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The Culture map of South Iceland

The southern part of Iceland is rich in history, art and cultural events. In the local museums and exhibitions you can find information on volcanoes, glaciers and the Icelandic biological diversity, literature and poets, Icelandic seafarers‘ history and marine biology, fishing, chess, rocks, and moss, in addition to the diverse history of various towns and villages in South Iceland. Learn about environmentally friendly hydro-power plants, the practical use of geothermal energy, and get familiar with what it is like to live in a geo-thermally active area. Explore local art, architecture, or maybe drop by the last cave-dwellers of Iceland.

The Culture Map of South Iceland contains an image of South Iceland and useful information about local museums and exhibitions. You can get the culture map at the local museums and exhibitions.

 

Geothermal area in Hveragerdi
Right inside the town of Hveragerði is an area of hot springs from which the community derives its name (hver = hot spring). The hot springs of Hveragerði are among the most remarkable natural attractions og south Iceland. Visitors to the Geothermal Area can learn about geothermal energy and the springs, which include Eilífur, a geysir which erupts regulary, Ruslahver which has an interesting history. You can also boil an egg in the area and try the hot spring bread.“   April May June July August September Weekdays 09:00- 17:00 09:00- 17:00 09:00-18:00 09:00-18:00 09:00-18:00 09:00-17:00 Saturdays Closed 09:00- 17:00* 09:00-18:00 09:00-18:00 09:00-18:00 09:00-17:00 Sundays Closed Closed 10:00-16:00 10:00-16:00 10:00-16:00 Closed *From 15th May                         During winter we welcome groups upon request         Telephonenumber: +354 4835062  https://www.facebook.com/Geothermalpark/
LÁ ART MUSEUM
LÁ Art Museum (Listasafn Árnesinga) welcomes you. It runs ambitious and various shows of contemporary as well as modern art in its four spacious exhibitions rooms. The exhibitions reflect our cultural heritage and our contemporary change. The bright seating area offers visitors the chance to relax in a peaceful setting whilst browsing through art related reading material supplied. The Museum also houses a small café and the children´s corner gives the museum´s younger visitors a chance to enjoy themselves. The Museum is owned by the eight Municipalities in Árnesinga County and supported by the Museum Council of Iceland.    LÁ Art Museum on Facebook Opening hours: June - August – Every day: 12:00-17:00September - May – Thuesdays-Sundays: 12:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)   Closed for a month around Christmas and New Year.
Árnessýsla Heritage Museum in Eyrarbakki
The Merchants House in Eyrarbakki, was built in 1765 when Danish merchants began to overwinter in Iceland. Merchant families lived in the House for two centuries and over that period the House was the center for art and European culture in Iceland; fashion, music and litterature spreading from there throughout the country. Eyrarbakki was at that time one of the largest harbours and trading palces in the country, serving people of South-Iceland.  Very interesting exhibitons in the center of Eyrarbakki village: The Mercants House, Egg House and Kirkjubær.  Opening hours:Open every day at summers 11-18 and by arrangement.
The Women's Book Lounge
The Women's Book Lounge, established in April of 2013, is an educational museum dedicated to Icelandic female writers. The lounge's objective is to preserve written works by Icelandic women; to introduce the authors and their works in Iceland and abroad, and to make the texts and information about the authors available to the public. Opening hours: Arranged upon request. Our facebook page
The Bobby Fischer Center
This centre houses memorabilia of the 11th World Chess Champion BOBBY FISCHER and the Selfoss Chess Club. The American Bobby Fischer became the World Chess Champion when he defeated the Soviet grandmaster and reigning World Champion  Boris Spassky in Reykjavík in the summer of 1972.  The match is generally referred to as the Match of the Century. It took place at the height of the Cold War, mirroring the tense relations between the two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Since 1948 Soviet chess players had held the World Championship title - uninterrupted for 25 years. On display at the Bobby Fischer centre in  Selfoss are among other things  Spassky´s and Fischer´s scoresheets, a printout from the radiation measurements demanded by Spassky´s delegation after the 17th game and a replica of the chessboard used during the match, which was staged in Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík.  In addition, there are many curious items related to Bobby Fischer‘s stay in Iceland during his last years (2005-2008), for example, his chair from the antiquarian bookshop Bókin in Reykjavík. He died on 17th January 2008 at the age of 64.  Bobby Fischer´s final resting place is at Laugardælir cemetery, a few hundred metres away from the Bobby Fischer centre.   Open from 13:00-17:00 every day, from 1 June to 22 August.  
