution.
The tourist information centre is located in the library in Thorlákshöfn and is open from 12:30 to 17:30 on weekdays. The campsite in Thorlákshöfn is situated next to the church, behind the swimming pool.
Tourist information centre in Thorlákshöfn
Tel. +354 480 3830
Opening hours: Weekdays from 12:30 – 17:30
Selfoss, pop 6.926 is the largest town in South Iceland, and the main service centre of trade and industry. The distance from the capital is 57 km. Varied options are offered, for anyone who wants to stay in this friendly town. Diverse restaurants and cafés are situated in the heart of town, along with various kind of shops. Furthermore, the town has an outdoor swimming pool with sauna and hot tubs. North of Selfoss, the woodland of Hellisskógur can be found with interesting footpaths alongside Ölfusá river. On the far side bank of that same river you can also find a nine-hole golf course. All types of accommodation is available. Further information is given at The Tourist Information Centre, located at Eyravegur 3
Sólheimar is considered the oldest Eco-Village in the world. Sólheimar were established as a children's home 80 years ago, but today Sólheimar focuses onoffering people with special needs varied and creative employment opportunities, jobs in organic horticulture and forestry in a close-knit community that focuses on environmental issues and vivid cultural life. Sólheimar workplaces include six creative art workshops, Naerandi - an organic bakery, Ölur - organic forestry, Sunna - organic horticulture, Brekkukot Guesthouse and catering service, and Graena Kannan - organic café. All products are sold in the Vala grocery store and art gallery.
The small village of Stokkseyri is renowned for its beautiful seashore, breaking waves and birdlife. Rich handicraft and cultural life is held in high esteem in Stokkseyri. Workshops and galleries, a Ghost Center and the Elves, Trolls Stokkseyri, pop. 497 is a charming village which is renowned foru its beautiful seashore, breaking waves and birdlife. Rich handcraft and cultural life is held in high esteem in Stokkseyri. Workshops and galleries, Ghost Center and the Elves and Northern Lights Museum are all situated in a Cultural Center, - an old fish processing factory that has found a new role due to changes in the fishing industry. The Wildlife Museum is dedicated to hunting and wildlife, it contains a large number of mammals and birds, and the bunkhouse Þuríðarbúð shows an excellent example of how fishermen had to make use of what nature provided. Stokkseyri also offers a splendid seafood restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, kayak sailing tours and a campsite. Further east form Stokkseyri si the Knarraósviti lighthouse, whose architectural design is an interesting blend of functionalism and art nouveau.
Thorlakshofn is a family friendly fishing village, located on the south coast of Iceland. There you can find a bank, post office, bakery, public library with hot spot service, a clock museum, outside playgrounds, an information centre and the cutest café in the south as well as several bistros.
It also has a modern, fully equipped sports facility, a nice swimming pool and a very challenging 18 holes sand golf course.
Thorlakshofn is the central town of the Olfus municipality, enjoying a wide range of beautiful landscapes with black sand beaches, cliffs, lava formations, caves, geothermal areas and vivid hot springs. The Olfus region is the largest horse breeding area in Iceland, so horse riding across the highlands and the vast black sand beaches is a big attraction.
There are places in Iceland that simply need to be experienced. Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) are fill that group by virtue of their natural beauty, the bounty of their wildlife, particularly birds, and by being historically and geographically one of Iceland´s most distinctive places. The islands are part of a young and still active submarine volcanic system, most of them coming into being 10-20.0000 years ago. The latest in the group, however, Surtsey, south of Heimaey, grew from the sea floor in episodic eruptions from 1963 to 1966.
The famous eruption on Heimaey, the largest and the only inhabited island was, however, even more spectacular. It began in January 1973 and lasted until early July. The cone Eldfell rose, the island became 2,3 km2 larger and block lava flows and ash burned or buried almost 400 buildings. The remains of the eruption are among the island´s most fascinating historical locales.
Heimaey may only be about 13 km2, but that small area contains enough magical scenery and birdlife to delight the visitor for days. There have always been visitors to the islands, but as an industry tourism is recent. It is even possible to put a date to its birth: 1973 after the eruption, when visitors from all over the world came to view the aftermath and remains of the catastrophe. Thirty years later, Eldfell, the new cone, and the cooled and hardened lava flows, have become part of a magnificent environment. Other popular attractions are one of Iceland´s best 18 hole golf courses, deep sea fishing, bird- and whale-watching and hiking: up volcanoes, over lava fields or along the shore. Museums tell the history of the two- and four-legged inhabitants of the land as well as those of the air and the sea through the centuries. Comfortable accommodation is available as well as first class restaurants and coffee houses.
Mýrdalshreppur region is one of three municipalities in Katla UNESCO GLOBAL Geopark. Vik is the central town in the Geopark and has developed as an important local commercial centre and service for the travel industry. Mýrdalur is the southernmost district of Iceland, bordered by the glacial river Jökulsá to the west and the river Blautakvísl to the east. Its northern border is the Mýrdalsjökull glacier (700 km2, Iceland's fourth largest glacier). Approximately 600 metres below the ice lies the dormant subglacial volcano Katla which the Geopark is named after. Its southern limits are black sands and the rolling Atlantic waves. Vik is the only seaside settlement in Iceland left without a harbour due to natural circumstances. Nevertheless, Vík's inhabitants used to go fishing and got products from ship before the roads were imposed in 1939.
The natural beauty of the area is spectacular. There are many places of interest in the vicinity of Vik. Just east of the outskirts of the village lies one of Europe's biggest artic tern breeding grounds. A short hike within the close vicinity of Vik is sure to satisfy all serious nature lovers and birds watchers. To the south of Reynisfjall mountain a spectacular set of rock columns called Reynisdrangar rise majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean. Dyrhólaey is a 120 meters high headland extending into the sea and forming an impressive natural arch located in the western part of the Mýrdalur district. In the summer, the peninsula is home to hosts of puffins.
Mýrdalshreppur region has a good travel services all year around and offers plenty of camping, hostels, guesthouses, apartments and hotels. We have over 1200 rooms to be precise. Among the many aspects of Vík that make it attractive to tourist are the hiking trails, bird watching, paragliding in the blue sky, snowmobile tour on Mýrdalsjökull glacier, ATV tour or horse riding on the black beach, glacier walk on Sólheimajökull glacier, short or long jeep tours around the region, a wool centre and a wool gallery, our local fish store where you can get both fresh and smoked Arctic char, to list but a few. Not many other places in Iceland offer as many contrast of nature as Mýrdalur. The area is therefore an ideal place to visit for travellers who want to enjoy good service and the best of what the country's natural enviroment has to offer.
Visit www.visitvik.is to find more detailed information about accommodation, restaurants, tours and service in the area.