150 km from Reykjavík down the famed Road number 1 lies the small village of Skogar and its 30 inhabitants. The village takes its name from the landscape that used to exist there, as it means “forest” in Icelandic.
This typical Icelandic village is a village like any other, but this one became a bit of a tourist hotspot being so easy to access, and home to the impressive and picturesque Skogafoss waterfall, of course, but it is also popular for its museum and hiking trails.
60 meters high and 25 meters wide, the superb waterfall lies along the Skoga River. The village actually has trails to a number of waterfalls, including Kvernufoss for example, but Skogafoss is the most impressive and well known of them. You can discover the other waterfalls of the Skoga on the way to Þórsmörk.
Skogafoss is regularly the canvas for one or even two rainbows that typically appear right over the lip. A local legend tells of a treasure chest hidden somewhere behind the fall, and that a local boy went searching for it once and could only retrieve the trunk handle. This handle is now on display in the Skogar Folk Museum.
Photo credit: AURELIO POLONI @fotolia
Opened in 1949, the Skogar folk museum is one of the most interesting in Iceland. Its rich collection of historical objects (nearly 6,000!) was put together by the late Þórđur Tómasson, the museum's original curator.
From authentic fishing tools to ancient manuscripts, there are fishing boats and farm tools and everyday objects that make this collection a window into the past. You can even tour a replica peat farm and church, each filled with items and furniture that speak of olden times. .
Another replica, based on a rural school, takes you back to early 20th century education. In 2002 a second museum opened its doors, the Transport Museum, covering the fascinating transition from horses and boats to the cars on roads we know today.
Not far from the museums is a brasserie and gift shop.
Opening hours vary depending on the time of year:
Skógasafn (Regional Folk Museum in Skógar)
Tel. (354) 487 8845. Fax: (354) 487 8848
The trek from Landmannalaugar to Skogar (see details in our dedicated article) is probably the most famous trail in Iceland (it can be done in both directions). The full trek is a 6-day affair, which can be reduced to 3 days to only do Skogar — Thorsmörk.
Our article linked above will give you all the information you need about one of the most beautiful treks in the country. But the main tip for this hike is that it's easier one way than the other, due to elevation, and we recommend the direction that ends in Skogar. The point of departure on this end of the trail starts behind the waterfall on the way to Fimmvörðuháls, a pass between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers.