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Dalir is a family-friendly place to visit, combining historical and cultural attractions with an enchanting world of wildlife and nature. It is the ideal place to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to relax, be outdoors, discover and learn. Few parts of Iceland are as rich in history as Dalir where records go back virtually unbroken to the Settlement in the 9th and 10th centuries. In fact, Dalir deserves to be called a stepping-stone into the New World. Ancient Icelandic records tell how Eirík the Red, who in 985-6 AD pioneered the settlement of Greenland, lived in Haukadalur valley at a place called Eiríksstaðir. His son, Leif the Lucky, was born there and a reconstruction of his birthplace has been built there, based on the ruins of Eirík’s own farmhouse. The nature here is beautiful and is great for hiking and horse riding trips. Other activities include bird and seal watching, and swimming in geothermally heated outdoor pools. Visitors are also invited to explore the Dalir Heritage Museum as well as local farms, such as Erpsstaðir, where you can taste and buy local products and get to know the way of life in Dalir. Inexpensive trout fishing is available in Lake Haukadalsvatn and the lakes of Ljárskógar and Sólheimar.

Find a chance to “just be” in Dalir

When you enter Dalir in West Iceland you come into region of history and pristine nature, an area where you can just be. Be in silence, be in nature, be with the history that is all around and experience Iceland like the locals do all year trough.

You can visit the sites of Auður djúpúðga (Aud “the deep-minded”) famously involved in Eiríks saga rauða (Saga of Erik the Red) and Laxdæla saga (Laxdaela saga) and see the landscape that effected this intelligent and gracious, wide traveled woman. Or visit the birthplace of Leif “the lucky” Eriksson, son of Erik the Red, where you can see and experience the ways of life and conditions and that his family lived in at Eiríksstaðir in Haukadalur.

Go for a look around valleys, beaches, lakes and waterfalls, as well as the nature reserves of Breiðafjörður. You might find Holtasóley (Dryas octopetala) the national flower of Iceland, Skarfakál (Cochleraria officinalis) full of vitamin C or Blóðberg (Thymus arcticus) which is great for seasoning and herbal tea among many other interesting and useful plants. And before the summer ends, go for a berry picking in the hills, where you can find aðalbláber (bilberries), bláber (blueberries) and krækiber (crowberries).

Look out to Breiðafjörður bay with its abundance of islands, islets and skerries. Their number has been estimated to be close to 2500, that only includes those that are not submerged during spring tide and where some vegetations of terrestrial origin is found. You might see seals, puffin, or spot White-tailed eagle by Breiðafjörður. Not to mention Icelandic sheep and horses, but May is lambing season and after that sheep’s are set free with their lambs for the summer, so you’ll want to drive slow around the countryside while they might run around the road.

Sit on a soft tuft and take in the smell of sea and plants, listen for sounds from birds, young lambs and waterfalls. You are never as close to nature as you are in these moments. If you’re lucky enough, meet some hidden people, elves or trolls who live in harmony with us Icelanders.

Take time to taste the region, try some of the many cheeses that are made in Dalir. You can find accommodation of many kinds, from hotels and guesthouses to cabins and camping sites so everyone should find something to their liking. Meet the locals, hear their stories, learn about the way of life in Dalir, get directions and consult about where to go and what to do. You don’t have to go off-road to experience everything that Dalir has to offer but might get a better sense of everything if you take a little walk. This is a place to travel slow, to take everything in, to enjoy and to just be.

After a trip to Dalir you might just get as deep-minded as Auður, full of pleasing and relaxing memories from your trip to the region.


Interesting places

Eirik the Red´s homestead in Dalir
Fellsstrond in Dalir
Gudrunarlaug, geothermal pool, in Dalir
Hafratindur Mountain in Dalir
Hvammur in Dalir
Klofningur mountain in Dalir
Krosshólaborg in Dalir
Laugar in Saelingsdalur in Dalir
Olafsdalur in Dalir
Skard in Skardsstrond, Dalir