Helgafell or holy hillock is a farm and a small hill at Þórsnes small peninsula near Stykkishólmur town at Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The place and the farm has a long and colorful history that we can trace back to the times of settlement. It has always been a place of religious practices and high esteem both in paganism and Christianity. Accordingly, it was early on and for centuries a place of power and also a place of learning and education. Helgafell is mentioned in many of the Sagas, like Laxdæla and Eyrarbyggjasaga, and was the home of famous characters in early Icelandic history like Snorri Goði and Guðrún Ósvíusdóttir. So it is not a surprise that the farm and the hillock are gaining more and more interest among visitors.
A spectacular view
Even though Helgafell is only 73 meters high, it is a point of spectacular view in all directions. That is probably one of the reasons it was considered of great value early on in Icelandic history when disputes often led to deadly battles and mobilizations. In those times it was good to have an overview of your enemies intentions especially if they came riding in large numbers grumpy faced and heavily armed. Today as we live in more peaceful times, it is an excellent place to see the many islands in the Breiðafjörður bay and even better to get a quiet moment and a glimpse at the scenic mountains of Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you are interested in the Sagas Helgafell gives a good overview of the scene of Eyrabyggjasaga and also partly Laxdæla.
When you come up, you can walk into the ruins that are traced back to the 10th century and repeat the wishes in silence
Folklore of three wishes that could be to your advantage
A shepherd working for one of the first settlers at Helgafell, Thorstein Cod Biter, had a spiritual experience that affected him much at Helgafell. It was on the same day the Cod Biter drowned in Breiðafjörður bay. This event enhanced the spiritual value of the hillock significantly. According to folklore magical forces remain attached to Helgafell. So if you are visiting this place for the first time, you are granted three wishes. But you need to climb the hillock in complete silence, and you can under no circumstances turn around and look back while walking up. When you come up, you can walk into the ruins that are traced back to the 10th century and repeat the wishes in silence. And keep in mind that the wishes can only be of good nature if they are to come thru.
A great view to the islands at Breiðarfjörður bay from Helgafell
Finding your way to Helgafell
Driving to Helgafell is a simple matter. When driving Snæfellsnesvegur Nr. 54 and you come to the intersection to Stykkishólmur Nr. 58 you drive approximately 5 kilometers and take a right turn on the road Nr. 5772 Helgafell. There is a small service center with information, restrooms and a parking space. The fee is 400 Icelandic kronur pr. person.