Here at our home on the farm of Möðrudalur in the northeastern Icelandic highlands, we (Elisabet Kristjansdottir and Vilhjalmur Vernharðsson) have now spent over a decade working in the tourist industry and establishing our services. It was in 1999 that Vilhjalmur founded our tourist company, Fjalladýrð, and fenced off a campground from the farm’s sheep and horses. Next he chose the historical site of the turf farmstead, which had long fallen into ruins, to construct new turf housing for accommodating anyone who wanted to spend the night indoors. The idea of the traditional turf style was to allow people to experience an old-time atmosphere to some extent, for one thing by sleeping in a bed closet. The restaurant and coffee house Fjallakaffi had already been established by Vilborg Vilhjálmsdóttir and Eðvald Jóhannsson in 1976. Vilborg was the first to operate it, but through the years others had taken over. At first, National Road No. 1, the Ring Road, went straight past Fjallakaffi, but when the road was about to be moved further north and east in 2001, the operator at the time, Ásta Sigurðardóttir, decided to sell her operations to Vilhjálmur. However, she and her predecessors had undeniably created an excellent reputation for Fjallakaffi by the time we took it over. In 2003, Vilhjalmur began to consider the construction of a new Fjallakaffi, convinced that it would also have to be built of turf and conform to the traditional gabled style of our accommodation buildings.Ever since, Vilhjálmur has been unstoppable in his turf construction campaign ☺, so that the number of Möðrudalur turf buildings has gradually increased, in step with our growing services to travellers.
Taking advantage of our location by the highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier and the irresistible atmosphere of those deserted wastes, we decided to make use of our personal interests and work experience and began to offer 4WD highland excursions from our farm. Our philosophy behind these trips is that travellers get to see and experience the magnificent nature that exists in the highlands, aided by local guides. Whether summer or winter, each customer can choose a trip with long or short hikes, coupled with the kind of sights they want to see.