Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

Located in western Iceland, the small town of Stykkisholmur has become a very popular tourist destination. The town has a number of attractions that make it a major draw, but it is the conservation of heritage and its efforts to be environmentally aware that are among the major elements that pull people in.

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

The growing number of people arriving in the town means that the tourism operators and restaurants have had to adjust the length of their season. They are also now working hard to deliver a wider selection of local products, including food, and arts and crafts.

Things to do

Beautiful views and incredible wildlife can be found at the Snæfellsnes peninsula and Breiðafjörður bay. Taking a boat out to the islands of Breiðafjörður is a great idea for bird watchers, especially those hoping for a glimpse of the white-tailed eagle.

Súgandisey is an island that is now connected to the mainland, with a path that leads up to a 100-year old lighthouse and the romantic Love Nest. That spot offers fantastic views over Breiðafjörður and the islands, and is also where the Ferry Baldur docks.

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

Sæferðir / Seatours Iceland is a great spot for bird watching and getting back to nature. Taking a boat out to the Snaefellsnes peninsula is a great way to see it all. You will encounter an incredible variety of birds, from puffins and cormorants, all the way up to the magnificent white-tailed eagle.

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

The basalt forms of the islands are spectacular, and you can also get a taste of sea urchins and scallops fresh out of the water. Trips run twice daily from June 1st to August 31st, and there are often tours available out of season, too. All you need to know can be found at www.seatours.is

The ferry Baldur sails twice daily in the summer months from Breiðafjörður bay to Brjánslækur, making a stop at the island of Flatey along the way. The old village on the island has been lovingly restored over the past few years, and now has a restaurant, camp site, and sleeping bag accommodation.

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

Dried fish is made by Friðborg at Hamraenda 3 in Stykkishólmur, and can be purchased in a number of different stores. If you want to visit the plant where it is produced, tours can be organized by calling: 898-8516

Norska húsið (the Norwegian House). The government of Snæfellsnes operates this local folk and culture museum, and frequently has exhibitions on display. Daily opening hours are 11:00 to 17:00 and costs IKR 700 for adults and IKR 300 for children.Tel: 438-1640, norskhus@simnet.is

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

Swimming pool. Geothermal waters were discovered near Stykkishólmur in 1996, and they are believed to have many health benefits. The swimming pool opened in 1999, and now the water is used to heat houses in the area, too.(Tel: 433-8150)

Campsite 

Aðalgötu 27
IS-340 Stykkishólmi
Tel: 438 1075 / 849 8435
Mail: mostri@stykk.is

The campsite is in a perfect location, sitting next to the Víkurvöllur golf course, whilst also just a 5 minute walk from amenities such as shopping, dining, and the swimming pool. The fee to stay at the camp site can be paid at the Club house/Tourist Information Center. The camp site opens on May 15th through August 31st and has wireless access throughout.

Stykkishólmur Travel Guide

Kolla, Iceland24
© 2016 Iceland24

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

Tröllaskagi is a peninsula in northern Iceland, located between the fjords of Eyjafjörður and Skagafjörður. If you arrive in Reykjavik by the number one road, you will reach Tröllaskagi passing the stretch of road Öxnadalsheiði, which can be problematic in the winter months.

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

The peninsula is full of mountains, deep valleys, and a few glaciers; Kerling is the highest mountain on the peninsula reaching a height of 1538 meters. The peninsula has been easily accessible since the 1970s but is just beginning to gain popularity thanks to its charming and typical villages, hiking opportunities and breathtaking beauty.

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

Your first stop is the village of Hofsós with 200 inhabitants which is popular for the magnificent view from its public pool. You can then stop at Hólar, a former major diocese, that today is a small lively village, thanks to its university; one can study aquaculture, marine biology, equestrian studies or tourism - amazing study options for a village of just 100 inhabitants!

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

Continuing your way on the road number 76, you will find the charming village of Siglufjörður. In the 1940s and 1950s, the village population reached 3,000 inhabitants and prospered thanks to the fishing industry and, in particular, herring fishing. Today, the population is 1,200 inhabitants and lives mainly from fishing and the growing tourism. Access to Siglufjörður until 1967 was by a small mountain road accessible only during the summer months.

