Countryside

  • The Sjöundá double murder and trial
    Iceland's best-known crime story took place at the Sjöundá farm by Rauðisandur in 1802. Half the farm was allocated to the farmer Bjarni, who lived there with his wife Guðrún and their three children.  That left half the farm uninhabited until the arrival of farmer Jón, his wife Steinunn and their five children. Sjöundá was an extremely isolated spot and hardly the place for unquiet souls. With not much diversion on offer, Bjarni and Steinunn commenced on an illicit affair. With not many places...
  • One such waterfall is by the road in the West Fjords at the mountain pass or Morse Steingrímsfjarðarheiði.
    Iceland has so many waterfalls that it could be labeled the country of the thousand waterfalls, just as Finland is often labeled the land of thousands of lakes. In some fjords, like the beautiful Mjóifjörður in the East Region water seems to float down the mountains every 50 meters in the 18 kilometers fjord, on both sides.  In the Highland, you can hardly walk a few kilometers without running into some a creek or a river that has a fall at some point.  But it is not only the water, be it...
  • Diamond beach in Iceland
      It is a bit surprising in a country that has a lot to offer regarding natural wonders and attractions to witness how tourists and visitors find and define new places. Places that quite unexpectedly become popular or even develop into landmarks.  Places that Icelanders almost never visited before tourism started to explode some years ago and never thought of as exciting.  The most extreme example is the Navy DC plane that crashed on Mýrdalssandur in November 1973.  Even today it would be hard...
  • Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place.
    Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place. This remote cove, surrounded by spectacular mountains, looks benign enough. Still, it is the site that marked the start of a witch craze era in Iceland, when the local sheriff had three sorcerers burned at the stakes in 1654. They were responsible (and consequently found guilty) for the scandalous behavior of some women at mass in the Árnes church. Farfetched? Well, when was witch hunting ever logical? Anyroads, the burnings took place in a rocky...
  • The mountain Trölladyngja and her sister Grænadyngja
    The mountain Trölladyngja (Troll Mountain) is quite curious. This dwarf of a mountain (only 275 meters high) consists of palagonite like most mountains in the area. Trölladyngja and its surroundings is part of the Krísuvík Geothermal Area, but only recently so. Until 1975, there was no geothermal activity around the mountain, but a few years later things started to shift and change. Today Trölladyngja is geothermally very active. It is quite apparent in the colorful south side of the mountain...
  • The waterfall Urriðafoss in the mighty river Þjórsá is the waterfall in Iceland that has more volume than any other waterfall.
    The waterfall Urriðafoss in the mighty river Þjórsá is the waterfall in Iceland that has more volume than any other waterfall.  One reason is the river Þjórsá that is the longest river in Iceland and thus collects a lot of water from its many origins in the highland and lowland until it exits to the ocean.  Anorher reason is the location of the waterfall only a few kilometres from the mouth of the river and thus carries all the water the river can possibly collect. With all its water it is an...
  • Vaglaskógur is the second largest forest area in Iceland.
    Vaglaskógur forest is a very popular destination for Icelanders. A 300-hectare forest, Vaglaskógur is ideal for camping and picnicking; for hiking and recreational activities. The forest is located in Fjóskadalur in Northeast Iceland, a green and fertile valley with the Fjónská River running through. It is a narrow valley, thus sheltered from most wind directions. The Fnjóská River is reputed to be one of the most beautiful fishing rivers in Iceland. At the northern perimeter of the river, you...
  • Vatnajökull Glacier is Europe's largest glacier.
    The Vatnajökull Glacier in Southeast Iceland is Europe's largest glacier. The glacier covers an area of approximately 8.100 square km and the thickness of the ice cap ranging from about 400 to 1100 m. The subglacial landscape is a plateau with valleys, canyons, and gorges all hidden under the ice.  Formed thousands of years ago, Vatnajökull has approximately 30 outlet glaciers, or glacier tongues, flowing and bursting from the icecap as the ice crawls down to the lowland.  One of Iceland's main...
  • Vatnsdalur is quite fertile and was inhabited from earliest times. It is the setting for Vatnsdælasaga
    When you are driving in North Iceland, there is just no way you'll miss Vatnsdalur (The Lake Valley) in Húnavatnssýsla. At the very mouth of the valley is a swarm of hills known as Vatnsdalshólar. Rising like hundreds of gigantic boobs in the landscape, many wonder why it isn't simply called Boob Valley. Especially as the lake the valley derives its name from, Vatnsdalsvatn (Lake Valley Lake) is small and rather insignificant. Vatnsdalur is quite and interesting valley. It has one of the...
  • Vatnsfjordur in the West Fjords in Iceland
    When in Iceland, it is impossible not to notice the wind. The weather very rarely stays still.  Except in Vatnsfjörður, a nature reserve on the south coast of Vestfirðir. It is believed to have been the settlement of the very first Norseman who deliberately sailed to the west in search of Iceland. His name was Flóki, but always named Hrafna-Flóki (Raven-Flóki) and arrived before the 9nth century, a few decades before Iceland was proper settlement started in Iceland.  No wonder Flóki chose the...

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