Sólheimar is a village in southern Iceland, located about 80 km from Reykjavík. Founded in 1930 by Sesselja H. Sigmundsdóttir (1902-1974), it is the first community of its kind in the world, where so called able and disabled people live and work together. Sólheimar is also the first community in Scandinavia where organic cultivation is practised. Today Sólheimar is a village with 100 inhabitants, 40 of whom have disabilities, and spreads across an area of approximately 250 hectares.
Sólheimar prides itself on its varied cultural, social and sport activities. The premises include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, convenience store, gallery and gymnasium. A theatre group, founded in 1932, is also active, along with a choir, sports club and Scout troop.
Sólheimar has developed a broad-based range of industries and activities including the following: Olur Reforestation Center- the only organic reforestation center in Iceland-,
Sunna Organic Cultivation Center specialising in organic vegetables and products derived from these, Vala Supermarket, and an art gallery focusing on manufactured items as well as handicrafts and art pieces created in our different ateliers. Solheimar is also home to the Graena Kannan Cafe which specialises in organic food and beverages, the Jurtagull Soap factory and herb workshop which produces soaps and shampoos from Icelandic plants, a candle factory which produces candles made entirely from beeswax and recycled candles, a weaving workshop specialising in handmade woven items such as mats, carpets and tablecloths, and other workshops based on carpentry and musical instruments.
The ethos of Sólheimar is derived from ‘reverse integration’, a process whereby the community develops based on the needs of individuals with disabilities and other minorities, and it is the able-bodied who have to adapt to these needs.
Membership & Visitors
- Current members: 120
- Open to new members
- Open to visitors
Guests are welcome to visit. Accommodation can be booked in guesthouses. Culture festival runs in the summer.