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For the Children

Bjossarolo - playground

Bjossarolo is a playground for children in Borgarnes, not far from Edduveröld or the Settlement Centre .

It was constructed by Bjorn Gudmundsson, a man who was ahead of his time and thought about recycling. He used exclusively things that had been thrown away to build up this special place. At the playground there are for example swings, slides, an old boat, a castle and a lot more in a hollow enclosed by rocks not far from the sea.

And on going there you could look for shells or nice stones on the beach. The small, but very pretty park Skallagrimsgardur is not far away. There you can even find the grave of a saga hero!

Borgarnes swimming pool

In the sports stadium, you will find both an outside and an inside swimming pool, hot tubs, a steam bath which is fed with steam straight from the Deildartunguhver hot spring, a children's pool and water slides. All in all, an excellent health spa.

Djupalonssandur & Dritvik

Djupalonssandur is a beautiful pebbled beach, with a series of rocks of mysterious form emerging from the ocean.

It is one of the few areas that lead down to the sea along this coast with its high dramatic cliffs. Watch out for the famous ghosts roaming the place!

The rests of a shipwreck can be seen on the beach. On the beach there are also big stones which people tried to lift and test their strength in the days of the fishing stations: Fully Strong 154 kg, Half-Strong 100 kg, Weakling 54 kg and Bungler 23 kg. Weakling marked the frontier of wimphood, any man who couldn't lift it was deemed unsuitable for a life as a fisherman.

Einkunnir

Einkunnir is a 270 ha country park, protected for recreational use and the preservation of the typical landscape of the area. The areas' main characteristics are its rocky islands or bluffs that rise from the areas' vast flat wetlands.

Please follow the marked trails whenever possible. Do not drive off-road, damage geological formations or vegetation. Do not disturb the wildlife or light fires in vegetated areas. Please take your litter with you when you leave.

Eirik the Red´s homestead.

Eiríksstaðir is one of most historic sides of Iceland. Step back to the Viking Era and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of Eriks the Red's farm which is also the birthplace of Leif the Lucky who is said to have discovered America. Modern day vikings demonstrate the lifestyle of 1000 years ago, sharing their crafts and knowledge.

Fiskibyrgi

Near Gufuskalar on the uttermost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, there was one of the many winter fisher villages consistant in Iceland in former times.

If you come from Hellnar and look at the lava fields at your right, you may disover the ruins of some 200 very small stone buildings which were used to dry and stock the fish. Their age is estimated at 500-700 years.

It is a 10 minutes walk from the road to one of the ruins which is still in so good condition that you can crawl inside. There, to your surprise, you may find the ceiling high enough for an adult to stand upright.

Flatey Island

Beautifully kept old houses in cheerful colours line the dusty path through the settlement of Flatey island. Walk through it, and at the end of the settlement, the path becomes even narrower and more crooked, taking you through a dense population of birds, consisting mainly of Arctic terns. Two families stay on the island throughout the winter, but many more migrate during the summer, mainly for leisure but also to serve tourists.

In a charming way, it feels very much like a movie set. And so it is. Many movies are set on the island, most notably The Honour of the House based on a short story by Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness, and White Night Wedding, a movie by Baltasar Kormákur. In fact, Baltasar's father painted the unusual altar piece in the island's church, making it worthy of a visit.

In summertime, a ferry goes to Flatey twice a day from Stykkishólmur and Brjánslækur, and, albeit less frequently, a passenger boat offers connection to Reykhólar.

Garðalundur park

Garðarlundur country park, protected for recreational use and the preservation of the typical landscape of the area. The areas' main characteristics are its rocky islands or bluffs that rise from the areas' vast flat wetlands.

Gerduberg basalt columns

An impressive wall of beautiful basalt columns, forming geometric patterns in the cliffs.

Helgafell Holy Mountain

Holy Mountain, 73 m with a breathtaking panoramic view across Breiðafjordur Bay. A viewing dial is at the top.

Folklore advises anyone climbing the mountain for the first time to walk straight up without looking back or speaking and three wishes will be granted. The wishes have to be of good intent and the wisher tells no one and faces east when making them.

A small remnant of a wall on the mountain top is dated 1184 and was a part of a nearby monastery built at this time.

Langisandur

The coastline around Akranes is rich with bird life and there are many different types of beaches along the coast. One of these is Langisandur, a sandy beach and one of the most popular outdoor areas of Akranes. Langisandur is one of three Blue Flag beaches in Iceland. Guests are welcome to join the local Sea Swimming Club at Langisandur Beach three times a week. More information at the Akranes Tourist Information Office, e-mail info@akranes.is, tel: +354 894 2500.

