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Vatnahjalli Route

About Vatnahjalli Route

This ancient route is also named The Eyfirdinga Route after the inhabitants of the Eyjafiord District. It was the most frequented route between the Eyjafiord Area and the southern part of the country. It was used during all seasons, but mostly during summer. The people of the North frequently relied on the fishing in the South, when the northern bays were filled with pack ice from Eastern Greenland and had to transport dried fish across the interior. They also used this route to attend the assembly of the Parliament at Thingvellir in the Southwest. During the centuries this route like most others remained little or unaltered, but in this case the drop of the mean yearly temperature led to the advance of the glaciers, which forced the travellers to seek new routes, i.e. in the southwestern interior.

In 1939, The Travel Association of the town Akureyri improved the conditions of the route up the slopes of the Eyjafiord Valley. It was used only a few times by jeeps to get to the Laugafell Area to the northeast of the Hofsjokull Ice Cap. Another jeep track was built up Mt Holafjall (1,000 m), and eventually the third one, which is much more used and lies directly to the south, up the gradual slopes of the Eyjafiord Valley into the interior.