Laufskálavarða is a lava ridge, surrounded by stone cairns, between the Hólmsá and Skálmá Rivers, close to the road north of Álftaver. Travelers crossing the desert of Mýrdalssandur for the first time would pile stones up to make a cairn, which was supposed to bring them good fortune on their journey through this dangerous area.

Over time there were less stones available for travelers, so now the Icelandic Road Administration sees that there is always a good supply of rocks so that first time travelers can build their own small cairn for luck.  A word of advice though…. you may see other cairns along your travels; however,  Laufskálavarða is THE ONLY place where it is allowed to create a stone pile –  it is forbidden to create stone piles in all other places in Iceland.

You’ll find information on a sign there and what makes the area so dangerous when Katla erupts!