Selfoss Area Stay Closer To Nature

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!

Árborg and Flóahreppur Information Center
Austurvegur 2 (in the library)
800 Selfoss 
tourinfo@arborg.is
www.visitarborg.is
tel: +354 480 1990

olfusarbru_rs.jpg
Selfoss Area
GPS Points N63° 56' 13.254" W21° 0' 23.427"
Postal codes

800,801,820,825

Population

8800

Website www.arborg.is

Travel directory for Selfoss Area

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Arctic Wings
Tour Operators
  • Eyravegur 41
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 780-5500
Eyrarbakki Maritime Museum
Museums
  • Túngata 59
  • 820 Eyrarbakki
  • 483-1504, 861-8678
Óðinshús, art gallery
Exhibitions
  • v/Eyrargötu/Hjallavegur
  • 820 Eyrarbakki
  • 896-2866
The Wildlife Museum
Museums
  • Eyrarbraut 49
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 483-1558, 896-6131
The Dairy Farm
Museums
  • Baugsstaðir
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 483-1082
Aurora Experience
Travel Agency
  • Hafnargata 9
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 842-5610, 895-0020
Mountain Cruiser
Winter adventure
  • Álftarima 30
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 854-2022, 482-2358
Icelandic Wonders
Winter adventure
  • Hafnargata 9
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 895-0020, 483-1202
Selfoss Golf Club
Golf Courses
  • 482-3335
Traustholtshólmi
Tour Operators
  • 699-4256
Kastalinn
Crafts & Design
  • Eyravegur 5
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 663-3757
Listgjáin
Exhibitions
  • Austurvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1467
Reykjavík Private Cars
Tour Operators
  • Laufhagi 11
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 895-4391
Maverick Pavilion
Tour Operators
  • Ástjörn 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 697-9280
Garun Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Skólavellir 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 864-3250
Sigríður Gísladóttir
Tour Operators
  • Skólavellir 14
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 899-3474
Dogsledding Iceland
Tour Operators
  • Hólmasel
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 863 6733
Bifreiðastöð Árborgar
Taxi
  • Eyrarvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3800
The Ghost Centre
Exhibitions
  • Hafnargata 9
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 895-0020
QuadSouth.is
Tour Operators
  • Hólaborg
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 664-8080
Iceland South Coast Travel
Tour Operators
  • Lambastaðir
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 777-0705
Paintball
Tour Operators
  • Kálfhólar 21
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 857-2000
Travel North
Tour Operators
  • Sunnuvegur 5
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 770-0023, 770 0034
Menningar Staður Eyrarbakka
Tourist Information Centres
  • Eyrargata 36
  • 820 Eyrarbakki
  • 898-4240
Ride With Locals
Travel Agency
  • Strokkhólsvegur 7
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 699-5777

Others

Strandgata 8B
Apartments
  • Strandgata 8B
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 551-4181, 660-2050
Þingborg camp site
Camping
  • Þingborg
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 691-7082
Fosstún Apartment Hotel
Hotels
  • Eyrarvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Arabær Holiday Home
Cottages
  • Arabær , Háfur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 487-5818, 868-0304
Guesthouse Heba
Bed & Breakfast
  • Íragerði 12
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 565-0354
Stokkseyri Camping site
Camping
  • Sólvellir
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 896-2144
Kirkjuvegur 21
Bed & Breakfast
  • Kirkjuvegur 21
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 694-9881, 482-2711
B&B Kirkjuvegur 26
Bed & Breakfast
  • Kirkjuvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 898-1550, 772-5759
Bitra Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Bitra
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 480-0700
Country Dream Guesthouse
Hostels
  • Langholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 659-2030
Felagslundur Camping site
Camping
  • Félagslundur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 692-8565, 486-3385
Hlíð
Cottages
  • Hlíð
  • 801 Selfoss
Vonarland
Cottages
  • Vonarland
  • 825 Stokkseyri
Simstodin
Bed & Breakfast
  • Austurvegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 699-0660
Merkurhraun 11
Apartments
  • Merkurhraun 11
  • 801 Selfoss
Poets House Selfoss
Bed & Breakfast
  • Þórsmörk 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-0237
HostelGaulverjaskoli
Guesthouses
  • Gaulverjaskóli
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 551-0654, +354 767-2654
Klettholt
Cottages
  • Klettholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-1340, 499-2540
Konungsvegur
Apartments
  • Konungsvegur 1
  • 840 Laugarvatn
Heiðarvegur apartment
Apartments
  • Heiðarvegur 11
  • 800 Selfoss
Garun Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Skólavellir 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 864-3250
Réttarholt 14
Bed & Breakfast
  • Réttarholt 14
  • 800 Selfoss
Eyrarbakki Camping ground
Camping
  • v/Búðarstíg
  • 820 Eyrarbakki
  • 660-1169
Halakot
Cottages
  • Halakot
  • 801 Selfoss
Arctic Nature Hotel
Hotels
  • Eyravegur 26
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 615-4699
Rein Guesthosue B&B
Bed & Breakfast
  • Þykkvaflöt 4
  • 820 Eyrarbakki
  • 777-5677
BSG Apartments
Bed & Breakfast
  • Engjavegur 75
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 486-8642
Hotel Selfoss
Hotels
  • Eyravegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-2500
Þjórsárver Camping Ground
Camping
  • Þjórsárver
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 899-7748
Private room in Selfoss
Bed & Breakfast
  • Skólavellir 11
  • 800 Selfoss
Icelandic Cottages
Guesthouses
  • Hraunmörk Flóahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 898-0728, 567-0728
Marta House
Cottages
  • Jaðar
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 898-9117, 482-2409
Geirakot
Farm Holidays
  • 482-1020, 895-8493
Thoristun Villa
Guesthouses
  • Þóristún 19
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 864-4493
Torfastaðakot 15/Sigurhæð
Cottages
  • Torfstaðakot
  • 801 Selfoss
Art Hostel
Guesthouses
  • Hafnargata 9
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 854-4510, 894-2910
Reykjadalur Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Heiðmörk 27
  • 810 Hveragerði
  • 782-6500
Norðheimar
Apartments
  • Norðurgata 4
  • 801 Selfoss
Brimstadir
Cottages
  • Brimstaðir
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 841-7471
1A Guesthouse
Bed & Breakfast
  • Vatnsholt 1A
  • 801 Selfoss

Others

Subway
Diners
  • Eyrarvegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-7877
Krían - Bar & Pub
Restaurants
  • Kríumýri
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 897-7643 , 899-7643
Grænt og grillað Restaurant
Restaurants
  • V/Hringtorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-7835
Kaffi Krús Cafe
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 7
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1266
Tommi's burger joint
Restaurants
  • Eyravegur 32
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 571-8228
Hlöllabátar
Diners
  • Gagnheiði 61
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 771-7372, 898-5378
Guðnabakarí
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 31b
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1755
Olis - Service Station - Quiznos
Cafés
  • Arnberg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-1300, 840-1749
Shellskálinn Fast Food
Cafés
  • Hásteinsvegur 2
  • 825 Stokkseyri
  • 483-1485
Skalmholt
Farm food direct
  • Skálmholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 482-2529
Sunnlenska bókakaffið
Cafés
  • Austurvegur 22
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3079
KFC - Kentucky Fried Chicken
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 46
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-3466, 570-6763
Tryggvaskáli Restaurant
Restaurants
  • Tryggvatorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1390
Seylon
Cafés
  • Tryggvatorg
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 849-9325
Kaffi Líf Resturant
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 40b
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1239
Yellow
Restaurants
  • Austurvegur 4
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 660-6163
Domino's Pizza
Take Away
  • Eyravegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 581-2345
Hotel Selfoss
Hotels
  • Eyravegur 2
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-2500
BlómaCafé
Cafés
  • Blómavali, Eyravegur 42
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 480-0830
Hot Dog Stand
Diners
  • Tryggvagötu
  • 800 Selfoss
  • 482-1782
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
Einbúi, Oddgeirshólar

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

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.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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.

History and Culture
Drepstokkshóll

West of the village Eyrarbakki and close to Ölfusá River is the homestead of the medieval farm Drepstokkur and birthplace of Bjarni Herjólfsson the seafarer. There is a hill called Drepstokkshóll which is believed to be where Bjarni stood when he decided to sail for America and in 985 AD he was the first European to reach the American continent. His journey was recorded in the Greenlanders Saga on the vellum pages of Flatey Book in the 14th century. His discovery influenced later explorations to America, including those of Leifur "the lucky" Eiríksson. The voyages of Icelanders to Vinland and other lands west of Greenland were known in Europe long before the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Some scholars believe Columbus' idea for his famous journey to America sprang from a visit to Iceland.

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.

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
Baugstadir Creamery

The creamery was established by local farmers in 1905 and operated until 1952. Its products were butter and cheese. The Baugsstaðir creamery was powered by a water wheel and is the only one of Iceland's creameries that still retains its original equipment. A little to the west are the ruins of the creamery's storage, which was an icehouse and used to store products before they were transported to market. The creamery's main markets were in England as well as in Iceland.

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
Ferjunes

A medieval ferry dock for crossing Þjórsá River.

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.

