This vast highland plateau lies 500-600 m above sea level and it is
about 60 km long. The landscape is rather flat, alternating
barren gravel hills, lakes, and vegetated marshlands.
Around the middle of the 19th century poor people, who wanted to lead
independent lives inhabited the plateau. Properties in the
lowlands were too expensive. The ash from the 1875 eruption of the
central volcano Askja and the difficult living conditions forced most
of the families to abandon their livelihood. There was no
employment to be had elsewhere in the country and most of the people
had to emigrate to North America. Three of the most prominent
authors of the country, Halldor Laxness, Jon Trausti and Gunnar
Gunnarsson, based some of their works on the experiences of those
people. The last farm was abandoned just before the middle of
the 20th century and one of them has been rebuilt as a museum.
East Iceland saga Trail
was a farm on the Jokuldalsheidi moorland. It was
the first and best housed farm to be built in this area in the 19th
century, in 1841. It was abandoned in 1925 and some vague sources
mention a farm there during the earlier centuries. Road # 1 was
moved further north in 1998-2000, through this area, but
the old and more scenic gravel road is still open and passable.
The road across this moorland area (540m) lies between the farm
Sandfellshagi in the Oxarfiord County and the fishing village
Thorshofn in the Svalbard County. The crossing of the road
around the Melrakka Peninsula is near the church site Svalbard.
This road connects with road # 1 and continues to the small town
Vopnafiord. On the moorland are quite a few ruins of abandoned
farms. The inhabitants of the town have long expressed their
wish for a tunnel through the mountains separating them from the
Fljotsdalur District to shorten the way to town Egilsstadir by several
dozens of kilometres.
Hellisheidi is among the highest lying (656 m), and
steepest mountain roads of the country. As a rule, it is only
passable during summer, but every now and then, it is cleared of snow
during winter nowadays. It offers the shortest way between the
fishing town Vopnafiord and the town Egilsstadir, the main
centre for communications in the East. On a fine day, the view
from up there is incomparable. The highest lying slope on the
southern side is called The Snow Patch. When the snow there
disappears completely during summer, it forebodes a very hard, coming
Mt PASS VATNSSKARD
The summer road between the Fljotdal’s District and Cove
Njardvik/Borgarfiord Bay lies through this mountain pass (431m).
The road is steep and winding on both sides and at its highest point
is a lake. The areal view from the pass is excellent on a fine
summer road across Moorland Fjardarheidi (620 m.) is 22 km. long between
District Herad and the village Seydisfiord. Sometimes during winter a
snowmobile is used to facilitate communications to the village. The
panoramic view from the moorland is excellent on a fine day.
Fljotdalsheidi stretches between the valleys Jokuldalur and Fljotdalur.
It is vast, vegetated area with a 4wd track between the farms
Bessastadir and Klaustursel. The National Power Authority has built
roads in connection with research and construction of dams and a
hydroelectric power plant in the eastern interior.
This vast feeding
and breeding area of the reindeer is within the frame of the Snowy
Mountain, Snaefell, the northern edge of the icecap Vatnajokull and the
glacial river Jokulsa a Bru. It is mostly vegetated and boggy in a few
places. It is situated between 600 and 700 m above sea level. One of
the huts of the Tourist Association is situated at the western foot of
Mountain. Two main access roads lead into this area, one from the
Hrafnkelsdalur valley and another, and a better one from the Fljotsdalur
valley. The latter was built in connection with research carried out in
connection with the planned construction of a hydro electric power
station and the creation of a man made lake, which would flood one of
the largest breeding areas of the pink footed goose in the world.
is boardered by Glacier Bruarjokull in the south, River Kreppa in the
west, the farm Modrudalur property in the north, and River Jokulsa a Bru
in the east. The elevation increaste from north to south (500-700 m.).
The landscape is relatively flat, somtimes undulating, and dotted with
low mountains and lakes. The western part is barren, but furthest east,
along the glacial river it is relatively well vegetated. The northern
part of Bruaroraefi suffered devastation during the 1875 Askja
Eruption. Many mountain tracks wind through this area from the farm
Bru, the Moorland Jokuldalsheidi and farm Modrudalur through ancient
inhabited, but abandoned areas and the grazings of reindears.
BREIDDALSHEIDI (rd # 1)
Breiddalsheidi (441m) is a summer mountain road between Valley
Skriddalur and Valley Breiddalur. At its highest point is a small lake
and sometimes the passers by spot reindeers.
Moorland Oxe (532m) is a 12 miles (20 km.) long summer road between
Moorland Breiddalsheidi (Valley Skriddalur) and the Berufiord Bay.
The access road from the south is steep and curvy and sometimes
visibility is reduced to zero by fog.
ALMANNASKARD (rd # 1)
Mt Pass Almannaskard (152m) is sandwitched between steep mountains and
the road from the west is very steep and dangerous during icy winter
conditions. The road through it connects Hornafjordur and Lon.
A short tunnel is going to replace the road over the pass in 2005.