In Borgarnes you can witness the birth of a nation in the Settlement Centre. There you experience the turmoil surrounding those dramatic events with help of multi-media techniques and installation.

Population: In 2010 the population was 1,828 people.

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The first mentioning of Borgarnes are to be found in the Icelandic Sagas, Egilssaga. In the book the Borgarnes peninsula is called Digranes and the first settler was shipmate of Skalla-Grímur, called Grani. In the 19th century the Danish monopoly on trade was abolished and Borgarnes was appointed a trading place by the Danish king. Borgarnes is now days the centre for trading and commerce in western Iceland. The economy is mostly service-orientated especially in regard to people passing by from the capital-area as well as locals and summer house owners in the area.

For those who want to enjoy the richness of the surroundings, Glanni waterfall is the perfect location to have a picnic, an oasis in an area called Paradise Hollow which is an excellent spot to have a sandwich and refreshments. For those who want more exercise the Grabrok crater is the largest of three craters from a short volcanic fissure. It’s easily accessible from the main road and gives a magnificent view over Nordurár river valley. Surtshellir Cave is Iceland’s most famous cave, notorious for having been a home for outlaws and villains. It’s more than 1.3 km long and 8-10 meters high. An excellent spot for the adventurous ones, but if one wants to explore the cave a necessary equipment is required. It’s situated 63 km north of Borgarnes.

The Settlement Centre is a fascinating museum which gives you an opportunity to experience the dramatic events which occurred around the time of the settlement. Multi-media techniques provide more of an instillation rather than traditional museum site where visitors can experience the birth of the nation in where the guided tour is available in 8 languages via the headphone settings.
In Eiríksstaðir is a museum who celebrates the legacy of the Eric the red, or Eiríkur rauði in Icelandic. His adventures had a turning point in history. Not only did he discover Greenland, he discovered North America itself, centuries before Kristofer Columbus. This site of this location lies 75 km north of Borgarnes, a one hour drive northwards.

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