Place of the week – Þórbergssetur Culture Centre, South East Iceland

The Þórbergssetur, Culture Centre, was built in memory of the author Þórbergur Þórðarson (1888-1974), who was born at the site. The building is like a bookshelf.




The exhibition provides an overview of an remarkable artistic career, it also tells the larger story of the changes in Icelandic society in the twentieth century.




The Þórbergssetur also houses a restaurant and a souvenir shop, it is open all year round.




Þórbergssetur is located by the Ring Road, only 13 km further east from Jökulsárlón.

Place of the week – Winter Light Festival in The Capital Area

The Winter Lights Festival is an annual event this time held on February 2-5.




The Winter Lights Festival will be opened officially at 7:30pm on Feb 2. The opening piece is a light-art Installation at Hallgrímskirkja made by the artist Ingvar Björn.



After the opening piece a parade of illuminated horses will travel down Skólavörðustígur



The Festival celebrates both the winter world and the growing light after a long period of darkness. The program is a mixture of art and industry, environment and history, sports and culture.



The programme reflects the many faces of Reykjavík capital area, with all the major museums, thermal pools and a ski resort.



Check out the program here!

Place of the week – The Memorial of the Great Auk in Reykjanes

The memorial to the last Great Auk (Geirfugl) in Iceland is located near Valahnúkur on Reykjanes Peninsula, closed to Keflavík International Airport.




The memorial of the Great Auk is by the well known artist Todd McGrain and is a part of The Lost Bird Project. Two other Great Auk birds by Todd McGrain can be found in the Zoo in Rom and in Newfoundland near Funk Island.




The last documented pair of Great Auks in Iceland was killed on Eldey Island, on June 3rd, 1844.



Photo Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir.

Place of the week – Nauthólsvík in Reykjavík

Nauthólsvík is a very popular geothermal beach in Reykjavík.




Sea-swimming is surprisingly popular all year round, with people enjoying the use of the hot-tubs, steam-bath, and changing facilities and showers.




Cold-water swimming might sound crazy, especially in a country like Iceland, however this extreme activity dates all the way back to the age of settlement.




The sea temperature varies from around -1,9°C during the coldest months and around 17°C in the summertime. The temperature of the sea inside the lagoon itself is higher in the summer, averaging at between 15°- 19°C, due to the geothermal heating.

Place of the week – Dimmuborgir home of the Icelandic Yule Lads

The Icelandic Yule Lads are the 13 sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, vicious trolls that live in in the Mývatn area in north Iceland.




Grýla is ancient – her name is even mentioned in Snorri Sturluson´s thirteenth century Edda.Grýla and Leppalúði brought up their thirteen sons, the Yule Lads by Lake Myvatn. As the lads grew up they wanted a place of their own and Dimmuborgir was the perfect place for them to settle down.




An old legend in Iceland is, that 13 days prior to Christmas the Yule Lads start coming down from the mountain, one each night.




Children in Iceland place their best shoe on their windowsill before going to bed and each night a little gift is left in it from the Yule Lad that came down from the mountain that night. If the child has been misbehaving, there might be a raw potato left instead.




In December the Icelandic Yule Lads welcome guests to visit them in Dimmuborgir in Mývatn everyday between 1 pm and 3 pm. Every year the Yule Lads go in their annual bath in the Mývatn Naturebath where guests can join them and have some fun. Some of the Yule Lads are not happy with this tradition, because they don´t like the water. The bath takes place two weeks before Christmas.




More information about the Yule Lads can be found on the webpage visitmyvatn.is

Place of the week – Akureyri North Iceland

Icelanders decorate their houses for Christmas with colourful ligts to brighten the darkness. They start decorating by the end of November and usually a big Christmas tree is lit up in the centre of every town and willage with a big ceremony on a Saturday or a Sunday, four weeks before Christmas. That´s the starting of the Christmas preparation.




Akureyri in the north is a lovely town to visit in December. Walking around the town enjoying the colourful Cristmas decorations, listening to Christmas carols, hot chocolate and candlelight. Cosy atmosphere.




On the webpage visitakureyri.is you can find more information about Akureyri.

Place of the week – Reyðarfjörður in East Iceland

Reyðarfjörður is the longest and widest of Iceland’s eastern fjords; more than 30 km. long. Norwegians used to operate whaling stations along the fjord and fishing was frequented along the coastline.




During World War II, Reyðarfjörður was occupied by British forces. The remains of the occupation are fairly visible, ranging from an airport to old barracks. In 1995 a War Time Museum was founded in an empty Freezing Plant extending to some of the old barracks. An interesting museum in a country that was never at war.



In January 1942 a platoon of British soldiers on
winter exercises were caught in a very bad blizzard on the mountain
above Eskifjörður.
The family at Veturhús farm rescued and housed 48 of
them but unfortunately another nineperished.

Place of the week – The Settlement Centre in Borgarnes

The Icelandic Settlement Centre in Borgarnes, West Iceland, is the place of the week. The centre reveals Egils Saga and the Settlement Saga in an entertaining and simple way by leading the visitor into the adventure world of the sagas by audio guides in 14 different languages.




The Egils Saga exhibition describes one of the most colourful of all the saga characters, Egill the son of Skalla-Grimur. Egill was a great poet but also a viking and ribald abroad. The story intertwines battles and love affairs, sorcery and pagan lore.




The Settlement exhibition portrays the first men who set foot in Iceland and how the country was settled up until the Althingi parliament was founded in the year 930. By using the modern technology of multi-media and theatre an attempt is made to give the visitor a sense of how it must have been to set foot in unsettled territory.




The Icelandic Settlement Centre is open all year, for further information see settlementcentre.is

Place of the week – Dverghamrar South Iceland

Dverghamrar (Dwarf Cliff) are peculiar twin columnar basalt cliffs forming a horseshoe shape, just east of the farm Foss down from the Ring Road, 55 km west from Skaftafell.




The Dverghamrar landscape was formed by wave action when the sea level was higher at the end of the Ice Age. Such columns are often found where lava has flowed into water
and been abruptly cooled.




The cliffs are a protected natural site.




Photo Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir