The Saga Center in Hvolsvollur is a museum housing an exhibition dedicated to the Njals Saga.
You can visit the Saga Center as part of a self-drive tour of Iceland. This seven-day self-drive tour of West Iceland and the South Coast is a great way to explore the area's highlights, and you can stop off at the village of Hvolsvollur to visit the Saga Center.
Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir.
Why Visit the Saga Center in Hvolsvollur?
The Saga Center is dedicated to one of the most famous sagas of Icelandic literature, the Njals Saga. This saga is also known as the Brennu-Njals Saga, the Story of Burnt Njall, or simply Njala.
The museum, which opened in 1997, explains the saga's story to visitors. There's also a tapestry that's currently being made to tell the story to future guests. You might be able to see some stitches being added to the enormous tapestry during your visit.
The center has a model of a Viking longhouse, with costumes and replica weapons for children to play with. Guests can also view a model of Thingvellir National Park as it would have looked in the year 1000 when the first Icelandic parliament gathered.
Visiting the Saga Center lets travelers learn more about Icelandic history and culture. Visitors can also see a small modern art gallery or purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.
What is the Njals Saga?
The Story of Burnt Njall is about a blood feud around 1000 AD. The saga was written down during the 13th century, and it's thought that the story's events happened around the village of Hvolsvollur.
The story is about a sage named Njall Thorgeirsson and a warrior named Gunnar Hamundarson. The two men were friends, but an argument between their wives led to a long feud.
Several friends and family members of the two men die during the story. However, the saga gets its name from the death of Njall, who died in a fire after his home was set alight. Njall's wife and children also died in the fire.
The Njals Saga is the longest of all Icelandic sagas, and many Icelanders believe it to be the finest example of historical Icelandic literature.
Where is the Saga Center?
The Saga Center is situated in the village of Hvolsvollur in South Iceland. The museum is currently set inside the Valhalla restaurant, which serves diner-style food such as burgers, ribs, and pulled pork.
The address of the restaurant is Hlidarvegur, 860. To reach the Saga Center and restaurant, take the Ring Road southeast out of Reykjavik and drive approximately 60 miles (around 100 kilometers). When you get to the town of Hvolsvollur, turn left. The restaurant and museum are on the right-hand side after about 380 yards (roughly 350 meters).
How to Visit the Saga Center
The opening hours at the Saga Center vary throughout the year. If you plan to visit, it's a good idea to reach out to the museum directly to find out when it's open.
The Valhalla restaurant is open daily from 17:00 to 22:00. Travelers who eat in the restaurant can enjoy free entry to the museum.
Other Sights Near the Saga Center
Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir.
Thanks to its convenient location near the Ring Road, several sights and attractions are within easy reach of the Saga Center.
The LAVA Center, also in Hvolsvollur, is a fantastic place to learn more about Iceland's development and the volcanic activity of the island nation. Book a one-hour tour of the Lava Center to coincide with your trip to the Saga Center.
The Gljufrabui waterfall is approximately 13 miles (around 22 kilometers) from the Saga Center. The famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall is under a mile (about one kilometer) from Gljufrabui, so you can easily visit both falls.