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Region: West Iceland
Coordinates: 65.432379° N 21.802625° W

Gilsfjordur Bay branches towards east from the large Breidafiord Bay and its mouth has no fixed position, but could be placed between the peninsulas Tjaldanes and Kroksfjardarnes, reaching the island group called Akureyjar.

It is very shallow and during low tides it is dry land except for a narrow trench in its middle. The lowland stripes along the Gilsfiord Bay are very limited and a short and vegetated valley continues from its end.

Gilsfjordur Ogres
Once there were three night ogres, who intended to cut the Westjords from the mainland by digging a trench through the narrowest connection Sagas of Icelandbetween the Breidafjordur Bay and the Hunafloi Bay. For inspiration they decided to create as many islands on the bays as possible from the material at hand. They split forces and started the project, an ogre and an ogress on the west side and an ogress on the east side. The couple in the west dug out the Gilsfjordur Bay and put in their best effort. The Breidafjordur Bay is shallow and it was an easy task to dot it with islands. In the east, however, the Hunafloi Bay is deep and very little was accomplished in the creation of islands. This bay only became dotted with islets and skerries, which made the bay dangerous for navigation.

The three ogres slaved night and day, and one early morning they did not realize that day was braking and took to their heels to get home to their cave in time. The two in the west ran as fast as possible across the moorland Steinadalsheidi down into the lowlands of the Kollafjordur bay looking for shelter. They were struck by the first rays of the sun near the Kollafjordur peninsula, where they turned into stone on the cove called Drangavik after the incident. The rocks are very prominent from the main road.

The ogress working on the eastern side also forgot to keep track of time the same morning and sprinted north across the Steingrimsfjordur Bay and got as far as the cliffs at. There she looked across the Hunafloi Bay and realized, that she had not managed to create a single island. She was furious and struck the ground at Malarhorn at Drangsnes with her shovel and a piece of the coastline was cut off and sent flying onto the Steingrimsfjordur Bay where the island Grimsey was the result. At the north end of the island is a rock shaped like an ox and was named accordingly. Actually her own ox was standing on the piece of land she sent flying onto the bay and it also turned into stone. The ogre did not get much further herself, because she was turned into stone, where the hamlet Drangsnes is nowadays.

Gilsfjordur in Icelandic

Photo Credit: JuTa

Links in Gilsfjordur


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