The Hvannalindir area is a
vegetated oasis, 640 m above sea level, north of the Lindahraun lava field,
sheltered by Mts Lindafjoll and the Krepputunguhraun lava field to the
west and Ridge Kreppuhryggur to the east. In the Hvannalindir area,
River Linda joins the River Lindakvisl, flowing from the southwest,
where it branches out between vegetated banks past the freestanding
The name Hvannalindir is derived from the angelica, which
thrives in the area undisturbed by the grazing livestock. It is an
oasis and a unique ecosystem surrounded by deserts.
The most conspicuous plants are willow and angelica at the edge of the
lava and along rivulets, where the abundance is greatest. Only 32
species of flowering plants exist in the area. A total of thirty
species of birds have been observed in Hvannalindir and near ponds
south of the area. Six species can be considered annual nesting birds
in the area: Pink-footed geese, long-tailed ducks, ptarmigans, purple
sandpipers, red-necked phalaropes and snow buntings. The Iceland
Nature Conservation Council (nowadays the Nature Conservation Agency)
declared the Hvannalindir area inviolate in 1973.
Important cultural relics are preserved in the Hvannalindir area,
including the ruins of an outlaws' lair, by the edge of the Lindahraun
lava field. The ruins were discovered in 1880 by Thorgils gjallandi
and three local companions, and were investigated by archaeologist
Kristjan Eldjarn (later President of Iceland) in the summer of 1941.
It is widely believed, that the legendary outlaw Mountain-Eyvindur and
his consort Halla lived in the Hvannalindir area for some years after
1767 before moving to Eyvindarver near River Thjorsa further west in
establishment of Europe's
largest national park, Vatnajokull, on June
7th, 2008, Hvannalindir became one of the centres for the NP wardens.
Picture: River Hvanna; UST.