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KALDAKINN and NATTFARAVIKUR

Region: North Iceland
Coordinates: 66.0521° N 17.7066494° W

Kaldakinn is the populated, rural area between the Pass Ljosavatnsskard and the Bay Skjalfandafloi in the eastern valleys Bardardalur and Adaldalur at the foot of the rugged Mt. Kinnarfjoll. This mountain range is indented with shallow hanging valleys, some of which are filled with eternal snow. The northernmost part of the range is called Bakrangi (702m).

The valley Kotadalur divides it and the Mt. Viknafjoll. The precipice of Mt. Bakrangi was called Skuggabjorg in ancient times. At the foot of Mt. Viknafjoll are the Nattfari Coves.

Sagas of Iceland According to The Book of Settlements a Swede, Gardar Svavarsson, who was among the three discoverers of Iceland, lost a boat attached to his vessel with two slaves, a male and a female. Nattfari was the name of the male slave. The two of them settled on the coves for a while, but soon moved house to the Reykjadalur Valley, where they remained until the Norwegian settlers forced them bak to the coves.

The people of the Thingeyjar District consider them the first settlers of the country. The landscape of the coves is extremely rugged, but the lowest lying, short hanging valleys are well vegetated. Three farms were occupied there until the first half of the 20th century, Vargsnes, Kotamyrar and Naustavik, which was the largest fishing outfit of the district in the 17th century.

The last farm to be abandoned was Naustavik (1941). Nowadays the coves are only accessible by sea, but in the past it was possible to get there on foot from Kaldakinn when the tide was out. One of the concrete houses still standing there belongs to the voluntary rescue corps Gardar at Husavik and is used as an emergency hut.
North Iceland Saga Trail

Links in KALDAKINN and NATTFARAVIKUR