Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeIceland TravelA Go to to Kollsvík Cove within the Westfjords

A Go to to Kollsvík Cove within the Westfjords

A Visit to Kollsvík Cove in the Westfjords - the smallest Settlement in Iceland

Látravík and Breiðavík are well-known coves within the Westfjords of Iceland, however each of them belong to the Útvikur coves. Many individuals will for certain have heard about Látrabjarg, the most important seabird cliff in my nation within the neighborhood, which is the most effective place to {photograph} a puffin in Iceland.

I’ve proven you each Látrabjarg, Látravík, and Breiðavík in my travel-blogs, however there may be yet one more cove that belongs to the Útvíkur coves, the distant and exquisite Kollsvík cove.

Prime picture: one of many turf outhouses in Kollsvík

Hænuvík in the Westfjords of Iceland

Hænuvík – Patreksfjörður village within the distance

You’ll meet many guests at Látrabjarg, however fewer folks go to Kollsvík. To succeed in this lovely cove you’ll have to drive on prime of a mountain for some time. And it’s so rewarding because the view is superb.

Kollsvík is on the southernmost and westernmost peninsula of the Westfjords, which separates Patreksfjörður and Breiðafjörður fjords. And Kollsvík is the northernmost cove of the three Útvíkur coves. Útvíkur coves stretch from Blakknes all the way in which to Bjargtangar. A really fascinating a part of the Westfjords.

A cairn on top of Hænuvíkurhyrna mountain

A cairn on the highest of the mountain – the previous GPS system in Iceland

Alongside the way in which, you will notice Hænuvík in your right-hand facet by the ocean. Carry on driving on Hænuvíkurháls, from which there’s a improbable view as we will probably be driving as excessive as 320 meters. That is an previous thoroughfare, however the gravel street was inbuilt 1953.

We stopped by a cairn on the highest to take a look on the lovely view. And once more we had a fantastic view once we drove down from the mountain and into Kollsvík cove.

Kollsvík - the old turf outhouse and Láganúpur farm

Kollsvík – the previous turf outhouse and Láginúpur farm

What I observed at Kollsvík was how nicely the whole lot was marked, there have been data indicators in so many locations. I usually really feel like data indicators are missing in my nation. However not right here at Kollsvík.

The data indicators inform us in regards to the previous constructions and lots of ruins in Kollsvík with maps and glorious details about the historical past of Kollsvík. 

It’s admirable how the landowners on the distant Kollsvík have marked their land and cultural inheritance. Actually exemplary.

The information sign by Hesthúsið á Hólum turf outhouse

The data signal by Hesthúsið á Hólum – the oldest turf outhouse in Iceland

They usually have created a really informative web site with invaluable details about this space. It’s in Icelandic, however nicely price taking a look at if you’re on this space of the Westfjords – Kollsvík web site.

The landowners received a well-deserved award for his or her web site from Minjastofnun Íslands – the Cultural Heritage Company of Iceland and grants for the maintenance of ruins in Kollsvík.

Although Kollsvík is serene and quiet at the moment it was as soon as one of many greatest fishing stations within the southern a part of the Westfjords Area, known as Láginúpsver fishing station, with some 20-30 boats working till the start of the 18th century.

Old ruins at Kollsvík Westfjords

Ruins at Kollsvík

Afterward, fisheries began from Kollsvíkurver fishing station in one other location shut by. Whenever you stroll on the golden seashore of Kollsvík you will notice many ruins from again when Kollsvík was a vibrant fishing station. It isn’t in lots of locations that have I seen so many well-kept and well-marked ruins in Iceland.

Additionally, you will see the traditional fence known as Garður, which was rebuilt in its authentic type. It isn’t identified how previous this fence actually is, nevertheless it has served varied functions through the years and centuries.

It has been used as looking shelters, windbreakers, vegetable gardens, and for fishing-related functions.

Kollsvík in the Westfjords - Garður the old fence

Garður – the fence at Kollsvík – discover how the wind has blown the sand excessive up the mountain-side

Greater than 90 folks lived in Kollsvík till the nineteenth century and lots of extra when the seasonal fishermen arrived.

