Ingolfshofdi is a
framed with the sea in the south, the outwash plain in the north and
precipice all around. It
is due south of the country’s highest mountain, Mt. Oraefajokull,
and 9 km south of the
hamlet Fagurholsmyri. It
rises 76 m above sea level, 750 m wide and 1200 m long. The only safe place to ascend it is up a large sand dune on
its northern side. The
cliffs are densely populated with seafowl, guillemots, razorbills,
fulmars, kittiwakes and puffins.
Many other species of birds breed on top of the promontory and
on the alluvial plain, such as black backed seagulls, great skuas,
ringed plovers, arctic skuas etc.
In earlier times the families of the area fetched birds and
eggs from the nests in the cliffs and elsewhere and quite a few men
perished when their ropes broke in the cliffs.
The last such accident took place there in 1930.
There were a few fishing outfits near the promontory in the
past and there are still some traces of them left and some topographic
names to prove that. The
landing conditions for the open boats deteriorated more and more with
each glacier burst and flooding of River Skeidara until the fishermen
on the eastern part of the promontory was built in 1916 and rebuilt in
1948 and at the same time a radio beacon for the international flights
was installed. The Danish
consul, Dithlev Thomsen, had the rescue hut for shipwrecked people
built there in 1912. The
promontory was named after the first Norwegian settler of the country.
He and his foster-brother Hjorleifur had undertaken an
expedition to Iceland a few years earlier to acquaint themselves with
the country. They spent
one winter in the East and sailed back to Norway to prepare for their
emigration. When they came back with their families and belongings their
ships drifted apart off the south coast.
Ingolfur landed by the promontory and made his winter lodgings
there. Hjorleifur found
another promontory, Hjorleifshofdi, further west and spent the next
In 1974 a
monument to commemorate Ingolfur’s first winter in Iceland and the
Norwegian settlers was unveiled on Ingolfshofdi.
promontory is only accessible by robust 4wd vehicles.
The farmer at
Hofsnes, Sigurdur Bjarnason, offers scheduled
adventure tours there during summer.
His son, Einar, specializes in leading mountaineering and
hiking groups to the highest point of the country and elsewhere in the
area as well.