The Cave People
Can you imagine how it is to live in a cave? Well less than 100 years ago a normal Icelandic family did! The Caves have been renovated the way they looked when the last Cave People in Iceland lived there only a Century ago. Join us in a Guided tour in the Caves and their Surroundings and we will bring the story to life with amazing tales about how they lived, their struggles and their happiness. The tour length is 20 minutes and we have a new departure every 30 minutes. Before or after the tour you can relax in our coffee tent for a cup of coffee and some traditional Icelandic treats.
Skálholt
Skálholtsskóli - the center for education, culture and dialogue of church and society - welcomes individuals and families as well as larger groups of different kinds for a longer or shorter stay all year round, offering housing accomodation and restaurant service.In the summer Skálholt is a much visited place for tourists of many nationalities, some only looking around for a while or staying for a good meal or a cup of coffee in the restaurant. But Skálholtsskóli is also an ideal place for meetings, conferences and similar events during the winter. Skálholt is 93 km from Reykjavík, very close to Geysir, Gullfoss, Thingvellir and other key tourist attractions.We offer excellent facilities for conferences, workshops, retreats and educational and cultural tourism. Full accommodation is provided for up to 44 people in single and double rooms with and without private bath. An adjacent camp within short walking distance (4-5 min.) can accommodate 33 people in simpler housing at lower rates. The dining hall can serve 120 people and offers, among other things, traditional Icelandic food made by recipes from the 12th century.The conference room seats 60-70 people and can be divided into three smaller rooms. Today, Skálholt is visited for the new cathedral, the tomb of bishops, the museum and thirteen century tunnel leading out to the excavations of the old bishopric and school. The Cathedral is also renowned for its Summer Music Festival starting in 1975 and attracting many skilled musicians and lots of music lovers. Besides, many choirs,  Icelandic and foreign visit Skálholt to perform in the Cathedral because of its excellent acoustics and artistic surroundings. The Skálholt Center (Skálholtsskóli) is a cultural and educational center and offers excellent facilities for seminars, conferences and cultural tourism. It is also a place for retreats, sometimes silent, during the peaceful winter time. In the summer it is becoming again a place of pilgrimage with a center of pilgrimage all year round. The Center offers accommodation and food for visitors and tourists.
LAVA centre
LAVA “Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Center” reveals the epic forces of nature that shape our planet and created Iceland only 20 million years ago. LAVA is dedicated to the unique volcanoes and geology of Iceland. The center features an interactive educational exhibition exploring the art and science of geology and the volcanic systems in Iceland and an educational learning center for geology where staff members educate visitors to make the visit as enjoyable and memorable as possible. The interactive exhibition further displays a collection of artifacts, films and graphics from various volcano eruptions that have occurred in the past century.  For opening hours and price click here 
Sagnheimar Folk Museum
Sagnheimar, folk museumSagnheimar, folk museum, opened a completely new exhibition in May 2011. The aim of the new exhibition is to let visitors of all ages experience the islands history in both traditional and more untraditional ways; with photo spots, multimedia and hands-on approach to make your visit as exciting as the islands history! The volcanic eruption in Heimaey 1973On the night of January 23rd an eruption occurred on Heimaey. Around 5300 people were relocated to the mainland that same night. Of 1345 family homes almost one third disappeared under the lava and another third was damaged. This exhibition shows pictures of the event and locals recall the night’s events and the restoration of the town. The Pirate Raid 1627On July 16th 1627 the island was invaded by pirates, they sailed to Heimey on three ships and stole, plundered and killed. The pirates captured 242 islanders, brought them aboard ships and later sold them into slavery in Algeria. The story is told through pictures. Is this the most dangerous profession in the world?The fishermen´s and fish workers work is by far the most important part of the history of the Westman Islands. Photos and multimedia indicate how they survived hardship and difficulties through the ages.  Opening hours May 1st - September 30th: Every day from 10:00-17:00 October 1st - April 30th: Saturday from 13:00-16:00, other days closed (open upon arrangement)
