Hotel Edda Hofn
The Queen of Glaciers
Hotel Edda Hofn is located by the harbour in Hofn in Hornafjordur. Feel the sheer force of nature alongside Europe’s largest glacier – the 8,100 km2 (5,200 square miles) expanse of Vatnajokull, which covers 8% of Iceland. Next to it is the smaller Skálafellsjokull glacier: climb it, hike it, drive upon it! The nearby Skaftafell National Park is a must-see, as well as Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, the spectacular setting for the James Bond movie Die Another Day.
- 36 rooms with in-room bath
- WIFI in public areas for minimum fee
- Opening dates 23 May – 22 September 2013
- On closing day we close at noon, last guests check in the day before
Activities around the hotel:
- Snowmobile glacier trips
- Glacial lagoon cruising
- Swimming pools with hot tubs at Hofn
- Golf (nine holes)
- Folk, natural history and maritime museums
Please contact us for further information.
Hotel Edda Hofn has a total of 36 rooms, all newly restored with private bathroom and shower.
Photos coming soon.
Treat yourself to our plentiful breakfast buffet in the early hours. Wholesome bread, oat meal, fresh fruits, cereal, coffee, tea and waffles to drive up your energy for an eventful day.
- Price 1.650 ISK pr. person
- Half price for 6-12 years old
- Free for 5 years old and younger
During the day and in the evening we offer refreshments for sale from our cooler.
Hofn and vicinity
Hotel Edda Hofn is 453 km (281 mile) from Reykjavik. The distance from Vik in Myrdal to Hofn is 272km or 169 miles. Hofn is a part of the community of Hornafjordur, which is one of the largest in Iceland reaching from the river Skeidara in the west to the Lon region in the east. The area is dominated by the third largest ice field i the world: Vatnajokull (8300 sq.km). Only Antarctica and the Greenland ice are larger. On the way to Nesjar you will find many of the most spectacular places in Iceland such as Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Nupstadir, Lomagnupur, Skaftafell, Vatnajokull, Jokulsarlon, and later on the town of Hofn. The inlet of Hornafjordur is a coastal- or estuary lagoon that formed between 3.500 and 5.000 years ago. The land here is rising now as the glacier Vatnajokull is getting thinner due to climate change.
Major Points of Interest en-route from Vik in Myrdal to Hofn
The name Kirkjubaejarklaustur actually means Church Farm´s Convent. It is a community centre. Irish Christians settled here before the Norwegian settlers arrived. According to legend no pagans were allowed to live in this area. A convent for Benedictine nuns was established here in 1186 and continued until the Reformation in the 16th century (1550). Many place names in the vicinity remind us of the convent such as: "The Sisters‘ Crag“, the "Sisters‘ Falls“, and the "Hill of Chanting“. The renowned reverend Jon Steingrimsson lived here during the Laki eruption in 1783. Twenty per cent of the nation perished in the so called "Haze Famine“ which followed the eruption.
Above Nupstadir are fascinating cliffs of hyaloclastite with basaltic dikes in between. Together they form interesting peaks and turrets. Hyaloclastite is an aggregate of fine glassy debris formed by the sudden contact of hot coherent magma with either cold water or water-saturated sediment. Before the bridges in the area were built in the 1960s and 1970s it was extremely difficult to cross the glacier rivers on the large sand flats. The horse was the only reliable mode of transportation. The most skilled travelers were known as "water men“ and their horses "water horses“. The farmer at Nupstadur Hannes Jonsson (1880-1968) was one of the experts. Do take a look at the old turf chapel from the 17th century. It is the smallest church in Iceland. It has been restored and is now in the care of the National Museum. The National Museum plans to restore the buildings of the old turf farm in the future.
The picturesque headland Lomagnupur (688m-2257 feet) is just east of the farm Nupstadur. It is well known from from Flosi´s deam in Njal´s-saga. A giant came out of the mountain in Flosi´s dream and called out the names of the arsonists in the order they would be killed by Kari and his men. Here you find one of Iceland´s highest perpendicular cliffs (400-600m). A large part of the mountain collapsed in 1790 and the great rocks can be observed below on the sands below the cliffs. In between the rocks is a beautiful lake. Lomagnupur was once a cape on the south shore.
