Our foreign visitors often ask me where they can find Viking "stuff" in Iceland, and what Viking activities they can take part in during their stay in my country. So I decided on making a list of the Viking activities, Viking exhibitions, and museums, which I know about and have taken part in here in Iceland.
The Norwegian Vikings arrived in Iceland in open Viking ships in the 9th century and settled on this cold volcanic island in the north. Here they had to fight the elements and each other. They persevered through unexpected volcanic eruptions, drift ice, and harsh winters, and the Icelanders, who inhabit Iceland now, are direct descendants of the Vikings.
Top photo: The Viking club Rimmugýgur in Iceland
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður
Our ancestors, the Vikings, were looking for a safer place to live and to raise their families, but feuds and battles were to take place on this former peaceful island, where only a few Irish monks had lived before the Vikings arrived.
Nowadays we remember and celebrate our Viking roots and ancestry by offering several Viking related activities.
Our biggest Viking club, Rimmugýgur, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017, but this fierce group of Vikings can be seen in action on several occasions down-town Reykjavík and in other places around Iceland.
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður
Rimmugýgur Viking club celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 with many feasts and I ran into them in many places. The main feast for their 20th anniversary was held at Víðistaðatún park.
I attended the feast and watched their Viking reenactment, which started with a Viking funeral that turned into a fierce Viking battle. Víðistaðatún park is a great location as the audience can sit on the slope and watch the Viking reenactment from above.
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður
In the beginning - some 20 years ago - Rimmugýgur was a Viking fight club, but through the years their goals have changed and escalated.
Now, apart from martial arts, they teach archery and educate people on the ways of the Vikings, they make their own clothes, some out of leather - and sell all kinds of hand-made leather-ware and artefacts made out of bones, etc., which they sell at the Viking market.
This beautiful valkyrie, Elín Reynisdóttir, is the first woman to be accepted into the Rimmugýgur Viking club back in 1997 - Guðrún völva is in the background
I also visited the Viking market, where some fine Viking objects and handmade woven goods, and leatherware can be found. It is wonderful to wander around the tents at the market learning about the ways of the Vikings. Here archery is taught and children can attend the Viking School for kids.
In my photo below you will see leather rings made by Guðmann at Mink Photography.
The Viking market at the Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður
Hafsteinn Kúld Pétursson is the appointed Earl of Rimmugýgur Viking Club, but Hafsteinn is one of the 8 friends who were the founder members of Rimmugýgur back in 1997. It was small back then but has grown to a great extent, with the members being around 200 now, with some 60 of them taking part in the sword fighting.
The name Rimmugýgur comes from the crown jewel of the Icelandic Sagas - the Saga of Njáll - the axe Rimmugýgur in the Saga belonged to Skarphéðinn Njálsson and means bardagatröll - a fighting troll.
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður
Rimmugýgur is a very active Viking Club, which takes part in all kinds of Viking festivities around Iceland. They can even be booked for private affairs, where ever Vikings are needed :)
They train twice a week for 2 hours at a time, from 20:00-22:00, in the basement parking lot of the shopping centre Fjörður in Hafnarfjörður. Participants must be 16 years old and only 18 and older are able to participate in the Rimmugýgur Viking reenactment battles/shows.
You can contact Hafsteinn@rimmugygur.is for more information.
Guðrún and I at the Viking village in 2017 in Ribe, Denmark
In the summertime, Rimmugýgur travels to other Viking festivals in our neighbouring Northern countries, and other Vikings come to visit the Icelandic festivals.
I checked out the Viking scene in Denmark, where you will find a great deal of Viking activity, and was amazed when I met a woman, Guðrún, at the Viking village in Ribe, Jylland, who spoke Icelandic and we found out that we have mutual friends!
Guðrún and I at the Viking festival of 2019 in Víðistaðatún in Iceland
Guðrún is Danish but has visited the Viking festival many, many times in Iceland, and learnt my language. A lovely Viking woman :)
The annual Viking Festival was customarily held at the Viking Village, but the market and Viking battles moved in 2018 to Víðistaðatún park in Hafnarfjörður, which is a much bigger venue and more convenient for this kind of Viking activity.
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður - Jón Gestur from Rimmugýgur
The Viking festival is held annually on the 2nd weekend in June, around the time of Iceland's national holiday on the 17th of June. So be aware, Hafnarfjörður, which belongs to the Great-Reykjavík Area, will be flooded with Icelandic Vikings and Vikings from all over the world.
The dates for the Viking market of 2020 were to be from the 16th of June until the 21st of June. But due to COVID-19, the Viking festival was postponed until the 6th-9th of August - only to be cancelled when a sudden rise in COVID cases took place :( The 2021 festival will be held on the 12th-15th of August.
Here you will literally see hundreds of Vikings dressed up in Viking style clothes feasting, fighting each other in combat, demonstrating Viking style fighting arts like axe throwing and archery, and selling their wares - ranging from leather goods, swords, silver jewelry, fur to everyday necessities made of bones.
The Viking festival in Hafnarfjörður - children being taught how to handle Viking weapons
The Viking Festival has from 2018 been held at Víðistaðatún park.
Twice during the days of the festival, the guests at the Viking Festival will be able to watch reenacted Viking combats, which are quite scary and realistic at times, to be honest.
There is great comradeship at the Viking Festival and the Vikings are friendly and cheerful, so there is nothing to worry about :)
At the annual Viking festival
At night the Vikings have gathered at Fjörukráin Viking restaurant for a continuation of their feast. Or at least so they did when the Viking Festival was held at the Viking Village.
I have written a special travel-blog The Annual Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður about my many visits to the Viking Festival.
You can also check them out at Víkingahátíð í Hafnarfirði - Viking Market in Hafnarfjörður on Facebook.
Vikings at the Viking club Einherjar in Reykjavík - the Viking to the left is Helgi Hamrammi
Now, Rimmugýgur is the Viking club of Hafnarfjörður town, but we also have the Viking club of the capital city Reykjavík, called Einherjar, founded in 2008. Einherjar has held the Reykjavík Viking festival both in Hljómskálagarður park and in Austurvöllur park in Reykjavík.
The Reykjavík Viking festival is called Ingólfshátíð, named after Ingólfur Arnarson, Iceland's first settler, and Ingólfur Júlíusson, photographer, who came up with the idea of the Viking festival. Sadly he died of leukemia in 2013, at the age of 42, before the first Viking festival was held in Reykjavík. The Reykjavík Viking festival was held for the first time that year in his memory.
At the Viking festival in Reykjavík
Einherjar celebrated their 10th anniversary at the Ingólfshátíð Viking festival, which was held on the 14th of July 2018, but I was out of the country at that time so I didn't get the chance to visit it. Here are some photos from the Viking festival in 2015.
I visited the Ingólfshátíð Viking festival for the first time in 2019 when it was held on the 13th of July at Hljómskálagarður park by Reykjavík pond in the centre of Reykjavík. These photos were taken on that occasion when the Vikings were about to kidnap me for the day ;) Helgi Hamrammi (in red) is the leader of Einherjar.
Surrounded by Vikings - Helgi Hamrammi to the right and the Viking Tómas to the left
The Einherjar Vikings also appeared on the 17th of June and on Culture Night on the 24th of August. These 3 activities are sponsored by the City of Reykjavík and are called Landnámsmenning 2019.
Read more about it and see a photo of their former leader, the late Gunnar Víking, on Grapevine and on Reykjavik.com. You can also follow them on Facebook to see the dates for the next Ingólfshátíð festival.
The Viking Helgi from Rimmugýgur looking fierce
Reykjavík's annual Culture Night is held on the 3rd weekend of August with a lot of festivities. Last year Rimmugýgur Viking club set up camp by Tjörnin, Reykjavík's pond in a corner by Hljómskálagarður park.
There they sold their Viking goods, horns, and leatherware in tents in the park. And Viking battles were fought. I walked around in the marketplace taking photos and greeting the Vikings, as by now I have come to know some of them.
