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Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn is a fishing village with 250 inhabitants and is also the most northerly community in Iceland. Because of its position, Raufarhöfn has the longest days in Iceland during the summer and the shortest ones in winter.

The Arctic Circle lies just off the coast and in the village an arctic henge is being prepared.

There is a good camping site with excellent facilities, including showers and electric hook-ups for caravans, tent trailers and camper vans. And for the youngest and most energetic members of the family there is a playground, situated close to the elementary school, and a sports centre beside the camping site.

In Raufarhöfn can be found all the basic services, such as a health centre, chemist's shop, food store, a bank, post office, petrol station, garage, hotel, pub, gallery, etc. And from the village it is possible to book a sail to take you north across the Arctic Circle.

There are many other pursuits which may tempt the visitor, for example bird watching, fishing by the harbour or in one of the many lakes and rivers, or going for a walk on Höfði or around the flatlands of Melrakkaslétta.

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Raufarhöfn
GPS Points N66° 27' 19.080" W15° 56' 46.192"
Postal codes

675

Population

250

Travel directory for Raufarhöfn

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Gallerý Ljósfang
Tourist Information Centres
  • Aðalbraut 26
  • 675 Raufarhöfn
  • 465-1115
Arctic Angling
Travel Agency
  • Hafnarbraut 2
  • 675 Raufarhöfn
  • 868-9771, 696-5942
The Arctic Henge at Raufarhöfn
Saga & Heritage
  • 465-1233

Others

Kaffi Ljósfang
Cafés
  • Aðalbraut 26
  • 675 Raufarhöfn
  • 845-9538
Gallerý Ljósfang
Tourist Information Centres
  • Aðalbraut 26
  • 675 Raufarhöfn
  • 465-1115
Nature
Arctic Henge

Set in Raufarhöfn, one of the most remote and northernmost villages in Iceland where the Arctic Circle lies just off the coast, the Arctic Henge (Heimskautsgerðið) is under construction. Similar to its ancient predecessor, Stonehenge, the Arctic Henge is like a huge sundial, aiming to capture the sunrays, cast shadows in precise locations and capture the light between aligned gateways.

History

Heimskautsgerðið (The Arctic-Henge) has it s roots in the innovators Erlingur Thoroddsen's speculations about the possibility to use endless vistas, where nothing obstructs the horizon, and the midnight sun. The idea to use the dwarf names from the eddic poem Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress) and modernize some aspects of the old world of the Sagas, soon became a part of these speculations. The first version of the idea is from 1998 but in 2004 it was finalized, with allusions to mythology and folklore, designed to interact with the unique natural light.

No one has been able to explain the dwarfs in the Völuspá, apart from Austri (East), Vestri (West), Norðri (North) and Suðri (South), who carry the sky. By connecting the names of the dwarfs to the season, as for example Bjartur (Bright) Blíður (Sweet) and Svásuður (Gengle) to the summer, it is possible to fit the names of the dwarfs to a yearly circle of 72 weeks. The year-circle of the dwarfs becomes a kind of almanac, where each dwarf controls a five day period. All the dwarfs have been given a role and they have all have their own personalities. This means that the dwarfs can be connected to birthdays and people can connect to their personal dwarf.

Around this made up world rises the Heimskautsgerði (Arctic-Henge) on the Melrakkaás (Foxhill) in Raufarhöfn. The Heimskautsgerði is around 50 meters in diameter, with 6 meter high gates that face the main directions. Between the gates is a high wall with a small opening at the top. Inside the circle stands 10 meter high column on four pillars. The column will be topped with cut prism-glass that splits up the sunlight unto the primary colors. The opening between the pillar look towards the main directions, so example the midnight sun can be seen from the south gate through the middle column and the north gate. The play of light and shadow will follow the time of the day. The openings on the wall will let in the sunrays so when the building is completed a sundial can be set up.

Inside the circle are 68 dwarfs who stand around a circular dwarf trail. Inside the trail is the polar star pointer, and does exactly what its name says. There you can also find the throne of the sun that is meant to be a place where the traveler can sit down to have his picture taken. Also a hall of rays, which is a sort of sanctuary between high columns, with one seat, where the guest can empty his mind an renew his energy. An altar of fire and water, that reminds us of the power of the elements, where events can be performed, for examples weddings, oath taking and so forth

Getting There

It´s about 130 km from Húsavík, but good roads all the way, so allow 1.5 hrs.
Follow the road 85 northeast out of Húsavík, past Ásbyrgi, taking the 874 road junction east just before Kópasker. Once in Raufarhöfn, you can´t miss the stones, looming impressively on the hill above the town. There is a short track to drive up, or you can walk if you prefer. Here is the route.

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 Hrafnagil 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