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SELFOSS

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

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SELFOSS
GPS Points N63° 56' 0.850" W21° 0' 17.193"
Postal codes

800,801

Population

7810 in municipal

Website www.arborg.is

Travel directory for SELFOSS

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Geysir Golf Club
Golf Courses
  • Haukadalur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8733
Betula
Tour Operators
  • Daltún 801 Selfoss
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 482-2008, 696-6764
Ride With Locals
Travel Agency
  • Strokkhólsvegur 7
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 699-5777
Selfoss Golf Club
Golf Courses
  • 482-3335
Dogsledding Iceland
Tour Operators
  • Hólmasel
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 863 6733
Guesthouse Garun
Guesthouses
  • Skólavellir 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Við Faxa
Tour Operators
  • Heiði
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 774-7440
Sigríður Gísladóttir
Tour Operators
  • Skólavellir 14
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 899-3474
Dilkur
Tour Operators
  • Tröð, Skeið-Gnúp
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 896-9565
Nonnahús
Cottages
  • Miðhús 1
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 849-2930
Maverick Pavilion
Tour Operators
  • Ástjörn 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 697-9280
Hestakráin country hotel / Land og hestar
Guesthouses
  • Húsatóftir 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5616, 895-0066
QuadSouth.is
Tour Operators
  • Hólaborg
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 664-8080
Álmur ehf.
Bed & Breakfast
  • Árbakki
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8803, 866-8378
Travel North
Tour Operators
  • Sunnuvegur 5
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 770-0023, 770 0034
Kiðjaberg Golf Club
Golf Courses
  • Grímsnes, Árnessýsla
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-4495
Kastalinn
Crafts & Design
  • Eyravegur 5
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 663-3757
Iceland Safari
Tour Operators
  • Árgil, Haukadalur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 544-5454, 773-5656
Steinsholt ferðaþjónusta
Guesthouses
  • Steinsholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6069, 863-8270, 847-7627
Kerhestar
Tour Operators
  • Miðengi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 662-4422
Bifreiðastöð Árborgar
Taxi
  • Eyrarvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3800
Stöng, Viking-era Long house
Museums
  • Þjórsárdalur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 488-7713, 488-7700
Núpshestar
Tour Operators
  • Breiðanes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 852-5930
Reykjavík Private Cars
Tour Operators
  • Laufhagi 11
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 895-4391
Björn Jónsson
Tour Operators
  • Vorsabær 2, Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5522
Fjallhalla
Tour Operators
  • Miðholt 27
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 696-6758
Skúli Kristinsson
Tour Operators
  • Sel
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 896-4463
Minniborgir Cottages
Cottages
  • Grímsnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-1500, 863-3592
Slakki Mini Zoo
Mini-Zoo & Open farm
  • Laugarás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8907, 486-8783, 868-7626
Mountain Cruiser
Winter adventure
  • Álftarima 30
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 854-2022, 482-2358
Paintball
Tour Operators
  • Kálfhólar 21
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 857-2000
Listgjáin
Exhibitions
  • Austurvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1467
Arctic Wings
Tour Operators
  • Eyravegur 41
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 780-5500
POWERING THE FUTURE
Tour Operators
  • Ljósifoss
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 869-7407
Egill Gestsson
Tour Operators
  • Kálfhóll 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 778-0836
Vala Shop and Art Gallery
Crafts & Design
  • Sólheimar
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 480-4450

