"Berserkjahraun lava in Snæfellsnes." Top 5 Page for this destination Snæfellsnes- og Hnappadalssýsla Things to Do Tip by Regina1965
Snæfellsnes- og Hnappadalssýsla Things to Do: 56 reviews and 226 photos
There are several lava fields in Snæfellsnes, one of which is called Berserkjahraun or Berserk lava on the north-side of Snæfellsnes peninsula. Berserkjahraun lava is 4000-3600 years old. The lava stems from four differently sized scoria craters. It formed 2 beautiful lakes, one of which you can see if you visit the beautiful waterfall in Vatnaleið (see my tip).
The Viking Saga which happened in this area is depicted in Eyrbyggja Saga. It is a long story but a very short version of the story is that two berserks from Sweden, Halli and Leiknir, were killed here and buried by Styr the Slayer, after the berserks made a bridle path through the rugged lava field on his demand.
Styr´s brother, Vermundur hinn mjóvi in Bjarnarhöfn, had imported the beserks to Iceland in 962. But they were just too rampageous, so he couldn´t manage them and sent them to his brother.
Styr had he hands full trying to control the brothers. Halli then asked for Styr's daughter's hand in marriage and Styr said, after speaking to Chieftain Snorri Sturluson at Helgafell, that Halli could marry his daughter after the berserks finished making the path and a boundary fence across the lava. After they had made the path Styr killed the brothers.
So if you want to walk in Berserkjahraun lava field know that there are two berserks buried in it. And thus the name of the lava field - Berserkjahraun.
So here is the oldest man made road structure in Iceland, which builders are known.
Berserkjahraun is on the Natural history site register.
It is a vast and very rugged lava-field. I have only walked for a short while in it. I stopped by the shark sign and took a small walk. Walking in lava fields is a risky thing and should only be done by marked paths though.
Berserkjahraun stretches down to the ocean by Bjarnarhöfn and south-east of it you can see the path they made and a cairn has been found with the bones of two very large men (berserks).
Directions: By road 54 mid-way between Grundarfjörður and Stykkishólmur. Opposite the shark sign leading to the Shark-museum at Bjarnarhöfn (see my tip).
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