The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

Hafnarfjörður town, the neighbouring town of Reykjavík where I live, hosts the Annual International Viking Festival. It is the oldest and biggest festival of its kind in Iceland. Visiting this festival will make you feel like you have been transferred back in time a thousand years or so.

The festival, which has been held since 1995, takes place on the second weekend of June and lasts for 5 days!  For me, this is the most fun time to be in Hafnarfjörður. I have photos from many Viking Festivals, but the photos in this travel-blog are from the festivals in 2014 and 2015 at the Viking Village. The next Viking Festival will be held in another location, at Víðistaðatún park, which is a bigger location.

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

The Viking Village hosted the festival and a Middle Age market was set up in between and in front of the buildings of the Viking Village. Vikings sell hand-made stuff, fur, roast a lamb, fight, dance, tell stories and show us the ways of living of the old Vikings. The market is open from 1 pm - 8 pm on all of the 5 days of the festival.

The next Viking festival will change to a new location in the summer of 2018 - to Víðistaðatún park close by in Hafnarfjörður.

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

Crowds of "Vikings" from all over the world (mostly Scandinavia, England and Germany, plus Icelanders of course) gather at the Viking Village and the fun goes on non-stop for 5 days.

The Viking Festival is becoming more and more popular and it is estimated that ca 250-300 Vikings took part in the festival in 2015. The major part of the Vikings come from Hafnarfjörður and a Viking club founded in association with Fjörukráin. This Viking club is called Rimmugýgur.

The Vikings teach us how to throw spears and axes, shoot with bows and arrows, there is wood-carving etc, etc. And you can have your fortune told by a fortune teller in a tent at the market. So much fun! 

There have even been Viking Christenings and Viking weddings at the Viking Festival.

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

Iceland is the "Mekka" of Vikings and visiting the festival is a must if you are visiting Iceland on the second weekend of June. I make sure not to miss the Viking Festival.

The Viking Village, with its lovely Viking style restaurant, Fjörukráin, and Hotel Viking, is, of course, open all year round, and this is where I take most of my foreign guests for dinner. This restaurant opened in 1990 with 50 seats, but now it can seat up to 500 people. 

On the last day of the festival, on the 17th of June, Iceland celebrates its National Day, so imagine how much fun there is on that day in Hafnarfjörðurtown - Vikings and a local parade with festivities all over town!

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

After the Viking market closes at 8 pm the fun doesn't end, as that is when the Vikings start partying! There is a Viking feast at the Fjörukráin restaurant at the Viking Village - and the fun lasts until the wee hours of the morning with a concert and dancing - Viking style!

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

To me, the highlight of the festival is the Viking battles! The Vikings put on quite a realistic battle throughout the days during theViking Festival. Visitors are asked to keep their distance, as it can get scary, especially for kids. And I can tell you that the battles are quite realistic - minus the blood, of course.

At the end of the battle, a lot of Vikings lie "dead" in the field, probably on their way to Valhalla, where they can continue fighting. 

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

Be aware that they then get up and run screaming towards the crowd. Hold on to your kids and don't let them go too close during the battle.

It is all just for fun, but when I brought my nieces to watch the Viking battle, I held on to them when the Vikings ran screaming towards the crowd. If you look at the photo below I know you will understand why ;)  But all the Vikings have a heart of gold so there is nothing to worry about :) And this is just a reenactment of a Viking battle.

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

There are also different Viking battles when the Vikings "fight" with the kids, so the Viking Festival is also good fun for the kids.

They can take part in the Viking School for children, where the children f.ex. learn how to use the Viking weapons.

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

On the web-page of the Viking Village, I saw this lovely video of the Viking Festival, and they were kind enough to let me use it here on my blog. It was shot by Netkynning - I just love the music they have added to the video!

I take most of my foreign visitors for dinner at the Viking Village and if they visit during the second weekend of June, then we also visit the Viking Festival. And of course, we get our picture taken with a Viking called Jökull Tandri :)

The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður Town in Iceland

The Viking Festival is such good fun - don't miss it if you are visiting Iceland at this time, the second weekend of June.

I have written another travel-blog on the Viking Village restaurant, Fjörukráin, and the hotel in the Viking Village, Hotel Viking. I am totally in love with this place :)

To visit the Viking Village from Reykjavík you can either take bus number 1 or rent a car in Reykjavík and drive there yourself.

NB - The Viking Festival will next be held on the 14th - 17th of June 2018 at Víðistaðatún Park in Hafnarfjörður and hosted by Rimmugýgur Viking Club.

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