PANORAMIC EXCURSION AMIDST FIELDS OF LAVA, STORIES OF VIKINGS AND A VISIT TO THE SHARK MUSEUM
Sightseen, Culture & local gems , Less than 1 hour walking, 52
In a nutshell
Good to know
An intriguing excursion to explore some of the famous sites immortalised in Iceland's legends: a blend of wild Nature and Literature.
- Berserkjahraun, lava field
- Helgafell, the Sacred Mountain
- Stykkishólmur, a village of nuns and fishermen, the Norwegian House
- Stykkishólmur the 'Bear Harbour', farmstead and Shark Museum
- Our coach begins the journey along the lava field of Berserkjahraun, literally 'lava field of the Berserkers', ancient wrestlers who used no armour. The legend says that two Berserkers came to a tragic end in this field, and excavations carried out at the end of the 19th century brought to light two mysterious skeletons, which confirmed the story.
- From the lava field our coach takes us to Mount Helgafell, the Sacred Mountain. It actually appears more of a hill in size, but it is thought to have special powers and is the burial ground of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir, the heroine of Icelandic Sagas.
- A short, 73 metre-long path takes us to the summit where, weather permitting, we should be able to enjoy a breathtaking view. The ancient book of Landnáma says that whoever reaches the summit of Mount Helgafell will have three wishes granted, provided they come from an innocent heart and follow certain simple rules.
- We continue to Stykkishólmur, a fishing village that has been a trading post for centuries, thanks to its favourable location. Nowadays, the second most important employer after the fishing industry is the Convent of Catholic Nuns.
- Here, we'll visit the oldest building in the town, the Norwegian House (1832), which now houses the local folklore museum. The House also has an amazing shop, where you'll find local artefacts, various objects and works of art. Finally, we step inside Bjarnarhöfn, 'Bear Harbour', a farmstead run by the same family for generations, where they breed sharks. Here, we'll visit the Shark Museum and we'll meet a local farmer, who will explain how they breed sharks and the processes to dry the fish. As people are so hospitable here, we'll be given the chance to taste the products, but as they have a very strong smell, it may be a good idea to carry a few mint sweets for the journey home. Our return journey will take us once again across the majestic lava field.
Good to know
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early.
- You are advised to wear comfortable clothing and bring your camera with you.