SAGA TRAIL AROUND ICELAND
BE A PART OF IT
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You can combine all the most spectacular Icelandic saga places with other opportunities  in your driving program to realize the genuine "feel” for Icelandic saga and culture.

 

Click the map route one around Iceland for further information!

Itinerary Suggestion
Saga trail Around  Iceland

You can start your saga trail
vice versa.
see botom of this page!
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Day 1. Reykjavik-Borgarfjordur-North Iceland

Leave Reykjavik driving along Mt. Esja Eilífsdalur Kjos Just north of the valley is a cone shaped mound, Orrustuholl (Battle mound).  According to the Saga of Kjalnesingar, the brothers Helgi and Vakur--
then drive the Whail bay to saga trail:
Geirsholmur,
 It is mentioned in the Sagas of the Sturlungar and Hordur and the Islanders.  Hordur was the leader of a band of robbers who occupied the islet for a while.
Thyrill: The name Thyrill applies to a mountain (388 m) and a farm on the northern shores of the Whale Bay.
Sanda village: During World War II, and other constructions from later periods, mainly in connection with the operation of the Whale Station, are called the Sanda Village.
Hallgrims Church
, This church belongs to the Saurbaer benefice in the Borgarfiord deanery.
Then to  MELAR Farm Melar in county Leira and Melasveit.  It was the abode of the Melar dynasty, the descendants of dynasties of Reykholt and Borg.  During the Melar dynasty period, the Melar Book of Settlements was written.  Four men from Melar were killed in the famous Baejar battle.
and LEIRA Farm in Leira in county Leira and Melasveit was a church site and a mansion for a long period.  after 1630, it was the seat of the governor of West Iceland, Arni Oddsson (1592-1665).  His successor, Bauka Jon, took over in 1666.  He lead a colourful life as an official until 1672.
Continue through the Borgarfjordur district short detour to BORG where the settler Skalla-Grimur Kveldulfsson built his farm and others elsewhere in the Borgarfjordur area. His son, Egill, the so-called last Viking, continued his father’s work.

Stafholt in Borgarfjordur.
 Egil's Saga mentions, that Steinar Önundarson requested the help of Chieftain Einar against Torsteinn Egilsson at Borg.  Snorri Sturluson lived at Stafholt for three years, where he married his daughter Tordis to Torvaldur Vatnsfirdingur.
Reykholt  is one of the most historical places in Iceland and was a cultural centre for centuries. Here was the home of the chieftain and historian Snorri Sturluson from 1206 until 1241 when he was slain by his enemies in the subterranean walk to his pool.
Then to
Kalmanstunga. This farm was named after the Irish settler Kalman.  Just west of the farm is the rhyolite hill Tunga.  Two farms, Brenna and Bjarnastadir were at the foot of the hill in the past.
Geitland: According to the Book of Settlements, a man named Ulfur Grimsson, settled in the Geitland area, where people lived up to the turn of the 16th century.
Valley Skorradalur: Torbjorg, Hordur Grimkelsson's sister and the wife of Indridi, lived at Indridastadir in the valley during the earlier Saga Period.
Heggsstadir: The Egil’s Saga mentions the settler Heggur at Heggsstadir. When Egill Skallagrimsson was seven, he once played with Heggur’s son, Grimur, who was 10 or 11 years old at the time.

Saga Trails: West Iceland Saga Trails - Westfjords Saga Trails

Maps of: 
South West Iceland - Borgarfjordur Area

WEST Iceland ATTRACTIONS - Accommodations West Iceland


Reykjavik Tourist Information

Adalstraeti 2
101 Reykjavik
Tel: 590-1500
Fax : 590-1501
info@visitreykjavik.is


Borgarnes Tourist Information

Solbakki 2
310 Borgarnes
Tel.: 437-2214
Fax: 437-2314
info@westiceland.is

Continue to cross the Holtavorduheidi plateau to North Iceland.
Passing Stadarskali N1 Tourist Information Centre on highway #1.
Then to farm Bjarg
just east of salmon river Midfjardara.  One of the strongest, bravest, and cleverest outlaws, Grettir Asmundarson, was born there around the year 1000.  He was a naughty child and killed his first opponent when he was fourteen.
Continue to valley Vatnsdalur
The Lake Valley is well vegetated and prosperous. The valley’s first settler was Ingimundur the old.  The grove Tordisarlundur is dedicated to his daughter, Thordis, who was the first native of the Huna District.  According to the Book of Settlements, Ingimundur the old Torsteinsson settled in the valley on the advice of the Danish king and built his farm Hof. The Vatnsdaela Saga tells us about him, his relatives and decentants. 
Farm
Haukagil (Hawk gorge) is also located in valley Vatnsdalur. The men living there continued oppressing and plundering until the Saxon bishop Fridrik, who stayed for a while at the farm
Stora Gilja, found a way to get rid of them.  After their slaying, they were buried in the gorge.

