- An attractive town -
Borgarnes is an attractive town with a population of about 2000, located 70 kilometres west of Reykjavík on National Highway No. 1 (the “ring road”), which extends all the way around Iceland. The distance to Leifsstöð (Keflavík International Airport) is 120 kilometres (see map).
Borgarnes is the centre for trade and services in the Borgarfjörður area and has been so since the late 19th century when the town began to be built. In Borgarnes there is, amongst other things, a museum, a three-star hotel and a large outdoor swimming pool with hot pools. There are also many opportunities for outdoor recreation in the area (see map of Borgarnes).
Borgarnes is situated on a small peninsula from which the town takes its name. This peninsula, originally called Digranes, is first mentioned in Egilssaga, as the place where the coffin of Kveld-Úlfur, father of Skalla-Grímur, was washed ashore. Skalla-Grímur settled at Borg, close to where the coffin had landed and one of his travelling companions, Grani, made his home, Granastaðir, on Digranes and thus became Borgarnes´ first inhabitant. Several historical sites mentioned in Egilssaga are to be found in the town and its immediate vicinity. The Borgarfjörður area features in several Sagas besides Egilssaga, including Bjarnar saga Hítdælakappa, Hænsa-Þóris saga and Gunnlaugs saga Ormstungu.
Two university-level institutions are situated in the Borgarfjörður district: Bifröst School of Business and the Agricultural College at Hvanneyri . In addition, Snorrastofa in Reykholt dedicated to the writer, historian and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, is a European centre for research in medieval literature. Borgarnes is only a short distance from the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the large hot spring Deildartunguhver, the waterfalls at Hraunfossar, the forest of Húsafell, the cave Surtshellir, and Langjökull glacier.