The town of Mosfellsbær is only a 15-minute drive from midtown Reykjavík. The district includes an area stretching to the Leiruvogur cove, which forms part of Kollafjörður fjord. Three rivers empty into the cove: Leirvogsá, Kaldakvísl and Varmá. Population 8,500.
Mosfellsbær provides numerous opportunities for outdoor and leisure activities. The proximity to untouched nature and beautiful sites is the town’s trademark, which is why many have chosen to live there – away from the hurly-burly of city living. And growing interest in healthy, outdoor life and athletics has been answered with the systematic development of outdoor recreational areas for residents, their guests and tourists.
Mosfellsbær lies just 17 km north of Reykjavík. Often called “the green town”, this town enjoys thermal activity and quite a few greenhouses have been built here. Since 1933 it has supplied the capital area with natural hot water for house heating, swimming pools etc. The mountainous area around the town is ideal for walks and hikes, skiing and fishing for trout and char in the small lakes.The Nobel Prize laureate for literature in 1955, Halldór Laxness (1902-1998), was the honorary citizen of the town. He lived there all his life and based some of his novels on his experiences and impressions of his surroundings.
The natural landscape of Mosfellsbær is rugged, and 80% of the district lies more than 100 metres above sea level. Hills such as Mosfell, Grímannsfell, Helgafell and Úlfarsfell, all 200-300 metres high, dominate the landscape; their slopes are grassy with screes. Two valleys lie between the hills, Mosfellsdalur and Reykjadalur. Most of the district’s population live in the latter valley. In 1900, the population of the Mosfellsbær district (then Mosfellssveit) was a mere 400, but the community has grown rapidly, especially in the latter half of the 20th century. Utilisation of geothermal resources, and development of a woollens industry, led to growth of the community. The population of the community has risen steadily in recent decades, and was of 5849 on 1. December 1999.
The area around the Athletic Centre at Varmá is one of the country’s best recreational areas. Emphasis is focused on catering to a variety of sports for children as well as adults.