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Hot dogs and volcanoes - what to see and do in Selfoss

By Sara McMahon

  • Hildur Gestsdóttir lives in Selfoss, South Iceland. Her favourite restaurant in the area is Fjöruborðið in Stokkseyri. Photo/Hildur Gestsdóttir

  • Ölfusá river. Grab a hot dog and take a stroll along the river. Photo/Stefán Karlsson

  • Þjórsá river. Hildur recommends a drive to Þjórsárdalur. Photo/GVA

  • Hekla volcano. Hildur appreciate being surrounded by mountains, from the town's landmark Mount Ingólfsfjall to Hekla volcano. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Hildur Gestsdóttir is a social worker and soon-to-be yoga teacher who resides in Selfoss with her husband and two sons. She first moved to the town at the age of fifteen but moved away after completing her secondary education to experience the world. After some years studying in Denmark, she and her husband returned home to Selfoss and started their family.


What is your favourite restaurant in the area:
“Without a doubt, Fjörborðið in Stokkseyri, a small village by the sea, only a ten-minute drive from Selfoss. They have simply the BEST langoustine in the world and a nice, relaxed atmosphere. After the meal, it’s great to take a short walk along the sea front.”

What is the best place for a good brunch:
“I haven´t found it yet, but I make a pretty good brunch myself. You are welcome to join us.”

Describe the perfect Sunday drive from Selfoss:
“The perfect Sunday drive from Selfoss would start with listening to Bon Iver and buying ice cream for the kids (and my husband) to keep everyone happy. Then we’d head to Þjórsárdalur, a valley close to the volcano Hekla, and one of my favourite places in Iceland. It only takes an hour and a half to drive from Selfoss to Þjórsárdalur. There’s a beautiful place called Gjáin (the Ravine), where you can hike and enjoy nature. There is also a waterfall called Hjálparfoss, which is beautiful. If you are interested in archaeology and history, you could visit the old Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, a reconstructed Viking-era farmstead.”

Mention two things people should absolutely not miss when visiting the area:
1) “I recommend you take a walk along the river, Ölfusá, and grab a hot dog with all the traditional trimmings (called “ein með öllu”) in Pylsuvagninn, which is located by the bridge.
2) “I also recommend you drop in to Kaffi Krús, a small café in Selfoss, and have a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.”

What would you do for a fun night out in Selfoss?
“I don’t go out much anymore! I mostly meet friends at home, eat good food and drink wine. But there are a few places (very few!) on the main street, so you can’t miss them if you want to check them out.”

Where would you go for some peace and quiet:
“I would recommend driving to either Stokkseyri or Eyrarbakki to take a nice long walk along the sea front.
Stokkseyri has a somewhat rocky beach (some people say it’s Iceland’s most beautiful beach), but the beach near Eyrarbakki has black sand and is also very beautiful. Take deep breaths, listen to music, or listen to your our own heartbeat while enjoying nature and the view.”

What is the best thing about living in Selfoss:
“The best thing here is the people, being close to family and friends. The short distance to everything is also nice. After living in Denmark, I really appreciate being surrounded by mountains again, from our landmark Mount Ingólfsfjall to Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull.” 

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