The Viking Guðmann from Rimmugýgur
Here I found Guðmann, the owner of Mink Viking Portrait, who took awesome Viking photos of me recently, which you can see further down in my travel-blog. Apart from taking awesome Viking portraits, he makes some beautiful handcrafted Viking goods.
The beautiful horns are made by the talented Viking Sigurbogi at Ratatöskur. Aren't they pretty?
Beautiful Viking horns
I decided then that it was about time to write a travel-blog on the Viking activities in Iceland so that I could introduce to you the Vikings and where you might run into them. As I am sure that many people, who would love to see a Viking battle and visit a Viking market, never knew that there was a Viking market by the Pond down-town Reykjavík on Culture night.
So I asked to be introduced to the president of Rimmugýgur Viking club, Hafsteinn "the mighty". He was busy, seeing that the market and Viking battle was on, but I got a photo with him and a contact e-mail.
With Hafsteinn from Rimmugýgur
If you want to book Rimmugýgur Viking reenactment group for a private affair then you can contact Hafsteinn@rimmugygur.is.
Vikings at Gásir
A 4-day Viking festival is held at Gásir in Eyjafjörður in North-Iceland on the third weekend in July each year, called the Medieval Days. There the medieval trading place at Gásir is recreated. The villagers dress up in medieval costumes and look like real people from the Middle Ages, especially in these settings.
At the Medieval Days, you will witness a sword fight and a reenactment with scenes from the old trading post at Gásir. Many members of the Viking club Rimmugýgur take part in the Medieval Days.
The market at the festival at Gásir
Here you can walk around the Viking marketplace and buy handmade crafts and food and try out archery or chop wood with an axe. It is so much fun, don't miss it if you are travelling up north on the 3rd weekend of July.
I have written a travel-blog about my visit to Gásir, with much more information and photos.
Fjörukráin at the Viking Vilage
I take all of my foreign guests to dinner at Fjörukráin Viking restaurant in the Viking village. I just love the surroundings, and always feel like I have entered a fantasy world, when I enter the Viking restaurant, no matter how often I visit it :)
Fjörukráin is located in the second oldest house in Hafnarfjörður town, dating back to 1841. My ancestor, Bjarni Sívertsen, who has been named the Father of Hafnarfjörður, built the oldest houses in this beautiful town, which is referred to as the Town in the Lava.
You will love your visit to the Viking restaurant, it is on two floors and ever so ornate - do also have a peek upstairs to see the remaining dining rooms. We always take our foreign guests on a guided tour of the premises :)
Fjörukráin at the Viking Village
The staff is dressed in Viking clothes and sometimes you will get live music when singing and playing Vikings walk from table to table. You might even be lucky enough to witness a Viking ceremony at the restaurant. I have twice witnessed that - an inauguration of some sort.
To book a table contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotel Viking at the Viking Village
I stayed for one night at Hotel Viking at the Viking Village in Hafnarfjörður town. Seeing that I take all my foreign guests to dinner at the Viking Village I have often been asked about the hotel, so I was happy when I got the chance to stay there.
We got a beautiful en-suite room with a north-west view of the harbour and the Viking Village. The furniture was rustic Viking style. Everything was perfect, the bed was so comfy with luxurious linen and a very soft duvet.
Each floor has a special theme and all over you will see Viking furniture and decorations. The breakfast restaurant was especially decorative. You will love it if you are into Viking themes.
Hotel Viking at the Viking Village
There are 42 en-suite rooms at the Viking hotel. And seeing that it has become very popular staying there 14 Viking cottages, all of them en-suite, have been added next to the Viking restaurant.
Here you can see what my stay was like at the lovely Hotel Viking.
Do check out the Viking Village - I love it!
Ingólfsskáli Longhouse - a Viking restaurant
It is called Ingólfsskáli and is a turf longhouse, named after Iceland's first settler Ingólfur Arnarson, who spent a winter by Mt. Ingólfsfjall on his way west where he settled land and named it Reykjavík.