Others

Icelandic Cottages
Guesthouses
  • Hraunmörk Flóahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 898-0728, 567-0728
Arvegur 8
Bed & Breakfast
  • Árvegur 8
  • 801 Selfoss
Geysir Camping Site
Camping
  • Geysir, Haukadal
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 480-6800
Steinsholt ferðaþjónusta
Guesthouses
  • Steinsholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6069, 863-8270, 847-7627
Eiriksbraut 2
Apartments
  • Eiríksbraut 2
  • 801 Selfoss
Helludalur 2
Cottages
  • Helludalur 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 893-2749
Cottage in Reykjaskogur
Cottages
  • Reykjaskógur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 565-4846
Guesthouse Denami
Bed & Breakfast
  • Vestra-Geldingaholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 698-7090
B&B Kirkjuvegur 26
Bed & Breakfast
  • Kirkjuvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 898-1550, 772-5759
Brimstadir
Cottages
  • Brimstaðir
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 861-2504
Hestakráin country hotel / Land og hestar
Guesthouses
  • Húsatóftir 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5616, 895-0066
Blue View Cabins
Cottages
  • Eiríksbraut 4
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 665-8928, 464-3464
Öldubyggð 13
Cottages
  • Öldubyggð 13
  • 801 Selfoss
Poets House Selfoss
Bed & Breakfast
  • Þórsmörk 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-0237
Cottages@lakethingvellir
Farm Holidays
  • Heiðarás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-7110
Norðheimar
Apartments
  • Norðurgata 4
  • 801 Selfoss
Thoristun Villa
Guesthouses
  • Þóristún 19
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 864-4493
Reykholt Camping ground
Camping
  • Aratunga
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 847-5057
Bitra Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Bitra
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 480-0700
Kidjaberg
Cottages
  • Kambar 118
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 669-1205, 568-9956
Minniborgir Cottages
Cottages
  • Grímsnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-1500, 863-3592
Árnes Hostel
Hostels
  • Gnúpverjahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6048, 861-2645
Fosstún Apartment Hotel
Hotels
  • Eyrarvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Hrosshagi
Farm Holidays
  • Hrosshagi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8905, 861-1915
Þjórsárdalur Camping Ground
Camping
  • Gnúpverjahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 893-8889
Kirkjuvegur 21
Bed & Breakfast
  • Kirkjuvegur 21
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 694-9881, 482-2711
Heiðarbraut 22
Apartments
  • Heiðarbraut 22
  • 801 Selfoss
Þjórsárver Camping Ground
Camping
  • Þjórsárver
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 899-7748
Brautarholt Camping Ground
Camping
  • Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 663-4666, 823-3999, 486-5518
Laugarás
Cottages
  • Austurbyggð 3
  • 801 Selfoss
Grundarland
Cottages
  • Kiðjaberg - lóð 112
  • 801 Selfoss
Simstodin
Bed & Breakfast
  • Austurvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 699-0660
Fagrilundur Guesthouse
Bed & Breakfast
  • Skólabraut 1
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8701
Nonnahús
Cottages
  • Miðhús 1
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 849-2930
Álmur ehf.
Bed & Breakfast
  • Árbakki
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8803, 866-8378
Birkikinn Holiday Home
Cottages
  • Birkikinn
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-0626
Miðhús
Cottages
  • Miðhús
  • 801 Selfoss
The White House
Bed & Breakfast
  • Bjarkarbraut 19
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 566-7890, 660 7866
Faxi Camping Ground
Camping
  • Biskupstungur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 848-1101, 774-7440
Goðatún
Guesthouses
  • Biskupstungur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-0947
Arabær Holiday Home
Cottages
  • Arabær , Háfur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 487-5818, 868-0304
Hraunborgir Camping ground
Camping
  • Grímsnesi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-4414
Vesturbrúnir 4
Cottages
  • Vesturbrúnir 4
  • 801 Selfoss
1A Guesthouse
Bed & Breakfast
  • Vatnsholt 1A
  • 801 Selfoss
Alftavik
Cottages
  • Álftavík
  • 801 Selfoss
Sacred Seed
Cottages
  • Eyrarbraut 11
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 778-9052, 692-4094
Klettholt
Cottages
  • Klettholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-1340, 499-2540
Þóroddsstaðir 4
Cottages
  • Þóroddsstaðir 4
  • 801 Selfoss
Austurbyggð 7
Apartments
  • Austurbyggð 7
  • 801 Selfoss
Halakot
Cottages
  • Halakot
  • 801 Selfoss
Heiðarvegur apartment
Apartments
  • Heiðarvegur 11
  • 800 Selfoss
Réttarholt 14
Bed & Breakfast
  • Réttarholt 14
  • 800 Selfoss
Eyvindartunga
Camper winter service
  • Eyvindartunga
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 863-6277
Kotasaela
Farm Holidays
  • Fellskot lóð 7
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 565-6675
Hamar
Cottages
  • Bæjarholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 697-7853
Ashamar
Cottages
  • Ásabraut 40
  • 801 Selfoss
Borg Camping ground
Camping
  • Borg, Grímsnesi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-3445
Private accommodation Fossnes
Farm Holidays
  • Fossnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6079, 895-8079
Litli-Hals
Farm Holidays
  • Litli-Háls
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-4680
Merkurhraun 11
Apartments
  • Merkurhraun 11
  • 801 Selfoss
Háholt 11
Apartments
  • Háholt 11
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 820-9595
BSG Apartments
Bed & Breakfast
  • Engjavegur 75
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 486-8642
Arctic Nature Hotel
Hotels
  • Eyravegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Trophy Lodge
Cottages
  • Vörðuás 9
  • 801 Selfoss
Geirakot
Farm Holidays
  • 482-1020, 895-8493
Hagi II
Farm Holidays
  • Hagi 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 847-2930, 482-2929
South Central
Cottages
  • Blesastaðir 3
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 663-4666, 823-3999
Private room in Selfoss
Bed & Breakfast
  • Skólavellir 11
  • 800 Selfoss
Guesthouse Garun
Guesthouses
  • Skólavellir 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Hallkelshoalr
Cottages
  • Hallkelshólar
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 566-7444, 892-7181, 693-4322
Álftavatn 1a
Cottages
  • Álftavatn 1a
  • 801 Selfoss
ION Adventure Hotel
Hotels
  • Nesjavellir
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 482-3415
Country Dream
Bed & Breakfast
  • Langholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 659-2030
Marta House
Cottages
  • Jaðar
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 898-9117, 482-2409
Þingborg camp site
Camping
  • Þingborg
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 691-7082

