Information about Hella

Horses can be found all around Hella throughout the year.

Hella is a small town of around 781 people (as of 2011), located in South Iceland, around 94 kilometres (58 miles) from the capital. It is an important regional centre for the area.

History of Hella

Hella’s history dates back to Iceland’s earliest days. Sitting by the river Ytri-Ranga, it was a source of freshwater and a wealth of salmon for the first settlers to come here. In this case, it is not thought they were Norse, but Irish monks.

It is suspected that they lived in caves by river. Due to Iceland’s harsh climes, and the fact that the Irish monks often did not stay in Iceland for prolonged periods of time, many caves were used as makeshift homes during this time.

Hella was not officially ‘founded’, however, until 1927, when a store was built beside the bridge at Ytri-Ranga. The man who brought this establishment to the town was called Þorsteinn Björnsson, and a memorial to him was built in the prospering village on its fiftieth anniversary.

Economy of Hella

As tourism has bloomed in Iceland, Hella has benefitted hugely. Located on the ring-road that encircles Iceland, it is a perfect location from which to explore the famous sites of south Iceland.

Most notable of these are those on the Golden Circle (Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Þingvellir National Park) and those along the South Coast (such as the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, Reynisfjara beach and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon).

Other, less visited sites, however, are very close and should not be overlooked, like Sólheimar Eco Village, and the Fridheimar Tomato and Horse Farm.

Because of this boom in tourism, Hella’s economy now relies as much on services as it does its more traditional trades, of industry and agriculture. There is, therefore, a wealth of amenities for travellers, and a wide range of options for accommodation, from cosy guest houses and bungalows to hotels.

Those taking the ring road around Iceland will, therefore, often spend a night here. Similar closeby towns with similar services and amenities include Selfoss and Hvolsvöllur.

What to do at Hella

Many recreational activities are offered from Hella. As mentioned, the Ytri-Ranga is great for salmon fishing, but guests can also enjoy horseback riding, dog-sledding, and sightseeing tours.

Hiking is also popular from the settlement, particularly in the direction of the notoriously explosive volcano, Hekla, which is within clear view. Many also use Hella as a base before taking multi-day hikes, such as those between Þórsmörk and Landmannalaugar.

The south-west of Iceland is geothermally very active, and the heated waters are used in the town’s swimming pool, which has several hot-tubs, slides, and facilities for children. Those who want to bathe in geothermal waters more in nature need not travel far, as the Secret Lagoon is nearby.

Please note, however, that you will likely have to book your Secret Lagoon tickets in advance, whereas at Hella’s swimming pools, you will be fine just showing up.

In July, Hella hosts a festival that is fun for all the family.

 

Services near Hella

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Hella

Miðás Breeding Farm

Midas is a horse farm near Hella in South Iceland. The farm is run by farmers Asta Begga Olafsdottir and Gisli Sveinsson. It features a stable, a r...

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Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur is a small town of 950 people in south Iceland, conveniently located by the Ring Road. It is often travelled through or stopped off...

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Fljótshlíð

  Fljotshlid is a beautiful farming district in southern Iceland. It is one of the main sites for Njal's Saga, a masterpiece of the saga lit...

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Urriðafoss

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Árni Hjaltarson Urriðafoss is a waterfall in the Þjórsá river in so...

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Akurey

Akurey is an island in Kollafjörður Bay in west Iceland. It is best known for its puffin watching opportunities in summer. Location of Aku...

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Þjórsá

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Grunkhead The majestic Þjórsá is Iceland’s longest and second-most voluminous ri...

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Þríhyrningur

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Milan Nykodym.  Þríhyrningur (‘Three Peaks Mountain’) is a mountain found in Katla Ge...

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Arnarhóll

Arnarhóll is a hill, situated on the eastern end of Reykjavík’s Old Harbour, and a district in the capital’s downtown area...

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Sólheimar Ecovillage

Sólheimar (“Home of the Sun”) is an eco-village in southwest Iceland, in the municipality of Grímsnes og Grafningshreppur,...

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Þórsmörk

Nestled between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull is Þórsmörk, the Valley o...

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Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall that can be fully encircled, situated on the South Coast of Iceland with a drop of 60 metres (200 feet). Due to the ...

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Gljufrabui

Gljúfrabúi (or Canyon Dweller) is a beautiful waterfall located at Hamragarðar in South Iceland, close to its better known counter...

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Selfoss (town)

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Christian Bickel Selfoss is a town of about 6,512 people in South Iceland, by the banks of the river Olfus...

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Nauthúsagil

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. Nauthúsagil is a narrow ravine in South Iceland, located beneath the glacial volcano E...

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Stokkseyri

Stokkseyri is a village of about 445 people in South Iceland, founded on the great Thjorsarhraun lava. In former times Stokkseyri was an important fis...

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Skálholt

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by Qaswad Skálholt is a historical site and an ancient bishop seat in South Iceland. History From 1056 to...

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Kerið

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in the Grímsnes area of South Iceland. It is close to the three major sites that comprise Iceland’s...

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Flúðir

Flúðir is a small, picturesque village located in the municipality of Hrunamannahreppur in the Southern Region of Iceland. Geography of...

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Brúará

Brúará is a spring-fed river in west Iceland which runs by the boundaries of municipalities Biskupstungur and Grímsnes.  ...

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Ingólfsfjall

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Bromr. Ingólfsfjall is a 551 metre (1807 feet) tall tuff mountain, named after the country&rsquo...

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