Eldheimar
The exhibition focuses on the 1973 volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar, without a doubt one of Iceland´s biggest natural disaster. Visitors get a glimpse into peoples lives on Heimaey before the eruption that would change their lives forever. The people of Heimaey had to leave their homes in the middle of the night and evacuate the island, many of them never saw their homes or any of their belongings ever again. The eruption started in the early hours of January 23rd 1973 on the island of Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the Vestmannaeyjar islands and it lasted for 5 months. Lava and ash destroyed almost 400 homes and businesses, a third of all buildings on Heimaey. While the eruption lasted no one knew if the island would ever be populated again.
Skogar Museum
This museum was founded in 1949. It is situated 150 km east from Reykjavík nearby ring road number 1. The museum was especially known for the curator Þórður Tómasson who has now retired. It is divided into three parts: the folk museum which offers a huge variety of tools and implements used for fishing and farming, as well as artefacts dating back to the viking age. In the rebuilt turf houses in the open-air museum you can catch the atmosphere of times long gone and experience how Icelanders lived through the centuries. The museum of transport, which also houses a souvenir shop and the Skógakaffi cafeteria, tells the story of technology and transportation and its development in Iceland in the 19th and 20th century.  Opening hours all days:June 1st to August 31st:  09.00 - 18.00September 1st to May 31st:  10.00 - 17.00 Please visit us on Facebook herePlease visit us on Instagram here
Katla Visitor Center
 In the old heart of Vík, you will find the historical Brydebúð building, housing Katla Visitor Center.  Encounter the geology of Katla UNESCO Global Geopark in the Katla exhibition. Feel the various textures of local minerals including volcanic ash dating back to 1860; and learn about volcanic eruptions in the infamous Katla volcano.  Discover the history of shipwrecks and disasters on the black beaches of South Iceland and get to know the lucky ship Skaftfellingur at Hafnleysa Maritime Museum. Put yourselves in the shoes of fishermen fighting the waves of the harborless south coast.  Learn how best to experience Vík and Mýrdalur region at our information center. Shop local produce and explore Vík by participating in the Vík Treasure Quest or tour the brand new Vík Culture Walk. Maps of the area with all its exciting outdoor opportunities are available here!
Skaftárstofa Visitor Centre, Kirkjubæjarklaustur
In Kirkjubæjarklaustur the Tourist Information Office is situated in Skaftárstofa, on your left hand as you drive through the village. At Skaftárstofa, an educational path begins. The path ends at the swimming pool at Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Very interesting for families.  Exhibition about the moss Documentary Films:Eruption in Grímsvötn 2011Western part of Vatnajökull National Park Opening hours Participant in VAKINN Iceland tourism's official quality assurance organization  
Þórbergssetur
The Þórbergur Centre was established in memory of the famous Icelandic writer Þórbergur Þórðarsson (1888 – 1974), who was born in Hali in Suðursveit. The centre includes a heritage museum and unique exhibitions of the district Sudursveit and the writer Þórbergur Þórðarson, his life and work. The Thorbergur Centre is by road number 1, the Ring Road. only 13 km further east from Jökulsárlón. Open all year round, every day from 8-21.   Our restaurant offers local food from the farm and the Vatnajökull region.
Gamlabúð Visitor Centre, Höfn
Vatnajökull National Park‘s visitor centre in Höfn, Hornafjörður, is located in the building Gamlabúð next to the harbour area. It houses an exhibition about the region‘s geology, glaciers and culture. With Hornafjörður being an important stop-over for migrating birds, special attention is given to the bird life of the area. There is also a strong focus on climate change and the effect it will have in the future. The visitor centre has a small shop, with emphasis on books, souvenirs and local products. The building has wheelchair accessibility.    

Other (5)

Turf house Asutur-Meðalholt 801 Selfoss 694-8108
Stöng, Viking-era Long house Þjórsárdalur 801 Selfoss 847-8723
Tré og List Forsæti 5 803 Selfoss 894-4835
Hveragerdi - Stone & Mineral Museum Fákasel, Ingólfshvoli í Ölfusi 816 Ölfus 847-3460
The Wildlife Museum Eyrarbraut 49 825 Stokkseyri 4831558