Geologically speaking, the East Fjords are one of Iceland’s oldest areas and have the most diverse types of rocks and minerals. The magnificent exhibit of rocks at Petra’s Minerals Museum have been collected over a lifetime by its owner, Petra Sveinsdottir, and are on display in her house and garden. More than 90% of the minerals and semi-precious stones are from the surrounding Stodvarfjordur area.
Petra began building her mineral collection when she and her husband bought their house in 1946. For the first time in her life she had somewhere to store all her stones. Once Petra ran out of room in the house, she started arranging stones in her garden. Hence it became Petra’s Minerals, a superb exhibition of East Icelandic minerals and rocks.
In the 1950s, Petra’s collection had started attracting so much attention that travelers asked if they might take a look at it. People thought it was a strange hobby for a woman, and some locals told her that she should be doing more “productive” things, like baking bread or some other activity that was more suitable for a housewife. Petra said she could understand that it might be a little strange to spend so much time looking for stones, but she really did not care what others thought about it.
Petra’s Mineral Museum: a major tourist attraction
During the first few years of Petra’s Minerals Museum, most of the visitors were Icelanders traveling in the area. However, the number of visitors gradually grew, and people from other countries started visiting. It was not long before thousands of guests visited Petra’s home each year. Today Petra’s Stone Collection receives between twenty and thirty thousand visitors each year, and that makes Petra´s the most popular tourist destination in East Iceland. The stone collection and garden are interesting places to visit, and many of the stones are strikingly beautiful.
June – August: 10 am – 17 (5 pm)
GPS: 64.83547 N, -13.880521 W