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Путеводитель: Vifilsstadavatn Lake and Vifilsstadir Area

Культурные достопримечательности, Озера, Природные заповедники
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34HG+MG Garðabær, Iceland
Расстояние от центра
1.9 км

The walk around Vifilsstadavatn lake is lovelyVifilsstadavatn is a picturesque lake and park next to the Vifilsstadir nursing home, just 7.3 miles (11.8 kilometers) south of Reykjavik. This outdoor recreation area is popular for its lush natural beauty and rich history within the Capital Region.

As you travel around the Capital Region with your rental car, you may see the towering building of Vifilsstadir. Just next to it, there's the tranquil Vifilsstadavatn lake, a popular outdoor recreation area among locals.

Vifilsstadir, or "Vífilsstaðir" in Icelandic, has a fascinating past, having originally been built as a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1910. The building is a landmark of the municipality of Gardabaer, and today, it serves as a modern nursing home. It's surrounded by the Vifilsstadavatn nature area, which features many walking trails through lush vegetation, along with vibrant birdlife.

Nature and history enthusiasts can explore the area during self-drive tours that offer the freedom to visit lesser-known places like this with a rental car. You can easily reach it from your Reykjavik accommodation as it's just a 20-minute drive from the city center.

Photo above from Pétur Jónsson

Historical Significance of Vifilsstadir and Vifilsstadavatn Lake

Vifilsstadir provides temporary care for older adults while they wait for a placement in a long-term care facility and is surrounded by beautiful parkland a lake.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Bjarki S No edits made.

Vifilsstadir is a historic farm site that traces back to the settlement of Iceland. The story goes that when Ingólfur Arnarson, Iceland's supposed first settler, arrived on the country's shores around the year 874, he brought two enslaved men with him, including Vífill. Ingólfur freed Vífill and granted him land, hence Vífillstaðir, "the place of Vífill."

Nearby, two Viking archaeological sites supporting this history have been discovered. Among them is Hofsstadir, the largest Viking longhouse found in Iceland, situated in the town center of Gardabaer.

The building that currently stands on Vifilsstadir was built in the early 20th century to host tuberculosis patients. The main building was opened in 1910 and was, at the time, one of the largest buildings in Iceland. It was designed by Rögnvaldur Ólafsson (1874-1917), who is often referred to as the first architect in Iceland. He would later contract tuberculosis himself, and in 1917, he passed away from the disease while receiving treatment in Vifilsstadir.

The surrounding nature was popular among patients of Vifilsstadir as the clean air was thought to be a beneficial treatment for tuberculosis. It now provides temporary care for older adults while they wait for a placement in a long-term care facility.

Visitors can explore the adjacent Vifilsstadavatn lake and the lush parkland around Vifilsstadir's historical buildings. It's a scenic area for outdoor recreation within city limits!

Nature at Vifilsstadavatn and Vifilsstadir

Vifilsstadavatn is a picturesque lake and park next to the Vifilsstadir nursing home, just 7.3 miles (11.8 kilometers) south of Reykjavik.Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Hornstrandir1

In 2007, Vifilsstadavatn and its breathtaking surroundings were designated as a nature reserve, a move aimed at safeguarding its pristine beauty and ecological significance. 

This protection spans the lake and extends to the southern and eastern hills, reaching the ridge. The primary goal of this conservation effort is to maintain the lake's natural state and enhance the habitat for its diverse aquatic life. The lake is home to Arctic char, trout, eel populations, and a particular type of stickleback notable for lacking bony ridges on their abdomen. 

Additionally, the reserve is home to numerous duck species and grassland birds, emphasizing a commitment to protecting the area's wildlife. Integrity of water sources and vegetation and opportunities for outdoor recreation, research, and education are other key focus areas.

A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Vifilsstadavatn and Vifilsstadir are ideal spots for anyone who loves being outside, offering a mix of fishing, hiking or jogging, and disc golf in a beautiful setting. These activities provide a perfect way to experience the stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere.

Fishing at Vifilsstadavatn

Lake Vifilsstadavatn is a prime location for anglers looking to cast their lines in pursuit of brown trout and Arctic char. The best fishing months are May and June when the lake's waters become a bustling habitat for these sought-after species. Fishing here promises a rewarding catch and an immersion in Iceland's natural beauty.

You will need a Veidikortid fishing license in order to fish here.

Vifilsstadavatn is a picturesque lake with fishing and hiking opportunities in the greater Reykjavik area.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson.

Hiking Trails and Exploration

Surrounding Vifilsstadavatn, a network of hiking trails offers visitors various ways to explore the area's rugged beauty. 

The well-maintained 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) gravel path around the lake is perfect for a scenic stroll or jog. Or, get the heart rate going more by walking up to the Gunnhildur crain. Follow the well-marked trail from the car park at the lake's south end up the hill. 

Disk Golf

The disc golf course at Vifilsstadir adds a modern recreational twist to the area's historical and natural appeal. This course offers players a challenging layout amid spectacular scenery.

GKG Golf Club

The GKG Golf Club is on the north side of Vifilsstadavatn Lake, just 0.5 miles (800 meters) from Vifilsstadir. It's a premier destination for golfers seeking a challenging yet picturesque round of golf. 

Known for its well-maintained greens and fairways, the club offers various holes catering to beginners and seasoned players. Surrounded by natural beauty, it provides an exceptional golfing experience where players can enjoy the sport amid gorgeous views and crisp, clean air.

How to get to Vifilsstadavatn lake

The Heidmork nature reserve is a vast area of natural beauty, offering additional hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities near Reykjavik.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Roman Z No edits made.

Vifilsstadavatn lake and Vifilsstadir are in the Gardabaer municipality, between the Kopavogur and Hafnarfjordur districts, just 7.3 miles (11.8 kilometers) south of Reykjavik.

Follow road 40 south from Reykjavik, traveling through Kopavogur to Gardabaer. Then turn left on Vifilsstadavegur road at Gardabaer and drive approximately 1.8 miles (three kilometers) until you reach Vifilsstadavatn lake. There are two parking lots at the lake and a bus stop at the main Vifilsstadir building.

Attractions Near Vifilsstadavatn lake

Burfell is an ancient volcanic crater and popular hiking pathPhoto from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Axel Kristinsson. No edits made. The Burfell volcanic crater is a popular hiking path.

Beyond Vifilsstadavatn lake, the surrounding area boasts many attractions. The main highlight is the nearby Heidmork nature reserve, which starts by the edge of Vifilsstadavatn lake.

Heidmork is a vast area of natural beauty on the edge of the Capital Region, offering additional hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities. See the Burfell volcanic crater, the Raudholar hills, lava fields, and forests, and you can even explore a part of the area with this 2.5-hour horse-riding tour of the Raudholar hills from Reykjavik!

As Gardabaer is within the Capital Region, you can easily visit the main attractions of Iceland's capital with your Reykjavik rental car. If you want a more unique experience while visiting the area, you can try this Private 1-Hour Skrimsli "Wool Monster" Workshop in Gardabaer. You'll make your own tiny mythical monster that makes for the perfect souvenir for Iceland!

Why Visit Vifilsstadavatn lake and Nature Area?

Vifilsstadavatn lake and its surrounding nature area offer a peaceful retreat right on the outskirts of Reykjavik. It's a perfect spot if you're planning a Reykjavik city break and want to unwind in nature, try your hand at fishing, or simply enjoy some tranquility. The area around Vifilsstadarvatn lake provides a genuine glimpse into Iceland's natural beauty and history, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing day trip or outdoor adventure.

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