Outside Of Reykjavík: Mountains, Sagas And… Goats

Outside Of Reykjavík: Mountains, Sagas And… Goats

Gabriel Dunsmith
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Here are a few interesting spots to star on your Google Map for your next Iceland road trip.

Place: Borg
Situated outside the town of Borgarnes north of Reykjavík is this hillock where notorious Viking Skalla-Grímr Kveldúlfsson supposedly settled in the late 800s and claimed a vast swathe of Iceland as his own. “Borg” can mean “fortress” in Icelandic, and one look at this mound tells you why: black, craggy rocks crenelate its crown, and it rises high above the surrounding countryside. A trail leads to the top, where a monument to Skalla-Grímr himself stands.

Hike: Eldborg
Located at the heel of Snæfellsnes, the peninsula north of Reykjavík, this spatter cone crater stands 60 metres above the serrated lava fields. The medieval Icelandic “Book of Settlement” claims it erupted when Vikings were first anchoring their ships here in the mid-late 800s, but Eldborg is dormant, having last blown its top around 3,000 BC. It’s a short, steep hike to the summit that rewards you with a striking view of the coast, and the Snæfellsjökull glacier.

Activity: Romp with the goats at Háafell
The Icelandic goat stood on the brink of extinction until one woman, Jóhanna Bergmann Þorvaldsdóttir, made it her mission to save them. Today her goat farm of Háafell in Borgarbyggð is thriving: go there to buy milk, cheese and meat. Oh, and you can play with the very goat that the dragon Drogon snatches in season four of ‘Game of Thrones’, which somehow lived to tell the tale.

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