The natural fortress Borgarvirki, somewhat fortified by the people in the area, is situated on top of a 177 m high hill between Lake Vesturhop and the Vididalur Valley.
Road no. 1 passes the farm Stora-Gilja.
The first Christian missionary, Thorvaldur Kodransson the widely travelled, was born there. He travelled about the country shortly before the year 1000 with a Saxon bishop, Frederick, and tried to spread Christianity without much result.
Hunafloi Gulf is 30 miles across between the peninsulas Skagi.  In 1244, the only sea battle of the country's history took place on the gulf - Cod Wars excluded.

Saga Trails: North Iceland Saga Trails

Maps of
 Nortwest Hvammstangi to Blonduos Area


North Iceland Attractions - Accommodations North Iceland



Hvammstangi Tourist information

Brekkugata 2 -
530 Hvammstang
i

selasetur@selasetur.is

Day 2.  Skagafjordur Saga

The hamlet Varmahlid in Skagafjordur, Iceland's big saga area, offers access to many historical spots, i.e. farm
Fugumyri, where Gissur Thorvaldsson, who became the first earl of the Norwegian kings after Iceland lost its independence, lived for a while.
Mt Glodarfeykir (910 m.),  In 1551, the Danish king sent a detail of soldiers to Iceland to fight the followers of the  catholic bishop Jon Arason (†1550), who stood in the way of the reformation.
Farm
Geldingaholt.  The Sturlunga Saga mentions a bloody battle there in 1255. Drive through the Skagafjordur District, famous for its horses and history. Ideal to stop at the  
Glaumbaer folk museum from the 19th century.
Vallholmur (Holmurinn): There the ancient dynasti Sturlungar reiceived foreboding of their great fate.
Selvik
Cove was the best landing for small fishing vessels on the eastern side of the great peninsula Skagi. According to the so-called Sturlunga Saga, Kolbeinn the Young Arnorsson, set off with his fleet of 400 strong from Cove Selvik and headed for the Westfjords.  He met his opponent, Tordur kakali and his fleet on Bay Hunafloi, where the only sea battle of Iceland took place.
Mt Tindastoll: According to the legend every last weekend in June some wishing stones emerge from a small lake on top of the mountain. 
Hunafloi Gulf is 30 miles across between the peninsulas Skagi.  In 1244, the only sea battle of the country's history took place on the gulf - Cod Wars excluded.
Grettislaug
The Gretti’s Saga tells us about the almost five years Grettir the exiled, his brother Illugi and the slave Glaumur spent on the Drangey Island.
The island Drangey is a cliff, approximately 700.000 years old. One should read the Saga of Grettir the strong, which is tightly connected to the island.
Malmey is the larger of the two islands of the Skagafjordur Bay. The Sturlunga Saga tells the story of bishop Gudmundur Arason the Good and his persecutors. 
Holar is a university and a school centre and a parsonage in the Hjaltadalur valley.
Slettuhlidavatn:  During "The Age of   Settlement", Hrolleifur the Great and his mother lived in the valley Hrolleifsdalur.

Saga Trails: North Iceland Saga Trails

Map of
Skagafjordur Area


North Iceland Attractions - Accommodations North Iceland


Varmahlid Tourist Information
560 Varmahlid
Tel.: 455-6161
info@skagafjordur.is

Day 3.  Skagafjordur -Akureyri.

Eyjafjordur saga trail
Hrafnagil has been an estate since ancient times.
Modrufell is a farm in Hrafnagilshreppur county in district Eyjafjordur.
Modruvellir.  This manor and parsonage is situated in the mouth of the Horgardalur valley on the Eyjafjordur Bay.
Gasir.  During ancient times, Gasir was the most important trading post of the North.  Archaeologists have excavated ruins of houses of a trading village there.

Saga Trails: North Iceland Saga Trails

Map of
Akureyri & Eyjafjordur Area

North Iceland Attractions - Accommodations North Iceland


Akureyri Tourist Information

S
trandgotu 12

600 Akureyri
Tel: +354-450-1050
info@visitakureyri.is

Day 4. Akureyri-Myvatn.

