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Fljótsdalshérað

The viewpoint indicator at the western extremity of Fjarðarheiði pass (alt. 620 m.) between Seyðisfjörður and the lowland around Egilsstaðir, serves as a good indicator when contemplating the panorama of the region. On a clear day, Mount Gagnheiði to the south will provide an even higher vantage point. The "Hérað" -colloquially short for "Fljótsdalshérað"- has long referred to the broad valley extending and branching sw. inland from Héraðsflói bay. Among Icelanders, the valleys of Fljótsdalshérað have long enjoyed a reputation for natural beauty and nice climate. This has been still enhanced by forest cultivation with trees gradually providing more shelter from chilly gales from the North. When summer breeze blows from the South or West, however, a Föhn effect often emerges, resulting in high temperatures and calm from evening till mid-morning. A quiet evening at Atlavík inlet, viewing the calm of the lake , is an experience unsurpassed. By Icelandic standards, Fljótsdalshérað enjoys a favourable climate, whatever the season, reminiscent of that of Scandinavia.

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Fljótsdalshérað
GPS Points N65° 21' 28.295" W14° 27' 40.715"
Postal codes

701

Population

2

Travel directory for Fljótsdalshérað

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Ekra Travel service
Farm Holidays
  • Ekra
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-3054, 868-0957
Gæðinga Tours
Guesthouses
  • Útnyrðingsstaðir
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-1727, 869-8210
Fljótsbátar
Tour Operators
  • Laufskógar Hallormsstað
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 847-0063
HS Ferðaþjónusta
Tour Operators
  • Finnsstaðir 1
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 892-1803
Randahóll
Tour Operators
  • Sandur
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 869-9043
Icelandic craft Eik
Exhibitions
  • Miðhús
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-1320
Sænautasel
Winter adventure
  • Jökuldalsheiði
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 892-8956, 471-1086
Boat Rental Atlavík
Boat Tours
  • Hallormsstaður
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 847-0063, 867-1441, 847-3706
Berglind Ósk Guttormsdóttir
Tour Operators
  • Hlíðargarður 2
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 868-6165
Fljótsdalshérað Golf club
Golf Courses
  • Ekkjufell - Fellabær
  • 701 Egilsstaðir

Others

Við-Bót
Cottages
  • Flúðir
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-1917, 869-7269
Hotel Hallormsstadur
Hotels
  • Hallormsstað
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-2400
Gæðinga Tours
Guesthouses
  • Útnyrðingsstaðir
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-1727, 869-8210
Úlfsstaðarskógur 20
Cottages
  • Úlfsstaðarskógur
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 475-6798, 848-6798
Huldusteinn Summerhouse
Cottages
  • Eyjólfsstaðaskógur
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 544-8990
Kaldá
Cottages
  • Kaldá 1
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 618-9871, 897-6060, 552-4665
Ekra Travel service
Farm Holidays
  • Ekra
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-3054, 868-0957

Others

Sænautasel
Winter adventure
  • Jökuldalsheiði
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 892-8956, 471-1086
Blondubakki
Farm food direct
  • Blöndubakki
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 895-8929
Icelandic craft Eik
Exhibitions
  • Miðhús
  • 701 Egilsstaðir
  • 471-1320
Nature
Hengifoss

Apart from having recently been re-defined as Iceland's second-highest waterfall,the Hengifoss is particularly picturesque. The layers between numerous Tertiary lava strata yield a reddish colour particularly salient in the cliffs around Hengifoss. Moreover, underway towards Hengifoss, the Litlanesfoss presents impressive stands of basalt columns on both sides of the gorge. Usually the climb ends well below Hengifoss, at a point where it can easily be admired without crossing the river. However, if the flow is scarce - as is often the case in autumn - it is feasible to go closer and even enter a shallow cave behind the waterfall.
There is an easy walking path from the highway to Hengifoss

Nature
Atlavík

The Atlavík

The inlet of Atlavík is beautifully situated on the shores of Lagarfljót (Lögurinn). Like other areas in the Hallormsstaður woodland, the inlet provides the shelter of trees, as well as a comparatively continental climate at the south end of the lake, far away from oceanic conditions. In addition to a 2 full-scale camping site, rental services for small boats, Hallormsstaður also offers the possibility of horse renting.

