Hafnarfjördur is famous for having one of Iceland’s largest settlements of elves, dwarves and other mystical beings, which (translating from the Icelandic) are collectively called ‘Hidden Folk.’ Centuries-old folklore has it that whole clans of such beings reside in the rocks that make up part of the town’s centre. We do not doubt this at all.
Though elves are visible only to those with second sight, a great many Icelanders believe in their existence. Indeed, there is much evidence to support this belief, as stories abound of instances where new roads or housing developments were under construction and strange happenings took place.
Hidden Folk enjoy a certain regard, and nowhere more so than in Hafnarfjördur. There is even a Hidden Worlds tour that takes you to their home sites, stopping at places like Hellisgerdi park and the base of the cliff Hamarinn, which is said to be home to the Royal Family of the Hidden Folk. Along the way, the guide relates ancient folk tales of the magical hidden worlds and describes how the town grew and developed in harmony with the Hidden Folk.
A small shed at the Hafnarfjördur Museum now has a special display dedicated to Hafnarfjördur’s elves and hidden people. Also, local clairvoyant Erla Stefánsdóttir has prepared a map of the Hidden World as revealed to her by these unique residents. It is available from the Tourist Information Centre for anyone willing to venture a visit to those otherworldly lands.
GUIDED ‘HIDDEN WORLDS’ TOURS
Scheduled tours: Tuesdays and Fridays at 14:30. At other times by request.
Price ISK 2,500.
Duration 11/2 hours. Hidden Worlds Map included.
Information and bookings: Tel: 694 2785
Hafnarfjördur has one of the richest elf and spirit population among all towns in Iceland. The lava is especially alive with them, with more than 20 types of dwarfs, four types of gnomes and all manner og elfin beings. The Tourist Information Centre now offers a map wich aim is to point out to people visiting Hafnarfjördur the best places to sit down and contemplate - linger for a while and feel nature - feel part of nature - feel nature within them, for nature´s hidden spirits are its inner manifestation, not to have faith in, but delight.
Read more in The Hidden Worlds Map, which you can buy here ( link available soon ).