A Corner of Paradise
Here in Eyjafjarðarsveit
Protected by flanks of towering mountains on either side, the broad valley of Eyjafjarðarsveit lies at the very end of Iceland’s longest fjord, Eyjafjörður. It’s one of Iceland’s most prolific agricultural areas with a hospitable farming community just outside of the capital of the north, Akureyri.
Eyjafjarðarsveit is chock full of unexpected historical and cultural gems that are interspersed all along the circular route around the valley. Out of 25 historically important churches in North Iceland, several of them are scattered throughout the area; Kaupangur Church can trace its foundations all the way back to 1318 and Saurbær Church, which dates back to before the year 1200, is one of the few remaining turf-walled churches still existing in Iceland today. All of them have played their parts, big and small in the lives of the Icelandic nation over the centuries ever since Iceland officially adopted Christianity in 1000 AD.
Silva Restaurant and Hrafnagil Pool and Campsite
After a long day of exploring and/or hiking in the area, a welcome dip in the pool or a long relaxing soak in the hot tub at Hrafnagil Municipal Pool is just the ticket.
Silva Restaurant, located just 2 km from the pool and its adjoining campground, is ideal for refreshments. This ‘green’ restaurant in the heart of Eyjafjarðarsveit offers a selection of vegetarian dishes as well as raw diet options for lunch and dinner – and in July 2015, Silva will be open for breakfast. Delicious smoothies and compressed juices, wheat grass and ginger shots are offered throughout the day, along with organic coffee, teas, hot cocoa and a selection of healthy cakes and desserts. Enjoy Silva’s balanced menu made with only the finest ingredients and suitable for everyone.
www.silva.is / [email protected] / +354 851 1360
Ytra Laugaland Guesthouse
The charming Ytra Laugaland Guesthouse is situated on the eastern slopes of the valley, just a 12-minute drive from Akureyri. Once a flourishing dairy farm, Ytra Laugaland’s retired owners Óttar and Vilborg have graciously opened their home and hearts to travellers. The large farmhouse comprises four spacious and comfortable rooms with a main bath on each floor. The copious Icelandic breakfast includes homemade breads and jams made by Vilborg herself, and the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the fjord are unmatched.
www.ytra-laugaland.net / +354 868 8436 / [email protected]
Lamb Inn of Öngulsstaðir Farm is a lovely place to go for traditional lamb roast with all the trimmings and for which the hotel/restaurant is well known. Comprising 17 bright and spacious rooms, all with private bath, this well kept rural hotel sports a Jacuzzi on the deck, allowing guests to soak away their cares in an idyllic setting. On an historical note, guests are invited to peek into the past with a guided tour of the old farmhouse – one of the best-preserved 18th century farmhouses in Iceland today. Located on the east side of the valley, the hotel is a pleasant 8.2 km drive from Akureyri.
www.lambinn.is / [email protected] /+354 463 1500
Kátur Horse Rental
If you have always wanted to go horse riding, there is no better time or place than with Kátur Horse Rental,
who offer the ultimate in horse riding activities: a beautiful summer evening ride into the peaceful countryside of Eyjafjarðarsveit, while the sun begins its slow descent over the fjord. The tour pauses midway for a picnic stop, making this an enchanting and unforgettable way to experience Iceland. Kátur Horse Rental also offers short one- and two-hour riding tours and will do their best to match your personality and level of riding experience with one of their friendly horses.
www.hestaleiga.is / [email protected] / +354 695 7219
Silva Restaurant, located just 2 km from the Hrafnagil campsite and municipal pool, is ideal for refreshments after an afternoon of swimming. This ‘green’ restaurant in the heart of Eyjafjarðarsveit offers a selection of vegetarian dishes as well as raw diet options for lunch and dinner – and in July 2015, Silva will be open for breakfast. Delicious smoothies and compressed juices, wheat grass and ginger shots are offered throughout the day, along with organic coffee, teas, hot cocoa and a selection of healthy cakes and desserts. Enjoy Silva’s balanced menu made with only the finest ingredients and suitable for everyone.
www.silva.is / [email protected] / +354 851 1360
Þverá Golf Course
There’s nothing like a round of golf under the midnight sun in the stunning surroundings of Þverá Golf Course in Eyjafjarðarsveit. Enthusiastic golfers from around the world flock to this nine-hole golf course every year to indulge their passion and to take in the magnificent views of the mountains and the fjord. At the club house you can rent a set of golf clubs at very reasonable prices, have a cup of coffee, or for those midnight forays onto the course, you are welcome to BYOB – bring your own bottle. Located just 5 minutes from Hrafnagil and 10 minutes from Akureyri.
www.tgolf.is / [email protected] / +354 862 5516
It has been said that seeing Iceland without a guide is like leaving your glasses at home. The Traveling Viking, a small family-run tour company based in Akureyri, is known for their breadth and depth of knowledge of local culture, as well as their unique insights into the history and geology of Iceland. Delivered with wit and wisdom, Traveling Viking owners, Rachel and Jón Þór, offer a wide variety of tours throughout Eyjafjarðarsveit and beyond. One of their most requested tours is the Game of Thrones tour that even HBO crew and producers have gone on themselves.
www.ttv.com/ [email protected] / +354 896 3569
Welcome to a corner of paradise, here in Eyjafjarðarsveit.
Photos: Jóhannes Geir Sigurgeirsson