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EiderdownComforters.com

Bird watching

A visit to eiderdown farmers

We invite you to visit our farm-takes for about 3 hrs. Guests learn how the eider ducks live and nest, and how the eiderdown is cleaned. Guests can examine how eiderdown is processed through various stages until it is put into quilts and pillows. Trips twice weekly from 25 May until 3 July. It is necessary to book ahead-see the phone number and email address to the right.

We take an easy walk around the living and nesting areas of the eider ducks with guides who are eider farmers at Ytri-Nýpur. Our guests have the opportunity of seeing how this wild bird is protected and cared for so that it feels comfortable. Also are other birds in the nesting area. It is crucial to walk carefully and listen carefully to the guide throughout the walk.

The visit to the farm's down-cleaning building where you will have the opportunity to inspect and feel the eiderdown in various stages of the cleaning process and also to see samples of completed products.

Guests are invited to the "down-farmers' guestroom" next door to enjoy light refreshments. In the guest room are items connected with farming in the last years.

Total time of visit about 3 hours.

Please contact for tours and booking information.

EiderdownComforters.com

Ytri-Nýpur

GPS Points N65° 47' 52.055" W14° 50' 30.923"
Telephone

+354 893-1437

Opening period All year

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Vopnafjörður Golf Course

The Vopnafjörður golf course, Skálavöllur, has 9 holes which due to the course layout have a special place among the golf courses in Iceland. On a hillside, in some places lying at a slant, the course can be a challenge for players, and in spite of its small size there is no lack of variety.
Beautiful surroundings and views, with the magnificent Krossavíkur Mountain across the fjord, add to the pleasure of the game.

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Hofskirkja

The Hof vicarage has always been a major factor in the history of Vopnafjörður. It was home to some of the major characters of Vopnfiðingasaga Saga and they controled one of twoo chieftainships in Vopnafjörður in the 10th century. The only ordained priest also serving as chief, ruled from Hof in the 12th century. A monument to the Vopnfirðingasaga Saga stands by the driveway to Hof.

It is believed that the first church at Hof was built shortly after the adoption of Christianity. The church currently in use was built in 1901, taking over from a turf church from medieval times. The church stands in Hofskirkjugarður cemetery, a beautiful garden offering pleasant views of Hofsárdalur valley.

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Þverárgil

The hiking path runs along Þverá river in Þverá canyon. The canyon is exceptionally beautiful as one can see colorful rock formations from an old volcano, a pleasant contrast to the otherwise dark rocks of the Smjörfjöll mountains. The birdlife in in the area is rich, especially Icelandic

There is rich birdlife in this area, especially Icelandic moorland birds. The view is magnificent over the Hofsá valley and out to sea.

The path is of medium difficulty, about two hours long and is a little bit upward.

The starting point of the walk is above the Þverá river on rd. 919.

History and Culture
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Vopnfirðingasaga Monument

Vopnfirðingasaga is one of the Icelandic sagas. This saga was probably written around 1225 to 1250 about incidents happening in 960-990. The saga's setting is Vopnafjordur, actually in an area mostly on the east side of Hofsárdalur. Today, it's easy to visit or see most of the places mentioned in the saga. Vopnfirðingasaga is about the conflict between two men, both leaders, who were covetous, greedy, and power-seeking - but also important in this saga are friendship, personality differences between people, and their ways of life in those times.

An archeologic investigation in 2006 revealed ruins from the time of Vopnfirðingasaga, not far from the present church at Hof.

One of the main characters in the saga is Helgi Þorgilsson, whose nickname was Brodd-Helgi. He was raised at Hof and later became farmer and chieftain at Hof. As a young boy, Helgi fastened a piece of iron to a bull's head so it would win a struggle with another bull, and that is the source of Helgi's nickname. When still a teenager, Brodd-Helgi stepped in on the fight between the farmers Svartur and Skíði and judged Svartur guilty. Svartur fled up on Smjörvatnsheiði and Brodd-Helgi followed him and attacked him armed with shield and a flat stone which he had fastened in his breeches below the shield. He killed Svartur and was famous for this deed.

Brodd-Helgi and Geitir from Krossavík were great friends since childhood. Brodd-Helgi married Geitir's sister, Halla, and their son Bjarni Brodd-Helgason was fostered at Krossavík. Their involvement in the fate and property of Hrafn Austmann, who spent the winter at Krossavík and disappeared at the winter games at Haga, led to the cooling of their friendship. Brodd-Helgi divorced Halla, Geitir's sister, and married Þorgerður "silver" from Fljótsdalur. The disagreements of these former friends ended in full-blown enmity.

