Overland routes from Reykjavík to all points in west Iceland pass through this region, which draws many historically-minded travelers. Borgarnes has an engaging new museum on the twin themes of the first settlers in Iceland and Egils Saga, a classic of medieval European literature. Saga enthusiasts also make pilgrimages to Reykholt, once the residence of Snorri Sturluson, the most prominent historical figure of Iceland's saga-writing age. Today the settlement is a cluster of buildings anchored by Snorrastofa, a research institute and museum dealing in medieval Iceland and Sturluson’s literary works. An 1887 church is charmingly restored, though a 1996 church has taken over its functions, including the Reykholt Music Festival (mainly classical) held around the last weekend of July (www.reykholtshatid.is). Farther inland are two of Iceland's most extensive lava caves, Surtshellir and Víðgelmir. From here, an alternate route south to Þingvellir passes between glacier-capped mountains for a taste of Iceland's starkly beautiful interior.
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