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Have you ever heard of the Tröllaskagi Peninsula? This mountainous peninsula in North Iceland is maybe essentially the most stunning detour from the Ring Street.
Tröllaskagi, which is Icelandic for Troll Peninsula, has lengthy been a well-liked vacation spot for Icelanders. However in the previous couple of years, it’s turn into fairly a treasure for vacationers within the know.
Tröllaskagi was super-high on my checklist of priorities for my Iceland highway journey. And I completely LOVED it right here.
So why ought to you come to Tröllaskagi?
For starters, this a part of Iceland is off the crushed path — you gained’t even discover crowds in excessive season.
Secondly, the surroundings is completely spellbinding. Tröllaskagi is residence to Iceland’s tallest mountains outdoors the Highlands, tall and jagged and swooping over one another, forming deep valleys dotted with brightly coloured cottages. It’s a scenic drive for the ages.
Lastly, this peninsula is stuffed with attention-grabbing gems. An unimaginable museum. A spectacularly set swimming pool. The oldest church in Iceland. Basalt columns. And lovely small cities with brightly painted cottages set towards the snow-capped mountains.
Visiting Tröllaskagi isn’t difficult — the roads are paved and it solely provides about an additional hour and a half of driving time.
So resist your dogmatic urge to remain on the Ring Street — and are available detour across the Tröllaskagi Peninsula. You’re going to find it irresistible right here.
The place is Tröllaskagi?
The Tröllaskagi Peninsula is likely one of the central peninsulas extending from Northern Iceland. It’s surrounded by a deep fjord on both sides: Skagafjörður to the west and Eyjafjörður to the east. See the map above for the websites I point out.
The principle roads on this route are Route 76, working from Varmalið to Ólafsfjörður, and Route 82, working from Ólafsfjörður to Akureyri.
Town of Akureyri, generally referred to as the capital of the North, is within the southeast nook of the peninsula. Akureyri is nearly all the time a cease for Iceland Ring Street vacationers, which makes Tröllaskagi a straightforward detour so as to add.
Including Tröllaskagi to an Iceland Ring Street Itinerary
In case you are following the Ring Street precisely, you’ll drive straight from Varmalið to Akureyri (or vice versa) and miss Tröllaskagi in its entirety. Driving Route One straight between these two cities will take you about 70 minutes.
And what? There’s nearly nothing to see on that drive. It’s Iceland, so in fact it’s stunning, however anticipate a number of limitless inexperienced hills and never a lot else.
BUT — for those who head northward from both Varmalið or Akureyri by way of Siglufjörður, the drive will take you about two hours and 40 minutes. And it’ll embrace a number of the most dramatic surroundings you’ve seen within the nation.
Some folks drive from Akureyri to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and even Reykjavík (eek!) in a single day. I do NOT suggest that; it’s a LONG day with approach an excessive amount of driving. As an alternative, in a single day in Blönduós, a city in North Iceland with a number of lodging choices.
What to See in Tröllaskagi
I’m together with the checklist of locations to see so as, from Sauðárkrókur to Akureyri, as that’s the order during which I visited them (and my Ring Street guides on this web site are all clockwise).
However you’re completely welcome to drive the peninsula in both route.
Black Seashore of Sauðárkrókur
Sauðárkrókur isn’t normally a cease on an Iceland highway journey, nevertheless it does have a beautiful black seaside with views of the mountains. Love Iceland’s black seashores? This one has considerably fewer folks than Reynisfjara!
Sauðárkrókur can be the place you may get excursions to Drangey Island, a nature haven full of puffins and different wildlife. Excursions take 3.5-4 hours, so I don’t suggest this except you’re spending a number of days in Tröllaskagi.
And for those who want one thing to eat, Sauðárkrókur has a big N1 gasoline station with a good meals choice. (This was a giant deal after our lengthy, desolate drive by rural West Iceland the day earlier than.) We loved our quick meals and Collab sodas earlier than transferring on.
Grafarkirkja, positioned on the outskirts of Hofsós, is regarded as the oldest church in Iceland! This turfed church was constructed within the seventeenth century. That is your first cease for those who’re driving the route clockwise.
Whereas Iceland has a number of church buildings with turfed roofs that you could nonetheless go to right this moment, Grafarkirkja is exclusive in its decor, that includes beautiful hand-carved wood beams inside. And its location, in entrance of the mountains, makes for beautiful photographs.
To get right here, you’ll must open a gate, drive by, shut the gate, park, after which stroll all the best way as much as the home.