Nature
Eiðar

Eiðar (14 km. north of town Egilsstaðir) is a ranking presbitary with important cultural and educational background.This is the site of one of the very first agricultural schools in Iceland ( founded in 1883), later converted into a general educational centre for the the East region. Its function as a school were discontinued to a large extent in 1997 and since then many ideas have been launched as to its future role. In the meantime, Eidar has served as a summer hotel. The Eiðar surroundings are picturesque and inviting, with verdoyant grounds on the banks of beautiful Lagarfljót laying the ideal grounds for peaceful and poetical walks. Presently, efforts are afoot to develop a centre for arts and culture.

History and Culture
Unaos

Unaós ("The Estuary of Uni" is a beautiful inlet on the east coast of Héraðflói bay. It is named after the settler Uni Garðarsson but according to the Book of Settlements (12th.century) he docked in the estuary. Uni was the son of one of the three discoverers of Iceland, Gardar Svavarsson. He was sent to Iceland by King Haraldur Fairhair of Norway in order to convince the Icelanders to become his subjects. His mission was however unfruitful. Uni docked his ship at a cliff in Selfljót river called Knörr. In the estuary of the river there´s a promonitory called Krosshöfði by which was the principal harbour of the region, Óshöfn, until a passable road to the village Borgarfjörður eystri came about in the late 1940ties. The harbour was a primitive one since total calm and favourable currents were neede in order to bring the merchandises ashore. The area presents several points of interest and several walking trails are to be found there.

History and Culture
Geirastaðakirkja

The pretty little turf church Geirastaðakirkja, is situated on the grounds of farm of Litli Bakki. The construction is recent hypothetical remake of a church that had been built in the neighbourhood a thousand years ago, the ruins of which were unerathed during excavation.

Nature
Smjörfjöll

Smjörfjöll ("Butter Mounatins") is a name covering several mountains - about 1250 m. - between Vopnafjörður and the region of Jökulsárshlíð. North of them is the pass Hellisheiði with the road from Vopnafjörður to Fljótsdalshérað. The pass is an elevated one, 730 m. - offering a beautiful view across the bay Héraðsflói. The road is a rough terrain and weather forecast should be heeded.

History and Culture
Aðalból

Aðalból, settled by the hero of Hrafnkell's Saga, is situated in a valley and is isolated from the farms farther down. Those who have read this exciting saga can visit a number of features relating to it, such as Hrafnkell's burial mound. Furthermore, ancient relics found in the vicinity have added to the atmosphere of the saga era. All this puts one in touch with Nordic literary heritage and Icelandic history, and the tourist service staff at Aðalból endeavour to help visitors experience this.

Nature
Eyjólfsstaðir

The woodland Eyjólfsstaðaskógur, under the supervision of the East Iceland Forestry Society, offers beautiful scenery and natural diversity. There are two waterfalls adorning the site, one of which can be accessed from behind! In order to visit, the traveller would do well to continue past the cluster of vacation chalets, due N- E.

History and Culture
Kjarvalshvammur

Kjarvalshvammur. A peaceful little haven, located at road 94 beside the Selfljót river south of Ketilsstaðir farm on the way out Héraðsflói. Here still stands a small cabin and a boathouse both of which belonged to Iceland´s master painter Jóhannes S. Kjarval (1889 -1972) .When this master painter had spent two summers here a tent, just before 1950, the farmer at Ketilsstaðir presented him the piece of land in question and built the cabin which still stands. This was the only real estate Kjarval ever owned. He often stayed here for extended periods, producing some of his most famous paintings. The boathouse still shelters Kjarval´s little dinghy on which he descended the river out to sea, sailing as far as the village of Borgarfjörður Eystri in 1957.

