Stong (Stöng) - A Viking Era Longhouse

Stong (Stöng) - A Viking Era Longhouse

To visit the excavated site of the original farm at Stong drive along Stangarvegur, road 327. The gravel road it is not well-maintained so extra care is needed. 

Please note that the route is closed in winter. Park by the toilets and take the footbridge over the river, following the path uphill to the covered remains.

The volcanic ash that covered the longhouse at Stong preserved it amazingly well. A roof has been placed over the ruins to protect them and after seeing the reconstruction at nearby Thjodveldisbaerinn it is even easier to relate to the people who lived here centuries ago. 

The farm was buried in a thick layer of ash during the 1104 eruption of Hekla which devastated the whole valley. Looking around on the valley floor you can see dunes of black ash stretching into the distance.

Like many others, the site was simply abandoned as livestock rearing became untenable. When it was excavated it provided vital evidence about the style of building at that time.

There is no charge to visit the farm ruins, but there isn't a lot to see either. You can just make out the stone outline of the building, its central fireplace and to one side a communal toilet area (with fresh water running through a trench). 

The men of the house would gather there in the morning to discuss important matters over their ablutions!

One of the farmers at Stong was named Gaukur – a man of importance as he had a saga written about him, but one which no longer exists. 

It is said he was rather fond of women and came to a sticky end when his neighbor objected to Gaukur’s affair with his wife.

From Stong, a path follows the river upstream to Gjain, a beautiful gorge with lush vegetation, small waterfalls, and interesting rock features. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk each way.