Hotel Edda Storutjarnir
Whales, Woodlands and Waterfalls
The area around Hotel Edda Stórutjarnir has some of the most popular attractions in northern Iceland, including Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful cascade. Other popular excursions include whale watching cruises from nearby Húsavík and the splendour of Lake Mývatn with its unique bird life, magnificent fjords and volcanic craters (plus don’t forget to relax at the nearby thermal baths afterwads). Then there’s the enchanting Vaglaskógur woods and Ásbyrgi, a rocky, horseshoe- shaped canyon – legendary home of Viking gods.
- 41 rooms: 16 Edda Plus rooms with en-suite bathrooms, television and telephone in rooms, 4 rooms with en-suite bathrooms and 21 with in-room washbasins
- Sleeping bag accommodation available
- On-site restaurant with scenic views
- Outdoor pool and hot tub
- Children’s play area
- Meeting rooms
- Opening dates: 7 June - 18 August 2013
- On closing day we close at noon, last guests check in the day before.
- Whale watching in nearby Húsavík
- Lake fishing
- Thermal bath near Lake Mývatn
- Puffin colonies
- Bird watching
- Hot springs
Please contact us for further information.
Hotel Edda Storutjarnir has a total of 41 rooms, thereof 16 EDDA PLUS rooms with TV and telephone, 4 with en-suite bathroom and 21 with in-room washbasin and shared bathroom facilities. We also offer sleeping bag facilities.
Price for accommodation
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 lunch time we offer light courses.
During dinner we offer dinner menu.
Edda on the go - create your own Edda bite from our fridge.
Storutjarnir is in Ljosavatnskard, which is actually a broad valley between Fnjoskadalur in the west and Bardardalur in the east. High mountains are on both sides and gravel hills (moraines) left by the Ice Age glaciers lie right across the valley. The lake Ljosavatn is on the east side of the valley. The North American bird the Great Northern Diver (Gavia Immer) is often seen on the lake. Here was the farm of the chieftain Thorgeir Thorkelsson who declared in the year 1000 that the Christian religion should be the religion in Iceland. The school at Storutjarnir is used as a hotel during the summer. The distance from Egilsstadir to Storutjarnir on road # 1 is 273km (169 miles) and 45km (28 miles) from Storutjarnir to Akureyri.
Major Points of Interest
The distance from Storutjarnir to Godafoss is 6km (4 miles). On the way to Godafoss make a stop at the church just east of Ljosavatn (right turn). Here you will see a most amazing altarpiece. There is none like it. Godafoss is a waterfall in the river Skjalfandafljot close to the farm Fossholl in Bardardalur. The river runs in a ravine for a considerable distance. The Icelandic Sagas tell us that Thorgeir Thorkelsson, the chieftain from Ljosavatn, threw his heathen idols into the falls when he returned home after having declared that the Christian religion should be the religion in Iceland. Godafoss means waterfall of the gods. Take a walk down along the river towards Fossholl and observe the strange rock formations including a cave for sunbathing close to the old bridge.
When you are at Lake Myvatn (40km-25 miles from Storutjarnir) you drive by the farm Skutustadir with two hotels on either side of the road. Make a stop here and take a walk among the pseudo-craters. The craters are formed in steam explosions when molten lava runs over wetland (hydro magmatic action). The water under the lava is super-heated and explodes throwing the lava up into circular craters. Craters of this sort can be found in four locations in Iceland and on the planet Mars but nowhere else. They are indeed unusual phenomena in nature.
Now continue your journey and drive about 5 km (3 miles) before taking a right turn into Dimmuborgir. Dimmuborgir means dark cliffs and features a maze like landscape. Here you will find a vast area of lava formations such as tunnels and small caves. The most spectacular is "the Church“ a large cave resembling a church dome. Stay within the marked trails such as the blue one for a short walk, but yellow and red for longer trips. There are spots on the way which are ideal for a picnic. Obtain a map at the gate or the information centre before you start your walk. Dimmuborgir were created about 2000 years ago and in the beginning it was a huge lava lake. Little by little the lava surface started to cool down but the hot floating lava underneath found an exit and rushed out from under the now cooler ceiling. The cold columns stayed behind and the ceiling fell down. In some areas you can see how the "ceiling“ scraped the walls of the towering cliffs.