Nature
Vallanes

Vallanes is a farm and a vicarge, known for the habitation of many leading scholars and literates of centuries past. Today the farmers of Vallanes are renowned for organic farming and pioneer products, i.a. vegetables and barley. They also produce food and cosmetics under the brand name of "Móðir Jörð" - "Mother Earth".
In the last century, the locals of the surrounding district erected their community centre, Iðavellir, on the ouskirts of Vallanes, and there the East Iceland Equestrian Association has its main hub on the grounds for races and shows.

Nature
Skriðuklaustur

Skriðuklaustur is now a centre of culture and history in Fljótsdalur. After becoming a renowned author on the european continent, Gunnar Gunnarsson had a mansion built here in 1939, and made it his residence. In 1948 he bequeathed the property to the Icelandic nation. The building is now home to the Institute of Gunnar Gunnarsson,displaying books and artifacts connected with his life and work. In addition, there are various cultural events and art exhibitions. Café Klausturkaffi is located in the dining room. Since 1992, archaeological excavation of a nearby 16th century monastery has yielded exciting results and attracted general attention. Visitors are allowed to view the ruins.

History and Culture
Lagarfljótsormurinn

The gigantic serpentine sea monster, or worm, of Lagarfljót (Lögurinn) lake is Fljótsdalshérað's most famous creature. As it was already mentioned in chronicles of 1345, it has reached a ripe old age. Initially the wyrm was merely a little slug that was placed on a golden ring - at that time suggested as a method of multiplying gold. However, when the girl who owned the ring opened the shrine containing the ring and the slug, she was dismayed by the rapid growth of the worm - swelling with pride over its treasure, while the ring remained the same. Panicing, the girl hurled the shrine and its contents into the lake. As time passed, the slug grew into a wyrm frightening the locals and belching poison over the farmlands. Some say that two Finnish magicians were eventually enganged to tackle the monster and that they managed to restrain the beast by schakling its exctremities to the lakebed. Others claim it was the popular bishop of North Iceland, Guðmundur - nicknamed "the Benevolent"- who tied the wyrm down in this way, so tightly that it only manages arch its back up above the surface. Legend declares that if the wyrm ever disengages itself, not only will it raise a ruckus, but it will bring about the end of the world...

History and Culture
Hrafnkelsstadir

Hrafnkelsstaðir is a farm in Fljótsdalur valley, S-E of river Lagarfljót. It was formerly the abode of saga era hero Hrafnkell Freysgoði Hallfreðarson after he had been chasen off his original settlement at farm Aðalbóli in Hrafnkelsdalur valley. The Saga of Hrafnkell Freysgoði ranks among the classics of Icelandic ancient litterature. The farmsted land include the Ranaskógur forest, an idyllic woodland located in the extremities of the so called Víðivallaháls ridge. In days of yore the entire area was covered with green forest.

Nature
Valþjófsstaður

Valþjófsstaður in Fljótsdalur valley enjoys a century-long reputation as a farm of prestige, a vicarage and a site of culture and distinction. In times of yore it was the residence of the Þórarinsson brothers, Þorvarður, one of the most powerful men in Iceland in his day (d. 1297), and Oddur, a great warrior slain at farm Geldingaholt in 1255 .
The famous Valþjófsstaður church door, one of the finest items in the National Museum at Reykjavík, derives from Valþjófsstaður. The present door is an exact replica. .

