Two cottages that sleep three and four people (Kvíaholt 2; 36m2 and Kvíaholt 1; 46 m2). Both have two bedrooms, and the larger cottage also has a loft with mattresses. Each house has a sitting room with a TV, a dining room, kitchenette and bathroom, as well as a furnished porch with a hot tub. Reception at the farm.
Guests prepare all meals. Both houses have good cooking facilities. The nearest supermarkets and restaurants are in town Blönduós (12 km /7.5 mi).
Service and recreation
Stóra-Giljá is a good option for those who want to tour the region. Hiking routes. Swimming pools at Húnavellir (8 km / 5 mi) and in Blönduós (12 km / 7.5 mi), where you will also find a nine-hole golf course (par 35). For riding tours, head to Gauksmýri (36 km / 22 mi). Blönduós is the nearest town, where you’ll find supermarkets, restaurants and various tourism services.
Christianity adopted in Iceland
Stóra-Giljá is a significant location in Iceland’s history, as it was the birthplace of one Þorvaldur víðförli (Þorvaldur the well-travelled), who was the first known Icelandic missionary. He arrived in Iceland in 980 AD to preach to the locals, and according to historical research, all inhabitants at Stóra-Giljá assumed the Christian faith that year, 20 years before Iceland’s Althing officially declared Christianity the official religion. You can see a memorial erected in Þorvaldur’s honour close to the cottages. According to legend, Þorvaldur met his maker in Kiev in the Ukraine.
Listen to the waterfall in Giljárgil Canyon
Just along Giljárgil canyon, where the river after which the farm was named flows, is a marked hiking trail. Along it are many beautiful spots where you can enjoy the sounds of the river’s waterfalls. You can see far and wide over the region from the farm, both inland and towards the shore.
Þingeyrar – a cultural centre during the Middle Ages
Just across Stóra-Giljá, on the other side of lake Húnavatn, is another significant historical site, Þingeyrar (13 km / 8 mi). A convent was established here in 1133 that became the region’s centre for culture and book-production. Several manuscripts produced at Þingeyrar have survived, and scholars believe that some of Iceland’s Sagas, as well as some King’s Sagas that tell stories of Norse Kings, were written here. There’s a stonewall church at Þingeyrar, probably built between 1864 and 1877, which is open to the public during the summer season. At the small service centre by the church, Klausturstofa, guests can learn about Þingeyrar and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Iceland’s last execution
Just south of Stóra-Giljá is valley Vatnsdalur. Vatnsdalshólar, the hills that are a prominent feature by the valley’s mouth, are among the three things in Iceland that are said to be uncountable. At the hill’s far west are Þrístapar, where Iceland’s last execution took place (January 12th, 1830).
Handicrafts, sea ice and outlaws
Town Blönduós (12 km / 7.5 mi) is the region’s service centre. It’s a small town by the mouth of glacial river Blanda. There are many interesting museums and exhibitions in the town such as the country’s only Textile Museum, as well as the Sea Ice Exhibition Centre. You can also visit Eyvindarstofa, a restaurant where guests can also learn about the history of Iceland’s outlaws.
Hosts: Sigurveig and Sigmar