It says something about the Icelandic forefathers that they repeatedly built settlements in the wrong places. The small but cozy village of Stokkseyri in the South of Iceland is a clear and present example of this.
Settled as a spot for fishing on a sandy and windy coast totally unsuitable for fishing activities. Naturally, fishing stopped here as soon as men saw the futility from such a horrible spot, many left for better pastures and harbors but they left behind quite a bit of fine old buildings. Old in the Icelandic sense that is. It´s these buildings that are the main attraction for any visitor to this place nowadays.
The village belongs to the district of Arborg but a little over 400 people call Stokkseyri home. Which means that services are limited and over winter there is little on offer.
In high summer the place comes to life and Stokkseyri has made a name for itself for being a good spot for kayaking. A number of natural canals crisscross the landscape and rowing here on a clear summer day can be good fun. Contact Kajak.is for details.
Should you have interest in the tough lives of the locals before the advent of the internet make a stop at Thuridarbud folk museum. You will be forgiven should you not find it but keep your eyes focused on a building that looks like a rubble of rocks overgrown with grass. This actually is an exact replica of the kind of turf and stone buildings Icelanders called home for centuries. Then spare a thought for the locals since life in Iceland never ever was very easy and anyone complaining now should be shot on sight. In fact, spare a few minutes to hear the story of Thuridur to get intimately acquainted with hardships in former times.
After witnessing hardships of times past you can head to the village´s most famous museum; The Ghost Centre at Hafnargotu street. Its website claims it is an Icelandic wonder which is far-fetched to say the least. The place itself is not much of a museum but it is interesting indeed for those ghost-lovers out there. Loads of local ghost stories and reenactments at special times of famous ghosts of folklore.
Another museum worth seeing is the Hunting museum at Eyrarbraut road or Veidisafnid in the local language. Dead animals galore if you dig such things. For live animals visit the Magic Garden. Quite a name for a small children´s park but gives you access to some popular domestic animals in Iceland.
Here also is a cultural center called Holmarost. Open year round but for tourist there are worse things than taking a peek over summertime. Often you can find local artists showcasing their work and the ambiance can be quite nice.
For hardcore museum lovers head over to Baugsstadir a few minutes away from the village. This old place is the setting of one of the country´s oldest dairy farm. Still functioning with original equipment.
A bit east of the village and easily seen is the Knarrarosviti lighthouse. It depends on your taste if you like the look of this weird building.
Stokkseyri also boasts its own little swimming pool like most places in Iceland and the town setting could be worse.
The coastline of Stokkseyri is a fine place for a romantic walk or just a walk if you feel unromantic or lonely. A stroll here is a popular pastime among locals and tourists alike. Indeed, a recent poll showed that the coast is the thing most people remember about this little Icelandic village. No surprise there as our nature is always more interesting than anything man-made. There is a possibility of renting kayaks here in summertime.
As for spending more than a few hours here you cannot but try the one and only real restaurant in the village. Fjorubordid restaurant, also at Eyrarbraut road, is good for a hearty meal and quasi-famous for its lobster dishes.
As for spending the night here there is but one option. Guesthouse Kvoldstjarnan is open year-round in a nice cozy building.