Kirkjubæjarklaustur is a small village that lies just off the Ring Road and is the only place between Vík and Höfn which offers services, including a gas station. The main information centre and the gateway to the Vatnajökull National Park and Katla Global Geopark is located in the village and therefore it’s the perfect location to stay at while taking day tours to see many of Iceland’s best known natural treasures.
Now, we know that some Icelandic place names are hard to pronounce and Kirkjubæjarklaustur is definitely one of the most tongue-twisting location words. But don’t worry, the village is also often called ‘Klaustur’ for short. During earlier times the village was known as ‘Kirkjubær’ (Church Farm) and was an important farming ground and a nunnery but has now developed into a small village with 150 inhabitants and is the only village in the Skaftárhreppur district. Klaustur is very centrally located in the district and roads radiate from the village in all directions and it is, therefore, an ideal base when travelling around South Iceland.
There are heaps of natural treasures in the nearby surroundings of Klaustur. At the westernmost part of the village, you will find a beautiful waterfall called Systrafoss, running from a lake above the sea-worn cliffs with marked trails for fairly easy hikes. There is also an educational trail that leads around the nearby lowlands and includes a lovely geo site, Kirkjugólf (Church Floor). It’s a protected natural monument of basalt pillars, eroded and shaped by wind and waves and thus giving the appearance of a paved church floor. Other geo sites of the area include the Laki craters, the Eldgjá fissure, the moss covered Laki lava flow, Skaftáreldahraun lava field, and pseudo craters derived from the Eldgjá fissure eruption and much much more. All these beautiful attractions contribute to the popularity of Klaustur as a stopping point for travellers.
WHAT TO DO IN KIRKJUBÆJARKLAUSTUR?
KIRKJUBÆJARKLAUSTUR SWIMMING POOL
A brand new swimming pool was built in the spring of 2008. In addition to the main pool, there is also a children’s pool and a lovely hot tub with a massage. There is also a sports facility with a gym.