Hallormsstaaskˇgur is the largest forest in Iceland. It is Located on the eastern bank of Lagarfljˇt River and has been protected since 1905. The forest holds 85 foreign as well as native tree species, the first one planted in 1903. The forest is a popular vacation area and a campsite by the lakeside at AtlavÝk Cove is very popular. The most common tree plant is the Birch that grows naturally in the forest but many different species have been planted.
When Iceland was first settled, a little more than 1100 years ago, according to old literature, the country was forested from the seashore and high up in the mountains. For various reasons, this forest has mostly disappeared. The settlers cut down some of the forests in need for fuel and building materials and grazing of livestock, sheep, cattle and horses can also be blamed. Volcanic eruptions have also taken their toll but in recent decades, efforts have been made in order to reverse the situation and every summer, millions of trees are planted in many suitable areas, where they thrive well and Hallormsstaur has become the center for re-afforestation and an experimental forestry research.
There are numerous hiking paths in Hallormsstaaskˇgur and many lovely spots for enjoying the beautiful nature with it┤s rich birdlife, but may species of birds nest in the forest.
About 25 kilometers to the north from Hallormsstaaskˇgur is Egilsstair, the largest town in east Iceland. It sits on the banks of Lake Lagarfljˇt and is a trade and service center for the surrounding farming district. Egilsstair has a population of about 3000 people.