Hofsós is a really small city (inhabitants: 200) that was as soon as one of many main buying and selling facilities within the north of Iceland. Right now it’s a relaxed and quiet place to go to, with beautiful views over Skagafjörður and the islands of Drangey and Málmey.
Hofsós can be residence to the Icelandic Immigration Middle, which tells the tales of Icelanders who migrated to North America. The primary Icelanders believed to make this migration had been Thorfinnur Karlsefni and his spouse Guðríður Thorbjarnardóttir, who migrated from Hofsós to Vinland (now Newfoundland).
Hofsós has a campground and is value a fast stroll round — however what actually makes Hofsós particular is its swimming pool.
Hofsós Swimming Pool
This swimming pool put Hofsós on the tourism map! Hofsós Sundlaug is essentially the most spectacularly set swimming pool in all of Iceland, on the sting of a cliff overlooking Skagafjörður. Whereas technically not an infinity pool, it looks like one — and you’ll’t beat these views.
The pool is a bit on the cooler facet by Icelandic requirements, however there’s a smaller sizzling tub if you wish to soak. Although a tiny bit dear for Icelandic swimming pools, it’s a cut price in comparison with the Blue Lagoon or another geothermal spa.
Admission to Hofsós Sundlaug is 1,090 ISK for adults and 325 ISK for youngsters 6-18, and free for youngsters underneath 6. The pool is open all day throughout summer season hours (normally June 1-August 28), with noon closings throughout the winter. Extra information on their web site right here.
Staðarbjörg Basalt Columns
Proper subsequent to the swimming pool in Hofsós are the Staðarbjörg Basalt Columns — a stunning edge alongside the fjord. Right here you could find rows and rows of tall, elegant basalt columns, just like those you see in Stuðlagil Canyon in East Iceland.
There are mountain climbing paths that lead additional down previous the columns for extra stunning views of the fjord. On a transparent day, there’s no higher view in Hofsós.
The very best viewpoints we noticed on our journey had been between Hofsós and Siglufjörður. That is essentially the most visually putting stretch of Street 76 by far! There’s one little cease with a picnic desk overlooking the deep valley between the mountains.
As all the time, solely pull over when there may be ample room to take action. Stopping randomly in the course of these slender streets may be harmful to the folks round you.
There are a number of locations for horseback using in Tröllaskagi — and Langhús Farm is in an simply accessible a part of the Troll Peninsula, proper between Hofsós and Siglufjörður.
Langhús affords quite a lot of horse using excursions, together with Viking rides by the mountains, rides alongside black sand seashores, and a few longer mixture choices.
When you’re excited about horses, you completely should go horseback using in Iceland. Icelandic horses are genetically distinctive and have a particular gait. Plus they’re quick, furry and so candy! And you’ll’t beat the landscapes.
When you get to Siglufjörður, you’ll be enchanted. Siglufjörður is the gem of Tröllaskagi — a timeless, impossibly stunning city, full of vivid colours and set in a surprising fjord, snuggled in by mountains.
Simply strolling round Siglufjörður and admiring the colourful buildings is a pleasant technique to spend a day. However you could go to the Herring Period Museum, simply among the best museums in Iceland. Extra on that beneath.
Additionally on the town are Þjóðlagasetur, often known as the People Music Centre, the place you get free admission with a Herring Period Museum ticket; and the Saga Fotographica Museum, specializing in the historical past of pictures in Iceland.
When you’ve acquired time, don’t miss the Seagull 67 brewery and the numerous cute eating places and cafes that dot the small city. Irrespective of the place you go, you gained’t be capable to cease taking photographs! The favored Icelandic TV sequence Trapped (Ófærð) was filmed in Siglufjörður, and it’s value watching earlier than your journey.
Siglufjörður has essentially the most vacationer exercise in Tröllaskagi, and if you wish to in a single day on the peninsula, I like to recommend you achieve this right here. There are many lodging choices at totally different value factors.
Herring Period Museum
Sure, the Herring Period Museum will get its personal itemizing as a result of it’s simply that extraordinary. I really like museums that focus hardcore on one uncommon subject, and that’s the Herring Museum in a nutshell.
Siglufjörður was the middle of the Icelandic fishing business within the Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties, and it’s no exaggeration that this enterprise ran the entire city. Herring fishing declined sharply within the early Seventies and it’s now not fished right here.
The museum has three buildings. The primary constructing is a re-creation of a fishing dock, with authentic boats and captains’ quarters. The second is a re-creation of a fish meal and oil processing manufacturing unit with all authentic tools.
And the third, my favourite, was a glance into how the folks lived. Rooms the place “herring ladies” slept in bunk beds, their attire hanging up, books and music and a kitchen with cooking provides from a long time previous. The very best sort of historical past museum.
