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Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

Beware, the mountain road to Jöklasel hotel may cause vertigo

By Sara McMahon

  • The former mayor. Albert Eymundsson, former mayor and headmaster in Höfn, recommends a visit to Jökulsárlón lagoon when visiting the Austur-Skaftafell region. Photo/Albert Eymundsson

Albert Eymundsson, the former headmaster and mayor of Höfn, has lived in the town for most of his life. His favourite spot is the memorial for drowned sailors located in Óslandshraun, south of the town.

Could you recommend a few “must ­see” places for those visiting Höfn?
“There are many stunning natural wonders to be found in the Austur-Skaftafellssýsla district. One is the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, an ever-changing natural phenomenon. The lagoon bears witness to the effects global warming has had on nature and our glaciers. Another natural wonder is the Lónsöræfi area in central Iceland. It’s a world of its own—the area is extremely diverse, and even though it was only populated for a short time it has a remarkable history. Lónsöræfi is not easilyaccessi ble, and those traveling there must be well equipped no matter how short, or long, they intend to stay.”

What is your favorite route for a “Sunday­drive” from Höfn? 
“If you are not pressed for time, I recommend a drive to Jöklasel mountain hotel, located on Skálafellsjökull, 840 meters (2756 feet) above sea level. At the hotel you can rent a snowmobile and go for a drive on the glacier. It’s a unique experience in itself to navigate the mountain road to Jöklasel, and many experience vertigo on the way.”

What is your favorite local landmark?
“On Óslandshraun, a hillock on Ósland, you’ll find a memorial for drowned sailors by sculptor Helgi Gíslason. I, and many other locals, visit the spot daily. The view from Óslandshraun is magnificent, with Öræfajökull glacier in the west and Vestrahorn mountain in the east. During nesting season the area is also bustling with birdlife.” 

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson


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