The Bustarfell Museum

Date 17 February 2019

The Bustarfell Museum

The Bustarfell Museum

As you turn off Road number 1 towards the Eastern Fjords, Road 85 will take you directly to the charming village of Vopnafjörður. 

About twenty kilometers before you reach Vopnafjörður there is an exit onto Road 919 for the Bustarfell Museum. This unique site is one of the last peat farms in East Iceland, and the place is so authentic it feels like stepping out of a time capsule.

Bustarfell: A treasured heritage

Musée Bustarfell

Now under the protection of the National Museum of Iceland, the farms were originally built in 1770. Numerous elements were protected over the years, some relics donated by Elín Methúsalemsdóttir in 1982, others directly by the farmer Bustarfell Methúsalemsson in the late 1960s.

Much like the Skogar Museum in South Iceland, or Laufas in North Akureyri, Bustarfell museum represents a slice of rural life in Iceland rich history. The entire farm's 17 houses retrace 200 years of local history.

People were living in these houses until as late as 1966. Bustarfell is now a very active heritage museum and hosts regular workshops to commemorate the methods and know-how of local townsfolk.

As in Laufas, the floor inside the houses is hard-packed earth, and you'll see period furniture and countless relics, including some moving historic photographs.

Each room on the farm tells its own story: baejardyr (entrance hall), badstofa (living room), skemma or skali (hangars), hlada (warehouse), a palli hjonahus (master bedrooms upstairs), eldhus (kitchens)...

Fascinating is the clear distinction in lifestyle changes over time, with the reconstruction in the mid-20th century. The oldest rooms originally date back to 1770, but some are much more recent, dated in the 1960s.

Just behind the farm is Café Croft, a lovely place to recharge your batteries. The owner will surely recommend the short hiking trail up a nearby hill that takes you to “the Stone of the Elf Woman” (Elf-Rock, Álfkonusteinn). To reach it you'll have to drive 5 minutes on a trail to a riverside with a great view of the Þuríðarfoss waterfall in the distance, this is where you have to park to start the short 30-minute hike to the rock.

The Bustarfell Museum is not open all year round but only from June 10th to September 10th from 10AM to 5PM.

Prices in 2019 are as follows:

  • Adults: 900 kr
  • Children 9–12 years: 200 kr
  • Children under 12: Free 
  • Group rate: 700 kr