Photo courtesy of Ingólfsskáli
Ingólfsskáli was built in 1998 and was rebuilt after suffering structural damages in the big doublet earthquake in 2008.
Ingólfsskáli has mainly served groups over the years but has now opened its doors to individual guests at night during the week. Just call them ahead of time to book a table.
Ingólfsskáli is a private enterprise of a farmer and his family in the honour of our first settler.
Ingólfsskáli Longhouse - a Viking restaurant
I recently dined at this lovely Viking restaurant for the first time. Well worth a visit.
You can check them out on their homepage Ingólfsskáli.
I have written another travel-blog about Ingólfur and Ingólfsskáli The Viking Settler Ingólfur Arnarson, Mt. Ingólfsfjall and Ingólfsskáli Turf Longhouse in South-Iceland
Fierce looking as a Viking ;)
In Reykjavík city, you will find a professional studio, Mink Viking Portrait, by Laugavegur, our main shopping street downtown, where you can get awesome Viking photos of yourself. I am not a fierce-looking person in reality, but just look at how fierce-looking the photographers at Mink made me ;)
I can trace my ancestry back to the first Viking settlers here in Iceland in ca 874 AD. But I haven't got much to show for my Viking ancestry other than my genes, as the Viking stuff is still buried somewhere, or kept at Þjóðminjasafnið - the National Museum of Iceland.
Having Viking photos taken with my husband
The proprietor of Mink, Guðmann Þór Bjargmundsson, and the photographer, Gustavo Marcelo Blanco, both of them professional filmmakers, opened the Viking portrait as they love meeting people and wanted to give our foreign guests the chance to meet up with locals here in Iceland and tell them about our Viking ancestry. I have something in common with them, then ;)
Guðmann is an active member of the Viking club Rimmugýgur, which I told you about here above, and at the studio, you can get some authentic handmade Viking stuff.
Mink Viking photography - highly recommended as a souvenir from Iceland - or just for us locals to bring out the Viking in us :)
The Viking photo-session takes about an hour or so for a single person, and up to two hours if you want a family- or a group photo. Allow some time for changing into the Viking style clothes and modeling for the photographer. You then get to choose 6 photos to take home with you.
I have written a special travel-blog Unleash your Inner Viking Warrior with a Professional Viking Portrait in Reykjavík about the photo-session I had with Mink.
Dressed up with the actors of the play
Seeing that I am forever looking for some Viking stuff to introduce to you, then I was very happy to hear about a new Viking Saga comedy show at our concert hall Harpa. The show is in English and is called the Icelandic Sagas - the Greatest Hits in 75 minutes!
The show is described on their website as being "a comedy theatre roller coaster ride through all 40 of the epic Icelandic Sagas" - and that perfectly sums up the experience.
I have seen this show twice and absolutely loved it - it is a farce and very funny and things happen really fast, so you have to have your wits about you following it. The actors have 75 minutes to introduce the highlights of the 40 Icelandic Sagas to us, and I laughed for the entire 75 minutes ;)
The Icelandic Sagas - the Greatest Hits in 75 Minutes
The main attention though was put on the best known Sagas, the Saga of Egill, the Saga of Grettir, Laxdæla Saga, and the Queen of the Icelandic Sagas the Saga of Njáll. I would recommend that you visit the Saga Museum before you see the show to get acquainted with the characters of the Icelandic Sagas.
I have written a special travel-blog - a Hilarious Comedy Show on the Icelandic Sagas in Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík about my visit to this show.
The Viking ship
One of the Viking activities in Iceland is to go sailing on a Viking ship around the fjord at Þingeyri in the Westfjords of Iceland. This Viking ship is a replica of the authentic Viking ship, Gokstad ship, which was built ca 890 AD and is on display in Bygdö in Oslo, Norway.
As was customary in the olden days a horn was blown upon leaving the harbour. The Viking guide told us about the Vikings and their ships - how they sailed to Iceland and what sailing techniques they used for these long journeys - and the different types of Viking ships - knarr and longship.
