Hamarsdalur East Iceland,

Hiking Trails Iceland


VALLEY HAMARSDALUR
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Hamarsdalur is a long and narrow valley to the west of the Hamarsfiord Bay in the East.  It is framed with steep ledges and precipices.  There are a few vegetated patches between the eroded areas on the valley floor and in the slopes.  The farm Bragdavellir is at the mouth of the valley and opposite is the farm Hamrasel.  The abandoned farm Veturhus is further inland.  A few rowan trees were planted there in the past.  It is characteristic for the valleys in this area to find blankets of woolly fringe moss in the southern slopes and grass, heather and shrubs of birch and willow in the northern slopes.

The farm Hamar is to the north of the Hamar Bay.  During Catholic times a prayer chapel was located there.  In the home meadows is one of many graves of prophetesses in the East.  The first settler of the valley, Bjorn Svidinhorni, probably called his farm Hamar because of the rocky outcrops in the surroundings.  On July 7th 1627, Algerian buccaneers attacked the farm and took 13 people with them.  Among them were the farmer, Magnus, and his four children.  Their mother was left fatally wounded or dead behind.

River Hamarsa runs through the Hamar Valley and spills into the Hamar Bay.  It is among the longest and largest rivers of the Eastfiords and originates in the 800-900 m high moorlands of the interior to the northeast of the icecap Vatnajokull.  It receives water from the glacier Thrandarjokull and during the spring thaw and on warm, sunny days it is coloured by the glacial water.  Down in the Hamar Valley is a cliff called the Meat Cliff (Kjotklettur).  According to the legend a farmer in the valley lost all his sheep over the cliff into the river.  His desperation was so great, that he committed suicide and his spirit is believed to be roaming about around the cliff.  The bridge on road no. 1 was built in 1968.

The Hammer Bay is short and wide and is situated between the bays Berufiord and Alftafiord.  It is the second southernmost of the Eastfiords and is separated from the ocean by the string of the islands Thvottareyjar and an isthmus.  The Hamar Bay is mostly united with the Whooper Swan Bay (Alftafiord) and was called the North Alftafiord Bay in the past.  Reddish screes on it northern side are very prominent.
East Iceland Saga Trail


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