Rif is one of the oldest villages of Iceland. English traders started trading here in the Middle Ages, because of the excellent harbor. Rif was long the best harbor in the region. Then the Hrafnkelsá river changed course and silted up the harbor. The river course is alternatively through the reef of Harðikampur, or inside it, into the harbor. Now it has been diverted and the harbor has been dredged out. In 1467 the Icelandic knight and agent of the Danish king, Björn Thorleifsson, attempted to drive English merchants away from Rif by order of the King of Denmark. In the battle, Björn was killed by the English at Björnssteinn. This was a historical event and it had an impact on relations between Denmark and England for many years to come, as well as on trade in Iceland. To reach Björnssteinn, turn off route 574 and drive through the village. You will find Björnssteinn halfburied in the sand and gravel, behind the fishing sheds.