This remote area of land on the southern coast of Iceland is incorporated in the Capital Region (Reykjavík and greater areas), but is geographically detached from the rest of the region.

This is a zoomed-in version, with a label on the main attraction around the Krýsuvík volcanic system.

Is there a reason for not administrating it as part of the Southern Peninsula Region?

Edit: As no answer has been posted yet, I have sent an email to Iceland's Ministry of Transport and Local Government on this question; I will post an answer whenever they get back with the details.


2 Answers 2


I got an answer from the Ministry!!

The history is detailed in the following article: Krýsuvík kemst í eign Hafnarfjarðar published on 25 October 2019, which translates to Krýsuvík becomes the property of Hafnarfjörður.

Thus the area of Krýsuvík is incorporated in the Capital Region as Hafnarfjörður is one of its municipalities. Using Google Translate, this is the explanation:

Around 1930 it was difficult to farm around Hafnarfjörður; the townspeople were not self-sufficient in drinking milk and there was a shortage of pasture for sheep. No more arable land was obtained from Garðakirkjuland and other lands near the town were then being looked for. Krýsuvík was considered the most respectable and the town council of Hafnarfjörður wrote a letter to Einar Benediktsson in January 1933 and asked if the land in Krýsuvík or Herdísarvík was available for purchase. Two years later, the town had the option of buying Krýsuvík for ISK 50,000 and leased the land on voyages in 1935 for one year, with the intention of buying it later with data and quality.

By Act no. 11, 1 February 1936, the Treasury was authorized to expropriate lands in the jurisdiction of Hafnarfjörður and lands adjacent to Hafnarfjörður. After that, a great deal of controversy arose over the town's forthcoming purchase of the lands of Krýsuvík and Stóra-Nýjabær and the right of use. This went on for several years until the law was changed and law no. 101, effective 14 May 1940. It stated that Gullbringusýsla should receive its share of uncultivable pasture land in Krýsuvík and Stóra-Nýjabær for summer work for sheep according to an exchange agreement from 1 May 1939, but Hafnarfjörður would otherwise receive the lands with all the documents and benefits that came with them and should accompany them, with the exception of mining rights. On February 20, 1941, the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs issued a waiver for Krýsuvík to Hafnarfjörður.


If we look at a topographic map of the region:

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We see that the area of interest is hemmed in by mountains, which are probably lightly inhabited, if inhabited at all. Places where there are no significant human habitations are often left unincorporated and un-administered — or at least administered by the state, not a local municipality — which can make an otherwise contiguous political region seem broken up on maps. And the Grindavík region on the southern coast has a small population (3,300 people, according to Wikipedia), which makes it too small to constitute a political region of its own. Thus (I imagine) it is attached to the closest constituency which isn't considered part of the capital proper.

  • 2
    Do you have any source for this? It seems completely wrong... I'd be happy to be corrected though. Answers here are generally expected to be backed up. Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 8:37
  • @Charles1267: read the quote in the accepted answer, particularly the first paragraph. YOU'll see that my answer is essentially correct. Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 18:42
  • We must be reading different answers! Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 9:16
  • @Charles1267: No, we're looking at the same things with different mindsets. You're geared towards some 'official' or 'authoritative' statement: a "we did this because [...]" moment. I'm geared towards causal forces. When I see them talk about a lack of pasturage and arable land, I recognize that as a function of geography (a port town hemmed in by inhospitable mountains), and all the subsequent political maneuvers are predicated on that fact. Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 14:58

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