This cove is framed with impressive and precipitous mountains and well-vegetated lowland areas.
It was named after a wooden vessel built there during the Age of Settlement or the great volume of driftwood on its shores. Mt Reykjaneshyrna with its precipitous northern face rising from the sea and gradual and easily ascendable southern slopes decorates the landscape on the southern side of the mouth of the cove. On a fine day the view from up there is excellent. The cave Thordarhellir is situated in the eastern part of the mountain.
Farm Stora-Avik is just west of Mt Reykjahyrna. A prominent, silver coloured granite rock, weighing several tons, was transported there by an iceberg from Greenland when the sea level stood considerably higher than nowadays. This rock is called Grasteinn (Grey Boulder) or Silfursteinn (Silver Boulder). It stands close to the cove Kistuvogur and the wide and deep chasm Kistugja, where three sorcerers were burned at the stake in 1654. Those men were believed to have caused scandalous behaviour by the women attending services in the Arnes church by witchcraft.
Farm Finnbogastadir is to the west of farm Stora-Avik. During summer the school buildings there are used as sleeping bag accommodations for travellers and the local camping grounds are there as well. The farmers of Finnbogastadir operated an important shark fishing outfit until the beginning of the 20th century. Large liver oil processing pots and a large, wooden liver oil barrel from this operation are on display in the Folk Museum Reykir on the Hruta Bay. The farm was named after the Saga personality Finnbogi Rammi (The Strong). Mt Finnbogastadafjall protrudes in the background.
Farm Baer is situated to the southwest of farm Finnbogastadir. An old cemetery on the property was declared inviolate. The farm has no direct access to the sea and thus neither rights to the driftwood nor other things of value on the coastline, which was a great disadvantage. Island Arnesey, just off
the coast, was a great asset because of the eider colony there.
It is best known for its role in the preparations for the only sea-battle ever fought in the country in 1244. According to the so-called Sturlunga Saga, Kolbeinn the Young Arnorsson, set off with his fleet of 400 strong from Cove Selvik and headed for the Westfiords, where he expected to find his enemy, Thordur kakali, and beat him in a battle. Thordur, had the same idea, and their fleets met on the Hunafloi Gulf, where the only sea battle of the country’s history took place in 1244. Kolbeinn the Young returned as the victor.
On the Baer property is the handicraft house Kort, where local craftsmen sell their products, mostly made of driftwood.
Two ancient bridle paths, also used for hiking, continue up the Arnes Valley to the Reykjarfjordur Bay.
The two farms, Small and Big Avik, are on Cove Trekyllisvik. Behind Mt Saetrafjall and the farms is Valley Avikurdalur. A short distance from the home meadows of Big Avik is a big granite stone, which was probably carried to the country with ice flows from Greenland or an other granite country nearby during the ice age. It is called the Silverstone.
Finnbogastaðaskoli, 523 Finnbogastaðir
Photo Credit: Strandir.is