Grunnavik is a cove close to the mouth of the southern side of the Jokulfjords Bay, between the Stadarhlid Slopes and Mt Vebjarnarnupur. The upper part of the Stadarhlid Slopes is precipitous and below screes continue down to the sea, where the rock formations Mariahorn (pyramid shaped) and Ofaera (a basaltic dyke with two holes) decorate the landscape. At low tides it is possible to walk through the hole closer to land and sail small boats through the other one during high tides. The beautiful surroundings are quite well vegetated during summer and were relatively densely populated in the past. The Stadardalur Valley between the mountains Geirsfjall and Seljafjall is rather short and ends at the Ytraskard in the Snaefjallastrond area. The precipitous mountain frame of the valley reaches 700 m above mean sea level.
The main basis of livelihood was fishing and fish processing, but all that ended in 1962 when the last inhabitants abandoned the area and left the Jokulfiord area totally desolate.
No sources reveal the exact beginning of the settlement of Grunnavik. The conditions for fishing outfits on the cove were relatively good, but in the beginning of the 19th century the fishing hamlets with better harbour conditions for larger vessels, which could not be pulled ashore for their protection grew in size and the fishing outfits based on open boats diminished. The Stadur Church is still standing and maintained. The Sturlunga Saga tells us about the brothers Atli and Thormodur Hjalmarsson from Grunnavik, who fought with sons of Thorvaldur of the Vatnsfiord Bay against Sturla Sighvatsson at Stakkgardur near Valleys Hundadalir in the Dalir District.
Many visitors and summer residents in Grunnavik enjoy a walk past Mariahorn to Ofaera. Along the way is a narrow lowland stretch called Stadareyrar, where ruins of old fishing outfits are still very obvious and to the Stadur church is a clear track from Grunnavik to the Hofdastrond and the Leirufiord hamlets. Another clear track from the abandoned farm Nes in the slopes of the Mt Snaefjoll Moorland continues to the shores of the large bay Isafjardardjup.
WESTFJORDS & STRANDIR SAGA TRAILS