Borgarnes is a town in West Iceland about 75km north of Reykjavík, with a population of around 2000. It stands by a fjord called Borgarfjörður and is the centre of a vast municipality, Borgarbyggð.


While not traditionally a big tourist destination, Borgarnes is a town many people see on their travels in Iceland. This is because of its location on the Ring road between Reykjavík and North Iceland. In fact Icelanders themselves often don't know much more of the town other than its highway dining options. However, tourism has been growing in recent years with increased interest in the region's history. In fact, Borgarnes is a perfect getaway from Reykjavík: It only takes about an hour to get there, but the setting is completely different, much closer to what some people would term the "real" Iceland.

The name Borgarnes means "Borg peninsula" and refers to a farm of that name, Borg. Borg was the home of Egill Skallagrímsson, the titular character of Egil's saga.

Get in

Borgarnes lies on the ring road and is easily accessible by car. It's about an hours drive from Reykjavík, four hours from Akureyri. Borgarnes is also close to the junction where the road out to the Snæfellsnes peninsula splits off from the ring road and Stykkishólmur is just over an hour away by car. Between Reykjavík and Borgarnes there is a toll road, the tunnel under Hvalfjörður. The toll is 1000kr. each way for a normal car, but it's also possible to drive around the fjord adding just under an hour to your journey.

Several busses leave from BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík every day heading up to Borgarnes. Any northbound bus from Reykjavík should make a stop in Borgarnes. In addition, buses connect Borgarnes to Akureyri, Hólmavík and the towns on the north coast of Snæfellsnes.

Get around

Borgarnes is a small town and it can easily be explored on foot. There are no local buses or taxi companies.



Eat and drink

Because of its location on the ring road, Borgarnes has several fast food eateries in gas stations along the road. The Settlement Centre, The Center for Puppet Arts and Hotel Bru have restaurants. The local liquor store is at Borgarbraut 58-60 and it may be interesting to note that Reyka vodka is distilled in Borgarnes.


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Go next

Borgarnes is the principal town in a primarily agricultural region often simply called Borgarfjörður, after the fjord it stands by. It's a good base for visits to some of the historical sites in the area, such as Reykholt, or the natural phenomena which include Europe's largest hot spring, Deildartunguhver.

Slightly further afield, Snæfellsnes with all its wonders is easily accessible from Borgarnes. Heading east all the way through the valley at the end of the fjord will bring you to the Interior, and the glacier Langjökull.

Routes through Borgarnes

Akureyri Blönduós  N  S  Reykjavik

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