From Akureyri you continue to the Museum Laufas then to lake and farm Ljosavatn.  The farm is best known for the residence of the pagan chieftain Thorgeir Thorkelsson around the year 1000.
Godafoss Waterfall According to the Saga of Christianity the formerly pagan chieftain Thorgeir threw his wooden images of the pagan gods into the waterfall after the acceptance of christianity.
Continue to Lake Myvatn area with its unique attractions, i.e. Dimmuborgir, Skutustadir, Krafla and Hverir.

Saga Trails: North Iceland Saga trails

Maps
Husavik To Akureyri Area <> Myvatn Area

North Iceland Attractions - Accommodations North Iceland


WITCHCRAFT and SCORCERY
in North Iceland

660 Mývatn
Tel.: 464 4390
Fax: 464 4392
info@visitmyvatn.is
 
Day 5. Myvatn-Husavik-Asbyrgi-Dettifoss-Egilsstadir.

The tour continues along the Tjornes peninsula via Husavik  and continue to
Keldunes
The farmer at Keldunes shortly after the turn of the 17th century had a child with his sister in law and came to an agreement with another man to father the child.
Tjornes: The Tjornes strata also bear witness to the different status of the sea levels and that the ice age commenced about 3000 years ago with at least 10 differently extended warm periods in-between.
Then
to the horseshoe shaped cliffs of Asbyrgi and Dettifoss, Europe’s mightiest waterfall and Holmatungur.
Continuing eastwards to Egilsstadir.
Farm Adalbol:  According to Hrafnkel's Saga, Hrafnkell lived in Hrafnkel's valley and relied on his favourite god, Freyr.

Saga Trails: East Iceland Saga Trails

Maps of 
Asbyrgi and Dettifos area
<> Central Eastern Area

North Iceland Attractions

East Iceland Attractions - Accommodations East Iceland


Egilsstadir Tourist Information

Kaupvangur 10
700 Egilsstadir
Tel.: 471-2320
Fax: 471-8363
east@east.

Day 6.  Egilsstadir-Hofn-Glacial Lagoon-Skaftafell.

Egilsstadir-Hofn-Glacial Lagoon-Skaftafell.
EidarAccording to the Droplaugarsons' Saga, the surrounding area of Eidar was so well wooded, that it was impossible to see any visitors coming until they knocked on the door.
Grof is an abandoned farm in County Eidathingha.  In 1729, a man murdered his neighbour there by almost cutting off his head in a jelous rage.
Unaos The first settler there was Uni Gardarsson, the son of one of the three discoverers of Iceland, the Svede Gardar Svavarsson.
Drive along the Eastfjords to Nordfjordur
Vidfjordurcove is the southernmost of the Nordfjordur Bay, For centuries on end the farm was haunted and during the first half of the 20th century,
Drive along the East coast through
Breiddalur central volcano: This central volcano, decorating the landscapes of the Breiddalur Valley and the vicinity of the Berufiord Bay
Fossa & Fossardalur:
According to a legend, a kelpie lived in a pool below the last waterfall.  The people of the valley did all they could to get rid of it with no avail until baptismal water was poured into the pool. 
Gautavik: Gautavik is a farm on the northern side of the Berufjordur Bay. One of the first missionaries to visit Iceland before Christianity was adopted was a priest by the name of Thangbrandur.

Geithellnardalur:  According to the Book of Settlements, the two foster brothers, Ingolfur Arnarson and Hjorleifur Hrodmarsson, who were the first Norwegians to arrive to settle in Iceland
Berufjordur: The name of the bay and a few other spots are derived from the name of the settler Bera.
Hamarsdalur: During Catholic times a prayer chapel was located there.  In the home meadows is one of many graves of prophetesses in the East.  The first settler of the valley, Bjorn Svidinhorni, probably called his farm Hamar because of the rocky outcrops in the surroundings
Hof in
Alftafjordur Bay:The Saga personality, Sidu-Hallur, lived there before he moved to Thvotta, after his son, Thidrandi, was killed by “the supernatural, dark nymphs”.  Reverend Bjarni Gudmundsson was the last Catholic priest at Hof.
then through
Thvotta
Farm Thvotta is the southernmost farm of the Alftafjordur County.  Around the year 1000 the renowned Saga personality Hallur Thorsteinsson, or Sidu-Hallur, lived there. 
In the mountainous landscapes
Hvalnes Algerian buccaneers landed in 1627, robbed and plundered, but could not find any people, because everyone was busy working in the summer pastures.
Continue to the fishing town Hofn. Then continue to the Jokulsarlon (Glacial Lagoon) before continuing to Skaftafell National Park via Svinafell.  The Njal’s Saga has one of its stages of events there, when Flosi Thordarson lived there shortly after the year 1000. at the foot at the mighty Oraefajokull, the highest peak of the country.
Vatnajokull According to Guinness World Records, Vatnajökull is the object of the world's longest sight line, 550 km from Slaettaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands.

