This is the largest bay of the district Strandasysla, about 28 km long and 7 km wide at the mouth. It is framed with low and undulating hills and mountains and there are considerable lowland areas around it. Lignite and fossilized leaves can be found in several places in the mountain slopes.
A few valleys indent the landscapes south of and at the end of the bay. Salmon fries have been released successfully into some of the rivers of these valleys. The surroundings of the bay are relatively densely populated for Icelandic measures, such as the village Holmavik and the hamlet Drangsnes.
The northern coastline is called Selstrond. It rises in steps to the highest point of the mountain shoulder Bjarnarfjardarhals. Off the coast are islets and skerries and the island Grimsey, where the coast turns towards north-northeast near Village Drangsnes. Fossilized plants have been discovered in the slopes of Mt Torfufell and elsewhere. There is considerable thermal activity on the easternmost part of the coastline, where a swimming pool was built and used in the past.
Farm Bassastadir is the westernmost farm on the coastline. According to the Saga of Bishop Gudmundur the Good, an unmarried couple once was on their way to the church at Stadur to have their baby christened. They put the baby away near a big rock called Miklisteinn and found a place nearby to make love. When they came back for the baby, it had turned into a terrible monster with a woman’s body and a seal’s head. This monster started attacking, miming and killing people until the bishop managed to lay it to rest with incantations, holy water and crucifixes.
WESTFJORDS & STRANDIR SAGA TRAILS