Located just 40 minutes by car and six minutes from Keflavík International Airport, Sandgerði (“Sandy Hedge”) is a growing town of 1,700 with a storied history and loads to see. Read this special promotion about the hidden secrets of one of Iceland's most charming seaside villages.
As the name indicates, the soil in Sandgerði is sandy and not optimal for cultivation, so the main industry is fishing. Soil erosion was prevented by planting lyme grass and constructing a large protective wall by the seaside in the early 20th century.
At the nearby Hvalsnes, a former parish, Iceland’s most treasured psalm writer, Hallgrímur Pétursson, after whom Reykjavík’s Hallgrímskirkja Church was named, served as priest for the first time between 1644 and 1651.
The fiercest flood in Iceland’s history wiped out the nearby village of Básendi in 1799. An elderly woman drowned in the flood but the remaining inhabitants barely managed to save themselves by climbing a heath. Another tragedy took place in 1928 when the trawler Jón Forseti (“President Jón”), the first trawler specifically constructed for Iceland’s rough seas, sank off Stafnsnes.
As it would happen, Iceland’s first gunfight took place in 1551 in nearby Másbúdarhólmi, a few minutes from Sangerði, when a group of Catholics were hoping to avenge Bishop Jón Arason, who was executed in 1550 for refusing to further the progress of Lutheranism in Iceland.
Not to worry, the fiery action has subsided considerably in the last 400 years and what remains today are the same beautiful views with some great galleries and museums to boot.
Accommodation and tourist services:
- Summer houses for rent at Thóroddsstadir (Tel: +354-423-7748, +354-8937523)
- Travel agency Hópferdir Saevars (Tel: +354-4217353)
- Car repair services (Strandgötu 4, Tel: +354-4212005; Sjávargötu 3, Tel +354-4237660)
- Vitinn restaurant (Hafnargötu 4, Tel: +354-4237755)
- Mamma Mía restaurant (Tjarnagötu 6, Tel: +354-4237377)
- Strax grocery store (Miðnestorgi 1, +354-4237410)
- Shell petrol station (Strandgötu 15, +354-4237650)
- Hafnarvídeó video store (Vitatorgi 9, +354-4237878)
Attractions/places of interest:
- The Attraction of the Poles an exhibition dedicated to the French polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot at the Fræðasetur – the Nature Center – (Garðvegi 1, Tel: +354-4237551)
- Life By the Open Sea at the Nature Center, May to end August
- Sandgerði Festival, late August
For further information visit sandgerdi.is or call the Nature Center, Tel: +354-4237551.
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