Skaftafell is an old farmstead but now a part of a national park. This farm is also mentioned in Njal´s-saga as Flosi´s brother lived here. Flosi was the chieftain who was instrumental in burning down the farm at Bergthorshvoll with Njall and his kinfolk inside. Flosi lived at Svinafell a little further east. Three run-off glaciers from Vatnajokull are located in this area namely Skeidararjokull, Skaftafellsjokull and Morsarjokull. Part of Skaftafell´s popularity is that it affords close exploration of the massive Vatnajokull. Skaftafell receives more sunshine than other places in the south as well as milder weather because it is shielded from the south easterly wind and rain by Oraefajokull Iceland´s highest mountain (2110 m 6921 ft).
Svinafell is a farm of Flosi Thordarson in the Njal´s saga mentioned above. Fossils estimated to be about 500-thousand years old can be found in the spectacular sedimentary beds in the mountain above the farm. This is a fine-grain lacustrine sandstone, which contains leaf imprints of alder, birch, and rowan to name a few.The mountain Hafrafell near the farm was at one time surrounded by two glaciers Svinafellsjokull and Skaftafellsjokull. Here is a good opportunity to get close to a glacier. Caution is the word.
Oraefajokull is the highest mountain in Iceland (2110m 6921 ft). This glacier joins Vatnajokull from the south. It is one of three stratovolcanoes in Iceland. The last eruptions were in 1362 and 1727. The name Oraefi means wilderness or wasteland because the 24 farms in the district were completely destroyed by the eruption in 1362. This eruption is the largest pumice eruption in Iceland since 800 BC. The volume is estimated at 10 cubic kilometers. In magnitude it was similar to the Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines in 1991. Gigantic "jokulhlaup" (melt water burst) follwed. The eruption in 1727 lasted one full year. Pumice and ash blackened the sky and during the day it was as dark like as night. Another catastrophic "jokulhlaup" followed.
Vatnajokull is the largest ice mass in the world after Antarctica and the Greenland Inland Ice. The original name was probably Grimsvatnajokull. Under Vatnajokull is Grimsvotn a subglacial lake on the summit caldera of the most active central volcano in Iceland. The Grimsvotn caldera lake is drained every few years and the jokulhlaup (melt-water-burst) runs onto the sands south of the galacier. Vatnajökull is 8300 km2.
What is a Jokulhalaup? Jokulhlaup is a sudden, violent, but shortlived increase in the discharge of a melt-water stream issuing from a glacier or ice-cap, sometimes due to volcanic activity beneath. Many bridges and the road around Skaftafell were for example destroyed in the Jokulhlaup 1996.
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon The large outwash plain (sandur, pl. sandar) below the glacier is Breidamerkursandur. Its surface is dissected by braided rivers. The name sandur is Icelandic and is used internationally in geology for this phenomenon. The sand is in constant creation by sediments from the numerous glacier rivers running accross it. Jokulsa is the largest one and now runs through the middle of the sand. It is only 1500 m in length. This river carries more water than most rivers in Iceland or 300 cubic meters per second (i.e. 300 tons per second). At the beginning of the last century the river was even shorter but there have been great changes in this area of late and a deep lagoon has formed. The lagoon started forming in 1934 -35 and is now about 200 meters in depth. The bottom of the lagoon is well below sea level and the sea water runs into the lagoon at high tide. Large glacier calvings off the run-off glacier float in the lagoon. Jokulsa was a great hindrance in transportation in the past. A trail was marked across the glacier above. In 1927 a man and seven horses fell into a ravine in the ice when it suddenly split from the glacier. This was the last accident here. Seals are often seen above the bridge catching fish which the tide brings in. The area is rich with bird life. This is the home of the Great Skua and the Black-backed Gulls together with many others species. If you have time, do take a boat ride on the lagoon between the icebergs and don‘t forget your camera. The icebergs are quite impressive. Two James Bond movies, Die Another Day and A View to a Kill, were filmed at Jokulsarlon. Your hotel (Hotel Edda Nesjum) is now 60km (37 miles) away. It is close to the road and clearly marked with signs and flags (Hotel Edda).
The village Hofn is 8km (5miles) east of your hotel. Hofn in Hornafjordur population is around 2100 with 1800 in the village of Hofn. The village is located at the outflow of the estuary lagoon Hornafjordur, which is formed by many glacier rivers running from Vatnajokull. The main occupation is fishing and related light industry, trade and tourism. Hofn (means harbour) is also the service centre for the entire district. There are many interesting attractions at Hofn and some are listed below. The horizon to the east and north is dominated by the great glacier.
The Folk Museum
Gamlabud is an interesting folk museum. The building was originally constructed in 1864 at the hamlet Papós further east as a general store but was moved to Hofn in 1897. It served as a general store at Hofn for 80 years. It got the name Gamlabud (the Old Store) when it was turned into a folk museum. This popular museum is open daily from 1 pm until 5pm.
