Moorland Jokuldalsheidi,

Hiking Trails Iceland


Saenautasel

Moorland Jokuldalsheidi


JOKULDALSHEIDI MOORLAND
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Lake fishing in Jokuldalsheidi:
Thrihyrningsvatn

Matbrunnavotn
Gripdeild

Thverarvatn
Hnuksvatn

Saenautavatn
Anavatn

This vast highland plateau lies 500-600 m above sea level and it is about 60 km long. The landscape is rather flat, alternating barren gravel hills, lakes, and vegetated marshlands. Around the middle of the 19th century poor people, who wanted to lead independent lives inhabited the plateau. Properties in the lowlands were too expensive. The ash from the 1875 eruption of the central volcano Askja and the difficult living conditions forced most of the families to abandon their livelihood.  The farm Saenautasel, originally built in 1863, was reconstructed and is open for visitors during summer, who are treated to coffee and Icelandic delicacies against payment.

There was no employment to be had elsewhere in the country and most of the people had to emigrate to North America. Two of the most prominent authors of the country, Halldor Laxness and Gunnar Gunnarsson, based some of their works on the experiences of those people.  The third popular author to base a novel on the hardships of the people living in the moorlands was Jon Trausti. The last farm to be abandoned in 1948 was Saenautasel.


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