I have written many travel-blogs about the few turf houses left in Iceland. Eventually, in the 1930s, the remaining five inhabitants decided that their prospects would be much improved by moving to the mainland, and the island has lain empty ever since. The oldest part of Lindarbakki dates back to 1899, but the woodwork dates mainly back to 1934. The less travelled valleys in Iceland often have hidden treasures and visiting these farms, especially the one at Bergsstaðir, made me feel like I stepped back into Iceland in olden times. This beautiful turf church was repaired in 1950 and again in 2011. Hjallur - the Shed in Vatnsfjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland. Two couples had been assigned this land and they erected Litlibær turf house together. Two and two slept together, so it must have been strange being the only woman with all these men. We have got 4 hypothetical turf houses in Iceland, which were erected close to Viking ruins discovered during archaeological excavations. Of course, where you look for housing will change the price. The scenery can be quite amazing as the sun sets into the ocean. I want to show you, travellers in my country, our old architectural heritage - the turf houses of Iceland, which are a passion of mine. Þorláksbúð is a hypothesis turf house at the historical episcopal See Skálholt in South-Iceland. You can read more about the historical Vatnsfjörður in my travel-blog Vatnsfjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland - the Viking Estate and Grettisvarða Cairn. Archaeological excavations have shown that there might have been a farmstead here as early as 1226, as ruins of walls of outhouses have been found. Reyhólar and the surrounding areas where I include Barmar turf house. The turf house is open as a museum in the summertime. Many of them were demolished as it was easier than disinfecting them, but not the outhouses at Langhús. The first mention of Grenjaðarstaður is from the early settlement of my country. The altar and the pulpit in the church are original. My photo above is not of the café ;) but the old kitchen inside the old turf house. On a remote, deserted, island in the Vestmannaejar archipelago — just off Iceland’s south coast — sits a lonely, solitary white house on the side of a green hill. In Bakkafjörður in East-Iceland, you will notice a small brightly red-painted turf house, Lindarbakki turf house. So it was well worth the visit. Grafarkirkja belongs to the National Museum of Iceland and is a part of their Historic Buildings Collection. It was actually one of the largest front-houses of its kind at that time here in Iceland. Buying a house in Iceland. You can also check out what UNESCO has to say about the Icelandic turf houses, which is a more professional approach. Icelandic turf houses (Icelandic: torfbæir) were the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone, and the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.. 30% of Iceland was forested when it was settled, mostly with birch. Lómagnúpur in South-Iceland. Þverá turf house has belonged to the National Museum of Iceland since 1968 and it was preserved in 1990. House For Sale. Keldur turf house came into the possession of the National Museum of Iceland back in 1942. The owner of the Viking Village, Jóhannes Viðar Bjarnason, lives in the turf house and rents out accommodation to travellers. Herjólfsbærinn - Herjólfur's Old Farmstead in the Westman Islands, Eiríksstaðir - the turf house of Erik the Red in West-Iceland. So you can see that this was quite a historical place. The 10 Best Guest Houses in Iceland Check out our pick of great guest houses in Iceland. At Sauðhúsvöllur in South-Iceland, you will notice a small turf shed by ring-road 1. Grenjaðarstaður has belonged to the National Museum of Iceland since 1954, and Menningarmiðstöð Þingeyinga - the Þingeyjasýsla County District Culture Centre has run a museum in the turf house in the summertime since 1958. This beautiful turf church was erected in 1858 and fits 60 people. Here is a list of the Top 12 Things to do in Iceland. Before his death, Gissur donated Reynistaður to a nunnery and from 1295-1552 a cloister was located here. In Iceland, house rentals are the most common accommodation type. Gissur Þorvaldsson of the Viking Clan of Haukdælir - who was for a while the Earl of Iceland lived for some time at Reynistaður. He has rebuilt the old farm at Stóru-Akrar and done a beautiful job. Read another story from us: The Fabled Remote Island where Medieval Irish Monks Battled the Forces of Evil. Tour companies operating in the Vestmannaejar peninsula offer day trips to this beautiful, wild location, but for the time being, the little white house, and the rest of the island remains unoccupied. Hrafnseyri is the birth-place of our national hero Jón Sigurðsson, and the turf house is a hypothetical replica of the turf farm in which Jón was born. The barn was