Others

Domino's Pizza
Take Away
  • Eyravegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 581-2345
Sunnlenska bókakaffið
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 22
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3079
Slakki Mini Zoo
Mini-Zoo & Open farm
  • Laugarás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8907, 486-8783, 868-7626
Kaffi Krús Cafe
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1266
Olis - Service Station - Quiznos
Cafés
  • Arnberg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-1300, 840-1749
Subway
Diners
  • Eyrarvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-7877
Guðnabakarí
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 31b
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1755
Árborg
Tourist Information Centres
  • Árnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6006, 864-3890
Ormsstadir
Farm food direct
  • Ormsstaðir
  • 801 Selfoss
KFC - Kentucky Fried Chicken
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 46
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3466, 570-6763
Minniborgir Cottages
Cottages
  • Grímsnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-1500, 863-3592
Hestakráin country hotel / Land og hestar
Guesthouses
  • Húsatóftir 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5616, 895-0066
Kaffi Líf Resturant
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 40b
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1239
Café Mika
Restaurants
  • Skólabraut 4
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-1110
Seylon
Cafés
  • Tryggvatorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-9325
Tommi's burger joint
Restaurants
  • Eyravegur 32
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 571-8228
Geysir Glíma
Restaurants
  • Haukadal
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 481-3003
Hlöllabátar
Diners
  • Gagnheiði 61
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 771-7372, 898-5378
Akur
Farm food direct
  • Laugarás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8966, 891-8983
Við Faxa
Tour Operators
  • Heiði
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 774-7440
Hot Dog Stand
Diners
  • Tryggvagötu
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1782
Private accommodation Fossnes
Farm Holidays
  • Fossnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6079, 895-8079
Grænt og grillað Restaurant
Restaurants
  • V/Hringtorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-7835
Vegatunga
Farm food direct
  • Vegatunga, Bláskógabyggð
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 895-6193
Engi
Farm food direct
  • Engi, Laugarási
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8913
ION Adventure Hotel
Hotels
  • Nesjavellir
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 482-3415
Tryggvaskáli Restaurant
Restaurants
  • Tryggvatorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1390
Heidmork
Farm food direct
  • Heiðmörk, Biskupsstungum
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8875, 892-2965
BlómaCafé
Cafés
  • Blómavali, Eyravegur 42
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-0830
Skalmholt
Farm food direct
  • Skálmholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 482-2529
Gullfosskaffi
Cafés
  • Gullfoss
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6500
Yellow
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 4
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 660-6163
Nature
Gullfoss waterfall

Gullfoss is actually two separate waterfalls, the upper one has a drop of 11 metres and the lower one 21 metres. The rock of the river bed was formed during an interglacial period.

Water flows over Gullfoss at an average rate of 109 cubic metres per second. The heaviest floods have recorded a flow of 2000 cubic metres per second. During the summer the flow is 130 cubic metres per second, which would take only 3 seconds to fill this building. People were eager to exploit the power potential of Gullfoss and many plans for hydroelectric developments on the river Hvítá have been proposed.

Nature
Hjalparfoss Waterfall

Hjalparfoss is a beautiful, two stepped waterfall near the confluence of Rivers Thjorsa and Fossa in the Thjorsa Valley. The surrounding area is called Hjalp (Help), because the travellers across the Sprengisandur Route found great help in reaching a vegetated area to graze their horses after a long journey in the barren interior.

As elsewhere in the valley, the signs of the eruptions of Mt. Hekla are very prominent by the waterfall, ashes everywhere.

Nature
Urridafoss Waterfall

Urriðafoss is a waterfall in Þjórsá River. Þjórsá is Iceland's longest river, 230 km, and Urriðafoss is the most voluminous waterfall in the country. This mighty river drops down (360 m3/sec) by the edge of Þjórsárhraun lava field in beautiful and serene surroundings. Þjórsárhraun lava field is the result of the greatest lava flow on earth since the Ice Age. Located right off highway 1.

Nature
Thingvellir, National park

Þingvellir (Icelandic "Þing": parliament, "vellir": plains) is a place in the southwest of Iceland near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengill volcanic area.

