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 – Friðheimar in South Iceland

Friðheimar is very much a family affair, run by Knútur Rafn Ármann and his wife Helena Hermundardóttir and five children.

At Friðheimar, they grow tomatoes all year round, despite Iceland’s long, dark winters, under artificial lighting in greenhouses. They welcome visitors to see their greenhouses, and then enjoy a taste of the crop. You can take delicious food souvenirs away with you, made of tomatoes and cucumbers.

There is a lovely restaurant in the greenhouse open all year serving food made from tomatoes.

At Friðheimarthey they also breed horses, and put on a horse show – in fourteen different languages.

Friðheimar is in Reykholt, South Iceland by road 35 on the Golden Circle route, only 95 km from Reykjavík. See the webpage fridheimar.is