History and Culture
Stokkseyrarkirkja - church

There has been a church in Stokkseyri for centuries. Its current church is the fifth one and was built in 1886. The main building material is wood, surfaced with corrugated iron. A common held belief was that if the church door would be kept open a ship would not sink and well into the 20th century the church door was propped open when ships were at sea in bad weather.

Nature
Fljótshólar

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

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
The coastline between Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki

The coastline between the rivers Þjórsá and Ölfusá (25 km/15 mi) forms the outskirt of the great Þjórsárhraun lava field. Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri provide easy access to the coastline as well as a path between the two villages where you can see the Atlantic Ocean and marvel at the fact the South Pole is directly to the south. This spot has a great view of both the ocean and mountains. Information signs can be found in both villages as well as an observation platform in Stokkseyri.

History and Culture
Thuridar cottage

Þuríðarbúð was erected in 1949 in memory of Þuríður Einarsdóttir and old working procedures.

History and Culture
Eyrarbakki Maritime Museum

The museum takes the visitor back to old times in a small Icelandic fishing village. On display is a fine collection of artifacts connected with fisheries, crafts, social and cultural life of the common people durning the last 100 years.

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
Surtsey Island

Surtsey, on the UNESCO World Heritage list, from July 7, 2008

Surtsey, Iceland's youngest volcanic island, has been added to the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list following the World Heritage Committee held in Quebec City on July 7, 2008.
"Surtur comes from the South... the hot stars down from Heaven are whirled. Fierce grows the steam and the life-feeding flame, until fire leaps high about Heaven itself."
- From the Icelandic poem Völuspá, ca. 950 A.D.

Surtsey is not only one of the world's newest islands, but the most filmed and researched and one of the most restricted. Ever since the eruption in 1963 which heaved it up out of the waters 18km (11 miles) south-west of Heimaey, its progress has been monitored. This has been giving scientists a fascinating insight into how a new island evolves, how flora and fauna develop and so on. Because of this very few people are now allowed to visit the island, and special permits are only granted for scientific research.
On the 14th of November, 1963 Icelandic seamen, that were fishing about 20 km southwest of Heimaey ( Vestmannaeyjar ) observed the beginnings of an undersea eruption that originated at a 130 meters depth. When the eruption first occurred, columns of ash were sent almost 9,146m (30,000 ft) into the sky and could be seen on clear days as far away as Reykjavík. An island eventually rose to a height of 169 metres above sea level that had an area of 2,5km².

This island was named Surtsey for Surtur, the fire possessing giant of Norse mythology who would set fire to the earth at the Last Judgment. Because of pounding seas, there was a considerable amount of early erosion, but the island core quickly solidified as rock and is now holding its own while scientists watch everything.

For three and a half years Surtsey rumbled and lava flowed. Long before the eruption stopped the island was proclaimed a nature preserve and all travel there was restricted to scientist that used this unique opportunity to study the gradual development of life on a sterile landmass. The first living found in the ash deposits close to shore. In May of the same year a fly was found on the island. Sea gulls visited the tide waters furthest from crater. The first vascular plant to flower along the shore was the sea rocket, observed in 1965. By 1987, twenty-five species of higher plants (including tomatoes!!) had been observed, transported there by seed in the sea currents, some from nearby island, other from the southern Icelandic coast 40 kilometres off. Other species of plants have been carried there by yhe winds or birds from Europe.
Surtsey is a favorite resting place for migratory birds during seasonal flights to and from Iceland and Europe. They visit there yearly by the thousands. Seals also visit the island and relax on its beaches. Today five species of birds nest on Surtsey: the Herring Gull, the Black Backed Gull, the Black Guillemot, The Kittiwake and Fulmar which was the first species to nest there and hatch its young on the warm lava in 1970. BBC and David Attenborough have produced acclaimed television programs from this amazing little island.

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
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.

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.

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).

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.

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
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
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.

History and Culture
Icelandic Wonders

The Ghost Centre is located in the same building as the Icelandic Wonders museum. It features all of Iceland's most famous ghosts. Ghost appearances are frequently mentioned in the sagas, dating back to the beginning of Icelandic history. Ghosts can appear in all living shapes or forms and some of these are still around today. Upon entry, guests are provided with a CD-player to guide them through the 24 ghost stories. Guests walk through the ghost-maze, where they will experience the stories in the environment where the spooky tales actually happened. The stories can be listened to in Chinese, English, German, French, Scandinavian, Japanese, Russian and Icelandic. In the reception area guests will find our Ghost Bar with drinks and a fabulous view of the ocean.

History and Culture
Eyrarbakkakirkja - church

The wooden church in Eyrarbakki was built in 1890 and one of the first churches in Iceland to have two floors. The altarpiece is a famous artifact and was painted by Queen Louise of Denmark, wife of King Christian IX.

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.

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.

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).

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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.

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