Laugar in Saelingsdal

Gudrun Osvifursdottir, heroine of Laxdaela Saga, was born (973AD) and brought up at Laugar.

It is said that she used the hot water pool there a lot and also met there her followers Kjartan and Bolli.

There is a geothermal area at Laugar and a naturally-heated swimming pool was built there in 1932. The hot water is also used for heating up the buildings at the place.

There is a summer hotel and a folk museum which opened in 1977.

At about 3 km from Laugar you may find the rocky hill Tungustapi, home of elves.

Londrangar basalt cliffs

Uniquely-formed remnants of ancient basalt volcanic dikes sticking out from the sea.

Londrangar and the hill Svalthufa are the remains of a crater, which has been eroded to its present form by the sea.

The farmers in the area never made or make hay on the hill, because it is said to belong to the elves living in the area.

Younger lava fields surround this old crater ruin. The higher pillar (75m) was first climbed in 1735 and the lower (61 m) in 1938.

Below the hill you may find Thufubjarg cliff where according to a folktale the poet Kolbeinn Joklaskald had an encounter with the Devil.

On these cliffs, puffins and fulmars have their nests.

Longufjorur Beach

Longufjorur is a light sandy beach on the south shore of Snaefellsnes peninsula. This beach is perfect for horseriding with a guide.

Olkelda mineral spring

At the farm Olkelda, near Stadarstadur, in the south of Snaefellsnes, there is a mineral spring with carbonated water.

Mineral springs are said to have healing properties, so feel free to take a sip.

The farmhouse is named Olkelda which means mineral spring in Icelandic.

Paradise Hollow

Paradise Hollow is a beautiful small oasis near the impressive waterfall Glanni.

There is a walking path from the car park to Paradise Hollow and the waterfall. A viewing deck offers a good view of the Glanni waterfall.

A coffee shop is open during the summer months.

Skallagrimsgardur

In the heart of Borgarnes is Skallagrímsgarður, a small public park which is ideal for a picnic. The park plays an important role in Egil's Saga, as the burial mound of Skallagrímur Kveldúlfsson, Egil's father, is situated there. It is a good idea to relax in Skallagrímsgarður after a visit to Borgarnes swimming pool which is next to the park.

Songhellir, cave

Songhellir is a famous cave. The name means the cave of songs. It is well known because of its echo.

Staupasteinn

A goblet-shaped rock and popular resting place for tourists. Close to Hvammsvik on the old national road around Whale Fjord.

An elf by the name of Staupa-Steinn has his home in this rock. Not everyone can see him. He is described as having long hair, a beard and being a kind, gentle man who loves to play ball with children who are picnicking in the area.

Beautiful view. Protected since 1974.

Troll Walk

The Troll Books and the Troll and Folktale Walks

When the host in Fossatún, Steinar Berg, first arrived Fossatún, he found a rock with the shape of a troll's face by the Troll Waterfalls. This inspired him to write folk stories about trolls. His books have been well received and successful in Iceland. The book Tryggdatröll (The Last Troll) is available in 6 languages apart from Icelandic: English, French, German, Norwegian, Japanese and Spanish. The book is illustrated by Brian Pilkington.

The Troll Walk and the Folktale Walk.

The walks are connected with the books. The Troll walk is a short walk viewing The Troll Waterfalls and the scenery and background of The Last Troll story - and you learn about trolls on the way. The Folktale Walk is a new walk, extension of the Troll Walk, that will be set up in April/May 2018. It is based on the Trunt, Trunt book and you learn about folktales and locations in the West Region of Iceland. In addition you enjoy a wonderful panorama view of the Borgarfjördur area and mountain circle.

Troll Waterfalls

The Troll Waterfalls of the Grimsa river. There is a clear formation in the form of a troll face in the cliff by the river bank.

Take the troll walk and learn about trolls, folk tales and places that connect to the nature and scenery at Fossatun.

An extraordinary view and good spot to see the Skessuhorn mountain peak. Excellent for witnessing jumping salmon in the summer.

Ytri Tunga

The beach near the farm Ytri-Tunga is a well-known seal colony. The best time to see seals there is in June and July.

West Iceland

Towns & Villages

The population centres in West Iceland are as varied as they are many. Ten places have over 50 residents and Akranes is the most densely populated with 6,500 inhabitants. 

All of the larger communities put ever-increasing emphasis on dynamic tourism where a wide selection of recreation and services are offered.   

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Map Hellissandur, Rif Grundarfjörður Stykkishólmur Búðardalur Dalir Arnarstapi Hellnar Snæfellsnes Bifröst Húsafell Reykholt Borgarfjörður Hvanneyri Borgarnes Hvalfjörður Akranes Ólafsvík