Bjarnahofn (Bjarnarhöfn) a taste of Cured Shark

Bjarnahofn (Bjarnarhöfn) a taste of Cured Shark

Quirky and authentic, Bjarnarhofn has a fascinating shark exhibition, where the farming family give a personal account of the family’s tradition of curing shark.

Deep-water Greenland sharks can live to 100 years – they are no longer hunted but are caught as bycatch. The flesh is toxic when fresh but by allowing it to rot the toxins are removed. 

You’ll be offered a taste of this Viking ‘superfood’, traditionally washed down with a swig of Brennivin, Icelandic schnapps otherwise known as the Black Death! The impressive lava flow you cross to reach Bjarnarhofn is known as Berserkjahraun, the ‘lava of the Berserks’.

The Berserks were two Swedish warriors who were employed by Bjarnarhöfn’s early settler to build a path through the lava. The job is done, the farmer invited them to a sauna in the lava and then murdered them with their weapons. 

One of the warriors had his eye on the farmer’s daughter. The Icelandic word ‘Berserkur’ means ‘bear-shirted’ - these warriors were known to fight with great ferocity.