Iceland’s most well-known church is probably the towering Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik. However, it does not represent the architecture of most churches around the country. The earliest churches, which can be found in the countryside, are simply structured and made out of turf.
Stave Church on Heimaey
Travel to Iceland’s south coast, and you will find Heimaey, Westman archipelago’s largest island. There you will also find this traditional Norwegian-style stave church, which was a gift from Norway and was received in 2000 to commemorate the 1,000-year-anniversary of Christianity being adopted in Iceland. This style of the church is typical of the Viking era and inside you will find a replica of a medieval altarpiece.
Þingvellir Church in Þingvellir National Park
Flatey Island Church
This former church is now Iceland’s smallest library. The small wooden building built in 1926 is well-known as it used to house the Flateyjarbók, the largest medieval Icelandic manuscript. Made out of vellum, or calfskin, the manuscript was written around 1390 and includes many important sagas. As the island was once home to a large monastery, it has been presumed that the manuscript was written by priests.
Located next to an incredible beach on the south coast of Snæfelsnes, this church is frequently photographed and is a popular wedding location due to its minimal exterior painted completely black, which creates a sharp contrast to the mountains in the distance.
The church was built close to ancient church foundations, which are thought to be the oldest in the country. A Benedictine convent was founded in the town of Kirkjubaer, which means ‘Church Village’, in 1186 but was abolished in the mid-16th century. The Reverend Jon Steingrimsson is buried in the local cemetery with a prominent gravestone. It is said that during the Laki volcanic eruption in 1783, he gave a sermon that stopped the lava from overrunning the village.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.