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- Hjorleifshofdi

When Iceland’s first official settler, Ingólfur Arnarsson, arrived in Iceland in 874 his half-brother Hjörleifur Hrodmarsson wintered on the east side of the headland that bears his name. It was here that he was slain by his Irish slaves, who then fled to the islands that bear their name (West Men). The farmland here was used until the 1930’s but the ruins somehow exude an air of timelessness and if you walk to the summit you will not only find the memorials to previous residents but breath-taking 360° views taking in both the Mýrdalsjökull and the Vatnajökull icecaps. The former island is now completely surrounded by sands washed from the glaciers, especially during eruptions and flood releases (jökulhlaup) from Katla. To stand at sea level at the foot of the cliff and to look south to the sea is like being in a desert. The cliff behind you has a large cave – a relic of its former life at the seaside. The headland lies 10km east of Vík and then 4km down an unsurfaced track.

   



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