Höfði House and the poet Einar Ben

  • The statue of the poet and entrepreneur Mr. Benediktsson and Höfði House
Apr 17 2016

In recent years, Höfði House in the district of Laugardalur has become one of the major landmarks in Reykjavík the capital of Iceland.  And not without a reason.  It is famous for its history in Iceland and also internationally as a symbol referring to the end of the cold war, after Ronald Reagan president of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev president of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had their famous meeting in the house in 1986.

Connected to the poet Mr. Benediktsson

In the minds of Icelanders though, it is often linked to the poet and entrepreneur Einar Benediktsson (1864 -1940), although he only lived in the house for a few years. Mr. Benediktsson moved into the house with his family in 1914 and named the house, Höfði. He was a grand scale entrepreneur who dreamed of things larger than life, and during his lifetime filled his bag of experience with failures and bankruptcy. But he was a person that Icelanders loved and probably one of the first businesspeople in Iceland to find international funding for many of his failed enterprises. And most of the time lived like a King both in Iceland and abroad. But it was first and foremost the poet Mr. Benediktsson that Icelanders admired.  Less than three decades after Mr. Benediktsson passed away a statue of him vas placed in a new small park by Klambratún in the district of Hlíðar.  In 2015, the statue was moved to the lot by Höfði House and stands by the
house near the ocean where many Icelanders feel he belongs.

A bit of a history

The house was built in 1909 for the French Consul Brillouin, who was appointed by the French government at that time to look after the interest of French seamen fishing in Iceland. This was at the same time all the newly renovated houses, the French hospital, and other houses, were built in Fáskrúðsfjörður in the Eastern Region. At that point, the extravagant house was rather far from the main center and other houses in the small town of Reykjavík.  The house was also the home of a physician Mr. Matthías Einarsson father of one of the first female artists in Iceland with international recognition, Louisa Matthíasdóttir. During the second world war, it was the residence of the British consulate visited by Winston Churchill.  After occupying the house for a few years, the consul sold it because of a ghost "the woman in white" that continually disturbed the people living there. From 1967, it has been the official reception for the city of Reykjavík.

Tours and things to do in Reykjavík Iceland

Find an interesting tour in Reykjavík. A tour in Reykjavík or a day-tour to nearby natural wonders, a scenic drive or an adventure tour if you are ready for action.

Whale watching Reykjavík the capital of Iceland

The tour starts at the Old Harbour in downtown Reykjavik. Merely steps away you will find Eldey Visitor Centre, located on board a converted fishing vessel permanently placed by the pier. And here is where you will meet the crew for the day.  Before (or after) the tour, at your convenience, you can stroll through our souvenir shop, have a drink at the Whale Café or enjoy the onboard whale exhibition located in the hull of the boat. The show includes multimedia images and videos of whales as well as interesting facts about the cetaceans and other marine animals we are likely to see on tour. From that point, you will be shown to the whale watching vessel that will take you on tour.

Whale watching in Reykjavík Iceland
Ice Super Truck adventure for a day

This adventurous one-day super truck tour takes you to the South coast with an added glacier activity. 

The day starts off with a visit to one of Iceland’s most famous and fascinating waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss. Here you can walk behind the falling water and experience something different.  But you need to be careful as the trail is narrow and most of the time a bit slippery.  Extra caution is required during winter, and proper footwear is recommended. This is one of the most photographed places in Iceland and for a good reason. During the winter, the waterfall is lit up so you can enjoy it’s magic all year round.

Southern Region in Iceland
Ice cave

Natural wonders, ice cave, icberg lagoon, northern lights

The south coast of Iceland is the home of some stunning natural wonders and spectacular places to visit.  This tour highlights the iceberg lagoon Jökulsárlón, the Diamond beach, a visit to an actual Ice cave, and the waterfall Seljalandsfoss.  As evening approaches on our way back to Reykjavík, we start looking for the Northern light’s and make a stop if we spot a glimpse of Aurora Borealis.


South Region in Iceland
Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Pursuing the Northern Lights around Reykjavík in a small group

Iceland is a perfect place to see the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.  If conditions are right, the Northern Lights can be seen in all regions.  Reykjavík and nearby countryside is an excellent place to search for and see the Northern Lights. Come with us as we search for the best place to experience this unique phenomenon.

2 Day South Coast Tour - Blue Ice cave - Jökulsárlón - and more

Blue Ice cave - Waterfalls - Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon - Black Sands at Reynisfjara 

Join this tour along Iceland’s south coast to discover the unique landscape, natural blue Ice cave, glacier tongues, icebergs, lava fields, volcanos, black beaches, mighty rivers, and magic waterfalls.