underneath the baðstofa where people worked, ate and slept, but this arrangement gave the inhabitants of the turf house warmth from the cows. A similar, or so we believe, turf church stood on this spot during Viking time, some 1000 years ago. In this travel-blog, I am going to show you all of the original turf houses - the turf churches, the latter time turf houses, hypothetical turf houses, turf outhouses, turf fishermen's huts, turf sheds and more turf structures, which I have visited on my travels in my country. Selið  turf house is located in Skaftafell in South-Iceland. Hofskirkja was built in 1883-1885, but a church has been on this site for much longer or around 700 years. Turf outhouses at Staður in the Westfjords of Iceland. Another hypothetical turf farm has been erected at Eiríksstaðir, the turf farm of Erik the Red and Leif the Lucky. The church has been refurbished and repaired over the years. I have noticed that some people take this to be the turf church and I can understand why as it is also a pretty turf house, but the turf church is bigger. Inside Grenjaðarstaður turf house in Iceland. Hofskirkja is even more special though since it is the last one being built in . From the Settlement of Iceland, around 870, until the mid 20th century, Icelanders lived in turf houses, both rich and poor. You can read more and see photos of the inside of the original Viking longhouse in my travel-blog: Stöng - Ruins of a Real Viking Settlement Manor and the Reconstructed Saga-Age Farm in Iceland. Only 3 families lived in it from 1855-1924, but it was abandoned in 1887-1917, restored and inhabited from 1917-1924 until it was abandoned again. I have not seen such carvings in other churches in Iceland. According to the Australian news network news.com.au, Bjork had briefly been in discussion with the Icelandic government regarding another island (confusingly also named Elliðaey) in the early 2000s, but she withdrew from the project following a negative press reaction. It is reconstructed and while my father-in-law was working for Vegagerðin - the Road Administration of Iceland, he was in charge of reconstructing this turf shed. Parts of the timber from the old church was used for baðstofa - the sitting room - on the farm by the old church. Ingólfur Arnarson, who arrived in Iceland in around year 874, spent his 3rd winter by Mt. In 1994 a house was moved from Húsavík to Mánárbakki to house the museum and the turf house was built. The roofs are insulated with dwarf-birch and turf. Such fishermen's huts, made with turf, rock and wood, were to be found in many places in Iceland. There are only 5 original turf churches left in Iceland plus 1 reconstructed turf church and a couple of hypothesis turf churches. It was erected in 2006 and is made with rocks, wood and turf. Photo by Diego Delso CC BY-SA 4.0. The turf houses need a lot of maintenance and this beautiful turf house was rebuilt in 1957-1959, 1976-1978, 1994-2003 and 2009-2012 (source: Af jörðu - Hjörleifur Stefánsson - 2013). Hofskirkja turf church was rebuilt in 1953-1954. The huge turf-outhouses at Langhús are still used to keep sheep in the wintertime, which makes them very special indeed. Hlíðartúnshúsin turf outhouses in Borgarnes town in West-Iceland. 8.4. A lone gable at Reynistaður in Skagafjörður (Staðarhreppur) represents an old turf farm, which has belonged to the National Museum of Iceland since 1999. Thankfully, having tried and tested every adventure and experience available in the country, Guide to Iceland is an authority when it comes to choosing the best means of filling your time in Iceland. The growing economy, two reductions in interest rates and an increasing involvement of foreign investors help explain a 9% increase in average prices for property for sale in Iceland over the last twelve months. 2,247 out of the 4,565 listed accommodations in Iceland are house rentals.They account for one-third of the accommodation options in this destination (38.2%).In addition, these vacation accommodations have a median size of 750 ft² and a median price of $217 a night. In this turf house, you will find a café. Although a handful of families are known to have lived on the island from the 18th century, it has been completely uninhabited since the 1930s. Now, this is my take on the beautiful turf houses in Iceland, for which I have had a life-long passion. Guides dressed up as Vikings will tell you about the life of the Vikings, who lived at Eiríksstaðir turf farm. I had a look around and hope he doesn't mind me posting photos of his amazing turf outhouses in my travel-blog. These big turf outhouses were in use until the 1970's when 4 of them were demolished when the road was built. Nevertheless, rumors continue to swirl around this strange house on an apparently otherwise uninhabited island. The small farm is called Gullbringa and the small turf house from 1884 is called Arngrímsstofa. Inside Keldur turf house in