Álftanes has history, beauty and presidential power

2500 people, or about 1% of the population of the capital area, live in Álftanes. However, 100% of the presidential power lies there because of the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson lives in Bessastaðir. Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, is on another peninsula, which also lies by Skerjafjörður.
Over the centuries, Álftanes, now part of Garðabær, has been Iceland’s cultural and educational centre. During the Commonwealth, Bessastaðir was inhabited by a ruler and the poet Snorri Sturluson. From the second half of the Middle Ages, the highest representatives of the Danish crown in Iceland sat in the royal court of Bessastaðir. Upon independence in 1944, Bessastaðir in Álftanes became the official residence of the President of Iceland. Icelandic Times went on a field trip to photograph and experience this beautiful peninsula in the centre of the capital area. The peninsula’s nature is beautiful, with beaches and large protected areas for birds, humans and even mice. And, of course, the president.

Cyclist riding towards Bessastadir, the home of the President of Iceland

Wild nature is never far off in Álftanes.

A moment where “cheese” was said in English on the west coast of Álftanes.

Seltjarnarnes Peninsula is close by, but the capital Reykjavík is there.

A fun, different hotel in Álftanes

Reykjavík 12/11/2022 : A7C : FE 2.5/40mm G

Photographs and text: Páll Stefánsson