Just 15 minutes northeast of Reykjavik, the town of Mosfellsbaer is perfect for outdoor lovers, with well-marked biking and walking paths along the coastline which connect to trails in Reykjavik. Mosfellsbaer’s beautiful nature is perfect for horseback riding, playing golf, and fishing for trout and char in the small lakes.

Besides offering natural beauty, the town has an emerging arts district, Alafosskvos, where former wool factory buildings have been converted into workshops, galleries and sound studios. During weekends out-of-towners flock to Mosfellsbaer to shop at the Alafoss factory outlet with its artisanal handiworks and to peruse the organic farmers’ market selling greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables, flowers and locally made gourmet products.

The attraction that has put Mosfellsbaer most prominently on the map is the former home of Nobel laureate Halldor Laxness (1902-1998) that also serves as a museum. Known as Gljufrasteinn, the museum is dedicated to the writer’s life. Laxness penned 62 books and won the Nobel Prize for his book, ‘Independent People’ in 1955.