Today we’ll take you to Borgarfjordur, thought to be the location for many of the famous Icelandic Sagas.
Deep in the heart of the wild landscapes here, you’ll see Deildartunguhver – the most powerful hot springs in Europe, which pumps out more than 180 liters of boiling water every second.
Awe-inspiring waterfalls at Hraunfossar are next on the itinerary. Magnificent stretch of waterfalls that runs for nearly a kilometer over a rugged lava field. There is another waterfall nearby, known as Barnafoss, or the “waterfall of the children”. Once there was a stone arch making a natural bridge over the Hvita river here. Many years ago, two children from a nearby farm were drowned when they tried to cross it. Their heartbroken mother had the bridge destroyed to save others from the same sad end.
Then you’ll explore an astonishing lava cave system at Vidgelmir that was created over a thousand years ago, filled with stalactites, stalagmites and fascinating ice formations. The Vidgelmir Lava Cave is an incredibly colorful underworld, measuring 1585 meters long, nearly 16 meters high, and 16 meters wide. That means it’s easily the largest lava tunnel in the country.
For lunch you will stop at Husafell. Set between two glaciers, Husafell is an entrancing place filled with Viking history, with traditional turf houses and little elf huts to amuse the children too. This is a charming spot, with thick birch tree forests and pretty waterfalls, and it has been an inspiration for local artists. As well as that, the “Husafell Stone” can be found here, a legendary “lifting stone”, once used to test the strength of the locals and still used in strongman competitions today.
Last stop will be at Reykholt, which is an historic site in Iceland’s folklore, featured in the writings of Snorri Sturluson, a famous poet and local chieftain. Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool) is an old-time hot spring, where locals have bathed for hundreds of years. Snorralaug is now a protected archaeological treasure, and there is also a traditional timber church here to look at too.
You’ll stay overnight in Borgarnes, which was one of the original settlement sites for the first Icelanders a thousand years ago. You can learn more about the story of those pioneers with an optional visit to the excellent Settlement Center, which features interactive displays and intriguing stories from the Icelandic Sagas. Borgarnes is situated in a stunning location on a beautiful peninsula with amazing views of nearby Hafnarfjall (the Harbour mountain) and Skessuhorn mountain, which appeared in Game of Thrones as “Bulls Horn”. This is also an ideal place to look out for the Northern Lights when they are active.