We have sheep, horses, cat and a very friendly dog. You are welcome to walk around the property as you like and enjoy the nature. Also you can visit the old church build in 1888 next to the house.
Very nice location for day tours to Hveravellir, Skagafjörður, Vatnsnes, Skagi and more. In Blönduós (30 km.) or Varmahlíð (20 km.) you will find grocery store, swimming pools, horse rental, river rafting, museums and more.
Perhaps you have been to the Blue Lagoon, done the Golden Circle, communicated with whales galore, experienced a stiff neck courtesy of Aurora Borealis and are still nursing the mother of all hangovers after revelling in the nutty nightlife of Reykjavík. Regardless, you probably want to keep coming to Iceland because there is in fact no place quite like it. Then maybe it is time to explore other aspects of the country´s multifaceted personality.
Up north in Húnaþing there is a farm called Bólstaðarhlíð. Endued with a pleasant climate, it is a beautiful place if I say so myself. Naturally there are no wealthy chieftains here anymore as might have been true in the old days, no priests - heathen or otherwise - and my ancestor Klemenz, supposedly the one and only quaker who ever lived in Iceland, left the building long ago. Now there are only farmers, plain and simple, namely my family and I.
Born and raised here, I nonetheless feel a close kinship with my forebears, an intimacy with the majestic mountains and the rivers coursing through whispering meadows, all creating a connection through time between myself and those who were here before me. The farm stands with one foot in Black River Valley, the other in Long Valley and is believed to be smack in the middle of the Ævarsskarð of yore, occupied by viking turned settler Ævar “the old” Ketilsson, as described in the Book of Settlements. His maternal grandfather was Harald Goldenbeard, king of Sogn. Not that I am one to namedrop as a rule.
There are many places worth visiting that are fairly close by:
Laxárdalur is a location I have a great affinity for and would heartily recommend to anyone who has a taste for trekking. The farms that used to be there have all been deserted. The people held on for as long as they could but in the end conditions were too harsh for survival. Wandering about this valley now gives me an eerie sensation. It exists in the past where it still lives and breathes.
The geothermal area Hveravellir is a unique nature reserve in the western highlands, a warm oasis situated on the Kjölur mountain road between two glaciers. There you will find hot springs and a geothermal hot pool. The scenery is utterly enchanting.
Blönduós is the largest urban area in Húnaflói bay. Only if you lack a healthy interest in sea ice, salmon and textiles, will you find it underwhelming.
In the Sea Ice Exhibition Centre you will not only learn about – you guessed it – sea ice, but will also encounter the ice bear, aka Ursus Maritimus, that visited the region a few years ago, only to be shot on sight. The name Húnaflói translates to Bear Bay, after the many polar bears that have drifted there on sea ice from Greenland and promptly walked ashore. Rest assured, however, our farm in Bólstaðarhlíð has never suffered such an intrusion.
The Icelandic Salmon Centre is indicative of the fact that the Blönduós area is a great attraction for fly-fishing enthusiasts. Eric Clapton is said to come there every year, but I cannot guarantee you will be running into him during your stay. Again, to reiterate, I am one to avoid namedropping like the plague.
The Textile Museum is one of a kind in Iceland, housing a remarkable selection of homemade wool and textile articles in a beautiful new building. It displays refined Icelandic national costumes adorned with elegant embroidery, as well as the tools and equipment used by the artists who fashion them.
A day´s journey around the Skagi peninsula is well worth your while, though this part of the country is not frequented by tourists. The landscape is delightfully barren and forsaken. Good fishing lakes abound on the rocky moors and there are many spots of geographical interest. Skagaströnd, the peninsula’s one and only town, is now mostly known for its dedication to Country music.
Hvammstangi, a trading post since 1846, is a center of commerce and tourism for the county. Its main attraction is the Icelandic Seal Center which revolves around seal conservation, products and folk tales.
From Hvammstangi, you can go to see live seals on the beach of the starkly impressive Vatnsnes peninsula. When the seals look back at you with their humanlike eyes, it may be hard to distinguish between the subject and object of observation (as you probably know, a seal is actually a human being bound with a spell).
The peninsula affords a splendid view out over the bay, towards the cutting pinnacles of the Strandir coast in the West Fjords.
Saudárkrókur is a town on the Skagafjorður bay. Tindastóll mountain is just north of town and a tour along its slopes leads to a hot spring on the coastline where there is driftwood and colourful pebbles in profusion.
Situated in Skagafjörður, Drangey island rises proudly from the sea, a massive rock fortress which is a paradise for birds of various kinds. This is where Grettir the strong, the most famous outlaw of the Icelandic Sagas, lived and was killed in the eleventh century. You can go there by boat, and even do some sea angling on the way.
In Varmahlíð it is popular to play paintball, go river rafting and rent horses. As a matter of fact the inhabitants of the Skagafjörður district in general are renowned for their ardent appreciation of the Icelandic horse and you will find an abundance of places to rent good specimens for your riding pleasure.
The traditional turf farm museum at Glaumbær, a composite of small individual buildings centrally joined by a corridor, will give you some insight into the constricted living arrangements of the people who lived there in the eighteenth century.
Snorri Þorfinnsson, the first European born in North America - in 1004 - is buried near the church at Glaumbær.
Hofsós has been a trading centre since the 1500s. Vesturfarasetrið, The Icelandic Emigration Center, was founded there in 1996 to commemorate Icelandic emigrants to North America. It encourages contact between their descendants and the people of Iceland.
A swimming pool was opened in Hofsós recently, which is designed in such a way that when you swim from south to north, the surface of the pool seems to merge with the expanse of the ocean, giving the impression that you are headed straight for the island of Drangey.
If you really like swimming, be advised that you will also find pools in Varmahlíð and Blönduós. If not, you can simply come back to the house after a full day of travelling and have a nice hot bath. Of course, if you want some time to rest during your stay with us, you may roam at will in the vicinity of the farm. I want you to feel at home in Bólstaðarhlíð. Hope to see you soon.