Our guide also told us some stories from the old Viking Sagas - it was all in all a very informative tour.
Blowing the horn at the Viking ship
The Viking ship can accommodate 12 and the crew, which consists of 2 Vikings.
I have written a special travel-blog Sail like an Icelandic Viking on a Viking Ship from Reykjavík's Old Harbour about my tour on the Viking ship when it used to sail from the old harbour. But they, unfortunately, stopped sailing from Reykjavík harbour now.
From the summer of 2018, the Viking ship will sail from Þingeyri in the Westfjords instead of Reykjavík harbour.
Real Viking swords at the National Museum
At Þjóðminjasafn Íslands - the National Museum of Iceland you will see some of Iceland's Viking treasures, amongst them the Viking swords in my photos. Owning a Viking sword was something only wealthy and powerful Vikings could do - it was a status symbol. 21 Viking swords have been found in Iceland through the years compared to 3,000 Viking swords in Norway!
14 of the Viking swords were discovered in pagan graves (kuml) and the majority of the Icelandic Viking swords date back to the 9th-10th century.
One Viking sword was discovered by chance in 2016 by two goose-hunters in South-East Iceland. And another Viking sword was found in June 2017 at Dysnes in Eyjafjörður in North-Iceland. Have a look at the video when the archaeologists dug out the very fragile Viking sword.
Authentic Viking swords at the National Museum in Reykjavík
Viking swords from the 13-14th century. The Viking sword to the left was discovered at Skjaldbreiður and dates back to 1250-1300 Sarpur The Viking sword to the right was discovered at Skógar in Fnjóskadalur and dates back to 1300-1400 Sarpur
It seems like spears were the main weapons of Icelanders back then. So we cherish all the Viking swords we find here in Iceland.
Hallveig and Ingólfur - the first settlers in Iceland
The Saga Museum is a must-visit if you fancy learning more about the Vikings. Here the Vikings are brought to life - you will encounter full-size, very realistic looking silicone figures fully dressed in Viking clothes, hand-dyed according to the old tradition.
The historically correct settings show the most famous settlers of Iceland and well-known historical figures in defining moments of their life. The weapons the "Vikings" are carrying were constructed using traditional methods.
At the museum, you will see a recreation of the history of the Vikings from the Settlement of Iceland. Here you will meet Iceland's first settler, Ingólfur Arnarson and his wife Hallveig Fróðadóttir, who settled Iceland in around year 874, Leif the Lucky, who discovered America and Skalla-Grímur Kveldúlfsson, who settled Borgarnes, and many more historical figures.
Melkorka with Ólafur pá - from the Laxdæla Saga
In my photo above you will see the Irish princess Melkorka with her son, but she was brought as a slave to Iceland and pretended to be mute. You can read about her in Laxdæla Saga.
Here you will meet Snorri Sturluson, the great Chieftain and historian, get to know about the effects of the horrible Black death on the Icelandic nation, and see the most disturbing sight of one of the nuns from Kirkjubæjarklaustur being burnt at the stake.
After your visit to the Saga Museum, you can watch a short documentary on the making of the "Vikings" at the Saga Museum. Very informative.
With my husband at the Saga Museum
And do try on the Viking clothes and weapons - it makes for a good photo. The chain armour my husband is wearing weighs a tonne, it is beyond me how the Vikings were able to go into battle wearing such armour.
Check them out at Saga Museum in Reykjavík.
The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík 871±2
Back in 2001 remains of a longhouse from the Viking Settlement age were unearthed during building work at the south end corner of Aðalstræti, the oldest street in Reykjavík. These are some of the oldest remains to be discovered in Reykjavík and a museum has been built around the remains.
They were actually building a hotel here and had to stop the work due to this extraordinary longhouse. A decision was made to build a museum around the longhouse and the hotel on top of it.
The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík 871±2
At the museum, you will see the open excavations of the longhouse and find artefacts on display, which were unearthed on this site. Here you will f.ex. see the oldest fragment of a glass drinking vessel found from the Viking Age in Iceland!