Nature
Hallormsstaður
Hallormstaður is a former parsonery. A small village has formed in this area through the years in connection with the school, travelindustry and the work at the forest. The forest of Hallormsstaður is the largest forest in Iceland. In 1903 the Forest Department was founded in Hallormsstaður. Remarkable tree museum has formed in the forest of hallormsstaður through the years. At the tree museum there are walkingpaths making it easy to go through the history of tree planting in Iceland. There are art exhibitions in the area and many other events. atlavík, which is located deep in the forest is a beloved attraction for turists.
Nature
Hallormsstaðaskógur

Iceland's largest forest surrounds Hallormsstaður. Experiments with imported tree species were initiated here in 1903; in 1938, the first larch grove was planted, demonstrating that wood cultivation was feasible in Iceland. In fact, the woods are an extensive and congenial area, and in late summer large quantities of berries and mushrooms are yours for the taking. A home economics´ school with dormitories, which initially only accepted women, now educates both sexes. It is placed in a stately building dating from 1930. The Hallormsstaður arboretum is unique in Iceland, comprising a collection of around 70 tree species. Many enjoy stralling through the arboretum, and there are well-marked trails throughout much of the surrounding woodland, clearly indicated on a map published by the Forest Services.

History and Culture
Kirkjubær

Kirkjubær in Hróarstunga was a presbitery until 1956, a site of distinction and local intellectuals. The church dates from 1851 and is well preserved. It has a pulprit dating from the 16. th. century and the baptismal font is beautifully carved by master carver and sculptor Ríkharður Jónsson (ref. Langabúð, Djúpivogur). The altarpiece dates from the year 1894.

Nature
Lagarfljót and Lögurinn

Lagarfljot is about 140 km. long flood or river, consisting mostly of glacial water. The innermost section forms a lake Lögurinn with a surfasce of 53 m2 . The depths of the lake descend to 112. m. with the bed of the lake as deep as 90 m. beneath sea level. The Lögurinn is home to the legendary monster serpent Lagarfljótsormurinn, first mentioned in 1345. It was considered a bad omen if the curved formes of the monster were spotted above the of the water. In recent years it has not revealed itself so often - yet the Lagafljót serpent is truely unpredictable! A river boat namesake has been riding the waves of the lake these last years, carriyng torists eager to spot the phenomenon.

Nature
Stapavík

The historical trading point of Krosshöfði, by Stapavík inlet, lies in a magnificent setting. The trail to the inlet starts above the farmstead of Unaós, leading to the river Selfljót, continuing along its banks to the mouth at Krosshöfði., The trail continues still to the cliffs of Stapavík. In the early 20th century, this trading point was important for the broad valley of Fljótsdals-hérað, and goods were brought ashore in the inlet until the late1940s, when a road was built over the mountain range to Borgarfjörður eystri which offers excellent harbour facilities.

Nature
Strútsfoss

Strútsfoss is a 74 m. waterfall in southern Fljótsdalur. There is 20 minutes walk from the rough road. The waterfall is a majestic feast for the eye and well worth a visit.

History and Culture
Galtastaðir Fram

The old farm of Galtastaðir Fram is a well-preserved farmhouse from the 19th century. Inhabited until 1967 the building exemplifies the sort of housing common in Iceland in previous centuries, heated to some extent by keeping cows under the communal living room or "baðstofa", which was also used for sleeping and handcraft.

Both the interior and exterior of this small but remarkable showcase of former living conditions can be visited by the consent of the proprietor . Galtastaðir Fram has ranked on the preservation list of the National Museum since 1976.

East Iceland

Towns & Villages

Each town in East Iceland has its own characteristics. In some of the coastal villages the influence of North European neighbours is obvious to everyone. 

The French made a strong impact in Fáskrúðsfjörður where the road signs are made out in French as well as in Icelandic. Norwegian influence is easily detected in the Eskifjörður and Seydisfjörður architecture. No such roots are to be seen in Egilsstadir which is latest addition to East Iceland agglomeration, founded in the late forties of the 20th century.  

Map Vopnafjörður Borgarfjörður Eystri Egilsstaðir Seyðisfjörður Mjóifjörður Fljótsdalshérað Neskaupstaður Breiðdalsvík Eskifjörður Reyðarfjörður Fáskrúðsfjörður Stöðvarfjörður Djúpivogur