Petra’s Stone and Mineral Collection Travel Guide
Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection is a museum featuring thousands of personally collected rocks that has become one of the top attractions in East Iceland.
Visit this Icelandic museum on private tours and self-drive tours in the Eastfjords. For example, the flexibility of this 11-Day Budget Self-Drive Tour and this Complete Ring Road of Iceland Tour will allow you to take a side trip to the museum.
This Eastfjords museum not only shows the diverse geology of Iceland but also tells the unique story of a woman who made stone collecting her hobby for decades.
Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Andrew Bowden. No edits made.
Location of Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection
The peculiar museum of Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection lies in the scenic Stodvarfjordur village in Iceland's Eastfjords region. Stodvarfjordur is a small coastal area that sits on the northern shore of the fjord of the same name, 390 miles (628 kilometers) from Reykjavik.
Like most of the villages in the Eastfjords, Stodvarfjordur has only a tiny population of around 200. Although fishing is the local area's primary industry, tourism is fastly catching up thanks to its scenic views and attractions like Petra's Stone Collection museum.
About this East Iceland Museum
Petra's Stone Museum is a popular East Iceland attraction because of its stunning collection of rocks. Those particularly interested in geology and petrology will find the museum just the perfect place to learn more about the land of fire and ice.
Most types of rocks displayed in the beautiful museum are of igneous and sedimentary composition. Some of these are basaltic and crystalline, while others even have traces of fossils like snails and clams. The stones have varying colors and sizes because these were taken from different places in East Iceland.
The museum sits on a private property where you can see a cozy home and lush flower garden. Thousands of Icelandic rocks decorate the entire area, including the famous "Chalcedony and Quartz" stone, at the entrance to the vibrant garden. Guests shouldn't miss exploring the stone and mineral collection inside the house because the most prized rocks are here.
After admiring and taking photos of the stone collection and garden, tourists can drop by the museum's cafe to order coffee and pastries.
Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection is open during the summer in Iceland, from June to September.
The Story of Petra Sveinsdottir
As one of the world's largest collections of privately owned rocks, this Icelandic museum wouldn't be possible without the passion of its late owner, Petra Sveinsdottir.
Petra, considered a naturalist and collector by Icelanders, began picking up stones in 1946 when she and her husband bought a home. Whenever she traveled in the mountains and coastal areas of Stodvarfjordur, she brought home a few mineral rocks. Over the decades, her set of stones grew to thousands.
Soon enough, her home attracted curious locals wanting to see her garden full of stones. It also didn't take long for her property to attract foreign tourists and become one of the top attractions of East Iceland, with tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Petra passed away in 2012, but her legacy lives on through the museum.
Eastfjords Attractions Near Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection
The Eastfjords may be a little bit far from Iceland's capital, but its many natural attractions are worth the visit. The remote location of the Icelandic region may also be an advantage for travelers who want to stay away from large tourist crowds.
Lake Lagarfljot and Hengifoss waterfall are both within 67 miles (108 kilometers) of Stodvarfjordur. Lagarfljot lake is a scenic lake by the town of Egilsstadir known for its folklore. Legend says a lake monster, the Lagarfljot worm, lies in its depths.
Hengifoss is the third-highest waterfall in Iceland, cascading beautifully down 420 feet (128 meters). You can hike to the waterfall by joining this 6-Day Photography Workshop in East Iceland.
On the other hand, if you like to discover the rich wildlife of Iceland, a visit to Borgarfjordur Eystri is an excellent option. Thousands of nesting puffins live in the area from April to August when the temperatures are warmer.
Finally, if you want to stay longer in Stodvarfjordur, you can explore the fjord and its surrounding picturesque mountains. Likewise, you may want to check in at the nearby Saxa Guesthouse or Oseyri Farmhouse for a convenient stay.