The museum uses interactive technology - and kudos to them for the idea of adding lit-up images all around the longhouse of what Reykjavík was like at the time the settlers arrived - and at the same time they show the view from the longhouse.
If you look at the images then you will see that from time to time white figures of people pop up. I love this idea.
The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík 871±2
The name of the museum stems from the belief that Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler, arrived in 874 in Iceland. Now it has been discovered that he might have arrived a couple of years earlier, so the Settlement Exhibition 871 +/-2 means to give or take a few years.
Check them out at Settlement Exhibition 871 +/-2.
The Settlement Centre in Borgarnes Town
You will find an excellent exhibition in Borgarnes town, called Landnámssetrið - Settlement Centre - where you will get to know all about Egill Skallagrímsson (910-990), the hero of Egilssaga - the Saga of Egill.
Egil's father, Skalla-Grímur Kveldúlfsson was the settler of this area and around Borgarnes and in Borgarfjörður, you will see 9 cairns, which the proprietor of the Settlement Centre has erected in several historic locations of the Saga of Egill.
The Settlement Centre in Borgarnes Town
There are two exhibitions at the Settlement Centre - the Exhibition on the Viking Egill and an exhibition on the Settlement of Iceland in ca 874 until the Vikings established the old Viking Parliament Alþingi in 930 at Þingvellir.
I have written a special travel-blog about the Saga of the Viking Egill Skallagrímsson, the Settlement Centre & the 9 Cairns in West-Iceland with information on how to find the 9 cairns.
Check them out at Landnámssetrið - Settlement Centre.
At Reykholt in West-Iceland, you will find the former home of what I like to call the most influential Icelander, the great Chieftain and historian, Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241). An exhibition on Snorri has been opened at Reykholt, called Snorrastofa, where you can get to know all about this great man in Iceland's history.
Snorri was our best-known Saga writer - he was the author of the history of the Norwegian Kings, Heimskringla and Snorra-Edda, where he wrote about Nordic mythology and poetry. He is also most likely the writer of the Saga of Egill Skallagrímsson, which I told you about here above.
Snorri was the most powerful man in Iceland during the Sturlung Age in Iceland and one of the richest men in Iceland.
With Sigrún Þormar at Snorrastofa exhibition
You can get an excellent guided tour of the Snorrastofa exhibition by the very knowledgeable Sigrún Þormar, the project-leader of Snorrastofa. She is a co-blogger here on Guide to Iceland and has written many a good blog on Reykholt and Snorri.
I have written a special travel-blog about Reykholt and Snorri: The Historical Reykholt in West-Iceland & Snorri Sturluson - the most influential Icelander.
Sigrún was gracious enough to allow me to stay for 2 days at the old school-building at Reykholt and gave me access to Snorrastofa so that I could write my travel-blog :)
Check them out at Snorrastofa at Reykholt.
Saga Musica - the Icelandic Viking Sagas portrayed in Songs
In Reykjavík city and Eyrarbakki village, you can attend the Saga Musica, where you can listen to a beautiful concert on the Icelandic Viking Sagas performed by very talented musicians. I have attended this concert twice and absolutely adore it. The show is available for pre-booked groups.
The Icelandic Sagas, which were written back in the 13th century, give us an insight into the Saga Age in the 9th -11th century and what the Vikings were up to back then. They are stories of the lust for power, honour and revenge, love, and betrayal amongst the Vikings.
The very talented Valgeir Guðjónsson
Valgeir Guðjónsson, who is a household name in Iceland, and his wife, Ásta Krist´rún Ragnarsdóttir, are the auteur and producers of this excellent show. Valgeir is well-known for being a member of the popular band Stuðmenn.
I have written a special travel-blog about my visit to the Saga Musica show, where I tell you a lot more about the show and Valgeir and Ásta.
The huge Viking sword
An enlarged replica (7 m heigh) of the Viking sword Kaldárhöfðasverð, which was found by Lake Úlfljótsvatn in 1946. It is believed to date back to the 10th century
In Reykjanesbær in SW-Iceland we have a Viking museum called Víkingaheimar - the Viking Worlds. At the museum, you will find an exact replica of a Viking ship, but these kinds of Viking ships were really popular back in 900 +/-.
