Photo Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Bromr.
Ingólfsfjall is a 551 metre (1807 feet) tall tuff mountain, named after the country’s first official settler, Ingólfur Arnarson, and is said to be his burial place.
Explore this area while on a self drive tour in Iceland.
It is located in south Iceland, just north of the town of Selfoss and east of the town Hveragerði. Both of these are popular tourist destinations due to their high levels of geothermal activity, allowing for hot springs and greenhouses.
Ingólfsfjall also boast proximity to the sites of the Golden Circle and South Coast, the country’s most visited sightseeing routes. The Golden Circle is home to Gullfoss waterfall, the geyser Strokkur and Þingvellir National Park, whereas the South Coast has a wealth of waterfalls, beaches, glaciers and other natural sites. It is easy to detour from these tourist trails to visit the mountain.
The site has many hiking routes, allowing you to see some of these features from above.
As a tuff mountain, Ingólfsfjall is composed of rocks created by volcanic ash from a vent during a volcanic eruption that condensed together. It is no longer considered volcanically active.
Ingólfur Arnarson, after whom the hill is named, arrived to Iceland with his wife, family, clansmen and slaves in 930 AD. He founded the settlement of Reykjavík, and spread word to other chiefs in Norway, who were unhappy with the growing unification under one king, that the land was hospitable. He was the first known to have stayed in Iceland for over a year (living out the rest of his days there), unlike the three visitors who had been before.
It should be noted, however, that he may not, in fact, be the country’s first settler. When Garðar Svavarsson, a Swedish explorer, reached the island in 870 AD, it is believed that one of his men, Nettfari, and two of his slaves chose to remain. It is unknown if they survived to have children, or where their burial places are. Interestingly, however, where they settled is called Húsavík, or Bay of Houses, perhaps after their homes.