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Hoffellsdalur Valley

About Hoffellsdalur

This is the easternmost of the Nesja County valleys. It contains one farm, Hoffell, at the foot of the Hoffell- Mountains, where a selection of semi-precious stones can be found. Many of those stones are on display in natural history museums in Europe.

Among the types of stones found there are marble, Iceland spar, opal, and jasper. Iceland spar was exploited there for a while from a mine situated at 500 m above sea level. One piece, weighing 175 kilograms, was sold to a museum in Germany (Frankfurt) at a very high price. The main structure of the mountains in the area is basalt with quite a few colourful rhyolite intrusions. Some gabbro is also visible on the eastern side of the glacier in the valley.

One of the many glacier snouts of the icecap Vatnajokull creeps down into the valley and lies there like a gigantic paw discharging a glacier river. The valley is accessible by road all the way up to a glacial lagoon at the edge of the glacier.

Hoffellsdalur is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.