Hellnar on Snæfellsnes one of "25 secret European villages you should visit in your lifetime"
June 17th is the Icelandic National Day and a public holiday with celebrations around the country. The Republic of Iceland was founded on 17 June 1944 as a fully independent nation.
The Viking Festival
At Fjörukráin in the town of Hafnarfjörður, just outside of Reykjavik (en-route to Keflavik Airport) the annual Viking Festival takes place starting Friday June 13thand lasting until Tuesday June 17th.
The Festival is being held for the eighteenth time and all things Viking will be celebrated: history, arts and crafts, archery, music, you name it. If Vikings did it – you’ll experience it at the Viking Festival. … except for the murders and pillaging. The Festival is built around a positive showcase of the Viking heritage. A number of people from across the world will attend the Festival in their Viking-gear and demonstrate friendly-fights when you least expect it. Vessels from far-away countries will come to the Hafnarfjörður Port and traders can conduct their business. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really experience Icelandic ancestry.
Get to know the Viking settlers
The Settlement Centre is a great place to visit when in the town of Borgarnes. The museum gives a good overview of the Viking settlement in Borgarnes and on Egilssaga, the tale of infamous Viking and poet Egill Skallagrímsson. The centre also includes a wonderful, little gift shop and a lovely restaurant.
The Settlement Centre is located on Brákarbraut 13 – 15 and is open all year 10am-9pm.
From Ísafjörður Fjord to Vigur Island
Daily trips by boat from Ísafjörður Fjord to Vigur Island are scheduled at 2pm daily starting June 10th. The trip takes about 30-40 minutes. The island is privately owned and the same family has lived on the island since 1884. The island is only 2km long and approximately 400m wide at its widest. It’s possible to take a boat over to the island and then get a guided tour around the island with a coffee-stop at a house called Viktoríuhús. Trips can be booked through Vesturferðir in Ísafjörður (tel.+354.456.5111). If you’re visiting the Westfjords, a half-day trip to Vigur Island is something you shouldn’t miss. And for those still looking for puffins – Vigur Island is home to about 80 thousand of them over the course of the summer.
A Flatey Island Special to Hrísey Island
On June 20th, you can jump on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail on the Hrísey Island Ferry from Hrísey Island to Flatey Island. Departures are from Árskógssandur near the town of Dalvík, and from Hrísey Island in Eyjafjörður Fjord. The boat trip is 3-hours long and once on land in Flatey Island you get to feast on a grandiose BBQ before dancing the night away at the Flatey Island Assembly House. The stop is scheduled to last 4 hours, and you can expect to be back on the mainland in beautiful 2am daylight. Tickets are ISK14,000 and can be purchased by calling +354.695.5544.
Mountain-road to Kárahnjúkar opened
The mountain road to Kárahnjúkar damn was opened for traffic this week and so was the Laugafell Highland Hostel and its natural geothermal baths.
The Kárahnjúkar damn involved damning the glacier rivers Jökulsá á Dal and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal with five damns, creating three reservoirs. The damn is the largest of its kind in all of Europe and was extremely controversial at the time of its construction.
Hiking in the Lakagígar craters region
Lakagígar (Laki craters) is a 25 km row of 135 craters west of Vatnajökull glacier, formed during the biggest volcanic eruption ever recorded in Iceland’s history, in June of 1783. The eruption caused poisonous ash to spread over to Europe and North America, ruining crops and causing famine, making it one of the deadliest eruptions in history. The lava from Lakagígar swollowed multiple villages and farms, and still covers approximately 600 km2.
A number of hiking trails and paths are in the Lak regioni, ranging from 20 minutes to 2-3 hours hikes. Get there from the Ring Road (road 1) turn onto road 206 and then mountain road F206 which leads to Laki. Road F206 usually opens in June but becomes impassable again in the autumn.
Settlements Day in ÞjórsárdalurLandnámsdagur 2014
Schedule in Þjóðveldisbær from 14:00-16:00 on June 14 for Vikings, handcraft, games, music, dancing, lectures and settlement soup. The venue is Commonwealth farm in Þjórsárdalur, a reconstructed Farm based on the excavated farmhouse Stöng from the Commonwealth Era in Iceland. This historic location provides visitors with an opportunity to study the buildings of native Icelanders, while also enjoying the scenic surroundings.
Anna and Sólveig Bicycle Tours
Take a ride through the beauty of South Iceland's town of Grindavik, while getting exercise with Anna and Sólveig Bicycle Tours. Located just 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport, and just a short distance from the Blue Lagoon, you can ride around Iceland without a care in the world as you enjoy your surroundings. Contact Anna and Sólveig now in order to reserve your bike.
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