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

Then a road was open to the west and allowed people to travel to Siglufjörður all year. In 2010, the town was connected by a tunnel until Ólafsfjörður, bringing the town out of isolation by joining it to other towns in the region and Iceland in general.

The road between Siglufjörður and Dalvík known for its two one-way tunnels is a special adventure for travellers. Ólafsfjörður and Dalvik are two small towns where fishing remains the main activity. Dalvik is famous for being the host town of the annual Fish Festival, Fiskidagurinn Mikli, that takes place in August, where about 30,000 people attend (almost 10% of the Icelandic population). The three towns, Siglufjörður, Ólafsfjörður and Dalvik, offer great opportunities for hiking, skiing and excursions on the sea or in the mountains.

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula

From Árskógssandur, you can take the boat to the island Hrísey or sample the local beer at the small brewery Kaldi.  Hauganes is a point for whale watching, and you can also see whales from Hjalteyri if you're lucky. Hjalteyri has a vivid and artistic life that offers exhibitions throughout the year despite its appearance of being a quiet little community. The end of the peninsula will lead you to the town of Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland, and Hrafnagil, a small village known to house "the home of  Father Christmas" and a popular annual crafts festival in Iceland, every August.

Tröllaskagi: Troll Peninsula


Joanne, Iceland24
Mars 2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Biking around lake Mývatn

In the summer time, biking is the best way to travel around Mývatn Lake in north Iceland. The surrounding nature at Mývatn is so breathtakingly beautiful it makes this trip an unforgettable experience. Here’s our guide on how to explore the area on a bike.

You can rent bikes at the campsite Hlíð ferðaþjónusta, Hike and Bike, or near the hotel Reynihlið (helmets and locks included). Starting at Reykjahlíð, you head towards Husavik and then turn left before you enter road 85. You are now northwest of the lake and ready to start your journey on the circular road that goes around Mývatn.

Biking around lake Mývatn

The first stop around Mývatn is Fuglasafn Sigurgeirs (Sigurgeir’s bird museum) located near Ytri-Neslönd. The area is well-known for the variety of bird species nesting there every summer. The Fuglasafn opened in 2008, is still expanding and also has a new building dedicated to fishing.

If you feel like a hike and a bit of a climb, you can stop and journey up Vindbelgjarfjall mountain (529 meters above sea level). It will take about an hour to reach the top on foot, but once there, the view of the diverse landscape from the summit is spectacular.

Biking around lake Mývatn

Next, you come to a crossing at the river Laxa, and will encounter mostly farms and observation places for birds. Then, you can admire the pseudo-craters Skútustaðagígar. These craters are similar to "real" volcanic craters in appearance but are not the same; Skútustaðagígar are formed by the underground heat caused by volcanic eruptions in the region.

A few kilometres further along you come to the green paradise Höfði - one of the few places around Mývatn where you can walk through moss, trees and gardens. Opposite Höfði, you can admire and walk through the Kalfaströnd peninsula, which is also an ideal place for bird watching.

Biking around lake Mývatn

Dimmuborgir is probably one of the most impressive attractions in Mývatn. It is a site where volcanic formations were transformed into columns, statues, and sculptures. You can walk through a 2,300 year old lava field with well-marked roads making it easy for you to find your way.

Hverfjall (or Hverfell according to some), is a volcano that appeared 2,500 years ago after the eruption of Krafla, located a little further east. A path leads to the top of the crater and the view from the top is stunning.

Biking around lake Mývatn

A stop for a coffee and cake is almost necessary at Vogafjós, a farmhouse inn, and restaurant. You can also sample local specialties for lunch or dinner at the restaurant while admiring the grazing cows -  that’s if they are not inside for milking. You can also pet and hug the calves!

Believe it or not! you have traveled 36 kilometres that make up the tour around Mývatn lake. A Good workout! So why not end your trip with a hot water bath in the natural pool Grjótagjá, or make a detour to Jardbodin, the "blue lagoon" of the north.

Biking around lake Mývatn

Joanne, Iceland24
Mars 2016