The Viking ship is called Íslendingur - Icelander and was built in 1994-1996 by Gunnar Marel Eggertsson, who built it as close to how the real Vikings built their ships as he possibly could, and even used the same tools as our ancestors used.
Photo taken back in 2008 when the Viking ship Íslendingur was located outside by Stekkjarkot turf house
In 1982 the Norwegians discovered a Viking ship in Gokstad, Norway, and the Icelander is an exact replica of that ship, so it is pretty accurate. The Icelander is 23 metres long and 5.25 metres wide and weighs some 18 tonnes of wood! Just imagine how many trees it took to build a ship like this!
These ships were very expensive and only the very rich could afford to build a Viking ship. When the rich Vikings died it was common for them to be buried with their ship.
Víkingaheimar - Viking World & the Viking Ship Icelander
In 2000 Gunnar and his crew (9) sailed the Icelander to Greenland and from there to North America, the same route as Leifur Eiríksson, the Viking who discovered America, sailed back then. Their voyage took 110 days and they stopped in 25 ports where the ship was greeted with a ceremony in each port!
Until 2009 the Viking ship Icelander stood outside by the old workingman's turf cottage Stekkjarkot, which you will notice on your way to the museum.
A statue of Hrafna-Flóki by the museum Víkingaheimar
When in Njarðvík (5 km from the international airport) turn left by the huge Viking sword and left again when you reach the sea. The name of the street is Víkingabraut 1 - Viking street no. 1.
Check them out at Víkingaheimar - Viking World.
At Skálinn in Þingeyri Village
At Skálinn you will be invited on a journey to the past, where you will experience the settlement period and get to know from the proprietors Borgný and Þórir Örn how the Vikings lived, dressed and what they ate. Step inside and try out the old Viking table weaving and needle binding.
Dressed up in Viking clothes at Skálinn
Here you can bake Viking bread over an open fire, dress up in handmade Viking clothes and even try out the Viking weapons, which makes for a good photo to take back home :)
Þingeyri has strong ties to their Viking heritage and a Viking club has been active for around 15 years in this location, Víkingar Vestfjarða or the Westfjord Vikings.
Skálinn at Þingeyri
The Viking club built a Viking area at Oddinn by the seashore in Þingeyri, where Viking activities can take place.
Check them out on Facebook.
Vikings from the Viking club Glæsir
On several occasions have I seen fighting Vikings in Grundarfjörður - or should I say a re-enactment of a Viking fight.
A small Viking village has been built right by the main road opposite the information centre and during festivals and other festive occasions you might catch a glimpse of the Vikings fighting.
They belong to the Viking group Glæsir, which is a sister club of Rymmugýgur.
Vikings from the Viking club Glæsir
I usually visit Grundarfjörður during their town festival Á góðri stundu, which is held on the last weekend in July, so I have been lucky enough to see the local Vikings of my grandfather's village fighting in the street.
Grundarfjörður is best-known for Mt. Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in Iceland, and Kirkjufellsfossar waterfalls.
The reconstructed Þjóðveldisbærinn - Commonwealth Farm
In Þjórsárdalur valley upcountry in South-Iceland, you will find the ruins of a Viking settler's farmhouse Stöng. In another location close by a very interesting reconstruction of the medieval farmhouse is to be found, called, Þjóðveldisbærinn - Commonwealth Farm.
At Þjóðveldisbærinn, which was erected in 1974-1977, on the 1100-year anniversary of Icelandic settlement, you will feel like you have stepped back in time for a visit to the Viking age. In the middle of the main hall a longfire burns. Here the Vikings ate, told stories, worked, and rested.
Last time I visited the longhouse I got to dress up in Viking clothes and have my photo taken, as the reconstructed Saga-age farm is giving their visitors the opportunity to be more interactive.
