The Gorgeous South – Green Energy and Gourmet Meals
The south of Iceland is absolutely one of the island’s most beautiful regions. With its wide plains and magnificent scenery, it is a real feast for the eyes as well as possessing many of those majestic Icelandic landmarks: waterfalls, volcanoes and hot springs. Oh yes, and greenhouses. A lot of greenhouses.
Where does it come from?
Reykholt in Biskupstungur is a beautiful little town on the Golden Circle that has plenty to offer to those who visit it. It is a convenient stop on your travels around the south region, with a guesthouse and a camping site, a swimming pool and facilities for plenty of outdoor activity.
Reykholt is rich in geothermal energy and the first greenhouse in the region heated in this way was built there in the thirties. The hot spring of Reykholt is very old and there are stories of how people would come from the nearby church at Skálholt to block it, partly because occasionally animals would fall into it, but also out of a superstition since, naturally, boiling hot water coming out of the ground could only have its origin in one place!
Eventually though, despite all superstition, the area became inhabited early in the 20th century precisely because of its geothermal energy. Even though it has actually been capped today, the old hot spring still erupts every 10 minutes and the water is utilized to heat both residents’ homes and the greenhouses in the area. Hot springs apparently do come in handy, after all: you can even bake the traditional rye bread in them, as Steinunn at Kaffi Klettur does!
And speaking of bread..
Whatever your interest in geothermal energy, Reykholt has a hot spot that you do not want to miss. Kaffi Klettur, the local bar and restaurant with its mouth-watering menu is more than enough reason to stop by. Known for top-notch cooking and romantic surroundings, the restaurant works in the spirit of the Slow Food philosophy, honouring fair business trades and using fresh, organic locally-produced ingredients. The result is an utterly delicious cuisine with dishes that range from traditional Icelandic food like freshly-caught trout with locally-grown vegetables to more international dishes like the homemade lasagna. Everything is home-baked and make sure you don’t leave without tasting their cakes and desserts, rumour has it they’re sublime! Steinunn’s kleinur are so popular, she ships them all over the country.