For centuries the farm lands in Öræfi were amongst the more isolated areas in the country. The glacial melts streaming from Vatnajökull glacier made it difficult to travel to and from the region. Öræfasveit is by some called in short, the Land between the sands, which refers to Skeiðarársandur in the west and Breiðamerkursandur in the east. In the region there are many glacial rivers streaming from the glaciers, the largest of them the Gígja River. In 1974 there was a bridge built over Skeiðará. It is the longest bridge in Iceland, measuring 904 m. The construction of the bridge marked a turning point in history for Öræfasveit, for the first time it´s isolation was broken and travelling to and from the area made possible. Serving travellers is a long standing tradition in Öræfi, but for centuries the gracious residents in the farm lands have greeted tired travellers and provided them with food and shelter before embarking on their journey through the magical lands of Öræfi once again.
For further information please take a look at our brochure :
» The land between the sands (pdf)
Öræfajökull glacier, the largest active volcano in Iceland, dominates the landscape above Hof. It´s peak Hvannadalshnjúkur measures 2110 m or about 6920 feet, and thus holds the title of being the highest peak in Iceland. Öræfajökull glacier is a part of Vatnajökull glacier and many valley glaciers derive from it. It´s volume is estimated around 70 cubic km. Öræfajökull glacier has erupted twice in historical time. In 1362 the volcano erupted explosively with devestating effect for the farm estates in the area which resulted in desertion of the dozens of estates due to massive flooding and tephra fall. Litla – Hérað, or Little – District, which was a flourishing farmland prior to the eruption, became a volcanic wastelad, and has been that way ever since and have been called Öræfi. The volcano erupted again in 1727 and the eruption was going on for almost one year. The damage was not as much as in the eruption in 1362.