Within the twentieth century when motorboats arrived the fisheries moved away from the shoreless Kollsvík to f.ex. Patreksfjörður the place one can find a harbour as I’ve proven you in Patreksfjörður, the pleasant Village within the Westfjords of Iceland

The identical goes for the distant valley, Ingjaldssandur, the place my grandmother was born, I’ve heard that over 100 folks lived in that valley. Now 1 girl, Bettý, lives there all 12 months spherical, extra arrive within the summertime although. Instances have modified for certain.

See additionally: Ingjaldssandur within the Westfjords of Iceland – my Grandmother’s Birthplace

Regína by some of the ruins on the beach in Kollvík

By a few of the ruins on the seashore in Kollsvík

Iceland is well-known for its black lava sand seashores and till I used to be 11 years previous and first visited a seashore in Italy, I had solely seen black sand 🙂 My grandmother had informed me in regards to the golden and pink seashores on this distant space of Iceland, the place she was born.

I used to be so desirous to see the pink seashores, nevertheless it wasn’t till 2010 that we had a household reunion within the Westfjords that I lastly noticed these lovely seashores she had been raving about. And the extraordinary Westfjord mountains, a few of that are known as the Westfjords Alps. 

You’ll be able to see pictures of the Wesfjord Alps in my travel-blog: A Tour of Svalvogar & Kjaransbraut within the Westfjords – probably the most harmful Street Development in Iceland

Kollsvík in the Westfjords of Iceland

Kollsvík outhouses

The final inhabitants of Kollsvík farm left their farm again in 2002. Thus the previous vibrant Kollsvík grew to become abandoned. Kollsvík is the primary farm you will notice in your right-hand facet if you drive down from the mountain into the cove.

You’ll find 2 farms at Kollsvík, the farm Kollsvík (previously known as Kirkjuból), and Láginúpur, they’re 2 km aside

The descendants of Össur and Sigríður at Láginúpur have maintained this lovely space and I’m grateful to them for doing so. It’s a delight visiting Kollsvík.

Kollsvík deserted farm in Kollsvík Westfjords

Kollsvík seashore

In keeping with the twelfth chapter in Landnáma – the Guide of Settlements the settler Kollur joined his blood-brother Örlygur gamli, who arrived in Patreksfjörður and lived at Örlygshöfn for the winter, which you’ll cross alongside the way in which to Kollsvík. 

Örlygur and Kollur are considered the primary missionaries in Iceland.

Örlygur known as upon his pal, Bishop Patrick, whereas in peril at sea when arriving in Iceland, and that he would title the fjord after Patrick if they’d be saved. Örlygur did not settle there although, however a few of his journey companions did. 

Örlygur carried on and settled in Kjalarnes in southwest Iceland the place his first cousin, Helgi bjóla lived.

Örlygshöfn in the Westfjords of Iceland

Örlygshöfn is a beautiful location which you will notice in your method to Kollsvík

Helgi’s foster-father, bishop Patrick from the Hebrideans, had requested him to construct a church in Iceland, the place he noticed two mountains from the ocean and a valley in every mountain, and the church was to be constructed beneath the southern mountain.

Örlygur, who had carried wooden for the church-building on his ship and a church bell, constructed one of many first church buildings in Iceland at Esjuberg beneath the mountain Esja near Reykjavík, based on Landnáma – the Guide of Settlements, and the church is talked about in Kjalnesingasaga in chapters 1 and 18.

I visited the out of doors memorial altar at Esjuberg every week after the altar with a 2 meter tall Celtic stone cross was blessed by the Bishop of Iceland at summer time solstice 2021.
Kjalarnes outside memorial altar SW-Iceland

An outside altar at Esjuberg in Kjalarnes in SW-Iceland the place Örlygur is believed to have constructed his church across the 12 months 900. 

Kollur alternatively broke his ship by Kollsvík and lived in the smallest settlement in Iceland (some 25 km²), which is most probably named after him, Kollsvík cove. There may be not a lot that we learn about Kollur, however he should have constructed a church in Kollsvík.

It’s troublesome to search out previous church ruins at Kollsvík, it could be pretty to search out such previous ruins although. As there are speculations that his church may be the primary church in Iceland.

You’ll be able to see church ruins of a small (12 sq.m.) early-Christianity church in Hjaltadalur in my travel-blog about Hólar in Hjaltadalur. That church is believed to have been inbuilt 984. I embrace myself in these pictures so that you’ve got a comparability.

