You may think the Vikings are people of the past, but in Iceland, hundreds of Vikings gather every June to celebrate their heritage at the Fjörukráin Viking Festival. Even if your ancestors never once crossed paths with the Norse seafarers, come join the festival from June 12-17 for concerts, battles, feasts, dances, and more!
The Fjörukráin Viking Festival is the oldest and largest celebration in all of Iceland. For 25 years, the festival has been held in the seaside town of Hafnarfjordur, which is just a 15 minute drive from Reykjavik. Visitors are invited to stay in Hlið, a fishermen’s village restaurant and lodge that overlooks the sea, or Hotel Viking, which has 42 luxurious rooms and 14 adorable cottages set up in a mini village. All six days of the festival are jam-packed with events like you’ve never seen before.
Every day during the festival, a Viking feast will be held at the restaurant Fjörugarðurinn. Viking meals at the feast include traditional dishes of shark, dried fish, braised lamb shank, fish soup, and some of the famed Icelandic aquavit, Brennivin, (also known as Black Death) on the side. And of course for dessert, Vikings would enjoy a bowl of skyr yogurt with blueberry sauce, an Icelandic favorite. At the Viking Restaurant, it is not uncommon that guests will be “kidnapped” by Vikings and the Norse god Thor. Think that sounds crazy? Just wait, there’s more…
There are many activities taking place during the Viking festival: a daily market, storytellings in a cave, a Viking school for children, and dances at the end of the night. But some events are downright, well, Viking. There will be several axe throwing and archery events, as well as mas-wrestling competitions. Several times a day, Viking “battles” will be held in which participants dressed in traditional Viking clothing fight to the “death.” It’s almost like watching Game of Thrones before your very eyes!
Music lovers can attend any of several concerts featuring Icelandic bands such as Hrafnagaldur, Vikingasveitin, and Krauka. On the 13th, the world’s strongest disabled man will be putting on a show. Check out the rest of the Festival’s events here.
The festival closes with one last battle, followed by a Viking feast, a closing ceremony around the fire, and finally, a Viking-style party that won’t end until the wee hours of the morning. With Reykjavik only a short car ride away, the beautiful sea as a backdrop before quaint villages, and unforgettable Viking culture, be sure to add this festival to your travel bucket list! Click here for complete details about the Fjörukráin Viking Festival!