Iceland is the home of some very scenic landscapes — but trees are essentially not a natural part of those landscapes, which is why Hofði: an unusual forested nature preserve in Iceland on a peninsula in Lake Mývatn especially stands out.
Hofði: An Unusual Forested Nature Preserve in Iceland
The peninsula was once as barren as most of the rest of the landscape in Iceland — until Héðinn Valdimarsson and his wife Guðrún Pálsdóttir planted thousands of trees and other types of flora, flowers, and vegetation during their summer holidays over the years after they purchased Höfði sometime around 1930.
Höfði is easily traversed by walking on the narrow dirt pathways lined with stones through the small forest along the peninsula. The needles of the spruce trees felt quite soft to the touch rather than stiff and spiny.
Views of Lava Pillars in Lake Mývatn
Walk along the scenic pathways of Höfði and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Mývatn and the surrounding areas, which look more like the landscape for which Iceland is typically known.
Héðinn Valdimarsson — who was a member of Parliament of Iceland for Reykjavík between 1926 and 1942 — died on Sunday, September 12, 1948. Guðrún Pálsdóttir donated the transformed beautiful green peninsula to the country in 1970 in loving memory of her husband.
The free-standing pillars of hardened lava formations in Kálfastrandarvogar cove of Lake Mývatn are known as Klasar.
The area of Kálfastrandarvogar cove with the outcroppings of hardened lava pillars was purportedly one of the film locations for the HBO series Game of Thrones.
As a result of the aforementioned donation, Höfði is open to the public to enjoy its peaceful and quiet setting with unique views.
The turquoise colors in the lake were especially striking in the shadows of the water.
This particular pillar of hardened lava resembled a woman who was seated at her desk and working on her computer.
From the furthest point of the Höfði peninsula, you will be treated to a different view of the pillars of hardened lava in Lake Mývatn.
Final Boarding Call
When I visited Hofði, few other people were there — which seemed like I had the place to myself when I was there.
Hofði is located on highway 848 along the southeastern shore of Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland. Set aside at least six hours to drive there by car, as Hofði is at least 465 kilometers from Reykjavik. Fortunately, the region surrounding Lake Mývatn offers other things to see and do.
Hofði is open to the public 24 hours per day, seven days per week — but it has no visitor center.
No admission fee is charged. Parking vehicles is free. Enter Hofði through a gate from the parking lot. No facilities are available; so plan accordingly.
Please click here for links to additional articles of my experiences in Iceland via this Iceland: Itinerary and Master Guide.
All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.