Farm Thvotta is the southernmost farm of the Alftafjordur County. Around the year 1000 the renowned Saga personality Hallur Thorsteinsson, or Sidu-Hallur, lived there. He received the priest and missionary Thangbrandur, who spent the winter with him. Sidu-Hallur and his whole household were baptized in the river by the farm and since then it was named River Thvotta (The Wash River). The farm gets its freshwater supplies from the so-called Thangbrandur Well, where the missionary probably held services at St. Michael’s Mass with the people of Thvotta attending the day before they were baptized. A ruin by the well was declared inviolate.
Thvotta was a church site until 1754 and a parsonage for a long time. The old cemetery is still obvious. Mt Maelifell (487m) is closer to the sea and north of it are Sellond (Summer Pastures).
The whole area is rather colourful because of the rhyolite intrusions and quite a few basaltic dykes decorate the landscape. These formations were created by the ancient and extinct central volcano, which has now mostly disappeared under the Alftafiord Bay. Traces of several minerals were discovered in the area, gold, platinum etc.
East Iceland Saga Trail
Photo Credit: Steini Hudda