South-Iceland. Viking Areas in Iceland - Eiríksstaðir Long House in West-Iceland. On the other side of the road, you will see another beautiful turf house; the vestry. Jóhannes is waiting for a permit to add to the accommodation, turf house style, and his plan is to have one room in each gable. In the photo above you can see how the turf walls are panelled with wood. Isn't it beautiful? Stekkjarkot was rebuilt in 1993. Featuring a Blu-ray player, the holiday home has a kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and a stovetop, a living room, a dining area, 1 bedroom, and 1 bathroom with a shower. At Möðrudalur you will find Fjallakaffi - a very popular oasis for travellers around Iceland, where you can get traditional Icelandic food. I think this is an excellent idea and am glad that these turf houses were preserved in this way. On the Tjörnes peninsula in North-Iceland, you will see a turf house at the Museum of Mánárbakki. Several of them are well-maintained though and I am going to show you some of the well-maintained ones, which I have visited on my travels in Iceland. It was erected sometimes between 1925-1930 by the farmers of the Mývatn area as a shelter for the shepherds searching for sheep in the highlands. Best Dining in Iceland: See 230,411 Tripadvisor traveler reviews of 1,180 Iceland restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. Exposed to the elements and facing the wild Atlantic waves that crash upon the rocks, this appears to be the most remote home in the world. If you see the sign below on a turf house then you know it belongs to the National Museum of Iceland. It is so beautiful on the inside with lots of colours. Skyrhúsid Guest House in Hali 9.0 Awesome 1,109 reviews Two restaurants are found onsite that serve lunch and dinner, while hot drinks and juice can be enjoyed in Skyrhúsid Guest House's dining area. Árbær turf house was built in around 1890-1918 and was reconstructed in 1968. But as I have mentioned earlier in my travel-blogs, then I am just a layman travelling around my country, and not a professional in any way, so please correct me if you see any mistakes in my travel-blogs. These sheds were mainly used for drying fish and keeping fishing gear. He had thrown them overboard from his Viking ship when he spotted Iceland and swore to settle where the high seat pillars would drift ashore. Archaeologists found the ruins of Stöng back in 1939 under layers of tephra from the volcano Hekla. It was inhabited until 1967 and a new concrete farm was built next to it in 1960. Let's always treat these old turf structures with utter respect as they are delicate gems. Tyrfingsstaðir turf house in North-Iceland. These turf outhouses are made of driftwood, slab, turf and rocks. Tyrfingsstaðir turf house in North-Iceland with many more photos of this special turf farm, Núpsstaður turf outhouses in South-Iceland. At Árbæjarsafn Folk Museum you will find a beautiful turf church, but you can see parts of it in my photo above. Elliðaey. It is a replica of a 17th-century turf house of a tenant farmer - and it shows us what a sorcerer's home might have looked like. The 10 Best Holiday Rentals in Iceland. This little hut is called Tumbi (Miðfellskofi or Fellnakofi). It is located very close to Reykhólar, on which I have written a travel-blog in I-III parts. Also, see how many turf outhouses you can spot in the landscape. Bustarfell was inhabited from 1770-1966 when the last inhabitants moved out. The front buildings at Keldur are parallel to the farmyard, which is an old turf house design, which has been used here at Keldur since the middle ages. Here you can also see the rowing boat, Ölver, which is a typical boat used for fishing in the olden days. 15 Best Places to Visit in Iceland Wild, windswept and caked with icecaps from south to Arctic north, Iceland is a land of steaming volcanos and enchanting fishing towns, rugged canyons and colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and buzzing vodka bars. They are in bloom and visible almost wherever you drive aro... On my search for turf houses around Iceland, I visited Sænautasel hypothetical turf house on Jökuldalsheiði heath in the highland of Iceland. Over recent years, Elliðaey has been featured in countless reports and articles, fuelling speculation about the island and the owner of its mysterious house. I am glad that this was done and that the turf shed wasn't lost. Steingrímsfjarðarheiði turf hospice in the Westfjords of Iceland. Björk. Far enough away though to look like a hobbit house in the distance. Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur - the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, Þjóðminjasafnið - the National Museum of Iceland, the Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery, Byggðasafn Árnesinga - the Árnessýsla Heritage Museum, Vatnsfjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland - the Viking Estate and Grettisvarða Cairn, Viking Ruins and Burial Mounds I have visited on my Travels in Iceland. Saurbæjarkirkja is made of thick turf, rock and wood. At Skógar Museum you will see a beautiful turf house, which is not original per se in this location, but a reconstruction of original turf houses from different locations from this area in South-Iceland. A turf outhouse in Stokkseyri in South-Iceland. It was a wealthy vicarage and a manor, built of turf, lava rocks from the vicinity and timber. For the most part of her working years at sea, which lasted until 1843, she was a so-called formaður, which was remarkable for a woman at that time. Glaumbær turf house in Skagafjörður in North-Iceland is one of the big turf houses, a manor where chieftains resided. You can read more about this beautiful little gem in my travel-blog Víðimýrarkirkja Turf Church in North-Iceland - is it the most beautiful of them all? They are in "original" form, keeping in mind that turf houses need constant maintenance, but all the later additions have been removed. At Reykir in Skagafjörður in North-Iceland, you will find a turf house, which was built in 1992 as a museum in the liking of a turf house, but with stone walls. This tiny turf hut is a replica of an old seasonal fishermen's hut. Tvera - A Quality Cottage with a View. It is a old house with a good soul. Nowadays we don't have many turf houses left in Iceland as they need a lot of maintenance. You can read more about the adventurous tour to Drangey island and Grettir the Strong in my travel-blog: Drangey Bird Cliff in North-Iceland and the Viking Grettir the Strong. The buyer shoulders all costs when buying property, which include real estate agent's fee, stamp duty, and registration fee. Tyrfingsstaðir turf house was inhabited until 1969. First I am going to show you the oldest remaining turf outhouse in Iceland: The oldest turf outhouse in Iceland - Hesthúsið á Hólum in the Westfjords. Selið turf house in Skaftafell in South-Iceland. In Herjólfsdalur valley in the Westman islands, you will find the hypothesis house Herjólfsbærinn - Herjólfur's old farmstead. Hjallur is open to visitors. Address: Mýrargata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland; Price Range: Medium – High ; Although many of the best bars are in Reykjavik, there are plenty of them all around Iceland. Selið turf house has been in the possession of the National Museum of Iceland since 1972 and was rebuilt in 1970-1980. Others cannot be visited as they are delicate and have to be preserved. Aug 26, 2016 - Explore Gail Thomas's board "A house in Iceland / Ísland", followed by 385 people on Pinterest. The entrance to the museum is free of charge. Seeing that I search for turf houses on my travels around my country, I was in awe when I checked out the huge turf houses at Langhús. Inside Saurbæjarkirkja turf church in North-Iceland. Glaumbær has been inhabited since the settlement of Iceland, but some of the current turf houses were built in 1876-1879, with the oldest parts dating back to the mid 18th century. I will show you both these turf structures later in this travel-blog. One of the best places to visit in Iceland to see something from the Icelandic history. There are very few remaining turf houses in South-Iceland, so this turf house is well worth a visit while hiking in Skaftafell. Another idyllic fishermen's hut is Ósvör in Bolungarvík in the Westfjords of Iceland, which is now a Maritime Museum. The owners of Dalshöfði run a small guesthouse at their farm. They don't want the old ways of building a turf house to be forgotten. Imagine that, we could have lost this little turf church! I quite like this little turf-house, built of wood and turf and to me it stands there as a reminder of earlier building styles. The turf house is in the possession of the National Museum of Iceland and is open daily from 8:00-18:00. The owners run a restaurant and a guesthouse on the opposite side of the road in Skagafjörður. At Keldur you will also find the oldest remaining structure in Iceland, an underpass which is believed to date back to the 11th-13th century or the Age of the Sturlung. You can have a look at it from the outside, but it has stopped being a museum, due to lack of visitors, the farmer told me. The hypothesis house was built in 2011-2012 by the ruins of the temporary chapel called Þorláksbúð, but the ruins were found back in 1954. I have been following the reconstruction for some years now and my last photo of Stóru-Akrar turf house was taken in the summer of 2017. I visited another set of turf outhouses in East-Iceland at Hjarðarhagi farm in Jökuldalur valley. Sænautasel turf house was built in 1843 and was inhabited until 1943. These turf houses were made of turf, rocks and driftwood. This old hospice is made out of turf, rocks and driftwood, but there is plenty of driftwood at Strandir in the vicinity. 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