It is famous for two reasons:

As one of the most important places in Icelandic history. In the year 930 the Alþingi, one of the oldest parliamentary institutions of the world, was founded. The Alþingi met yearly, where the Lawspeaker recited the law to all of the gathered people and decided disputes as well. In the year 999 or 1000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After the conversion it is said that, upon returning from the Alþingi, Þorgeir then threw his statues of the old Norse gods into the waterfall that is now named Goðafoss ("Waterfall of the Gods"). At this historical place, the independence of the Republic of Iceland was proclaimed on June 17, 1944.

As a national park (since 1928) because of the special tectonic and volcanic environment. The continental drift can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults which are traversing the region, the biggest one, Almannagjá, being a veritable canyon. This causes also the often measurable earthquakes in the area.
Þingvellir is situated on the northern shore of Þingvallavatn, the biggest lake of Iceland. The river Öxará traverses the national park and is forming a waterfall at the Almannagjá, called Öxaráfoss Together with the waterfall Gullfoss and the geysirs of Haukadalur, Þingvellir is part of the most famous sights of Iceland, the Golden Circle.

Þingvellir is a designated UNESCO World Heritag Site

Thingvellir, 50 km (31 miles) to the east of Reykjavík, is the national shrine of Iceland. Icelands most historic site, and one of its most beautiful places, it is also part of The Golden Circle tour. The oldest existing parliament in the world first met here in AD930. The Alþing met here every year to enact laws, including the law passed in AD1000 to introduce Christianity into the island. It has always been the focal point for the country, and whenever a major event is to be celebrated, thousands of people come here. At the celebration of the 1,100th anniversary of the first settlement in 1974, more than 60,000 people packed into Thingvellir.

Nearby Lögberg is the cliff overlooking the place where the Alþing (assembly) met, and speakers stood to address the gatherings from this point. Nearby is Drekkingarhylur (The Drowning Pool), where mothers of illegitimate children were drowned. It is sited in the river Öxará in Almannagjá, a lava gorge, which with the Öxarárfoss waterfall, is an impressive sight.

Peningagjá (The Money Chasm) is a deep fissure filled with crystal clear spring water; people throw coins into it from the bridge that lies across. The coins give off strange reflections as they drop through the water, it is said that if you can follow the coin all the way down until it comes to rest on the bottom, your wish will come true. Scubadiving and snorkeling in wet suits is becoming increasingly popular here.

There is an old church at Thingvellir. Beside the church is the national burial ground.

Thingvallavatn is the largest lake in Iceland, 83sq km (32sq miles) and over 100m (328ft) deep. The only outflow from lake Thingvallavatn is the river Sog, a famous salmon river with beautiful blue water. The lake's catchment area is 90% underground and the water from the thousands of cold springs has a constant temperature of 3-4°C the whole year round.

The anglers, who use boats for their fishing, have to be careful and watch out for changes in the weather. The lake becomes a boiling pot, when the wind starts blowing. The catch in the lake has always been a necessary part for the survival of the farming families on the lake. They have netted the lake traditionally for centuries. Angling permits are sold in the little shop and visitors centre in the camping area or at Hotel Valholl. The catch consists of brown trout and lake char.

It is said that these fish became isolated in the lake in the wake of the last ice age when the terrain rose at the south end of Þingvallavatn. These two species are a living testimony to how the evolution of species occurs in nature, as over a period of 10,000 years they have adapted themselves to various habitats in the lake. The constant, regular influx of groundwater into Lake Þingvallavatn, together with a very varied habitat, has created good conditions for fish and other life forms in the lake, to which they have adapted even more.This has resulted in the fact that both the brown trout and char in Thingvallavatn are amongst the largest to be found in the world. The trout are said to be as big as over 20 kg (max weight) and the char over 10 kg (max weight), which is at the max of both species size range.

The lake is part of the Þingvellir National Park. The volcanic origin of the islands in the lake is clearly visible. The fissures around it - the famous Almannagjá is the biggest of them - indicate that here the tectonic plates of Europe and The Americas are in a conflict. In this lake, the large quantity of sulfur and salt, the lake is extremely light and the water seems to be in less weight than other lakes.

Nature
Dælarétt

Dælarétt is a centuries-old sheep pen surrounded by beautiful landscape, built from rocks of the great Þjórsárhraun lava field. Dælarétt is considered to be the oldest sheep pen in the country and has now been preserved. Close by are earthquake fissure; use caution around the fissures.

Nature
Kerið Crater

Kerið, is a 55 m deep volcanic crater, about 3000 years old. It is a part of
a group of volcanic hills called Tjarnarhólar, and is now filled with water, creating a lake whose steep circular slopes resemble an ancient amphitheatre.
Concerts have been held on a floating raft on the lake.

