Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft

Top choice in The Westfjords

The multilingual displays at this award-winning museum brilliantly convey dark, dramatic tales. Unlike the witches of New England's Salem trials, most of Iceland’s convicted witches were men. Often 'occult practices' were simply old Viking traditions or superstitions, but hidden grimoires (magic books) full of puzzling runic designs were proof enough for the local witch hunters (the area's elite) to burn around 20 souls (mostly peasants) at the stake. Don't miss the detailed descriptions of the spells, and the startling ‘necropants’.

The tourist information centre is located here, as is Restaurant Galdur.

Another part of the museum, a turf-roofed Sorcerer’s Cottage, lies up the coast in Bjarnarfjörður.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Westfjords attractions

1. Sheep Farming Museum

5.11 MILES

The small Sheep Farming Museum, 12km south of Hólmavík, details the region’s farming history through photos and artefacts.

2. Sorcerer’s Cottage

6.58 MILES

The three-room turf-roofed Sorcerer’s Cottage is part of the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Hólmavík and shows what living conditions were…

3. Kerling

6.63 MILES

Legend has it that this stumpy rock stack is the remains of a petrified troll and Uxi, her bull, is the formation out at sea near the island of Grímsey…

4. Gvenderlaug

6.64 MILES

Gvenderlaug is a landmark, 42°C miracle-producing pool (no bathing) that was blessed by the bishop Gvendur the Good in the 13th century and is now a…

5. The Factory

16.76 MILES

Crumbling plaster, towering chimneys and vast water tanks ensure Reykjarfjörður's old herring factory is an atmospheric place. The trappings of old…

6. White-Tailed Eagle Centre

18.79 MILES

The White-Tailed Eagle Centre highlights the attempts to increase the population of the struggling species, which peaked in 2011 at 66 nests. It also has…

7. Kört

21.61 MILES

Displays at this small museum cover fishing, farming and collected knick-knacks. Handicrafts are for sale and staff offer information about the area.

8. Reykhólar Tourist Office Museum

23.39 MILES

The well-managed tourist office has a little museum with antique boats, stuffed birds and a movie of local life in the 1950s and '60s. There's a small on…