Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

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Grindavík: An area rich with history – and ghost stories

By Sara McMahon

  • Eldvörp is a collection of eighteen volcanic craters that were formed during a volcanic eruption in 1224. Photo/Gva

Sigurður Hilmarsson runs the tour company Fjórhjólaævintýri ehf. in Grindavík along with his two sons, Jakob and Kjartan. He has lived in the small fishing village for 42 years now, having moved there at the age of ten. Sigurður and his wife, Sigrún Harpa Einarsdóttir, also have one daughter named Birta Sól.

 

What’s the best thing about Grindavík?
“Grindavík is a good place to raise one’s children and offers plenty of sports activities. Plus the surroundings are quite magnificent.”

Where’s the best place to go for a little relaxation?
“I’d venture out and enjoy all that nature has to offer. A walk along the seafront will fill you with tranquillity and a sense of calm. And then there is the Blue Lagoon, of course.”

 

Sigurður Hilmarsson, Grindavík, Reykjanes

The Local Sigurður Hilmarsson.

Name 4 interesting things one should not miss when in the region:
1. “The harbour area in Grindavík is a lively and interesting place for a leisurely stroll.”
2. “Eldvörp is a collection of eighteen volcanic craters that formed during a volcanic eruption in 1224. The area is considered to be a unique geological phenomenon, but for some reason very few people take the time to visit it.”
3. Gunnuhver is a geothermal area situated west of Grindavík. The area gets its name from a ghost called Gunna who, over four centuries ago, was the cause of much havoc in the area. A minister managed to trick the ghost who eventually fell into one of the hot springs and perished.”
4. Lastly, I’d suggest a visit to Selártangar and Húshólmi, located east of Grindavík. These spots are so rich in history that I highly recommend people do the tour with a local guide.”

Best brunch in the area:
“I’ll name two: Hjá Höllu (meaning At Halla’s Place) and Salthúsið. Halla specializes in healthy food and my wife and I frequent her restaurant.”

Name one interesting sight to visit that’s off the beaten track:
“Hófsnes is another remarkable place located just a stone’s throw from the town. Throughout the years, many ships have run aground along the coastline near Grindavík, and the local rescue unit Þorbjörn has saved well over 230 shipwrecked men. The unit has erected information signs along the way, telling the story of some of the rescue attempts. It is quite interesting to walk along the seafront and learn more about these heroic events. This trail can also be done on bike or quad bike.”

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