Concerts have been held on a floating raft on the lake.

History and Culture
Laugardælir

Laugardælir is a small hamlet near the town of Selfoss. Laugardælir was one of Iceland's busiest ferry sites until a bridge was built across Ölfusá in Selfoss in 1891. The church at Laugardælir was built in 1965 using mainly concrete and it is 300 m2 in total. In the church cemetery is the burial site of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer (1943-2008).

Nature
Thjorsarhraun

Þjórsárhraun is the result from the greatest lava flow on earth since the end of the last Ice Age. The lava came from an enormous eruption around 6700 B.C. possibly in Heljargjá canyon in the Veiðivötn region, in Iceland´s highlands. The lava's extreme temperature and fluidity contributed to its flow being at least 140 kilometres (87 mi) until it was stopped by the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. The lava is well visible by Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki's coastline. The great Þjórsárhraun lava is approx. 975 square km (376 sq. miles) and its volume is 25 cubic km (6 cubic miles).

Nature
Olfusa river

The river is the most voluminous river in Iceland with the average flow of 423 m³/sec. Three large floods occurred in the 20th century and beside the restaurant Tryggvaskáli are lines that show the height of each flood. All the floods occurred during wintertime due to heavy rains and high temperatures which caused the snow to melt unusually fast. Ölfusá River is rather short, about 25 km (14 miles) long. About 6 km (4 mi) north of Selfoss are two rivers, Sogið and Hvítá, and combined they form Ölfusá.

Nature
Haifoss and Granni

The waterfall Háifoss is situated near the volcano Hekla in the south of Iceland. The river Fossá, a tributary of Þjórsá, drops here from a height of 122 m. This is the second highest waterfall of the island.

From the historical farm Stöng, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption of Hekla in the Middle Ages and reconstructed, it is possible to hike to the waterfall along the Fossá (5 to 6 hours both directions). Above the waterfall, there is also a parking lot, so the hiking can also be made in the other direction.

Nature
Tjorsa river

Þjórsá is the longest river in Iceland, 230 km, and has a catchment area of 8000 km². Þjórsá is a glacier river and its source is Hofsjökull glacier. On its way to the sea it falls off some cliffs in many places and there forms beautiful waterfalls. Some of these waterfalls are well-known, but some others are unknown pearls to discover, especially those in the highlands. The waterfall Thjofafoss in Thjorsá south of the hill Búrfell is well known and easy to reach.

In winter the river can gather up huge quantities of ice that had settled at its bottom and in spring, when the ice melts in Þjórsá canyons below Urriðafoss waterfall, the river breaks through the ice which is a magnificent sight to behold.

History and Culture
Selfosskirkja - church

Selfoss Church was built from 1952 to 1956 and consecrated on Palm Sunday, 25 March 1956. It was designed by the headmaster of the Technical College in Selfoss, Bjarni Pálsson (1912-1987). The building was expanded between 1978 and 1984; a tower, porch and congregation hall with a kitchen and facilities, which now serve the purpose of a convention center, was added to the structure.

History and Culture
Ölfusárbrú - suspension bridge

A suspension bridge over Ölfusá River was first built in 1891 and became the largest bridge in Iceland at the time. In September 1944, when the bridge had been in use for 53 years, the eastern bearing cables broke due to the weight of two trucks. A new suspension bridge was built in 1945 which only took five and a half months but while it was being constructed the old bridge had been fixed for temporary use. The bridge is 84 meters long and is in the town Selfoss.

History and Culture
Kolsgarður

Kolsgarður is a path made from turf believed to be from the 10th century. Kolur from Kolsholt made this path so he could meet a woman called Ragnheiður from Ragnheiðarstaðir since swamps were between their two farms and Kolur did not want to meet Ragnheiður all wet and muddy. To this day the path can be spotted in the landscape.

History and Culture
Knarrarósviti - lighthous

Built in 1938-1939, the lighthouse was the first one in Iceland to be built out of reinforced concrete. The lighthouse is the tallest building in South Iceland, 26,2 metres (86 feet) high. It was designed by the engineer Axel Sveinsson as a blend of functionalism and art nouveau (jugendstil).

History and Culture
The Icelandic Farmhouse

At Austur-Meðalholt is the Icelandic Turf House exhibition and where one of Iceland's best preserved turf farms can be found. It is a great example of houses built using natural materials, a subtle and almost seamless extension of nature itself. The farmhouse tradition embodies an important element of Icelandic history and the Icelandic way of life over the centuries.

