Towns and villages

There are 64 towns and villages in Iceland in the seven Regions, most of them on the coastline.  For anyone traveling in Iceland, they form an essential infrastructure.  Almost in each town or small village, you will find excellent accommodation, a convenience store, gas station, a camp site with outstanding facilities, a swimming pool, and a restaurant often offering delicious fishing soup and Icelandic specialties. In many towns and villages, you will also find interesting museums, hiking tracks, and adventure tours provided by local people.  The longest distance between two towns and villages on the Ring Road never exceeds 200 kilometers, so anyone on a tour in Iceland doesn't need to worry about service.  The towns and villages in Iceland make travel around the whole country comfortable and enjoyable.   

  • Eyrarbakki is a tiny village in the Southern Region in Iceland
    One of the main factors preventing growth in recent centuries for most of the towns and villages on the south shore in Iceland was the difficulty of building a harbour or even a small dock on the sandy shoreline. Even though the communities on the south shore had access to fertile fishing grounds, bringing the catch to town was always a problem.  Notwithstanding this fact attempts were made to build a harbour and in the 16th century as Eyrarbakki imported goods from Denmark as it was a location for one of the stores in the notorious Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly.  The stores and trading were also the reasons for the village's origin. Eyrarbakki was once the largest and busiest town in...
  • Fáskrúðsfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Most of the towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland owe their existence mainly to one or two prerequisites:  rich fishing grounds and trading posts.  Most of the small communities developed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  Fáskrúðsfjörður or Búðir as the village's name was before people gave it the same as the fjord, is no exception.  The village has two other unusual and exciting angles in its history. The French connection In the nineteenth and twentieth century fishermen and entrepreneurs in the fishing and fish processing industry in Europe had noticed the enormously rich and lucrative fishing grounds around Iceland. This was even before most Icelanders...
  • Flateyri is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Contrary to most small villages on the coastline in Iceland, Flateyri started as a trading post, not as a fishing farm.  At the end of the 18th century, the store at the nearby village of Þingeyri started an annex in Önundarfjörður. The store post soon developed into fishing and fish processing parallel to the commercial activity.  On the second half of the 19th-century shark catching was lucrative and entrepreneurs at Flateyri participated in that venture.  Later a Norwegian investor settled in the small village and started a relatively large whaling operation.   So there were more ventures than just pure cod catching to sustain the next meal in the 19th century.  Even new enterprises from...
  • Garðabær is a town in where the President of Iceland resides, at Bessastaðir
    Garðabær is one of the most affluent towns in Iceland and has quite often had the highest income per Family compared to other municipals.  Population in 2016 was 14.717, so it is also one of the larger municipalities in Iceland. Like its neighboring town Kópavogur, it has grown from a small village in the fifties to a relatively large town in recent years compared to other communities in Iceland.  Both towns have gained an advantage from its location near Reykjavik,  the capital of Iceland. A small village acquired a new role Interestingly Garðabær has been around, in a sense,  since Iceland´s first settlement in the 9th century. Ath that time Vífill, a slave of Ingólfur Arnarson Iceland’...
  • The church at Garður village
    Garður village by on the tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula is a wonderful place to visit if you plan to travel to Iceland.  Located right by the International airport access is easy.  On the town's website, Garður makes the claim that the area and land where the village is today is mentioned in the Icelandic book of settlements. Aparently Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler in Iceland, gave his cousin, Steinunni gömlu, an area "south by the sea".  Similar to its neighbors and other municipals in Reykjanes Peninsula, Garður developed from a cluster of fishing farms to a fishing village beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The distance from...
  • Grenivík is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Grenivík is a tiny village on the east coast of Eyjafjörður, named after the bay in front of the town.  Although the bay and nearby places are mentioned in the Book of Settlement, the village has only been around for a few decades.  It is probably the newest and youngest village in Iceland.  Even in 1935, the town didn’t count more than 20 houses, and most of the inhabitants had their income from agricultural related activities. This was probably due to lack of natural harbor or good landing place for boats. A small but clever community In the middle of the 20th century, the first fishing vessels arrived at Grenivík, and fish processing began. A few years later a better harbor was built,...
  • Grindavík is a town in the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland
    As a municipal, Grindavík located at Reykjanes Peninsula is one of the most interesting towns on the Icelandic coastline.  Interesting from the point of view of being a typical Icelandic fishing town and it is one of few towns in Iceland which survived the fishing quota system, created by the Icelandic government in 1990. A quota system that hit many fishing towns hard.   In recent decades, the fishing industry in Grindavík has grown and thrived in sharp contrast to most former fishing towns along the coastline.  One of the most active fishing towns in Iceland Grindavík has many large and small fishing vessels and is one of the most important fishing harbors in Iceland.  The harbor is one...
