Garðabær is a rapidly growing municipality in the Greater Reykjavík area of Iceland. It is the 6th largest town in Iceland and gained municipal rights in 1976.
The site of Garðabær has been inhabited since Iceland was first settled in the 9th century. Landnámabók, the Book of Settlement, tells of two farms on the site of Garðabær: Vífilsstaðir and Skúlastaðir. The former was named after Vífill, who was a slave of Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland. Ingólfuragave Vífill his freedom and he made his home at Vífilsstaðir. An arcehalogical excavation at Hofsstadir in Gardabaer uncovered ruins of a viking house, one of the largest one ever found in Iceland.
In Garðabær farming used to be the main occupation along with some fishing.
There are many nature reserves surrounding Garðabær and the scenery from various sites in Garðabær is phenomenal.
Bessastadir, the official residence of the president of Iceland, is a part of Gardabaer. Bessastadir was first settled in the year 1000 and served as Royal Norwegian stronghold for some time. Then it became a farm and a school, before being donated to the state in 1941. It served then as a residence for the regent and later the president.