History and Culture
Skalholt Church

Situated in the lower part of the Biskupstungur valley between the rivers Hvítá and Brúará, Skálholt is one of Iceland's places of special historical interest. For seven centuries it was the scene of the most dramatic events which shaped the political, spiritual and cultural life in Iceland. Its early history is traced back to the 11th century when religious disputes were at their sharpest in Iceland. Within two centuries of the settlement of Iceland, the first bishopric was founded at Skálholt in 1056 for South Iceland, and soon a second at Hólar in 1109 for North Iceland.

The man who chose Skálholt as the site of the first Episcopal see in Iceland was Ísleifur (1006 - 1080), son of Gissur the White. Skálholt had earlier been his patrimonial estate and his grandfather, Teitur Ketilbjarnarson, was the first settler there. According to an old account, Skálholt was at that time "the largest town in Iceland". Ísleifur's father, who was a wealthy aristocrat and a redoubtable political figure as well, played a decisive role in the Christianization of Iceland and the future status of the church. He built the first church in Iceland at Skálholt around the year 1000.

In the 12th century bishop Klængur Þorsteinsson built a great cathedral at Skálholt. It was a sumptuous edifice made of timber shipped from Norway. For centuries Skálholt was the centre of learning and culture in Iceland, a status which lasted up to the Reformation in 1550.

In 1954, a team of archaeologists, while digging up the foundations of the old cathedral, came upon a sarcophagus which was believed to contain the skeleton of Páll Jónsson, one of the most powerful bishops of Skálholt. His sarcophagus, together with a few relics found at the scene, is now on display in an underground vault beneath the new memorial church built during 1956-1963 on the site of the old cathedral. All churches in Scandinavia contributed financially to its construction.

The last Catholic bishop of Iceland, Jón Arason, was executed at Skálholt in 1550, along with his two sons. He had opposed the Reformation imposed upon Iceland by King Christian III of Denmark. Today, a memorial stands at the site of the execution. Arason's Episcopal robes are on display at the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavík.

Today, Skálholt is visited for the new cathedral, the tomb of bishops, the museum, and the collection of ancient books in the tower. A public high school is at Skálholt.

Nature
Ásavegur - trail

The trail Ásavegur used to be an important highway through the South of Iceland. This centuries-old man-made route would be used by people from different directions to go fishing, for example, or to collect their sheep and cattle from the mountains. Between Orrustudal and Hnaus is a marked hiking trail along the old Ásavegur trail which is about a 6 km. walk. On this trail is the highest point of Flóahreppur with breathtaking views in all directions. Information signs on Orrustudalur (The Valley of Battles), Skotmannshóll (Archer's Hill) and Mannabeinsmelur (The Human Bone Field) are located at different points during the hike. These locations are a great part of Icelandic history. Here is the stage of Flóamanna-Saga, two big battles were fought in Orrustudalur valley and from Skotmannshóll or Archer's Hill came one of the greatest bowshots in the saga

Nature
Stóri-Hellir cave in Hellisskógur

The cave was formed at a latter glacial period by sea erosion. Sea levels have been higher than now several times and signs of sea erosion can be seen on more cliffs in the area which are made of around 0, 7 - 3, 1 million year old basalt. The cave was previously used to store hay in the back and as a sheepcote in the front. It was once believed that the cave was haunted by a ghost wearing a blue scarf. The story tells of a young man who was broken hearted and hung himself in the cave using a long blue scarf.

History and Culture
Þingdalur

Þingdalur was formally established in the 16th century but was an assembly site ever since the settlement of Iceland and last used in 1947. Þingdalur is located inside a forest close to the farm and has beautiful panoramic views in all directions. It is also the last known residence of the ghost Kampholts-Móri; in the 18th century a young boy drowned after having been denied shelter at a farm from severe weather conditions outside. Before he died he is said to have sworn to haunt the farmer's family for 9 generations.

Nature
Timburhóll - Grove

Timburhóll is a beautiful grove where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. You could even barbecue using the barbecue facilities provided but use caution with the fire and make sure not to leave any litter. This is also a memorial site of the great Icelandic artist and painter Ásgrímur Jónsson as well as the farmers Guðfinna Guðmundsdóttir and Stefán Jasonarson.

History and Culture
Árnesinga Folk Museum - The House at Eyrarbakki

Húsið (The House) at Eyrarbakki is one of Iceland's oldest buildings, built in 1765 when Danish merchants were allowed to overwinter in Iceland for the first time. Merchant families lived in the House for almost two centuries and over that period the House was the center for art and European culture in Iceland; fashion, music and literature spread from there throughout the country. Eyrarbakki village was at that time one of the largest harbours and trading places in Iceland, serving farmers along the coastline from the extreme west to the extreme east.

At the Árnesinga Folk Museum's varied exhibitions in The House, visitors can experience past times and learn about the remarkable history of the building.

Opening hours:

15th May - 15th Sept. Daily: 11-18. And by arrangement

16th Sept - 14th May: By arrangement.