Glacier Exhibition and Information Center
This exhibition is in five different subdivisions and is open all year. Here you can see reindeer, listen to various birds, and walk into a glacier ravine and an ice cave. See James Bond on the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon, and view multi media exhibitions about glaciers. The view from the roof is striking. The shows demonstrate many aspects of nature and glacier science. Selected scholars, scientists and artists have compiled the texts, information boards, movies and materials on display. The exhibit travels through the district with indicated stops where one can observe evidence of glacial activity. A movie about Vatnajokull is shown on a large screen in addition to three films on 42“ screens. The Information Centre is located at the Glacier Exhibition
The Warehouse is in an nice location down by the harbour. Here you will find a maritime museum and a handicraft store with home made goods for sale. The Warehoues is open from 1pm until 5pm from June 1st until August 31st.
Diversions Spots off the Beaten Track
Stokksnes near Vestrahorn
There is about a 12 km (7miles) drive towards Stokksnes. Then take the side road to the abandoned farm Horn. This is a very picturesque area. The old farm is proably the most photographed farm in Iceland. NATO maintained a radar station at Stokksnes during the Cold War. It was dismantled in the year 2000. Stokksnes is a popular place and many people go there to observe seals on the skerries.
Vestrahorn is a 454m high mountain close to Stokksnes between the two lagoons Skardfjordur and Papafjordur. (Fjordur means fjord). This mountain is one of few in Iceland which is pure gabbro. (Gabbro is a coarse-grained, basic igneous rock). Both Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn are made of plutonic rocks from deep within the mantle. (Plutonic rocks are igneous rock bodies which have crystalized at great depth). Both mountains are intrusions which have been emplaced in the basaltic layers on top. The Ice Age glaciers later scraped the basalt away.
The road to Hvalsnes at Eystrahorn is about 45km (28 miles) and the trip is well worth it. The landscape is magnificent and beautiful. The mountain Eystrahorn is 756m and is on the peninsula Hvalsnes. It is rich with gabbro and granophyr which are plutonic rocks and rare in Iceland. (Granophyr is a light-colored medium grained igneous rock with granite mineralogy). Between Stokksnes and Eystrahorn is a long sandy beach with two lagoons namely Papafjordur and Lonsfjordur. Various metals such as gold, silver, and mercury have been discovered in the mountain.
Bird Sactuary at Osland Osland is an island with a bridge. The large mud-flats in Osland are rich in birdlife. On a good day you can see many interesting birds such as Arctic Tern, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Dunlin and numerous Gulls. Most of the migrant birds in Iceland make their first landing in the district of Hornafjordur. At Osland you can also view fossils of trees overrun by lava. The view from Osland to the glacier Vatnajokull makes a visit out there a must. The area has been protected since 1982.
Folk Tales from South-East Iceland
The Troll-Wives of Skaftafell
This is a story about two farmers at Skaftafell, Bjarni and Einar, and the troll-women they were familiar with. A troll-wife lived in a cave above the Skaftafell Woods. One winter she assisted Bjarni in killing a savage who was the only survivor from a stranded ship. Her cave is said to exist today. Einar is said to have known a certain troll-wife and the latter part of this story is about their crossing the Skeidara river and other activity. Einar made a good copper gun, which still exists at Skaftafell.
The Fire Mass at Kirkjubaejarklaustur
A story about the sermon on Sunday, June 20th 1783 when pastor Jon Steingrimsson called the congregation together to pray. The lava from the Laki eruption was heading for the church but when the people emerged after the prayers they saw that the lava had stopped. This mass has since been called the Fire Mass. The reverend is buried at Klaustur as it is known in local language. The memorial chapel was built in his honor. Stop and take a look at the chapel and the columnar basalt close by. It is called Kirkjugolf (the Church floor) and is an unusual natural feature.
The Pastor of Einholt
A story from the 18th century about the reverend Vigfus Benediktsson. He was a pastor at Kalfafell west of Hornafjordur. He was subjected to various supernatural trials and tribulations, but he was fortunate enough to have women in his householdwho knew what to do. We recommend the book: A Travelers Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales by Jon R. Hjalmarsson.
Hotel Edda Hofn
- Ranarslod 3, 780 Hofn
Phone: +354 444 4850Booking center: +354 444 4000
Opening hours:23 May - 22 September 2013
Meet the Locals
I keep my friends close
Hotel Edda Egilsstadir - 246 km.
Hotel Edda Skogar - 305 km.
Skaftafell - 136 km.
Jokulsarlon - 79 km.