Icelandic Travel Agency Wants to Stage Viking Shows Skip to content

Icelandic Travel Agency Wants to Stage Viking Shows

Viking Travel is keen to establish a Viking field in an empty lot in Skarfabakki by the harbor in Reykjavík and stage Viking shows to teach tourists more about the history of Iceland since before the last ice age, the settlement era in the 9th century AD and the Icelandic commonwealth, which ended in 1262.

From the medieval market which takes place at Gásir outside Akureyri every summer. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

“The idea is to have an exhibition area with tents where people in costumes show visitors how Vikings worked and teach them how to make various objects. Then people can practice using a bow and arrow, fencing and throwing an ax to a target,” Hermann Valsson of Viking Travel told Morgunbladid.

Valsson, a 50-year-old systems analyst, founded Viking Travel last year after he lost his job in 2008. “In this age you can forget about getting into that field again,” Valsson said.

Instead he took a course to become a ranger, worked one summer in the Vatnajökull National Park and then began studying tourism at the University of Iceland.

Last summer he invited tourists to participate in eventful trips in the area around lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland. He wore a Viking costume and taught travelers about Viking fighting techniques.

Then the idea for the Viking field was born, where the history and culture of early Icelanders is presented and recreated.

“I joined the Viking society Rimmugýgur to study and train and now I can split my calling card in two with an ax by throwing it at a distance of ten meters,” Valsson said. He makes Viking-style bows and shields himself.

“According to polls conducted by the Icelandic Tourist Board, 30 to 40 percent of tourists are eager to learn more about the country’s history and culture. People are fascinated by the Viking heritage so it is perfect to combine education and entertainment,” Valsson said.

Valsson has applied for permission from Faxaflóahafnir, the company in charge of the harbor area, to establish a Viking field at Skarfabakki.

“It would be operated throughout next summer and I would hire and train ten to 15 people. I understand that the unemployment rate is highest among 18 to 25-year-olds so I imagine it could be some sort of a working camp for young people,” Valsson said.

Click here to read more about unemployment in Iceland.

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