Information about Reykholt

Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.

Reykholt is a tiny village in west Iceland, which was once home to one of the world’s greatest medieval writers. Packed with history and culture, this little settlement should not be overlooked

Reykholt: Home of Snorri Sturluson

Reyholt’s fame comes from the fact that it was the home of the legendary writer, historian, chieftain and lawspeaker Snorri Sturluson. Though his name is not well-known outside of the Nordic world, without him we would know much less about medieval northern European history than we do today.

His two most famous works are Prose Edda and Heimskringla. The former is an account of the Old Norse Mythology, which was otherwise kept alive only by oral tradition.

It tells about how the pagans thought the world was created and how it would end, and the deities that sparked fear and awe in them, most famously Odin, Thor and Loki. Considered an epic poem akin to Homer’s Odyssey to many, it has inspired the fantasy genre perhaps more than any other work in the world.

Heimskringla is an account of Norwegian kings, told as sagas. It depicts what most historians consider to be an accurate depiction of relations across northern Europe from the 9th Century to the end of the 12th.

It is through this work, therefore, that we can learn about how the Vikings related to the kings of places such as the not-yet United Kingdom, how the jarls and clans disputed, and how they formed governments that have lasted to this day.

Though Snorri is best remembered for his works, his life was also a fascinating tale somewhat similar to that of a Game of Thrones character.

Aside from being a beloved poet and writer, he was a chieftain and later lawspeaker for Icelandic parliament, as well as a spokesperson, agent and, to some, lackey of the Norwegian king.

His influence and actions propelled Iceland’s civil war into chaos, and he met betrayal from every side, resulting in his eventual assassination. The taboo of this execution, however, meant that Snorri was remembered as a hero, rather than the divisive figure he often was.

To add to the Game of Thrones flavour, he was also notorious for infidelity, and fathering children up and down the country.

In honour of Snorri’s life and works, Reykholt is home to Snorrastofa, a centre on his contribution to medieval studies.

Reykholt and Surroundings

Snorrastofa is the main attraction at Reykholt, but there is also a geothermal pool.

Even if you have little interest in Snorri, Reykholt is a beautiful town, well worth a visit. It has a wealth of geothermal activity, and one of the country's oldest structures, Snorralaug geothermal pool, can be found here.

Reykholt is also the closest settlement to the popular waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former of these, the ‘Lava Falls’, are serene and unique, while the latter, the ‘Children’s Falls’, is rapid and dramatic.

It is also close to Deildartunghver, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe.

If you're looking to stay more than a day in Reykholt or nearby, there are several hotels in the vicinity, among them the the beautifully built boarding school that functions as an Edda-hotel in the summer. There are also a wealth of cabins and bungalows to be rented here.

 

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Attractions nearby Reykholt

Snorrastofa

Snorrastofa is a cultural- and research center for medeval studies and the history of Borgarfjordur. The museum is situated in Reykholt, where Snorri...

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Árhver and Vellir

Árhver (and nearby Vellir) is a geological feature which consists of six to eight vents on small sand flats, some slightly elevated but most ...

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Krauma Spa

  The Krauma Spa is a geothermal bath and spa resort in West Iceland. It is located near Europe's highest flowing hot spring, Deildartunguhv...

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Fossatún

Fossatún is a country hotel, renowned for being a centre to learn about Iceland’s troll folklore. Nearby are Troll Waterfal...

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Barnafoss

 Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Johann Dréo Barnafoss is a rapid waterfall in West Iceland, just a short walk away from ...

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Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ('Lava Falls' in English) in Borgarfjörður district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming ou...

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Glanni

Glanni is a beautiful waterfall in West Iceland, located close to the Grabrokarhraun lava field and the village Bifrost. Situated nearby, in the mid...

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West Iceland

West Iceland is home to the country’s capital city, Reykjavík, and an array of impressive natural sites. These include Europe's mos...

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Grábrók

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Grábrók is a volcanic crater east of Lake Hreðavatn in the fjord of Borgarfj...

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Víðgelmir

Photo from: Into the Lava | Audio Tour of Víðgelmir Lava Cave and Borgarfjörður Viðgelmir is the largest lava tube in Ic...

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Hvanneyri

Hvanneyri is a small agriculture and church centre in the west of Iceland and can be visited 80 km north of Reykjavik in the municipality of Borgarbyg...

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Kaldidalur

The road of Kaldidalur valley  is a highland road, stretching from Thingvellir to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district),  between Langjo...

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Deildartunguhver

  Deildartunguhver is a hot spring located in Reykholtsdalur, a district of west Iceland. Deildartunguhver is the highest flowing hot spring i...

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Glymur

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo credit: Andreas Tille Glymur is Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall, and the tallest that is easily accessibl...

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Surtshellir

  Surtshellir, named after the fire giant of Norse mythology is the longest and most renowned lava cave in Iceland. Surtshellir is locate...

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Settlement Center

The Settlement Center is a museum in Borgarnes, a town of west Iceland. Here, you can visit two exhibitions, with one about the Age of Settlement, a...

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Húsafell

Húsafell is a large farm and church site in the Borgarfjörður district of West Iceland. With incredible natural beauty, it has been ...

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Bjarteyjarsandur

Bjarteyjarsandur is a family farm in west Iceland, where visitors can enjoy an authentic, rural Icelandic experience. Located in Hvalfjörður...

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Þórisjökull

  Thorisjokull is a small glacier volcano in the Icelandic highlands. Thorisjokull is 1350 m high and located by the mountain trail Kaldidalur ...

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Borg á Mýrum

Borg á Mýrum is a farm and church estate just west of the town of Borgarnes in Iceland.  The estate is especially rich in settleme...

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