Dressing up for a photo at Þjóðveldisbærinn
In the year 2000, a small Viking age church was erected next to Þjóðveldisbærinn. The turf stave-church is a replica of the church excavated by the farm at Stöng. The turf house and turf church blend in perfectly with nature and are even hard to spot from above, and you might even miss them if you didn't know what to look for.
On the location of Þjóðveldisbærinn Game of Thrones shot one of their scenes. If you have watched this series you will remember the Wildlings killing all the inhabitants of the farm, apart from a small boy, which they used as a messenger.
The replica of a turf church at Þjóðveldisbærinn
The Saga-age farm is open daily in the summertime from June 1st until August 31st. Just follow the sign Þjóðveldisbærinn ;)
I have written a travel-blog about Stöng and Þjóðveldisbærinn farm Stöng - Ruins of a Real Viking Settlement Manor and the Reconstructed Saga-Age Farm in Iceland
One of the places in Iceland which makes me feel like I have stepped back to the Settlement age is Eiríksstaðir, where a reconstruction of Eirík the Red's Viking longhouse has been built.
Here Leifur heppni - Leif the Lucky (approx. 980 - 1020), the son of Eirík the Red and his wife Þjóðhildur, was born. Leif is best known for being the first European to discover America.
I also got to dress up for a photo at Eiríksstaðir
Eiríksstaðir is a museum where you can see what the Viking houses looked like. This cute little Viking longhouse was built with the remake of old Viking tools, so it is quite authentic.
You can sit by the longfire and listen to the guide tell stories about the lives of the Vikings, who lived at Eiríksstaðir in the old times when Iceland was being settled. And try out some cool Viking stuff!
I have written a travel-blog about Eiríksstaðir Long House in West-Iceland with much more information and photos.
Check them out at Eiríksstaðir.
There is one more interesting exhibition - about Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagaströnd in North-Iceland. It is an interesting exhibition on a prophetess in Iceland in the 10th century.
Here you can get acquainted with Þórdís, but her story is told in Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar- the Collection of Folklore of Jón Árnason, which I refer to often in my travel-blog. Jón Árnason was born close to Skagaströnd.
At the exhibition, Spákonuhof, you will see all kinds of prophecy methods used in Iceland at that time - runes, reading of guts, palm reading, fortune-telling, the reading in coffee mugs, palms, cards, etc. And here you can get your own reading.
I have written a travel-blog about my visit to Spákonuhof, where I also got a very accurate reading.
Check them out at Spákonuhof Skagaströnd.
You can also join the Guided 12 Hour Cultural Tour through the History of Vikings & the Sagas which is the only Viking tour I have been able to find. I joined it and wrote a travel-blog about my experience: The Vikings and the Sagas – a fun and educational tour of South Iceland,
On a guided Viking tour in Iceland
In this travel-blog, I only add Viking activities, museums, and exhibitions, but there are many Viking locations and ruins, which you can visit on your travels in my country. I have written travel-blogs about some of them:
I have also written another travel-blog about Viking Ruins and Burial Mounds I have visited on my Travels in Iceland - which is a list of all the archaeological sites and burial mounds, which I have visited in Iceland.
The Viking market at the Viking Village
Also visit the most important Viking site in Iceland - Þingvellir national park, where the Vikings established a parliament back in 930.
Least I forget the Viking Clap, which you can see in the video below, which I borrowed from YouTube. I am somewhere in the crowd of Icelanders participating in the Viking Clap.
I hope that this list of Viking activities, museums, and exhibitions makes it easier for you to travel in Iceland Viking style. What is lacking on this list is Ásatrú - the belief in the old Nordic gods, but you can see the initiation of the Viking Festival further up in this travel-blog of mine.
And I have been a guest at one Ásatrú initiation, the equivalent of confirmation in Christianity in Hrafn Gunnlaugsson's home, but he is my husband's second cousin.
If I find any more Viking "stuff" to do in my country I will add it to this list. Or if you find more Viking "stuff" please let me know :)
The Drunken Viking at the Viking Village
You can read more about the Vikings in the article Vikings and Norse Gods in Iceland.
Have a lovely time in Iceland :)