Skip to main content

The eerie but beautiful mounds in Vatnsdal in Northern Iceland. The mounds, or hills, are mostly pyramid shaped and their number here is infinite…. almost. PIC Atli Harðarson

N owadays if you ask a typical local Icelander about innumerable things in Iceland they will most likely shrug or suggest bars, lava or somesuch nonsense.

Sadly, whilst Iceland has without any doubt one of the most amazing nature on the face of the planet what often makes a beautiful spot truly fantastic are all the stories and legends linked to those same places. Yes, we are a young nation but you´d be blown away by how much history can be linked to most places.

For centuries there have been, in the mind of locals, three special places in Iceland where you will find countless numbers of special natural things. All three places are worth your time. And you will need time to appreciate every one.

Your first thought is how weird this is but soon you will start to see their beauty

  1. The islands of BREIDAFJORDUR  >> Breiðafjordur is the name of the bay separating Snaefellsnes peninsula from the Western fjords area of the country. It can partly be explored on the ferry going from Stykkisholmur town across to Vatnsfjordur. Old legends say that the number of islands in the bay are countless. Now scientists would argue this is not the case but take a look on a map and try to count the exact number. Then imagine the difficulty of counting them without any maps. In any case this place is really nice and you can hire a boat to take you to any of the islands. Most islands are uninhabited except for birds. Others are used as summer dwellings and one, Flatey, actually has residents the year round.
  2. The hills of VATNSDALUR  >> These you suddenly come across by driving the Ring Road on your way North or coming South from the North. Your first thought is how weird this is but soon you will start to see their beauty and then, perhaps, you stop and start counting. These are pyramid shaped mounds or hills but confined to this one area in the country. Most remarkably the hills seem so out of place here and this is what makes them so wonderful. It does not matter if you arrive in dead of winter or over high-summer you will be blown away by this phenomena. Whilst you admire the hills think about the two individuals executed here in 1830 for murders. Those were the very last persons to be executed in Iceland.
  3. The lakes of ARNARVATNSHEIDI >> This place is pretty much off the chart of most foreigners and you will need your own set of wheels to get here. But once you do you will be astounded. Here you will drive through centuries old lavafields overgrown with the greenes moss your eyes have seen. Better yet, scattered everywhere are small streams and lakes and ponds. Legend has it these are countless. But beware; Arnarvatnsheidi is part of the highland of Iceland and it can get very cold here outside of summertime. Fishing here is fantastic since the only company is pretty much the stunning nature and most often the stunning silence broken only occasionally by birds. Bring a tent and enjoy but please take care. Moss takes thousands of years to grow.