The Herring Period Museum is open June by August, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM; Might and September, 1:00-5:00 PM; and October by April by appointment solely. Admission is 2200 ISK ($15 USD) for adults and 1200 ISK ($8 USD) for seniors.
Simply south of Siglu is Ólafsfjörður — one other beautiful seaside city. It’s possible you’ll find yourself ready fairly some time to enter the one-lane tunnel, as we did. However in case you have the time, it’s at the very least value a brief stroll or picture shoot!
Fairytale at Sea affords two-hour jetski excursions round Ólafsfjörður, together with stops in entrance of beautiful waterfalls you possibly can solely see from the water. When you’re actually fortunate, you may spot some minke whales! Wonderful Mountains affords snowmobiling, mountain climbing, and tenting excursions.
Mígandifoss is a waterfall simply south of city that’s value a fast go to. You’ll should park on the facet of the highway and climb over the grass on foot.
Dalvík isn’t fairly as fairly as Hofsós, Siglufjörður or Ólafsfjörður — however that is the most important city within the space and it makes a good stopover.
Many whale watching excursions depart from Dalvík, together with Arctic Sea Excursions. I like to recommend whale watching in Húsavík for those who can, but when not, this can be a good choice (with significantly better whale-sighting odds than Reykjavík).
Dalvík can be the place ferries depart to Hrísey island (half-hour every approach) and Grímsey Island (three hours every approach). You may ebook ferries by way of Saefari.
Hrísey is a unusual little island with colourful cottages, a museum, and excellent chicken life.
Grímsey is the one place in Iceland that lies north of the Arctic Circle, and attracts numerous bucket checklist vacationers for that motive. However you need to know that the Arctic Circle is definitely fairly removed from the port, so if you wish to go above the Arctic Circle, your finest guess is planning an in a single day journey.
Bjórböðin Beer Spa
How would you prefer to spend the day soaking in a sizzling tub, beer in hand? And even higher — soaking in a shower of beer itself? Bjórböðin Beer Spa is the place for you! This spa and restaurant is positioned in Árskógssandur, simply south of Dalvik.
Right here they serve beer from the close by Kaldi brewery, simply down the highway. You may take an indoor bathtub in beer, water, and herbs, the place you possibly can pour your self beer to drink proper from the faucet. Alternatively, soak in one of many two sizzling tubs outdoors, overlooking the fjords.
The restaurant dishes up pub grub like burger, pizza, bacon fries, and fried cauliflower. Additionally they have loads of wine and smooth drinks for those who’re not a beer drinker.
I reside in Prague, a metropolis the place beer spas are each low cost and ample, so I skipped this one. However for those who’re intrigued, go for it!
Locations to Go to Between Blönduós and Tröllaskagi
When you’re driving Tröllaskagi in a single day, it’s sensible to begin or finish in Blönduós. The drive between Blönduós and Tröllaskagi is stretch of fairly however boring inexperienced landscapes — however there are a number of locations value exploring within the Varmalið space.
Glaumbaer Museum — This museum exhibits how Icelanders lived centuries in the past of their turf homes, and succeeded regardless of the weather.
Church in Víðimýri — One other of Iceland’s grass-roofed church buildings, and this one is certainly value a go to.
Reykjafoss is a cool waterfall to start with — nevertheless it additionally has a pure sizzling pot, referred to as Fosslaug, on the sting of the waterfall! A really cool spot for a soak.
(Be sure you get instructions to the Reykjafoss car parking zone on Google Maps, not the waterfall itself — in any other case it is going to ship you within the improper route.)
Locations to Go to in Akureyri
Amanda and I spent three nights in Akureyri, which was among the best choices of our journey. It gave us a much-needed breather after altering lodging every evening, and there’s fairly a bit
In Akureyri you possibly can go to the Forest Lagoon Geothermal Spa, the Akureyri Botanical Gardens, and there are some bars, eating places and buying. Simply outdoors city is the Akureyri Christmas Home, bringing vacation cheer year-round!
And the city of Húsavík is an ideal day journey from Akureyri! Only one hour away, it has the perfect whale watching in Iceland (critically, FAR higher than Reykjavík), horseback using on a black sand seaside, and Jaja Ding Dong Bar, full with a mini Eurovision Museum inside it!
It’s also possible to go to Goðafoss, a robust waterfall proper off the Ring Street.
Ideas for Driving the Tröllaskagi Peninsula
Is Tröllaskagi a terrifying place to drive? I wouldn’t go fairly that far, however I don’t suggest Tröllaskagi for anxious drivers or folks with a worry of heights. There are nearly no guardrails, and the realm west of Siglufjörður is very twisty with steep drop-offs.