The Thing representatives of Geitir and Brodd-Helgi also disagreed and all worked toward the end of their friendship. Brodd-Helgi's unpopularity increased and was finally more than the farmers could bear. At the spring Thing in Sunnudalur, Geitir is said to have killed Brodd-Helgi. At the instigation of Þorgerður his stepmother, Bjarni killed his foster-father and mother's brother Geitir. But the saga was not over. Þorkell, Geitir's son, took his father's chieftainship and Bjarni Brodd-Helgason was chieftan at Hof. They had grown up together at Krossavík and were the sons of a brother and sister.

Bjarni tried to make peace with Þorkell but failed, and Þorkell failed three times to avenge his father's death. The final battle was on a field at Eyvindarstaðir. Bjarni was victorious, later made peace with Þorkell and invited him to live at Hof as long as he lived. Thirty years of vengeance was over.

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Ljósastapi

Be sure to visit Skjólfjörur beach when driving through Vopnafjordur! The beach is only a short walk from the road and offers a magnificent view of the open Atlantic sea. If you're lucky you might even see a whale. The beach has a rocky shore, with colorful stones that capture the eye. Driftwood which the waves have brought to land is a testament to the incredible force the sea possesses. Please respect that it is forbidden to remove stones from the beach.

One characteristics of Vopnafjordur is the incredible rock pillars and cliffs that take on various forms, often resembling different creatures. Ljósastapi rock pillar stands out in the sea just off Skjólfjörur. It is often called "Fíllinn" (the Elephant by locals), as its form resembles an elephant. It is a vera photogenic place!

To the right of Ljósastapi, the mountain Búrið stands out from the mountain range. Búrið is a part of the Fagradalur mountains, an ancient volcanic area. In the Fagradalur mountains, you can see colorful rhyolite rocks that certainly make their mark on the surrounding environment. A marked walking path takes you down to Múlahöfn harbour and to Þerribjarg cliffs, east of Hellisheiði Eystri, where the rhyolite is at its most beautiful.

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Fuglabjargarnes cliffs

Fuglabjarganes is a part of Vopnafjörður's coast line, on the north side.

Fuglabjarganes is on the nature conservatory list of Iceland for its beautiful and diverse coast and great bird life. Walk along the beach to the headland where high bluffs reach down to the sea. From there you can see rock pillars that rise from the sea, and enjoy the view across the open ocean all the way to the horizon. This is Icelandic nature at its best. Please be careful when walking along the cliffs and do not go too close to the edge.

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Tangasporður

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A walk to Tangasporður is very enjoyable. It is best to fallow a track that starts by the crossroads (rd. 85 and 917) above the town. That way leads through a small grove and out to the tip of the peninsula. The birdlife is rich in this area, especially on the east side, and on the beach on the tip of Tangasporður it is likely to see seals relaxing in the tidemark.

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Gljúfursárfoss

The Gljúfursárfoss waterfall runs down a colorful ravine just below the parking lot. The waterfall is about 45 meters high and very beautiful.

The river Gljúfursá used to be a major obstacle to travelers heading east over Hellisheiði. Many accidents occurred when people tried to cross the river by foot or on horseback.

You can also walk along the river to the old bridge over Gljúfursá, built around 1900 and was a great improvement at the time. The story goes that construction began on the bridge after a man on horseback died while attempting to cross the river during winter.

A marked hiking path leads from the parking lot along the river Gljúfursá, and around Drangsnes.

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Skjólfjörur

Be sure to visit Skjólfjörur beach when driving through Vopnafjordur! The beach is only a short walk from the road and offers a magnificent view of the open Atlantic sea. If you're lucky you might even see a whale. The beach has a rocky shore, with colorful stones that capture the eye. Driftwood which the waves have brought to land is a testament to the incredible force the sea possesses. Please respect that it is forbidden to remove stones from the beach.

One characteristics of Vopnafjordur is the incredible rock pillars and cliffs that take on various forms, often resembling different creatures. Ljósastapi rock pillar stands out in the sea just off Skjólfjörur. It is often called "Fíllinn" (the Elephant by locals), as its form resembles an elephant. It is a vera photogenic place!