Lake Myvatn is 40km (25 miles) from Storutjarnir. The natural beauty of Lake Myvatn and its surroundings has been sculpted by volcanic eruptions over thousands of years. The lake is 36.5km2 and renowned for its bird life. There are 17 species of ducks on the lake. Every type of breeding ducks in Iceland is found on Lake Myvatn and the river Laxa. Among them are two North American duck that breed nowhere else in Europe namely the Harlequin Duck and Barrow´s Goldeneye. The lake is shallow which makes it easy for the ducks to dive for food. The name Myvatn means lake of the midges (chironomidae). They are of two types and constitute an important part in the food chain. A ball shaped green algae (cladophora segagropila) grows at the bottom of Lake Myvatn. These green algae also exist in Lake Akan on the Hokkaido Island in Japan. In Japan it is called Marimo but the Icelandic name is Vatnamyll. The lake is also rich with trout which the farmers fish in nets and through ice during the winter. On your return to Storutjarnir drive by Reykjahlidand on the north side of the lake and try the dark rye bread baked overnight in hot clay with smoked trout from the lake on top. Delicious!
Observe the tumuli in the lava. Tumulus (pl. tumuli) are mounds or dome-like uplifts on the crust of the lava flow. This lava is from the 1724 eruption and the vegetation has hardly established except for the grey moss. It takes about one thousand years for soil to form on lava.
Namafjall is a high temperature area east of the populated area across a low mountain with temperature reaching 200°C or more at 1000meters down. There are solfatars and fumaroles in Namafjall. The soil in the high temperature zones is infertile and barren because of the geothermal air and acidic environment. There is a quantity of sulphur in the area and it was mined from 1279. The sulphur was used for gun powder in Europe and by 1905 it tapered off. By all means stay within the marked paths. Serious accidents have occurred when folks go outside the marked areas and step into the boiling clay underneath the thin crust. Never go closer to a boiling clay pits than the splashes that are closest to you. On the way to Namafjall make a stop at Jardbodin on the west side. This is a geothermal bath similar to the Blue Lagoon on Reykjanes but smaller.
Close to Namafjall on the north side is the geothermal power station Krafla named after a volcano nearby. An interesting feature up there is the crater Viti (Hell) on the south-west slopes of the volcano Krafla. The crater is about 300 meters in circumference. It was formed in a huge explosion in 1724. The explosion marked the beginning of the so called Myvatn-fires lasting for five years, the longest known continuous eruption in Iceland. The water in the crater was boiling for a century after the explosion. If you have time make a stop at the power station. They have an interesting film about the volcanic activity in the area, how they harness the geothermal energy and also a film about the eruptions from 1975 until 1984. A total of 21 rifting events occurred during the period. The total rift between the plate boundaries (North American and Eur-Asian) was around 9 meters. This is an fascinating show and is available in many languages. The average long term rift between the plates in Iceland is little less than 2 cm per year.
Husavik is 50km (31 miles) from Storutjarnir. This pretty village is well known as a base for whale watching in Iceland. The name Husavik is probably the oldest place name in Iceland. The explorer Gardar Svavarsson sailed around the country and discovered that it was an island. He built a house for the winter in a small cove and named the place Husavik. Hus means house. Vik means a small bay or a cove. The whale museum offers thorough information about whales and whaling through the centuries. Fishing and fish processing is the main industry. The church, consecrted in 1907 is well worth a visit. W hen first built could seat the entire population. It has served as a symbol for Husavik. The architect was Rognvaldur Olafsson and he designed two other churches like this one but smaller.
A fish factory tour can be arranged at the Whale Centre (Information centre) to view fish processing and learn about the Icelandic quota system. The village is close to the Arctic Circle and enjoys 24 hours of daylight during the summer. The midnight sun often gives the sky a romantic glow. In the winter when the nights are long the night sky is frequently decorated with the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and stars.
Diversions off the beaten track
Hverfjall is on your right close to Dimmuborgir is a circular tuff cone created in a hydro magmatic eruption approximately 2700 years ago. We recommend a walk up to the rim interesting walk is to go up on the rim and enjoy the view over Lake Myatn. Caution is the word, especially on the way down. It can be a knee-killer.
