In 1871 the artist, Sigurdur Guðmundsson, introduced
the idea of creating a sports and recreation area for the
people of the capital in the small valley 'Laugardalur'. He
considered the valley an excellent place for forestation and
cultivation of decorative flowers, where the townspeople
could promenade and relax in leafy clearings. He was elected
member of the town's construction committee in 1869. His
idea remained dormant until in 1943, when the Town Council
agreed to start the preparations. The drainage of the
quagmire in the valley was carried out in 1946. An
electrician, Einar Hjartarson, had built a bungalow in the
valley in 1929 and named it Laugardalur", which was then
carried over the whole area.
SOUTHWEST ICELAND SAGA TRAILS
This man was
very keen on forestation and began an extensive planting of
trees to the west of the present
Botanical Gardens, where some of the tallest trees of the
capital are to be found. The municipality purchased the
forested area in 1955, when it was the most comprehensive
one within the town limits and has expanded it widely.
THE REYKJAVIK HOSTEL
The Reykjavik Hostel is a nice accommodation for individuals as well as groups. It is open all
year round and its guests can select between rooms for two, four, six and eight persons,
relax in the sitting room and watch television, cook in the kitchen and sit down to eat in
the dining room and attend meetings or gatherings in the meeting hall. Those who do not want to bother about
preparing breakfast can enjoy the buffet against a charge and meals can be arranged for
groups. The reception is open around the clock. The information office and the office of
The Icelandic Youth Hostels' Federation are open during office hours on weekdays. For
further information call 553-8110.
Reykjavik Botanic Garden
is an outdoor collection of living plants. Its main role is to
conserve plants for education, research and delight. The garden
conserves some 5000 plant species in eight plant collections. The
collections give an idea of the enormous diversity of vegetation in
the northern temperate zone. In summer there is a variety of events in
the Botanic Garden and group receptions are available throughout the
year. Café Flora is open in the display greenhouse from May to
September. The Café is popular and well known for its delicious treats
with ingredients grown in the garden and served in beautiful
Gardens are open all year, but are of course most beautiful and
blooming during summer. For further information call
THE JOGGING TRACKLS
It is healthy to run or walk, show yourself and see others. The starting points of the
tracks are by the swimming pool and the ice skating hall. Runners often use the facilities
of the ice skating hall to change clothes during summer. The tracks are two to ten km long
and clearly marked, which makes it easy to check your results and improvement every time
you jog. Everyone can set his or her pace according to their physical fitness.
THE PUTTING GREENS.
The Putting Greens, where people can test their aptitude for putting, are located near the
artificial grass stadium. Clubs and balls can be borrowed at the Service Centre by the
artificial grass stadium. It is ideal to enjoy this outdoor activity with a friend.
THE SWIMMING POOL.
The 50 m long swimming pool is among the largest in the country. It has facilities for
every age group, for those who want to train, play or relax. There is a special pool for
children with a 80 m long water slide. When the sun is shining, all kinds of toys are
brought out to the pool side for the young guests. Among the special services offered are
mud baths, sunlamps, exercise equipment and massage. Further information on opening hours
and reservations can be obtained by calling 553-4039.
THE SPORT CENTRE.
The Sports Centre is located just to the west of the Sports Hall. It accommodates the
offices of The Iceland Sports Federation (ÍSÍ), The Reykjavik Sports Federation
The Youth Association of The Kjalarnes District (UMSK) and the various sports federations
of ÍSÍ". The Iceland Sports Federation supervises all sports activities in the
country and renders information on most of them during office hours. It also operates two
lotteries and a Sports Hotel in the same building. The Cafeteria in the Sport Centre is
open between 08:00 and 24:00 during week days. For further information call ÍSÍ:
581-3377 or ÍBR: 553-5850.
THE DOMESTIC ANIMALS' GARDEN.
Those who want to get better acquainted with the Icelandic domestic animals and their
conduct should visit this garden. It does not only display domestic animals, but also
species of wild Icelandic mammals and birds. The main goal of the garden is to educate and
increase people's interest in ecology and animal preservation. It is open all year round
and further information on special events and opening hours can be obtained by calling
YMCA and YWCA.
The YMCA and YWCA and the Christian Mission have their headquarters at Holtavegur".
These organizations operate in various ways, holding meetings and family gatherings for
all age groups and organize educational, musical, and hobby activities in excellent
harmony with other activities in the area. Those who seek recreation and enlightenment in
good company are always welcome. For further information call 588-8899.
THE CAMPING GROUNDS.
The camping grounds beside the swimming pool accommodate over 300
tents. It's facilities and services are excellent. The visitors can
wash their laundry, wash up their table ware, use the outdoors grills
or cook in the kitchen of the service centre. Two huts, each for two
persons in beds or more if they are used as sleeping bag
accommodations, can be rented. The camping grounds are guarded around
the clock during summer and the wardens supply information on city
sightseeing and longer excursions. For further information call not
THE ICE SKATING
Before the ice skating ring came into being, people went skating on the duck pond in the
old centre of town. For years now people have been enjoying the artificial ice skating
ring in the Laugardalur-valley. An ice skating hall has been constructed in co-operation
between the municipal authorities and the Reykjavik Sports Federation (ÍBR), which is
responsible for its operation. Nowadays you don't have to bring your own skates, they are
rented in the hall. The whole year round, people put on their skates and glide relaxed
across the ice without any danger of falling through a hole in the ice and getting wet.
For further information on opening hours call 588-9705 or ÍBR 553-5850.
THE STADIUMS OF THE LAUGARDALUR" VALLEY.
The main stadium (Laugardalsvollur) fulfils the conditions of international regulations.
The roofed galleries seat 7000 people and the stadium has a flood lightning. When the
second gallery was constructed the older buildings were renovated. The National Soccer
Federation (KSÍ), was responsible for the project according to a special contract with
the municipal authorities. It has now moved its headquarters to the valley and operates
the stadium. The Valbjarnar-Stadium" is mainly used by the third and forth soccer
divisions for training. Soccer can be played all year round on the heated artificial grass
stadium (flood lightning during winter). For further information call the following
numbers: KSÍ for The Laugardals-Stadium 581-4444 and the artificial grass stadium
THE SPORTS HALL.
The Sports Hall, Laugardalsholl", frequently sounds of joy and excitement. It
multipurpose building, where many sports activities, games, concerts, shows and trade
fairs have taken place. It has often been an issue for the world press, i.e. during The
World Chess Championship Match between Fisher and Spassky in 1972 and The World Handball
Championship Games in 1995. For further information call 553-8990.
THE LAUNDRY SPRINGS
The Laundry Springs (Thvottalaugar) are situated near
the Valbjarnar-Stadium". Their history is depicted with texts and pictures
on a sign. The women of Reykjavik washed their laundry in
the hot springs for centuries. The cultural- and historical exhibition there is highly