ICELAND  |  Akranes, Iceland Travel Guide
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Reykholt

Reykholt

Reykholt is surrounded by magnificent examples of Mother Nature. Situated in the scenic Skorradalur Valley, its rivers are full of salmon, and the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls lie between Reykholt and Husafell.

Reykholt is also significant as the historic home of Snorri Sturluson, Iceland's greatest writer of sagas, and an author, scholar and chieftain as well. Sturluson lived in Reykholt his entire life, 1179-1241, until he was eventually slain by some of his enemies. In 1988, the cornerstone of the Snorrastofa Cultural Center was laid. In 1999, the building was promoted as a research center, and in July of 2000, it celebrated its official opening in the presence of both King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and the President of Iceland. A statue of Sturluson stands in front of the main building.

Sightseeing in the Reykholt Area

The Reykholt area's attractions are largely natural wonders. Principal among these is Glymur, Iceland's highest waterfall, located just outside Reykholt, close to Mosfellsbaer, and accessible only on foot.

Another, the Deildartunguhver geyser, the largest and most powerful hot spring in Europe and quite possibly the largest in the world, is about six miles away. It is the water from this geyser that is routed all the way to Akranes, where it is used to heat the homes.

Two other geysers in the area worth seeing are the Velli geyser at Kjalvarastadir and the 30-foot Gryla geyser at Gufudalur (Steam Valley).

Another point of interest is Baer, in nearby Baejarsveit, a historic place in which Rudolf, the missionary, established a monastery and Iceland's first school in 1030. In the same area is the Saurbaer church, which was the home of Hallgrimur Petursson, a religious poet of the 17th century.

There are also tours, available daily, on the Langjokull glacier and to Surthellir, one of Iceland's largest caves. Other popular caves on the peninsula are the Surtsshellir-Stefanshellir and the Vidgelmir lava caves, which require some effort to explore.

And finally, for a burst of culture, there's the Reykholt Music Festival, held in the Church of Reykholt in late July of each year. The festival features concerts of classical music.

Last updated May 24, 2011
Posted in   Iceland  |  Akranes
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