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1.-24. December

The Yule Lads in Dimmuborgir Lake Mývatn

13 Yule Lads live in Iceland, the sons of the old trolls Grýla and Leppalúði. Grýla and Leppalúði keep a pet, a wicked cat, which may sometimes catch children. Grýla, who is big and formidable, was said to collect the naughty children in a sack and take them home to eat for Christmas dinner. If a child is naughty, Grýla finds out immediately. Grýla can't lay her hands on good children.

An old tradition in Iceland is, that 13 days prior to Christmas the Yule Lads start coming down from the mountain one each night. Children in Iceland place their best shoe on their windowsill before going to bed and each night a little gift is left in the shoe from the Yule lad that came down from the mountain that night. If the child has been misbehaving, there might be a raw potato left instead.

The Yule Lads aren't as mean as their parents but they aren't very well-mannered either. The Icelandic Christmas season begins on December 12th, when Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod) descends from the mountains. The last one, Kertasníkir (Candle-Stealer) arrives on Aðfangadagur, Christmas day on the 24th of December. Then they leave again to the mountains, one by one in the same order until the last one, Kertasníkir leaves on the last day of Christmas, January 6th.

The Yule Lads have made Dimmuborgir their home. Dimmuborgir is an enchanting area to explore on a nice summer day. Visiting Dimmuborgir at Christmas time, however, is truly magical. The landscape takes on a different look in its winter garb and that is the time when the Icelandic Yule Lads who reside in Dimmuborgir become active. Visiting them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience for children of all ages. 

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GPS points
N65° 36' 10.141" W16° 55' 42.254"
Location
Dimmuborgir, Geiteyjarströnd, Mývatn

North Iceland

Towns & Villages

Society and the economy have many faces. Whereas agriculture is the mainstay of rural areas, the towns depend upon fishing, industry, trade and a range of services, with each village having its own characteristics though they all prove hospitable hosts. 
The availability of food and accommodation and the possibilities at every location for recreation and entertainment make hopping between the villages informative as well as fun.   
In every case, the residents are lively and ready to celebrate.

Explore map with pictures

Map Akureyri Eyjafjarðarsveit Grímsey Raufarhöfn Kópasker Þórshöfn Bakkafjörður Húsavík Mývatn Laugar Svalbarðseyri Grenivík Hjalteyri Hauganes Árskógssandur Dalvík Hrísey Ólafsfjörður Siglufjörður Hofsós Hólar Varmahlíð Sauðárkrókur Skagaströnd Blöndós Hvammstangi Laugarbakki Borðeyri