The Lake Monster

In Lagarfljót by Hallormsstaðaskógur lives one of Europe’s biggest monsters, Lagarfljótsormurinn. The other is Nessie which lives in Loch Ness a similar elongated lake in the highlands of Scotland. Lagarfljótsormurinn is first mentioned in records from 1345, in these almost 700 years it has been spotted several times and is believed to be around 100 meters long. Nessie in Loch Ness is older as the first documented records of the monster are from the year 565. The monster was captured in a famous photograph in 1933, 90 years ago. Both are probably still alive, but have been laying low, not really what you would call party animals.

Hallormsstaðaskógur is Iceland’s largest forest, but Alþingi approved the protection of the area in 1899, which was implemented six years later. Our first step in nature conservation. The forest that stands on the east bank of Lagarfljót in East Iceland is 750 hectares and a popular tourist destination. After all, the weather is exceptionally good in the area and it is close to Ring Road 1. There are 30 km from Hallormstaðarskógur to Egilstaðir, and only 700 km to Reykjavík, wether you go north or south.

Looking to the north along Lagarfljót, Dyrfjöll in the distance, Hallormsstaðaskógur to the left

Atlavík, the most popular touristspot in Hallormstaðaskógur

Bluebells in Hallormsstaðaskógur

Looking west over Lagarfljót

Hallormsstaðaskógur covers 750 hectares, Iceland’s biggest forest

Lagarfljót, the home of the lake monster, Lagarfljótsormurinn

Grain cultivation by the woods

The beautiful Hallormsstaðaskógur

Photographs and text: Páll Stefánsson
Fljótsdalshérað  23/08/2023 : A7R IV, A7R III, RX1R II : FE 1.8/135mm GM, FE 1.2/50mm GM, FE 1.8/20mm G, 2.0/35mm Z, FE 2.8/50mm