Hafnarfjörður the Town in the Lava
Vikings, Elves and Merchants
Hafnarfjörður harbour town has 26,000 official inhabitants and countless “hidden people” who have made their home on a lava field 7,300 years old. Hafnarfjörður has much to offer local and foreign visitors all year. Krýsuvík geothermal area draws 100,000 visitors annually; Íshestar offer fun horse riding tours through the lava field. For those interested in culture, history, food and shopping there’s an arts museum and folk museum, the Viking Village, and Fjörðurinn Shopping Centre.Harbour Town
Directly translated, the name Hafnarfjörður means ‘Harbour Fjord’, so named because of its natural harbour, surrounded by lava fields. The natural harbour conditions attracted foreign merchants from England in the 15th century; later German traders who drove out the English, and finally the Danes who imposed a trade monopoly in Iceland in 1602.
Capital of Elves
Hafnarfjörður is famous for having one of Iceland’s largest settlements of Huldufólk (Hidden People). ‘Huldufólk’ is the collective word for elves, dwarfs and other mystical beings. Much evidence supports the belief in the hidden people, such as stories about machines breaking down or their operators getting hurt while attempting to clear the way for a new road. Join a fun and informative guide on a walk to learn about their ways and habits. Town Festivals
Hafnarfjörður’s three best known festivals include Bjartir dagar (Bright Days) 31 May- 3 June 2012, Annual Seamen’s Day 3 June in 2012, The Viking Festival 14 June - 17 June 2012, and Jólaþorpið (The Christmas Market), open from the beginning of December until Christmas. Please visit Hafnarfjörður’s website for details.
Free Admission to Museums
There are two museums in Hafnarfjörður, namely Hafnarborg – Culture and Fine Arts Museum, and Hafnarfjörður Folk Museum. The Folk Museum includes various buildings in town, such as the Pakkhúsið (Storage house), Merchant Sívertsen’s House and Siggubær (Sigga’s Cottage). The main exhibition is in Pakkhúsið. Siggubær is an old, small but quaint farmhouse built in the lava field. It is a fine example of a house belonging to common people. Entrance to both museums is absolutely free. Hafnarborg – Culture and Fine Arts Museum
is open every day 12-17, and Thursdays until 21. Closed Tuesdays. The Folk Museum
is open week-ends 11-17 in winter, and daily 11-17 in June, July and August. Groups are welcome outside published opening times.