Sheep Roundup in Iceland in Full Swing Skip to content

Sheep Roundup in Iceland in Full Swing

In the autumn farmers bring their sheep back from the mountains where they have spent the summer. This event is known as göngur and is followed by réttir, the sheep roundup, which has become quite a tourist attraction.

Réttir at Mývatn. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The spectacle began in the Hlídarrétt sheepfold near lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland in the last weekend of August where more than 2,000 sheep were sorted, sent to the slaughterhouse or back to their respective farms, mbl.is reported.

The réttir season then reached a height on September 6 in Audkúlurétt by lake Svínavatn in northwest Iceland, at the largest roundup in the country with 12,000-15,000 sheep, according to ruv.is.

Tomorrow, September 20, at noon, réttir will be held in two places in the capital region: in Fossvallarétt vid Laekjarbotna, which is located by the Ring Road, highway number 1, leading from Reykjavík to Vík (you turn right shortly after exiting the city—keep a lookout for lots of cars, people and sheep) and in Hradastadarétt in Mosfellsdalur, near road number 36 leading from Mosfellsbaer to Thingvellir.

According to a listing by bbl.is, the online version of the Farmers’ Newspaper, réttir will also take place in various other locations in Iceland this weekend. Click here to take a look at the list (which is rather self-explanatory despite being in Icelandic), also including stódréttir, horse roundups.

The last sheep roundup this fall takes place in Hólmarétt in Hördudalur valley in Dalabyggd municipality in west Iceland on September 27.

Click here to watch an audio slideshow of the sheep roundup in Fossvallarétt in 2007.

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