The history of Borgarnes
Let’s go all the way back!
Skalla-Grímur Kveld-Úlfsson was Norwegian Viking son of Kveld-Úlfur. The two of them were good friends with Ingólfur Arnarsson, the original settler of Iceland. Arnarsson had heard of the existence of a northern island. So, they set sails to find the island.
Sadly, during the voyage, Kveld-Úlfur fell ill and died. Skalla-Grímur and the ship’s men continued to explore the southwest region of Iceland.
In the end, Skalla-Grímur decided to stop his expedition and settle. He named his farm Borg and the fjord it lays in, Borgarfjörður. The peninsula was later named Borgarnes which translates the peninsula of Borg.
Skalla-Grímur and his wife Vera Yngarsdóttir had at least four children and one of them is Egill Skallagrímsson, one of Iceland’s most famous historical figures. Egils Saga is named after him.
Borgarnes started to form as a village at the beginning of the 20th century, when local opened a shop in the area. Before that time, both English and Scottish men had tried their hand at business in the area, but no foreign business had been there since 1918.
Borgarnes was a great area for trade since land and sea transport is very accessible. In the year 1900, Borgarnes’ total number of inhabitants was 50. In the year 2006, 1891 people lived in Borgarnes.
Where is Borgarnes located?
Borgarnes is located on the Borgarnes Peninsula in Borgarfjörður in West Iceland.
It is about 75 km (46,6 mi) from Reykjavík, about 312 km (193,8 mi) from Akureyri and about 516 km (320,6 mi) from Höfn. You will drive through Borgarnes when making your way North, to the Westfjords or to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
GPS coordinates of Borgarnes: 64.5609° N, 21.9010° W
How to get to Borgarnes?
Traveling from Reykjavík to Borgarnes you will need to follow Route One, known as the Ring Road. Head north through Mosfellsbær, past Mt. Esja, and under a 6 km (3,7 mi) underwater tunnel Hvalfjarðargöng.
Just before you arrive, you’ll drive over the second-longest bridge in Iceland. The longer route through Hvalfjörður is especially encouraged for hikers. The stunning Glymur Waterfall flows to the bottom of the fjord and the 3-hour hike to the top is a gorgeous one.
Driving through the tunnel from Reykjavík to Borgarnes will take about 1 hour, but if you drive the fjord itself it will take 2 hours.