Tröllaskagi has two one-way tunnels — a shorter one close to Siglufjörður and an extended one close to Ólafsfjörður. These tunnels are free to drive by, however observe the visitors lights and solely enter the tunnel once they’re inexperienced.
Amanda was driving within the shorter tunnel and we had the best of approach, however a number of vacationers had mistakenly pushed by and wouldn’t pull into the pull-outs. Amanda expertly backed up the automotive by the tunnel however that by no means ought to have occurred.
You don’t want a 4×4 to drive the Tröllaskagi Peninsula. The roads are paved and in respectable situation. Our sedan made the journey simply wonderful.
Whereas there are not any visitors cops in Iceland, there are lots of pace cameras. Observe the pace restrict (90 km/hour on paved roads except in any other case posted) or you can get a shock ticket out of your rental firm.
You also needs to preserve a watch out for rogue sheep on the roads. They’re all over the place!
Finest Time to Go to Tröllaskagi
The very best time to go to the Tröllaskagi Peninsula is between June 1 and August 28. Sure, these dates are exact, and it’s for a motive: these are the dates that the Hofsós Swimming Pool and Herring Period Museum are open all day.
When you go barely outdoors that season, each locations have a lot shorter hours, and the Herring Period Museum does visits by association solely, which might make it powerful so that you can go to every thing cool in Tröllaskagi in a single day.
(Initially I used to be planning a Might 31 journey, and it was stressing me out that I must depart SO early to have the ability to go to each the Herring Period Museum and the Hofsós Swimming Pool. That journey was rescheduled to mid-August, and I didn’t have to fret about lacking something.)
The summer season months additionally deliver the warmest climate and longest days, particularly in June and July, which can assist you see much more in a single day.
Tröllaskagi is a well-liked place for Icelanders within the winter, because it’s residence to a number of the nation’s prime ski resorts! Boggvisstadafjall, close to Dalvík, is a perennial favourite. Winter sports activities and Northern Lights are different prime attracts within the colder months. Simply watch out of winter driving on these curvy mountain roads.
The place to Keep in Tröllaskagi
Do you could keep in a single day on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula? You don’t should, and we didn’t on our journey. However for those who do determine to remain in a single day, I like to recommend staying in Siglufjörður. This charming city is the perfect place to remain, and I’d have beloved the prospect to discover it extra.
The place to Keep in Siglufjördur
Siglo Resort is my first selection of the place to remain. What a pleasant resort! I appeared on with envy on the friends having fun with their steaming sizzling swimming pools with a view of the harbor!
Soffia’s Home is the closest factor to funds lodging in Siglufjördur — a cute guesthouse run by pleasant locals, with shared bogs, a kitchen, and a front room for all friends.
Discover offers on locations to remain in Siglufjördur right here.
The place to Keep in Blönduós
Hvammur 2 Guesthouse, a farm on the outskirts of Blönduós, is the place we stayed. It was a beautiful throwback to what guesthouses was like earlier than social media! Rooms had been clear with shared bogs, there was a giant kitchen and a lounge with a TV the place folks had been hanging out. And a cute kitten who appeared identical to my Murray.
Funniest of all, we had been by no means checked in — we simply acquired an e-mail telling us our room quantity, that the keys had been within the door, and to have enjoyable!
Resort Húni can be outdoors city within the countryside, with a swimming pool and breakfast included.
Discover offers on locations to remain in Blönduós right here.
The place to Keep in Akureyri
IG Akureyri – Guesthouse Akureyri is a high quality funds choice, with easy guesthouse rooms. It’s proper on the pedestrian avenue within the coronary heart of Akureyri.
K16 Flats is a top-rated choice in case you have a bit extra to spend. These residences are central and have all of the facilities you want for a number of days’ keep. We stayed in an condominium (not this one) in Akureyri and it was so good having a kitchen and front room for a number of days.
Discover offers on locations to remain in Akureyri right here.
Is Tröllaskagi Price It?
I completely beloved my day in Tröllaskagi and need I’d had additional days to discover! This was SO significantly better than merely driving straight by to Akureyri.
After I consider my recollections of Iceland, this picturesque shoreline route is seared in my reminiscence endlessly. Simply among the best locations I’ve visited within the nation.
Do I need to return? YES. And this time I’ll keep in a single day in Siglufjördur and do the jet ski tour with Fairytale at Sea. Or possibly even come again in winter for snowier views.
Tröllaskagi is so value visiting. I hope it’s simply as magical for you.
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Have you ever been to Tröllaskagi? What else would you suggest?