To the right of Ljósastapi, the mountain Búrið stands out from the mountain range. Búrið is a part of the Fagradalur mountains, an ancient volcanic area. In the Fagradalur mountains, you can see colorful rhyolite rocks that certainly make their mark on the surrounding environment. A marked walking path takes you down to Múlahöfn harbour and to Þerribjarg cliffs, east of Hellisheiði Eystri, where the rhyolite is at its most beautiful.

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Vopnafjarðarkirkja

Vopnfjarðarkirkja church was built in 1903 and is now a historic building. Until that year, there was no church in the village, but there were churches at Refstaður and Hof (both in Hofsárdalur valley).

The altarpiece in Vopnafjarðarkirkja was painted by Jóhannes Kjarval and is called "Savior talks to the people." When bishop Jón Helgason visited the church he is supposed to have said that the people in the painting look like deamons in hell. However, he supposedly added that they seemed to be listening closely to Christ nevertheless.

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Hraunlína

The view from the observation area is over the Lón (lagoon) - Skógarlón inland and Nýpslón outer. Lón is a nature reserve because of the great variety of animal and bird life in this special situation. Over 40 kinds of small species are in the lagoon, plus fish and birds. Interesting and beautiful to walk along the beaches of the Lón, and the bird life is of great variety.

At the observation point is a sign introducing Vopnafjordur for our guests and mentioning interesting facts about our area.

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Virkisvík

Virkisvík cove is a beautiful place with colourful sediments, basalt formations and a waterfall that cascades over precipitous cliffs into the sea.

The oldest known rock formations, above the sea, in Iceland are in the West Fjords and Austurland. They are about 15-16 million years old, from the Miocene Tertiary era.

The layers from that epoch are formed of lava flows with occasional sediment layers in between. Such layers, in thicker form, have long been research subjects, since often is found in them plant or animal remains which give much information about the climate when the layers formed. Two thick sediment layers can be found in Vopnafjörður. One is in Virkisvík and the other is in Bustarfell mountain.

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Drangsnes

A hiking trail leads from the parking place by Gljúfursárfoss through Drangsnes, to Krummsholt. At Krummsholt you can see ancient ruins dating back to Viking age. In fact, a Viking named Þorsteinn Uxafótur is said to have lived there. Looking at such ancient habitats leaves one wondering about the lives lived here centuries ago, wishing the earth could talk and tell us the stories of our ancestors.

Walking along the precipitous cliffs is a great experience and leaves few visitors unmoved.

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Kolbeinstangi Lighthouse

Kolbeinstangaviti er tæpir 20 metrar á hæð og stendur á glæsilegum stað í landi Leiðarhafnar í Vopnafirði. Vitinn var byggður árið 1942 en ekki tekinn í notkun fyrr en tveimur árum síðar þegar ljóstæki fengust loksins í hann frá Englandi. Vitinn er húðaður með ljósu kvarsi og hrafntinnumulningur er á dökku flötunum. Kolbeinstangaviti er eini vitinn sem hefur haldið þessu útliti, þ.e. hann hefur ekki verið kústaður með einhvers konar þéttiefni.

Það er falleg og létt gönguleið að ganga frá þorpinu eftir malarveginum út í Leiðarhöfn og að vitanum. Þar er fallegt útsýni yfir þorpið og út fjörðinn. Gamall námuvegur sem liggur af veginum út í Leiðarhöfn er einnig skemmtileg gönguleið út á Kolbeinstangann. Tangasporðurinn býður upp á glæsilegt landslag sem er kjörið til útivistar og er mjög vinsælt á meðal heimamanna.

Nature
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Sandvik

Sandvík is a long, black sandy beach in from the fjord. The coast is a family paradise created by nature. Guests may find seashells, take a walk, watch the birds, build a sand castle - or follow your own imagination.

Along this coast a supply ship ran aground on 2 October 1981. All the crew were rescued. At low tide one can still see a glimpse of the wreckage when the tides are low.

Access to Sandvík is by a track down to the bay inland from the golf course.

Everyone to be careful along the beach. The river Hofsá often flows over the sands in the spring, and as a result quicksand can form along the beach.

Austurland

Towns & Villages

Each town in Austurland has its own characteristics. In some of the coastal villages t, the influence of North European neighbors 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 the latest addition to East Iceland agglomeration, founded in the late forties of the 20th century.  

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