Saga Trails: East Iceland Saga Trails

Maps of
 
Central Eastern Area <> Southeast Area <> Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Area 

East Iceland Attractions - Accommodations East Iceland
South Iceland Attractions - Accommodations South Iceland


Hofn Travel Informaton Centre
Hafnarbraut 25 
780 Hofn
 Tel.:
478-1500/478-2665    
tourinfo@hornafjordur.is


Skaftafell Visitor Centre

Skaftafell National Park
785 Fagurholsmyri
Tel.: 470-8300
Fax.:470-8309
skaftafell@vjp.is

 

Day 7. Skaftafell-Kirkjubaejarklaustur-Vik-Reykjavik.


Drive across the outwash plains
 passing Mt Lomagnupur: is mentioned in the Njal's Saga in connection with Flosi of farm Svinafell’s dream, when he saw the giant of Lomagnupur step out of the mountain. 
Past the hamlet Kirkjubaejarklaustur 5 Km. east is the mound OrrustuhollAccording to the legend, one of the Saga Period personalities, Hamundur the Lame, revenged his fathers death near the mound.  His father was Hroar the Chief at Farm Tunga.
The Dwarf Cliffs: Those sea eroded basaltic columns just south of road no. 1 before Kikjibaejartklaustur, are well worth a closer look.
Church Floor: The so-called Church Floor is situated in the meadow just northeast of the hamlet Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Kirkjubaejarklaustur Chapel:  Rev. Jon Steingrimsson lies buried in the old cemetery at Klaustur with a prominent gravestone made of columnar basalt.
Systrastapi: 1186 a nun monastery was established in Kirkjubær á Síðu. It was later called Kirkjubæjarklaustur and the topographical names Systrastapi and Systrafoss are connected to this time.
Continue through Myrdalssandur, the vast desert, before reaching Vik, Iceland's southernmost village.
Kudafljot: According to The Book of Settlements, Vilbaldur set off from Ireland on his vessel Kudi.
Hjorleifshofdi:  In 874, the families, domestics and slaves of two Norvegian foster brothers, Ingolfur and Hjorleifur, were on their way to Iceland to settle permanently. Their ships were separated in a storm and each family spent the next winter on separate promontories, which were consequently named after the aforementioned men.
Kerlingadalur:  In the saga period, the so-called Magic-Hedinn lived at the farm Kerlingardalur. At that time, one of the first missionaries, Thangbrandur, was trying to christianize the Icelanders on behalf of King Olaf the holy of Norway.
From Vik a drive via Petursey During the troublesome "Sturlunga Period" in the 13th century an army of 200 men prepared its defence on its top.
Reyni’s Church Vik in Myrdal: According to the legend one of the early farmers of Reynir was obliged to build a church before autumn. The timber arrived late in the summer and he could not find a carpenter for the work. 
Drive to the waterfall Skogfoss The first settler at Skogar was Thrasi Thorolfsson. He was a learned man and his character was antiquated. He is said to have hidden a chest filled with gold coins in a cave behind the waterfall .  Then to waterfall
Seljalandsfoss, and
continue through Hvolsvollur and  BergtholshvollNjal’s Saga is without doubt the most popular of the Saga literature.  It tells the story of Njall the wise, his family, friends and relatives.  His three sons were Grimur, Helgi and Skarphedinn, all renowned warriors, but Skarphedinn the mightiest one.
Keldur:  According to the Njal's Saga, the farmer Ingjaldur Holskuldsson occupied Keldur around the year 1000. Later the most powerful dynasty of the country, the so-called Oddaverjar, had one of their manors there.
Ranga Burial SiteEarly 19th century sources mention two burial grounds about 2½ km east of Keldur in the Ranga County.  Since then they have been researched and studied by scientists.
Stora Hof: This estate is located near River Eastern Ranga in District Rangarvellir. The first settler of the area, Ketill Haengur Thorkelsson, claimed the area between the rivers Thjorsa and Markarfljot for himself, and later parted it to other noble settlers.
Mt.Thrihyrningur: The story says that the reconciliation was out at the Parliament at Thingvellir,after the killing of Hoskuldur and no way out except revenge.
Thorolfsfell: (574 m) is located east of the inhabited areas of County Fljotshlid.  According to the Book of Settlements, Thorolfur Asksson, settled west of River Markarfljot, between two rivers by the same name, Deildara.  His nephew, Thorgeir Gollni, lived there.  Thorgeir’s son was Njall at Bergthorshvoll, who inherited the farm after his father’s death.
Continue on road #1 to Hella, and through some of Iceland's richest farmlands to village via Selfoss to Hveragerdi before continuing over the plateau Hellisheidi to Reykjavik.
Laugardaela church Iceland's parliament voted in March 2005 to give Bobby Fischer full citizenship The Japanese authorities then released Fischer to Iceland, where he lived until his death in 2008. On January 21, he was buried in the small Christian cemetery of Laugardaelir church, outside the town of Selfoss
Selfoss: The town is an excellent centre for day tours to the many attractions in the area.
Arnarbæli:
According the 18th century annals, earthquakes caused collapses of farms and fatal casualties on the 20th of April 1706. 
Kaldadanes:
Haukdaelir dynasty owned the property for a while and the chieftain Gissur Thorvaldsson lived there in 1252 and again 1257-58, after he had been constituted earl by the Norwegian king.
Reykir: This former manor is situated at the foot of Mt Reykjafell, just east of River Varma on the outskirts of the horticultural town Hveragerdi. In earlier times, the Reykir estate was the seat of wealthy an powerful men, such as Gissur the Earl in the 13th century and Oddur the Vice Governor in the 16th century. 
Hjalli:
Hjalli is a farm and a church site in the Olfus County.  Around the year 1000 it was occupied by one of the wisest and most learned chieftains of the country, Skafti Thoroddsson.
Kolvidarhol: at the foot of the Hellisskard Pass was a popular and a necessary resort for the travellers in the past. According to the legendes, one of many well known at Kolviðarhóll was the Brennivín Ghost.

