Dalir and History

Of all the districts and counties in Iceland, Dalasýsla is famous for its history. Dalasýsla is the only region in the country with an uninterrupted recorded history from the settlement period to the present day. First in the Book of Settlements, Laxdæla Saga and Eyrbyggja Saga, Saga of Erik the Red and Sturlunga from the end of the 11th century. In Dalasýsla, Erik the Red, the first Norse to settle in Greenland, lived at Eiríksstaðir in Haukadalur. In Eiríksstaður, his son Leifur Eiríksson was born. He later became the first European to see America in the year 1000, as luck would have it. Hvammur in Dalasýsla has a remarkable history; Aud the deep-minded took land there in 889, the noblest of all settler women and the only queen buried in Iceland. Two centuries later, Sturla Þórðarson and Guðný Böðvarsdóttir in Hvammur had three sons, Þórður, Sighvatur and Snorri, who all became great rulers, the so-called Sturlungs. The last decades of the Icelandic Commonwealth are attributed to them and called the Age of the Sturlungs. Icelandic Times / Land & Saga travelled around the county but did not meet any of these notable people. Instead focused on photographing the landscape in Dalasýsla, as few places have as beautiful mountains and beaches as there in the interior of Breiðafjörður in the northern part of West Iceland.

Looking out to Flakkarnes and thousands of islands and skerries north of the town of Á on Skarðsströnd.

The harbour at Skarð on Skarðsströnd.

Sheep in Fagradalshlíð on Skarðsströnd.

Horses in Hvolsdalur

Saurbærfjara Beach, looking northeast to Gilsfjörður.

A stream flows down Ormstaðafjall on Fellströnd.

Speep by Kiðey on Fellsströnd

Dalasýsla 07/08/2022 : A7C, A7R III, A7R III : FE 1.4/24mm GM, FE 1.2/50mm GM, FE 2.8/100 GM

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson