General information about excursions

All excursions will include some walking requiring good outdoor shoes and outdoor clothing appropriate for Icelandic conditions. Detail about what is covered in the fee for each excursion (food and travel) is found in each description.

1. The south – Njáls saga territory (whole day)

Skálholt — Hvolsvöllur — Fljótshlíð — Stóra-Dímon — Bergþórshvoll — Oddi

Description: The first stop will be at the Episcopal see at Skálholt with a chance to look at the cathedral and Bishop Páll’s tomb and crozier (see http://skalholt.is/). From Skálholt we will drive to Hvolsvöllur and then east along Fljótshlíð, stopping at Hlíðarendi. Others stops will include Stóra-Dímon, Bergþórshvoll and Oddi. Return to Reykjavík 6–7pm.

The fee covers a picnic lunch, drinks and afternoon snacks, as well as travel.

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2. The west – Laxdæla, Vinland and Eyrbyggja sagas (whole day)

Eiríksstaðir — Búðardalur — Laugar in Sælingsdalur — Stykkishólmur

Description: First stop will be Eiríksstaðir, home of Eiríkr rauði (http://eriksstadir.is/). We will then drive through Búðardalur on the way to Laugar in Sælingsdalur, home of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir. The road then takes us along the north coast of Snæfellsnes, where Eyrbyggja saga plays out. At Stykkishólmur, we will board a boat and sail out into Breiðafjörður, dining at sea in the evening sun. Return to Reykjavík 10–11pm.

The fee covers a picnic lunch, drinks and afternoon snacks, and dinner on board, as well as travel by land and sea.

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3. Reykjanes peninsula (1/2 day)

Kleifarvatn — Krýsuvík — Húshólmi — Grindavík

Description: This half-day excursion will take place on the Reykjanes peninsula. We will drive past Kleifarvatn (the setting for a crime novel by Arnaldur Indriðason) and the geothermal area of Krýsuvík on our way to explore Húshólmi in Ögmundarhraun, where the ruins of a farm partly covered by lava in an eruption in 1151 A.D. can be seen. Other ruins in the same area include earthworks which are reckoned to be amongst the oldest man-made structures in Iceland, pre-dating the settlement layer (early 870s). On the way back to Reykjavík, we pass through the fishing town of Grindavík on the south coast. Return to Reykjavík 12–1pm.

The fee covers drinks and morning snacks, as well as travel.

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4. Leggjarbrjótur (‘Leg-breaker’) hiking trip to Þingvellir (whole day)

Hvalfjörður — Botnsdalur — Þingvellir

Description: This excursion is a hiking trip and requires good fitness levels (though there should be no danger of breaking a leg). We will drive north from Reykjavík along the south coast of Hvalfjörður, observing the island of Geirshólmi and other sites that feature in Harðar saga ok Hólmverja on the way. We will stop at Botnsdalur, where Hörðr is said to have lived. From here, we will follow the Leggjabrjótur trail past the Botnssúlur mountains and south-east to Þingvellir. This is an old way and was used by those on their way to the Alþingi from early times. The bus will meet us at Þingvellir and drive us back to Reyakjvík. Return to Reykjavík 5–7pm.

The fee covers a picnic lunch, drinks and afternoon snacks, as well as travel.

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5. Þingvellir — evening visit on the way back from conference day at Reykholt

One day of the conference is scheduled to take place at Reykholt in Borgarfjörður. At the end of this day, an evening trip to Þingvellir is on offer. We will drive the scenic Uxahryggjaleið from Reykholt to Þingvellir where we will have an evening picnic and walk around the site, enjoying the long daylight hours. Return to Reykjavík 10–11pm.

The fee covers a picnic supper and drinks, as well as travel.

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6. The North (two-day excursion after the conference has ended)

At the end of the conference, a two-day excursion to the north of Iceland is planned for those who wish to see more of Iceland. We will set off on the Saturday and drive to Sauðárkrókur, stopping at places of historical and literary interest along the way north of Holtavörðuheiði (Víðidalstunga, Breiðabólstaður, Borgarvirki, Þingeyrar, Vatnsdalur). Returning south on the Sunday, we will stop at the Episcopal see at Hólar and at sites connected with Sturlunga saga around Skagafjörður. Return to Reykjavík 5-6pm.

The fee covers picnic lunches and drinks on Saturday, dinner on Saturday evening, hotel accommodation and breakfast on Sunday morning, as well as travel.