Many believe that Aldeyjarfoss is among the most beautiful falls in Iceland. The interesting columnar basalt and the many "troll-women’s-pots“ - (skessukatlar) play a big role. Aldeyjarfoss is in Bardardalur which is the longest valley in Iceland in habitation. There are about 35km (22 miles) between the outermost and innermost farms. To reach Aldeyjarfoss you drive about 34km (21 miles) south along the river Skjálfandafljot on the west side. Godafoss incidentally is situated on this river. The river Skjálfandafljot is 178km long (110 miles). Shortly after you pass the farm Mýri you come to a parking area on your left. From there it is a short walk to the fall. What‘s in a name? The name "Aldey“ means ´Wave island´. The power of the water is such that it rises and forms like an island in the middle of hte pool below the fall. Hence the name. This is a popular picnic area.
Asbyrgi is about 66km (41mile) east from Husavik. You drive around the peninsula Tjornes. Asbyrgi is an oval depression which was formed during numerous catastrophic floods thousands of years ago. Asbyrgi means God´s Rampart. This rock formation was carved by the river Jokulsa in two catastrophic melt-water bursts (Jökulhlaup). The first one was about 4600 years ago and the second about 3000 years ago. Asbyrgi is a tranquil place and today there is nothing to remind us about the awesome power of water that carved it out of a solid rock. The shape and size is such that the settlers immediately connected Asbyrgi with the Gods. After you park your car obtain a brochure about the area and take a walk down to the little pond Botnstjorn in the innermost part. The cliffs are about 100m or 330 feet. The Fulmars nest in the cliffs but the duck Widgeon nest in the lower area. The vegetation is pine wood, and low birch, with rowans in between. The picnic area is on the other side of the car park.
Ask the reception about directions to the walking trails to the fishing lakes Nipholstjorn and Ljosavatn. There are picnic tables on the shore at Ljosavatn.
Folk Tales from North Iceland
Asbyrgi - Sleipnir´s Hoof print
Odinn the ´All father´ in the Norse mythology was riding in the Heavens on his eight-legged stallion Sleipnir. At one time Odinn got careless and came too close to earth and Sleipnir accidentally stepped on the ground with one of the hoofs. He stepped very hard and the ground underneath subsided. This impression looks like a hoof print. It is open to the north and there is a rock-island in the middle. Geologists have another explanation for this phenomenon.
Waterfall of the Gods
Godafoss is 6 km (4 miles) from Storu-Tjarnir. Thorgeir Thorgeirsson the chieftain from Ljosavatn was the arbitrator between the pagans and the Christians at the Althing in the year 1000. Both parties agreed to abide by his decision. He declared that Iceland should be a Christian country. This story is about the outlaw Grettir the Strong who was hiding in Bardardalur. It so happened that men, who were left behind to guard a farm, while the rest of the household went to Mass at Christmas, vanished. Grettir offered to stay. Soon a troll-woman arrived and they wrestled for a long time. The troll-woman wanted to throw Grettir off the cliffs into the canyon. Finally Grettir had the upper hand. To make a long story short. Grettir suspected that there were more trolls in the canyon. He found a cave there with a giant. Grettir won again after a long, hard struggle with the giant. There he found the bones of the two men and put them in a sack, which he put in the vestibule of the church.
The Night Troll and her Boat at Myvatn
This is a story about a troll-woman who lived at Skessuhali (Troll-woman’s tail) not far from the crater Ludent east of Lake Mývatn. She was a night troll and they must not see the sun or they will turn to stone. The troll-woman used to fish in Lake Myvatn during the night from her boat which was made out of stone. The farmers were not happy with this as she was taking fish from them. One night they stayed longer on purpose and the troll-woman waited while they fished. When she finally could fish and walked home with the boat and the fish on her back the sun rose and she turned into stone. If you drive to Ludent you can see the boat half way between Myvatn and Skessuhali which is near the mountain Burfell.
We recommend the book: A Travelers Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales by Jon R. Hjalmarsson
Hotel Edda Storutjarnir
- Storutjarnir, 641 Húsavík (located by the main road no 1, approx 50 km from Husavik)
Phone: (+354) 444 4890Booking center: (+354) 444 4000
GPS Coordinates:65° 42,490'N, 17° 43,567'W
Opening hours:7 June - 18 August
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