Ruins of an ancient church in Hjaltadalur North-Iceland

Contained in the church ruins at Efri-Ás in Hjaltadalur North-Iceland

Kollur is believed to have settled Kollsvík earlier than 880, lengthy earlier than Christianity was adopted in Iceland in 1000, however lots of the Irish folks, who arrived in Iceland, have been Christians.

Auður djúpúðga, the famous settler girl was Christian and erected a cross on Krosshólaborg in West-Iceland. You’ll be able to see a memorial stone cross for Auður at Krossaborg. She was additionally Örlygur’s first cousin, the sister of Helgi, however their fathers have been brothers.

Kollur wrecked his ship by Kollsvík and the identical occurred to Auður djúpúðga when she arrived in South-Iceland.

The memorial stone cross for Auður djúpúðga settler woman in West-Iceland

In sturdy wind at Krosshólaborg in West-Iceland

Auður managed to achieve her brother Helgi in Kjalarnes along with her fellow travellers, however he may solely soak up half of her group, so she went to Snæfellsnes in West-Iceland, to her brother Björn austræni in Bjarnarhöfn, who took in the entire group.

She then settled her personal land and lived at Hvammur in Dalir and her group settled varied locations on this space as Laxdæla Saga tells us. In her group was one other Kollur, who received the title Dala-Kollur after he settled in Laxárdalur valley in West-Iceland, and a fantastic a part of Laxdæla Saga and Njála tells us about his descendants.

Kollsvík in the Westfjords


Many historical place names date again to the settlers of Iceland. And lots of historical place names within the Westfjords got by the settlers; the bishop Patrekur = Patreksfjörður, Örlygur = Örlygshöfn, and Kollur = Kollsvík.

That’s the reason I really like studying Landnámabók and the Icelandic Sagas, as they inform us a lot in regards to the historical place names. We spent a few hours exploring Kollsvík and studying all the knowledge indicators. And we very a lot loved being on the pink seashore 🙂

Kollsvík in the Westfjords of Iceland

Lovely Kollsvík seashore

We then went looking for the oldest turf outhouse in Iceland, which we had heard about earlier than our go to to Kollsvík. And I finished by this big rock and questioned if it may be an elf-rock, i.e. a rock the place the hidden folks (huldufólk) of Iceland may be residing.

There are various, many tales in regards to the hidden folks of Iceland dwelling in rocks and their encounters with us mere people. I’ve informed you a lot such tales in my travel-blogs.

I discovered some details about this rock on the web site of Kollsvík. It’s known as Strýtusteinn or Peaked rock, situated in Brunnsbrekka slope. It’s believed to be the dwellings of the hidden folks of Iceland.
Regína by Strýtusteinn rock, the dwellings of the hidden people of Iceland

Strýtusteinn rock – dwellings of the hidden folks

There isn’t a folklore related to Strýtusteinn rock that we all know of, however Valdimar Össurarson at Láginúpur farm, informed me that the youngsters of Kollsvík have been forbidden to climb on this rock and racket by the rock was additionally forbidden.

The youngsters have been informed that hidden folks lived in Strýtusteinn rock and that they have been invisible, however aside from that, they have been like us (i.e. people). And that if they’d climb on the rock or make loud noises it could anger the inhabitants of the rock.

That is customary behaviour by such rocks. Once I go to the dwellings of the hidden folks or their church buildings I at all times ask for permission to go nearer and take pictures. Respect is the key phrase right here. And when you see some trash mendacity round by the dwellings of the hidden folks, please choose it up.

Kollsvík ruins Westfjords - an old sheepcote

The sheepcote by Strýtusteinn rock

The sheepcote by Strýtusteinn rock was again then nonetheless in use and additional care was taken as to not name too loud when the sheep have been known as collectively and pushed into the sheepcote.

One other rock is shut by Strýtusteinn rock which can be believed to be the dwellings of the hidden folks. And the church of the hidden folks is at Stórhóll at Hnífar, Valdimar informed me.

I haven’t got a photograph of Stórhóll, however have proven you many such church buildings in different travel-blogs, f.ex. the Elf-church Álfakirkja at Laugarvatnsvellir plains and The Lovely Elf Metropolis and Elf Church by Resort Laki in South-Iceland.

Regína in Kollsvík in the Westfjords of Iceland

On this picture, you’ll be able to see how shut the sheepcote is to Strýtusteinn rock

Beneath Stórhóll is a big cave, Sandhellir, and it was believed {that a} tunnel went from the cave to the hill, i.e. the church of the hidden folks.

Shut by is Tröllkarlshellir cave, so plainly trolls and the hidden folks get alongside, seeing that they’ll reside in such shut proximity. Thanks, Valdimar, I’m grateful for this data and can search for the church of the hidden folks on my subsequent go to to Kollsvík.

Strýtusteinn elf rock at Kollsvík Westfjords

Strýtusteinn dwellings of the hidden folks at Kollsvík – it’s such an exquisite rock

The hidden folks appeared to steadily borrow stuff from the inhabitants at Kollsvík and return them once more. 

This occurred so steadily that when objects disappeared in Kollsvík, they’d say that the hidden folks borrowed them (ref. Kollsvík).

My household used to say the identical, that if issues disappeared the hidden folks had borrowed them. They usually have been ultimately returned. So it may be in our Icelandic genes to assume like this, as that is nonetheless my perception and if issues go lacking in my house I ask the hidden folks to return them 🙂

Kollsvík in the Westfjords of Iceland

Pink seashores in Kollsvík

I have written travel-blogs about different rocks of the hidden folks in Iceland if you’re to know extra about them, f.ex.:

The Sheriff’s Spouse at Burstarfell and the Elf-Rock in East-Iceland – Icelandic Folklore

Álfaborg – the Metropolis of the Elves in Borgarfjörður-Eystri in East-Iceland – Icelandic Folklore and lots of extra tales

The oldest turf outhouse in IcelandThe oldest turf outhouse in Iceland - Hesthúsið á Hólum in Kollsvík 

The oldest turf outhouse in Iceland – Hesthúsið á Hólum in Kollsvík 

By now we had arrived on the turf outhouse. It’s most probably the oldest turf outhouse in Iceland, courting again to 1650 – it’s the identical age because the Taj Mahal! Not less than the signal says so and I do not know of an older turf outhouse in Iceland than this one. 

This little turf outhouse is named Hesthúsið á Hólum or the Steady at Hólar. 

Hólar was the title of the farm in Kollsvík which was solely inhabited for some 50+ years and was deserted after the smallpox pandemic in 1707.

Inside the oldest turf outhouse in Iceland - Hesthúsið á Hólum in Kollsvík 

Contained in the oldest turf outhouse in Iceland – Hesthúsið á Hólum in Kollsvík 

After Hólar farm was deserted Láginúpur farm used this little turf outhouse for 300 years as a secure within the wintertime and a stall within the summertime. And from 1944 this turf outhouse was used as a smokehouse for meat and male lumpfish (data from the knowledge signal).

In 2010-2016 the farmers rebuilt the stall (the turf homes want fixed upkeep) and it’s now open to guests. You’ll be able to learn extra about it on the Kollsvík web site – Icelandic solely although – Hesthúsið á Hólum.A Visit to Kollsvík Cove in the Westfjords - the smallest Settlement in Iceland

The turf outhouse blends in nicely with nature

You’ll be able to see different small turf outhouses in Kollsvík, however I do not know after they have been constructed.

I’m a fan of turf homes and have written a travel-blog about all of the turf homes, turf sheds, and turf outhouses I’ve visited on my travels in Iceland: A Checklist of the attractive Icelandic Turf Homes, which I’ve visited on my Travels in Iceland.

Westfjord road sign with directions

The signal by street 612 – take street 615 for Kollsvík

We had a beautiful day in Kollsvík and I’d advocate a go to to this lovely place. I attempt to present you the off-the-beaten-path and less-visited areas in my travel-blogs in addition to the better-known and extra fashionable locations, and Kollsvík is for certain considered one of them.

Remember to signal the guestbook by the knowledge signal earlier than you permit Kollsvík 🙂

To succeed in Kollsvík cove flip from street 62 to street 612 which is the flip for the extremely popular Látrabjarg and Rauðasandur.

Flip proper from street 612 onto street 615 resulting in Hænuvík and Kollsvik coves, simply after you cross (or go to) the museum Hnjótur – Minjasafn Egils Ólafssonar, which I like to recommend visiting.

Have a beautiful time at Kollsvík within the lovely Westfjords 🙂



Sögur og sagnir 

Sagnagrunnur – Kollsvík



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