Upper Part of District Arnessysla:

Ashildarmyri:  Ashildarmyri is a historical site and an ancient meeting place in the lower regions of the Skeid County.
Thorsardalur: During the first half of "The Free State Period" (930-1262), the settlement of this green valley flourished until the 1104 eruption of Mt. Hekla devastated it.
Gaukshofdi: Gaukshofdi is a headland along which River Thjorsa runs where it can be forded when the water level is not too high. The headland was named after Gaukur, who lived at Stong in the Thjorsa Valley in the 10th century.
Hruni: is a farm, a church site, and a parsonage in the Hrunamanna County.
Thorvaldur Gissurarson (1155-1225), the son of Gissur Hallsson of Haukadalur, lived at Hruni 1182-1225. He was a clever chieftain and a catholic priest.
Braedratunga: is a manor and a church site on the tongue of land between the rivers Hvita and Tungufljot in the Southwestern Lowlands. Its documentation and records of its occupants and of everyday life in the past are among the primary sources for of the Halldor Kiljan Laxnes’ novel “The Iceland Bell.”
Haukadalur: former manor. According to the legend, one of the few remaining giants of the country after the acceptance of Christianity, Bergthor of Blafell, died. He had expressed his wish of being buried in the cemetery of Haukadalur, where he is said to be resting.
Haukadalur church: belongs to the Skalholt benefice of the Arnes deanery. The sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson carved the altarpiece, which depicts the crucifixion, in pear-wood.  Among the valuable belongings of the church are a silver chalice, a paten, copper candlesticks and a chandelier.  On its door is a plague, probably from a ship’s mast, an on it is fastened a ring.
Gullfoss Sigridur Tomasdottir: was born in Brattholt in 1874 and lived there her whole life. Sometimes it was quite lifely at the farm, because visitors came from all corners of the world to see the renowned waterfalls Gullfoss.
Thingvellir, the first NP with the historical site of the Icelandic Parliament.


Saga Trails: South Iceland Saga Trails

Maps of South Iceland <> South Iceland Lowlands

South Iceland Attractions - Accommodations South Iceland


WITCHCRAFT and SCORCERY
In Thingvellir South Iceland


Reykjavik Tourist Information

Adalstraeti 2
101 Reykjavik
Tel: 590-1500
Fax : 590-1501
info@visitreykjavik.is


Hveragerdi Travel Informaton Centre

Sunnumörk 2-4

810 Hveragerdi
Tel.: 483-4601.
tourinfo@hveragerd
i.is


Tourist Information
The Saga Centre
Hlidarvegur 4
860 Hvolsvollur
Tel.: 487-8781 / 895-9160
njala@njala.is


 


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