  • Grundarfjörður is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    The mountain Kirkjufell is probably more famous than the town itself. This famous mountain stands on the west side of the town, and it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, second only to Herðurbreið, the queen of Icelandic mountains. Consequently, the mountain is like an icon for this beautiful small town on the north shore of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Grundarfjörður is a beautiful old fishing town Historically Grundarfjörður is a fishing town like most of the towns around the coast of Iceland.  The harbor is one of the best in Snæfellsnes.  From early on Grundarfjörður was a trading post, as well as a group of fishing farms scattered over a...
  • Part of the town center is charming and filled with beautiful houses
    Hafnarfjörður consists mostly of residential areas and two relatively large industrial areas in addition to the crucial harbor.  This third largest town in Iceland has thus more characteristics of a town rather than just a suburb from Reykjavík.  The population is 28.189 in 2016 acording to offical numbers.  Hafnafjörður like Kópavogur and other towns in the larger capital city area has gained considerably from its neighbor Reykjavík.  One could argue that Reykjavík municipal lacked significantly in urban planning and land development for years with the consequences that both businesses and people floated to the neighboring towns.  Hafnafjörður is an attractive town with a significant...
  • Hella is a village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    Hella is a small village located by the river Ytri-Rangá on the Ring Road in the Southern Region in Iceland, approximately 100 kilometers east of Reykjavík. It is one of a handful of towns or villages in Iceland that are inland and traces its origin to trading and agriculture and has nothing to do with fishing and fish processing. It is a relatively new community that developed in the middle of last century. A product of a local Coop Society An entrepreneur in trading built the first house in the late twenties and started his business and opened a store. About a decade later a local Coop Society purchased his store and took over his commercial activity. The coop community quickly...
  • The Church at Ingjaldshóll stands between the two villages.
    Rif and Hellissandur are two small villages that are only three kilometers apart.  By any definition, they are the same village and the same municipality although they have to kinds of different identities, at least in the minds of the residents. Both trace their origins to rich fishing grounds in Breiðafjörður and good natural landing spots for small boats in the past.  In the first years of the seventeenth century, there were more than 60 fisherman huts in Hellissandur.  Hellissandur is thus considered to be one of the first fishing villages in Iceland.  At that time, most of the people in Iceland lived on farms, and agriculture was the primary source of food and income.  After a smallpox...
  • Höfn is a town in the Southern Region in Iceland
    Höfn is a relatively new town in a historical sense.  The towns origin can not be traced back to farms or settlements that developed from trading and fishing centuries back.  It is more like several other towns and villages around the coastline, a product of modern times. The first houses that were built in Höfn where trading post in the late 19th-century. After the trading post had started to develop, more and more houses were built.  Like other places around the coastline, the people of Höfn also started to take advantage of the fishing grounds nearby. So fishing and fish processing also became a permanent base of livelihood. A fishing town with important connection to farming Early on...
  • Hofsós is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Iceland and has one of the nicest swimming pools in Iceland
    The tiny village Hofsós in the Northern Region in Iceland was a rather busy trading post in the 17th  and 18th century, but despite the merchant activities, this small village did not develop into a larger village or a town in the 20th century.  Located at the wesern side of the large Tröllaskagi (Troll Peninsula) Hofsós had all the historical prerequisites to become a large town.  It was a trading post for the Danish Trade Monopoly, it was not far away from the fishing grounds, it was central in the region, and it had a relatively good landing spot for boats.  Somehow in the late 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, most of the activity in the region moved to...
  • Hólmavík is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Hólmavík is a small village located in Steingrímsfjörður on the east coastline of the West Fjords. For those who are interested in traveling the Strandir, which is a common name for the east coast of the West Fjords, it is quite convenient to start the trip at Hólmavík and begin the trip to places like Norðurfjörður or Ingólfsfjörður early in the morning.  The road on Strandir is one of few that you must travel back and forth, but not a ring road, as the main Ring Road and the circle you can travel around the West Fjords. An old village that developed late Hólmavík is not an old village. The first settlement was in the late 19th century and developed around a small trading post. In the...
  • The Church in Húsavík is a timber building, built in 1906 and consecrate in 1907. It is a beautiful building and for years housed the whole community of Húsavík.
    Húsavík town, part of the Norðurþing munipalicity with a population of 2.815 in 2016, is a beautiful fishing town in the Northern Region in Iceland.  Húsavík is Nr. 1 on our list of the most interesting towns and village in Iceland.  It is located near the most beautiful and most interesting tourist attractions and natural wonders in Iceland.  Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, the home of many natural wonders and breathtaking places. Places like Dettifoss waterfall, Hólmatungur, Ásbyrgi and Mývatn to name a few.  Historically it is also a place of great importance.  One could argue that Húsavík (the bay of houses) is the first place inhabited by people in Iceland.  The second Viking Explorer, who...

Pages