Nature
Bruarhlod

Bruarhlod (Brúarhlöð) is a narrow gorge in Hvitá River about three kilometers south of the Golden Waterfalls (Gullfoss). Through the centuries the river has formed the rocks in to beautiful pillars and formations. The name of the rocks is Breccias (Hyaloclastite).

Just above Bruarhlod is a bridge over the river, which was built 1959 after the first two bridges washed away, the first one in 1929, and the second one in 1930. When driving over the bridge we can only imagine the forces needed to wash away a bridge in that size.

Hvita River is a popular place for river rafting and to raft through Bruarhlod is adventure that is difficult to describe with words. Travelers should make a note to stop at Bruarhlod, view the magnificent nature and the rock formations.

History and Culture
Gaulverjabaer church

Gaulverjabær has been a church site and manor since early settlement. Loftur Gamli from Norway was Gaulverjabær's first settler and named the place after people from Gaular in Norway, which is a province of Sogn and Fjordane. In 1930 a significant collection of 360 silver coins from the first century of Icelandic settlement was discovered at this site. The current church was built in 1909 and has now been preserved.

Nature
Ferjunes

A medieval ferry dock for crossing Þjórsá River.

History and Culture
Rútsstaða-Suðurkot

The birthplace of the great Icelandic artist and painter Ásgrímur Jónsson (1876-1956). He was a pioneer of Icelandic visual art and the first Icelander to become a professional painter. Ásgrímur studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen between 1900 and 1903.

Nature
The Great Geysir
One of the greatest natural attractions of Iceland and part of the famous "Golden Circle Tour", The Great Geysir, or Stori-Geysir, has been dormant since 1916 when it suddenly ceased to spout. It came to life only once in 1935, and as quickly went back to sleep. Since then its repose has sporadically been disturbed by the dumping of tons of carbolic soap powder into its seething orifice in order to tickle it to spout. It is not exactly known when Geysir was created. It is believed that it came into existence around the end of the 13th century when a series of strong earthquakes, accompanied by a devastating eruption of Mt. Hekla, hit Haukadalur, the geothermal valley where Geysir is located. What is known is that it spouted regularly every third hour or so up to the beginning of the 19th century and thereafter progressively at much longer intervals until it completely stopped in 1916. Whether its silence is eternal or temporary no one knows. When it was alive and shooting, it could thunderously blast a spectacular jet of superheated water and steam into the air as high as 60 to 80 meters according to different sources. Its opening is 18 meters wide and its chamber 20 meters deep. One reason for cessation is believed to be the accumulated rocks and foreign objects thrown into it by thousands of tourists throughout the years. Though definitely damaging, this however could not be the only reason for its dormancy. The Great Geysir was among the most notable geysers in the world, such as those in Yellowstone Park, New Zealand and North Iceland. The English word "geyser" is derived from the Icelandic word "geysir" which means gusher. Though the Great Geysir itself is now more or less inactive, the area surrounding it is geothermically very active with many smaller hot springs. The attraction of the area is now Strokkur (The Churn), another geyser 100 meters south of the Great Geysir, which erupts at regular intervals every 10 minutes or so and its white column of boiling water can reach as high as 30 meters. The whole area is a geothermal park sitting on top of a vast boiling cauldron. Belching sulphurous mud pots of unusual colors, hissing steam vents, hot and cold springs, warm streams, and primitive plants can all be found here. A short distance away to the west stands the small Laugarfjall Mountain with a panoramic view overlooking the Geysir area. King Christian IX of Denmark visited the area in 1874 and by the foot of the mountain are the rocks where he leaned while his hosts tried to impress and amuse him by boiling eggs in the hot springs. The rocks are now called Konungssteinar ("The King's Stones").
History and Culture
Villingaholt church

A church and farm site and home to the great 17th century saga writer Jón Erlendsson; thanks to his work many of the Icelandic Sagas were preserved that would otherwise have been lost. Later the home of Jón Gestsson (1863-1945) craftsman and farmer who designed and constructed the current church in 1910-1911. The church has a tower, choir loft and seats for 100 people. A little further to the south is a hill next to the school which used to be where the church and farm were located. Due to frequent sandstorms and heavy damage from earthquakes in 1784 they were moved to the current location.

Nature
Einbúi, Oddgeirshólar

A beautiful sports and outdoor recreational area on the banks of Hvítá River. The area is owned by the Youth Association Baldur.

