Borgarfjörður is a fjord and a district in south western Iceland, by Faxaflói bay. It covers the coastal land between Reykjavík and the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula.
Economy, History & Culture
Though mostly rural, several townships are in the fjord, the largest being the town Borgarnes, with a population of around 1763 people. This is a commerce and service centre for a large part of the southwest. Of particular note here for travellers are the Settlement Centre and the Centre for Puppet Art.
Another town, Hvanneyri has an Agricultural University and a museum showing the developing of Icelandic farming. The latter building also has an interesting handicraft centre.
Reykholt, though small in size, is one of the most historically important places in the country and hosts a centre for medieval studies, Snorrastofa.
Snorrastofa is named after writer and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, author of Snorra-Edda and Heimskringla. Snorri's Edda is the most important historical source we have about the Norse Gods and the history of Scandinavia.
Among the many who have found inspiration in it are author J.R.R. Tolkien (most famous for The Lord of the Rings), G. R. Martin (most famous for Song of Fire and Ice) and composer Richard Wagner with his four operas collectively named Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Hvíta river runs through the fjord, but should not be confused with the popular rafting river of the same name. This hold the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfalls, which trickle in rivulets out of the Hallmundarhraun lava field. Near here is another famous waterfall, Barnafoss.
Many of the other rivers in the area are very popular for salmon fishing.
The mountains of the district are highly scenic and varied, lending further beauty to the area. Many rare minerals have been found here, giving some a beautiful, distinctive colouration. There is still volcanic activity in a few of these mountains, best noted at Deildartunghver, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe.
Other nature activities that can be enjoyed are horseback riding and lava caving. Riding is popular throughout the area, though caving is best at Viðgelmir, the longest lava cave in Iceland.