Eiriksstadir Viking Longhouse Travel Guide
The Eiriksstadir Viking longhouse, spelled Eiríksstaðir in Icelandic, is a fascinating historical turf house experience in West Iceland.
You can visit the Eiriksstadir longhouse as part of an 8-day self-drive tour of West Iceland. Hire a car to explore the region’s best sights and attractions at your own pace. Alternatively, you can reach the longhouse on a 13-day self-drive Ring Road tour that allows you to visit nearly all of Iceland.
The Eiriksstadir site includes a replica of a Viking turf house and the ruins of the original structure. This original longhouse belonged to Erik the Red, a Norse explorer known for being extremely violent, and his wife, Thjodhild. A visit is a great way to learn more about Viking history in Iceland.
Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Alf Igel. No edits made.
What Is the Eiriksstadir Viking Longhouse?
The Eiriksstadir longhouse is a replica of a traditional Viking turf house in West Iceland. Vikings built their homes from narrow driftwood frames and thatched roofs, the walls matted and held together with turf and mud.
This turf house has a fascinating history. The original longhouse belonged to Erik the Red, one of the most famous explorers in early Icelandic history. It’s a fantastic destination for locals and tourists who want to learn more about Viking culture in Iceland.
The property was also the birthplace of Erik the Red’s son, Leif the Lucky. Leif is thought to have been the first European to reach North America (around 500 years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus).
During a visit to the Eiriksstadir longhouse, visitors can view a historically accurate replica of a 10th-century Viking longhouse. This will surely give them a genuine appreciation for Viking craftsmanship and architecture.
Visitors also get to see the ruins of the original longhouse, which are more than 1,000 years old. The staff dress in Viking costumes, and the attraction also has replicas of Viking tools, weapons, and clothing. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn about Viking culture.
There’s also a food truck at the longhouse site where visitors can buy traditional Viking food or modern-day sandwiches.
Where Is the Eiriksstadir Longhouse Located?
The Viking Longhouse Eiriksstadir is situated in West Iceland, 10.8 miles (17.4 kilometers) Southeast of Budardalur village. It’s approximately 90 miles (about 150 kilometers) north of Reykjavik, between the Snaefellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords.
If you’re traveling to the longhouse from Reykjavik or Borgarnes, you need to drive north on the Ring Road toward Akureyri. Turn onto route 60 toward Holmavik and continue until you reach route 586. Continue for about five miles (roughly eight kilometers), and then you’ll reach Haukadalsvatn lake. The longhouse is on the left-hand side after the lake.
What Makes the Eiriksstadir Longhouse Special?
Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Steven dosRemedios. No edits made.
The Eiriksstadir Viking longhouse provides visitors an interesting and engaging way to learn more about Vikings in Iceland. Visiting here lets tourists learn more about the mythology and history of Norse travelers in Iceland in an interactive way.
Visitors will hear stories from Viking sagas and mythology, and the on-site staff will give guests information about famous Vikings like Erik the Red and his son Leif the Lucky.
The longhouse opened in the year 2000. It showcases ruins and an accurate replica of a traditional Viking house and allows visitors to put themselves in the position of a Viking.
Attractions Near the Eiriksstadir Longhouse
Thanks to its convenient location in West Iceland, visitors will find themselves close to several other sights and attractions that are well worth a visit.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The Snaefellsnes peninsula is an incredible area of Iceland. It’s often referred to as “Iceland in miniature” thanks to its wide variety of natural attractions. During a visit to this peninsula, tourists can enjoy natural wonders like waterfalls, lava rocks, breathtaking volcanic craters, thermal hot springs, and magnificent glaciers.
The Eiriksstaddir longhouse is very close to the edge of the peninsula. Some of the best attractions in this area, including the town of Stykkisholmur, are less than 60 miles (roughly 100 kilometers) from the longhouse.
There are several waterfalls close to the Eiriksstadir longhouse. For example, Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls that flow across moss cliffs and lava fields. The Hraunfossar waterfall is around 60 miles (about 100 kilometers) southeast of the longhouse.
Located very close to the Hraunfossar waterfall is another waterfall, Barnafoss. This is very different in appearance from the Hraunfossar waterfall, so it’s worth visiting both to get a good idea of how varied falls in Iceland can be.
Another natural attraction near the Eiriksstadir longhouse is the Deildartunguhver hot spring. This is Europe’s most powerful hot spring, pumping up to 40 gallons (180 liters) of natural water per second.
The water here is almost boiling hot, with temperatures of around 207 degrees Fahrenheit (about 98 degrees Celsius). This means it’s not suitable for swimming, but it’s an incredible place to visit to understand the power of Iceland’s thermal waters.
The Deildartunguhver hot spring is situated around 45 miles (approximately 75 kilometers) from the Eiriksstadir Viking longhouse.
If you want to visit a lava cave during your trip to Iceland, Iceland’s longest is about 70 miles (around 110 kilometers) from the Eiriksstadir turf house.
The Vidgelmir lava tunnel measures 5,200 feet (around 1,585 meters) in length and is over 1,000 years old. It sits beneath the Hallmundarhraun lava field.
This lava cave is a good option for beginners, as it has a paved walkway and lights, meaning it isn’t too challenging to walk through. It’s a fantastic place to see beautiful icicles and incredible colors of solid lava.
The Grabrok crater is a volcanic crater around 28 miles (about 45 kilometers) from the Eiriksstadir longhouse. It’s a tall crater, standing at over 550 feet (about 170 meters) high, but it’s easy to reach the top on foot thanks to its footpath and stairs.
A visit to the top of the Grabrok crater will give you beautiful panoramic views of moss-covered lava fields, meaning it’s well worth a visit if you want some good photos.