History and Culture
Geysir Centre

Geysir multimedia show
What does a volcanic eruption look like? What's the fascination with the northern lights all about? What do you imagine an ice cave to be like? Can you feel an earthquake without having the earth actually shake?
The answers to these and other questions are found at Geysirstofa, a special kind of Icelandic museum. Modern multimedia shows combined with a plethora of information offers visitors the opportunity to become informed about some of the inexplicable natural wonders of Iceland, and even feel it on your own body as is the case with the earthquake simulator for instance.
The upper half of the museum gives you a sneak peek into life on the island in earlier times, through carefully selected and presented exhibits, as well as four short videos about topics such as wool production, or milk and cheese processing.
Hotel Geysir was awarded the innovation prize of the Icelandic Tourist Board in 2000 for the Geysir Centre.

Nature
Fljótshólar

Believed to be the greatest panoramic site in all of Iceland.

History and Culture
Loftsstaðir

Loftstaðir is a medieval fishing station. A great sorcerer called Galdra-Ögmundur lived there around 1600. On a hill nearby, called Loftstaðahóll, is a huge and age-old stone cairn.

Nature
The Flói Bird Reserve

Northwest to the town of Eyrarbakki, is a wetland area rich in birdlife. The reserve has walking paths and a bird hide, and idel spot for bird watching. The Flói Bird Reserve is listed in the Bird Life international Association.

History and Culture
Kambur

A notorious robbery, called Kambsrán, was committed at this spot in 1827. Four men broke into the farm at night, tied up the farmer Hjörtur Jónsson as well as the members of his household and ransacked the house in search of money. They ended up stealing about 1000 state dollars. The thieves left behind some evidence and it was the famous sea captain Þuríður Einarsdóttir who finally solved the case.

History and Culture
Hraungerdi church

Hraungerði is a church manor and former assembly site. The land once belonged to Hróðgerður the Wise, one of the first settlers and progenitor of the clan Oddverjar. The first mention of a church in Hraungerði is in Bishop Páll's records from around 1200 AD and since then there have been numerous churches built in Hraungerði. The current church, established in 1902, was designed by architect Eiríkur Gíslason from Bitra and is now preserved.

Nature
Dynkur in Thjorsa river

Dynkur in Thjorsa river The waterfalls Hrauneyjarfoss and the sometimes turquoise coloured Sigjaldafoss are both easy to reach. It is also a good idea to drive and see the majestic waterfall Dynkur in the River Thjórsá. The road is signed but it is only suitable for jeeps and off-road vehicles. It is also an excellent trip to drive down to the waterfall Fagrifoss in the Kaldakvísl canyon on the way. There are also many other waterfalls to visit in the waterfilled flowing region.

Nature
Flóaáveita - canals

Flóaáveitan are canals that run through the entire Flói region, from Ölfusá in the west to Þjórsá River in the east. This monumental construction consisted of 300 km long canals and 900 km of embankments. The Flói irrigation system reached over 12 thousand hectares of land and became a major transition in farming and production in the area at the time. The construction of Flói irrigation system began in 1922 and irrigation began its activities in 1927. When the irrigation was inaugurated in 1927 it was one of the greatest structures in Europe and to this day it plays an important role in transferring water between farms. Beside the sluice gate you will find an information board with more details about the Flói irrigation system. To the east of the sluice gate is a marked hiking trail along Hvítá (about 4,4 km, one way).

History and Culture
Thingvellir Educational Centre

Þingvellir was declared a national park in 1930. A law was passed designating Þingvellir as "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged."

Preservation measures at Þingvellir were modelled on the national parks that had been established somewhat earlier in the United States to stem changes to the natural environment there resulting from encroachment by settlers. National parks conserved large uninhabited areas, which people could visit and enjoy - but not settle or develop.

Iceland identified a similar need to preserve certain natural and historical sites for future generations to enjoy them in their original state. Today, Þingvellir is one of the most frequently visited tourist sites in the country. Each year, thousands of visitors go there to become better acquainted with Iceland's greatest historical site and jewel of nature.

Nature
Skagaás grove

Skagás is a beautiful grove in serene surroundings. It's easily accessible and open for everyone but please take care not to leave any litter behind. Barbequing is allowed only in a specially designated area due to fire hazard.

Nature
Thingvallavatn Lake

Lake Thingvallavatn lies in a rift valley that extends south from the Langjokull glacier to mount Hengill, and from Botnssulur mountains in the west to Lyngdalsheidi heath in the east. The lake is the largest natural lake in Iceland, about 84 square kilometres, at an altitude of about 100 metres above sea level. The deepest part of the lake measures 114 metres, which means that it reaches below sea level.The catchment area of Lake Thingvallavatn, about 1300 square kilometres, lies in the same directions as the fissure in the area and its existence is closely connected with the geological history.The water in the lake is very cold and therefore very pure so snorkling and diving are popular in it. Silfra, one of the fissures in the northern part of the lake is one of the most popular diving spots in Iceland due to this.

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

Explore map by categories

Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn