Home Iceland The county Austur-Saftafellssýsla

The county Austur-Saftafellssýsla

The town Höfn and surrounding The county Austur-Saftafellssýsla is located in south-east Iceland, right by the glacier Vatnajökull which is the largest glacier in Europe. Most of our group in the AER project come from Höfn which is the biggest town in the south-east of Iceland. The population in the county Austur-Skaftafellssýsla’s has remained the same for the last years or around 2200 people and thereof 1600 in the town Höfn. A large part of the county is a part of the National park Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður which is the largest national park in Europe and covers about 15.000 square kilometers.

humarlogoAlthough the town Höfn isn’t a very populated town it still has a decently active community which is most noticeable during an event called Humarhátíðin or Lobster festival, a cultural highlight of the town held on the first weekend of July. Although it was first set to be a cultural highlight of the town today the Lobster festival has been described by many as an “eating” and "drinking” festival where the lobster is at the forefront.

The town is mainly divided in to two economic activities, fishing and tourism, the superior one being fishing. Skinney-Þinganes is the main fishing company in the county and works on both fishing and producing all kind of fish but the most famous is probably  the lobster.

skaftafellThe tourism in the county has been growing considerably during the last years. It is estimated that over 200.000 guests visit the area every year. The most popular places are the national park Skaftafell and the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón. It is possible to go hiking at many places in the district. Hiking trips on glaciers are possible both in the mountains and as well as on the glaciers. For example it is possible take a trip to Hvannadalshnjúkur which is the highest peak in Iceland, 2110 meters.svartifoss

About 50 minute drive west from Höfn is the Glacier Lagoon. There are always a lot of icebergs on the lake and it is often possible to see seals swimming around.
The county Austur-Skaftafellssýsla has been the provider for movie scenes from such movies as Batman Begins, Tomb raider and probably the most known, James Bond; Die another day and A view to a kill. This coming November the TV series Game of Thrones is going to use the county as a backdrop for it seceond season.

nordurljosThe northern lights are quite frequent in Iceland and can be seen from September to April and mostly in a cold and clear weather.

Written by Júlían  and Lydía