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Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

Swimming with goldfish in Húsavík

By Sara McMahon

  • Guðríður Baldvinsdóttir is a sheep farmer in North Iceland and has her own range of cosmetics called Sælusápur. Her favourite restaurant is Salka Restaurant in Húsavík. Photo/Guðríður Baldvinsdóttir

Guðríður Baldvinsdóttir lives on the farm Lón II, in North Iceland, with her family. She runs her own business making cosmetics, candles, and soaps from wild herbs she harvests herself. Her products are named Sælusápur, which translates to “Happy Soaps”, and are sold at the farm and in souvenir shops all over Iceland. In addition to from manufacturing “Sælusápur”, Guðríður and her husband, Einar Ófeigur Björnsson, also keep five -hundred sheep.

 

Children and/or other family members:
“Ásdís, 10 years old, Baldvin, 8 years old, Björn Ófeigur, 5 years old, two border collies named Tryggur and Týra, and Dreki, the professional mouse-catcher (cat).

How long have you lived in the region?
“For fifteen years.”

Where’s the best place to go for a little relaxation?
“A walk along the beach front, either just north of Húsavík or west of Lónsós. From here you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of curious seals bobbing around in the sea.”

Name four interesting things one should not miss when in the region:
1) “Watch the midnight sun from the panoramic viewpoint at Hafnarbrekka. From there you have a magnificent view over Öxarfjörður fjord and Kelduhverfi moorland.
2) “Take a walk along Hljóðklettar cliffs and explore the cave “Kirkjan” (the Church). Nearby you’ll find “Karl” and “Kerling” (Old Man and Old Woman), which are free-standing pillars.
3) “Visit Dettifoss waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland. It’s the most powerful waterfall in Europe
4) “Go whale-watching in a sailboat from Húsavík.”


Húsavík in North Iceland. Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson

What should those traveling with children see/do in the area:
“If the children are not too young, I recommend you go horseback riding to Ásbyrgi canyon with Active North Horse Rental. Ásbyrgi is a true natural wonder and to experience it from horseback is an adventure you’ll never forget.
There is a small pond full of goldfish located in Húsavík village. Children really enjoy swimming around in the pond. One can also try and catch the fish in a net—but you have to be careful and be sure to release the fish back into the pond.”

Best restaurant/café in the area? 
“I always bring my children to Salka Restaurant in Húsavík. They serve the country’s best pizzas, as well as tasty dishes made from local products. Salka is open all year around.”

Best place for a nice picnic:
“At the bottom of Ásbyrgi canyon, you will find an old sports ground tucked in between beautiful, green birch trees, and sky-high cliffs. The sports ground is used only once a year, when local children come together and compete in track and field sports. It makes the perfect spot for a family picnic.”


Ásbyrgi canyon. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

 

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