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Laugardalur Valley

Region: Reykjavik Area
Coordinates: 64.139357° N 21.862803° W

In 1871 the artist, Sigurdur Guðmundsson, introduced the idea of creating a sports and recreation area for the people of the capital in the small valley Sagas of Iceland‘Laugardalur’. He considered the valley an excellent place for forestation and cultivation of decorative flowers, where the townspeople could promenade and relax in leafy clearings. He was elected member of the town’s construction committee in 1869. His idea remained dormant until in 1943, when the Town Council agreed to start the preparations. The drainage of the quagmire in the valley was carried out in 1946. An electrician, Einar Hjartarson, had built a bungalow in the valley in 1929 and named it Laugardalur”, which was then carried over the whole area.

This man was very keen on forestation and began an extensive planting of trees to the west of the present Botanical Gardens, where some of the tallest trees of the capital are to be found. The municipality purchased the forested area in 1955, when it was the most comprehensive one within the town limits and has expanded it widely.


Reykjavik City HotelThe Reykjavik Hostel is a nice accommodation for individuals as well as groups. It is open all year round and its guests can select between rooms for two, four, six and eight persons, relax in the sitting room and watch television, cook in the kitchen and sit down to eat in the dining room and attend meetings or gatherings in the meeting hall. Those who do not want to bother about preparing breakfast can enjoy the buffet against a charge and meals can be arranged for groups. The reception is open around the clock. The information office and the office of The Icelandic Youth Hostels’ Federation are open during office hours on weekdays. For further information call 553-8110.


Laugardalur Botanical GardensReykjavik Botanic Garden is an outdoor collection of living plants. Its main role is to conserve plants for education, research and delight. The garden conserves some 5000 plant species in eight plant collections. The collections give an idea of the enormous diversity of vegetation in the northern temperate zone. In summer there is a variety of events in the Botanic Garden and group receptions are available throughout the year. Café Flora is open in the display greenhouse from May to September. The Café is popular and well known for its delicious treats with ingredients grown in the garden and served in beautiful surroundings.

The Botanical Gardens are open all year, but are of course most beautiful and blooming during summer. For further information call +354 411-8650


It is healthy to run or walk, show yourself and see others. The starting points of the tracks are by the swimming pool and the ice skating hall. Runners often use the facilities of the ice skating hall to change clothes during summer. The tracks are two to ten km long and clearly marked, which makes it easy to check your results and improvement every time you jog. Everyone can set his or her pace according to their physical fitness.


The Putting Greens, where people can test their aptitude for putting, are located near the artificial grass stadium. Clubs and balls can be borrowed at the Service Centre by the artificial grass stadium. It is ideal to enjoy this outdoor activity with a friend.


Swimmingpool LaugardalThe 50 m long swimming pool is among the largest in the country. It has facilities for every age group, for those who want to train, play or relax. There is a special pool for children with a 80 m long water slide. When the sun is shining, all kinds of toys are brought out to the pool side for the young guests. Among the special services offered are mud baths, sunlamps, exercise equipment and massage. Further information on opening hours and reservations can be obtained by calling 553-4039.


The Sports Centre is located just to the west of the Sports Hall. It accommodates the offices of The Iceland Sports Federation (ÍSÍ), The Reykjavik Sports Federation (ÍBR), The Youth Association of The Kjalarnes District (UMSK) and the various sports federations of ÍSÍ”. The Iceland Sports Federation supervises all sports activities in the country and renders information on most of them during office hours. It also operates two lotteries and a Sports Hotel in the same building. The Cafeteria in the Sport Centre is open between 08:00 and 24:00 during week days. For further information call ÍSÍ: 581-3377 or ÍBR: 553-5850.


Those who want to get better acquainted with the Icelandic domestic animals and their conduct should visit this garden. It does not only display domestic animals, but also species of wild Icelandic mammals and birds. The main goal of the garden is to educate and increase people’s interest in ecology and animal preservation. It is open all year round and further information on special events and opening hours can be obtained by calling 411-5900.


The YMCA and YWCA and the Christian Mission have their headquarters at Holtavegur”. These organizations operate in various ways, holding meetings and family gatherings for all age groups and organize educational, musical, and hobby activities in excellent harmony with other activities in the area. Those who seek recreation and enlightenment in good company are always welcome. For further information call 588-8899.


Laugardalur Camping GroundsThe camping grounds beside the swimming pool accommodate over 300 tents. It’s facilities and services are excellent. The visitors can wash their laundry, wash up their table ware, use the outdoors grills or cook in the kitchen of the service centre. Two huts, each for two persons in beds or more if they are used as sleeping bag accommodations, can be rented. The camping grounds are guarded around the clock during summer and the wardens supply information on city sightseeing and longer excursions.


Before the ice skating ring came into being, people went skating on the duck pond in the old centre of town. For years now people have been enjoying the artificial ice skating ring in the Laugardalur-valley. An ice skating hall has been constructed in co-operation between the municipal authorities and the Reykjavik Sports Federation (ÍBR), which is responsible for its operation. Nowadays you don’t have to bring your own skates, they are rented in the hall. The whole year round, people put on their skates and glide relaxed across the ice without any danger of falling through a hole in the ice and getting wet. For further information on opening hours call 588-9705 or ÍBR 553-5850.


The main stadium (Laugardalsvollur) fulfils the conditions of international regulations. The roofed galleries seat 7000 people and the stadium has a flood lightning. When the second gallery was constructed the older buildings were renovated. The National Soccer Federation (KSÍ), was responsible for the project according to a special contract with the municipal authorities. It has now moved its headquarters to the valley and operates the stadium. The Valbjarnar-Stadium” is mainly used by the third and forth soccer divisions for training. Soccer can be played all year round on the heated artificial grass stadium (flood lightning during winter). For further information call the following numbers: KSÍ for The Laugardals-Stadium 581-4444 and the artificial grass stadium 553-6634.


LaugardalshollinThe Sports Hall, Laugardalsholl”, frequently sounds of joy and excitement. It is a multipurpose building, where many sports activities, games, concerts, shows and trade fairs have taken place. It has often been an issue for the world press, i.e. during The World Chess Championship Match between Fisher and Spassky in 1972 and The World Handball Championship Games in 1995. For further information call 553-8990.


The Laundry Springs (Thvottalaugar) are situated near the Valbjarnar-Stadium”. Their history is depicted with texts and pictures on a sign. The women of Reykjavik washed their laundry in the hot springs for centuries. The cultural- and historical exhibition there is highly interesting.

Reykjavik Sightseeing bus hop on hop off stops at Laugardalur Valley

Laugardalurinn in Icelandic

Main Photo Credit: Visit Reykjavik

Nearby Laugardalur Valley

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Nearby Laugardalur Valley

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Nearby Laugardalur Valley

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