Iceland Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Icelandic Goat

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Head aloft, it casts a wizened gaze across the smokey valley. Noble creature! With its shaggy coat, crooked horns, tortured cry and filthy rear-end, has creation ever seen an animal as majestic as the goat? Imagine our euphoria on discovering that Iceland has its very own indigenous breed!

One Happy Goatt

Near Reykholt is the Háafell Farm, home to the Geitfjársetur Íslands (the Goat Center of Iceland). This is one of the few places on the island which breeds Icelandic goats, and almost certainly your best chance to get up close and personal with them.

Iceland’s goat is a highly specialized breed which, like the Icelandic horse, has remained pure since the time of the settlement. Unlike the horse, however, the country’s goats have not thrived. Until recently, in fact, they were near extinction. Goats just never caught on as viable domestic animals in Iceland; sheep were favored for wool, and cows for milk. Despite the fine cashmere coat which is a highlight of the Icelandic goat, they’ve never been seriously bred.

At Háafell, we were able to enter the stable where a huge group was feeding. Immediately, one ran over to us, overjoyed to see humans. This was “Little Man”, the runt of the litter, who would follow us around during the rest of our visit. The other goats were almost as friendly, and really seemed to enjoy human contact. Not like stupid, bleating sheep. And goats are clever things. It took me about fifteen minutes to realize that Little Man wasn’t trying to cuddle, so much as looking for an excuse to get his mouth close to my delicious jacket.

The farm produces a wide range of goat-related products, such as cheeses and soaps enhanced with assorted, locally-grown Icelandic herbs. Sadly, like the goat itself, Háafell is struggling to stay afloat. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by. Talk to the owner, taste some cheese, and meet some of the cutest little creatures on the island.

Location on our Map – Geitfjársetur Íslands
Geitfjársetur Íslands – Website

-Not Far: Fosshotel In Reykholt

Goat Farm
Icelandic Goat
Goat Buddies
Little Struppy Goat
Proud Icelandic Goat
Baby Goat
Goat Petting
Iceland Goat Farm
Iceland Cat
Not a goat.
Iceland Girl
Old Goat
Goat Blog
Me and Little Man
Goat House
Rock Goat
Goat Cheeses
, , , , ,
September 30, 2013 at 10:17 am Comments (4)

The Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Upon arriving in the village of Árbær, I was amused by the men and women dressed in historical attire, toiling at tasks around the farm. But after an hour, I no longer registered their presence. And as the day progressed, I found myself worrying about the impending harvest back home. Would old Betsy survive another winter? Say, that’s a fetching wench. I wonder whither she brings that bucket of mead, and what her dowry may be. And then my cellphone rang, snapping me back into reality.

Tender Icelandic People

Found atop a hill overlooking Reykjavík, Árbær was once a real farm. But today it’s been converted into the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum, which aims to recreate an authentic historical setting. We joined a free tour of the grounds, led by a woman dressed as a comely maiden of days past. She told us about the history of the farm, while showing us into the minuscule house where over a dozen family members lived. We saw the the stable, the kitchen, the bedrooms, the toys the children would play with, and the tools their parents would use to knit.

And we saw people actually knitting. One of the coolest things about this museum is its large staff, who are there not only to help visitors, but to contribute to the historical ambiance. Passing by a house, you might see a bearded fellow on the porch working on a half-made sock. You’ll see girls tending the sheep, and others just hanging out having a chat.

Árbæjarsafn is a neat place, and does a wonderful job of conveying a sense of the past. For obvious reasons, it’s a little outside of the city center, but not hard to reach by bus, and completely worth the effort.

Location on our Iceland Map
Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum – Website

Great Hotels In Reykjavik

Open Air Museum Reykjavik
Retro Hipster Iceland
Iclendic Guide
Old Simi Iceland
Old House Iceland
Portraits Icelandic Man
Turf Hut Iceland
Turf Hut Reykjavik
Turf Church Iceland
Iceland Iron Stove
Knitting In Iceland
Icelandic Story Telling
Old Icelandic Shoes
Maria Image Iceland
Cutting Board Iceland
Milk Cans Iceland
Old Cabin Iceland
Butter Making Iceland
Petting Zoo Iceland
Iceland Cute Cow
Blark
Icelandic Chicken
Old Houses Reykjavik
Cute Cafe Iceland
Icelandic Gast Station
Little House Iceland
Classic Old Street Iceland
Old Traditional Dress Iceland GOLD
Iceland Cakes
, ,
September 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm Comments (0)
The Icelandic Goat Head aloft, it casts a wizened gaze across the smokey valley. Noble creature! With its shaggy coat, crooked horns, tortured cry and filthy rear-end, has creation ever seen an animal as majestic as the goat? Imagine our euphoria on discovering that Iceland has its very own indigenous breed!
For 91 Days