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The south coast

The south coast

The Ásahreppur district extends across the western portion of the Holt hillock area toward the river Þjórsá. It is inhabited by around 140 people, most of whom earn a living from agriculture and associated industry. 


Highway 1, running through the district, has comprised a bridge across the river Þjórsá ever since 1895. The site of the bridge is just west of the settlement Þjórsártún. This was once one of the busiest places in the district. It comprised the sports area of the Skarphéðinn wrestling club, where district tournaments continued to be held until 1969.


Outer Rangárþing (Rangárþing ytra) is a broad district with some 1,450 inhabitants. Its boundaries are marked mostly by the river Þjórsá to the west, a watershed to the north, the glacier Vatnajökull (to the east) and the river Tungnaá to the west of the glacier. 


Running along the southern border are Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the Tindfjöll mountains and the seashore by the village of Þykkvibær. The northernmost of the highland pastures are shared among surrounding communities. 


There are many celebrated historic sites in Outer Rangárþing, dating all the way back to the Age of Settlement (the hectic first period of Scandinavian colonisation of the country, 874-930). Among these are several sites mentioned in the country's 13th Century Njáls saga.


Hella's industry is based primarily on servicing the needs of the surrounding area of agricultural production and on services to inhabitants and tourists. Flowers are cultivated throughout the area.


Þykkvibær is the oldest country village in Iceland, Rauðilækur is a small settlement by the main road just west of Hella, Gunnarsholt is a growing settlement. It houses the headquarters of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, besides which the nation's Agricultural Research Institute is increasingly active here, there is considerable geothermal heat at Laugaland in the Holt hillock area. This heat has been harnessed to provide central heating to much of the district. Eastern Rangárþing (Rangárþing eystra) is inhabited by some 1,650 people. The district is bordered to the north and west by Outer Rangárþing.


The Eastern Rangárþing border runs on through the glacier Mýrdalsjökull, south (along a stretch of river known variously as Fúlukvísl and as Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi) to the sea and then west along the coast to the river Hólmsá.


The district's foremost populated area and industrial centre is Hvolsvöllur, with around 700 inhabitants. Business at Hvolsvöllur consists primarily in services provided for the surrounding area of agricultural production and in services to inhabitants and tourists.


Other attractions in this area of South Iceland include the Folk Museum at Skógar, the Fljótshlíð district, Þórsmörk Nature Reserve and the popular Laugavegur footpath to the Landmannalaugar hot springs starting or ending in Þórsmörk.


Tindfjallajökull (1462 m) is a minor glacier leading up from the inner Fljótshlíð district. There are three mountain hollows at the south of the glacier, The river Markarfljót, whose origin lies beneath the mountain Hrafntinnusker, leaves the heart of the highlands via a large gorge east of the glacier Tindafjallajökull. 


Eyjafjallajökull (1666 m) is a "stratovolcano" or "composite cone volcano", its summit hidden by glacier. In clear weather, there is a magnificent view from the highest peaks. Various footpaths lead onto the glacier, e.g. that from the hill Fimmvörðuháls and another up past the peak of Grýta around the chain of crags in the northwestern part of the glacier, Seljalandsfoss, at around 40 m, is one of the country's highest waterfalls. Those travelling through the district cannot help but notice it and it is possible to walk behind the falling cascade.


Mýrdalurinn is the southernmost district in Iceland, bordered by Jökulsá river on Sólheimasandur to the west and Blautukvísl on Mýrdalssandur sands to the east. The natural environment is diverse: turbulent seas, black sands, grassy meadows, green mountains, wilderness notched with gullies, and over all this towers the majestic Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which embraces Katla volcano, last eruption 1918.


The Gulf Stream passes by the coastline, ensuring shorter and milder winters than other areas of the country. The Dyrhólaey natural arch and Reynisdrangar rock stacks are protected landmarks known by everyone. There is an exciting range of other interesting places in the area, such as Sólheimajökull glacier, Heiðardalur valley, Gæsavatn lake, Hjörleifshöfði promontory, Höfðabrekkuheiði heath and Höfðabrekkuafréttur meadows.


Birdlife is diverse in Mýrdal, and there is easy access to many ideal bird watching spots. Walking trails are numerous, and some are marked.

About 500 people live in Mýrdal, of which approximately 300 reside in Vík, where all general services are available. The Information Centre is located at Brydebúð, where there are also local nature and cultural exhibitions.

Address

Hella
Email: tourinfo@rang.is
tel: 487 1565

Hvolsvöllur
Email: tourinfo@hvolsvollur.is
tel: 487 8182

Vík
Email: info@vík.is
tel: 487 1395
Website: www.southiceland.is