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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Hella small village on the south shore


Hella town center is by the Ring Road nr. 1
Hella town center is by the Ring Road nr. 1

Hella is a small village located by the river Ytri-Rangá on the Ring Road in the Southern Region of Iceland, approximately 100 kilometers east of Reykjavík. It is one of a handful of towns or villages in Iceland that are inland and traces its origin to trading and agriculture and has nothing to do with fishing and fish processing. It is a relatively new community that developed in the middle of the last century.

Hella is on the south coast on the map of Iceland
Hella is on the south coast on the map of Iceland

A product of a local Coop Society

Homes in Hella are mostly sigle family houses
Homes in Hella are mostly sigle family houses

An entrepreneur in trading built their first house in the late twenties and started his business, and opened a store. About a decade later, a local Coop Society purchased his store and took over his commercial activity. The coop community quickly developed into other areas of business, as was often the case in rural areas in Iceland, and gained immense influence in the area. It even became a springboard for the manager, Ingólfur Jónsson, to obtain political power and later become a minister in the Icelandic government for the Independent party in the sixties. Because of his political grip on the small village and neighboring farmers, he was often referred to as the owner of Hella. With all the activity in new ventures and services during the fifties, the town started to develop, and new buildings popped up.


A growing village with increasing emphasis on tourism.

Campsite in Hella village
Campsite in Hella village

Today Hella is a growing community with an emphasis on service and tourism. The influence of the local Coop Society has diminished as more people participate in the local economy. The municipality offers excellent service to its residents, and most of the infrastructure was built in the time between the fifties and the nineties, like schools, a community center, a sports center, a swimming pool, a preschool, and an administrative building. Most of the houses are single-family homes.


Managing the famous Highland natural wonder Landmannalaugar

Older part of the village Hella
Older part of the village Hella

Many interesting historical tourist attractions and natural wonders are neighbors of Hella, and part of its administrative duties is to manage and organize the famous tourist attraction on Nyðri Fjallabak, Landmannalaugar. Hella also offers a variety of accommodations and services to tourists and also has an excellent camping site with good facilities.


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