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23. December

Þorláksmessa (St. Thorlakur‘s day)

Þorláksmessa is the feast day of Iceland‘s patron saint, the 12th century bishop of Skálholt, St. Thorlakur Thorhallson, who died on December 23rd in 1193. It‘s celebrated, so for most people this is the height of Christmas preparation and all the stress that comes with it. The Christmas tree is usually decorated on this day and it‘s also a big shopping day for last minute gifts, with stores remaining open until midnight.

Another Þorláksmessa custom is eating fermented skate. Many restaurants offer skate lunches on Þorláksmessa. At the skate lunch two kinds of skate are usually on the menu, one kind is only slightly fermented, the other very fermented, and both are served in chunks with boiled potatoes.

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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