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.   

  • The old church is located by the Camp Site and is in care of the National Museum
    There are many reasons to stop at the pleasant village Hvammstangi in the Northern Region in Iceland.  Located at the Vatnsnes Peninsula, it is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki on the east side of Vatnsnes and many interesting seal colonies north of the village on the west side of Vatnsnes. The village became a certified trading post at the end of the 19th century.  At that time, no one lived there. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that people started to build houses and move to the area around the trading post that a community began to form.  Before the trading certification was issued,  the surrounding area consisted only of farms...
  • Hveragerði is a small town in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    The town of Hveragerði is different and like no other town in Iceland. Hot springs and hot water coming from the ground is the origin and the premise of the town's existence. For this reason, the livelihood of the residents is also different. It is a town of greenhouses, health spa and flowers. It is a town of warmth. Geothermal Wonderland One could argue that the first five decades of the 20th century were a kind of a laboratory for utilization of energy in Hveragerði. In 1902 the small waterfall Reykjafoss in the river Varmá, which runs through the town today, a small hydroelectric power unit was built. The power was utilized to operate a wool factory. In the years following this...
  • Hvolsvöllur is a village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    The town of Hvolsvöllur has a bit of a unique history compared to all other towns and villages in Iceland.  It is an inland village and the only town in the country that neither stands by sea or a river. The town also traces its origin almost entirely to agriculture, when most towns and villages originate as trading posts or as a place for fishing by the shore.  Although its first buildings were built around a trading post and commercial activities for a local Coop society, it was also related to agriculture. Hvolsvöllur is also one of the most recent towns in Iceland mostly built in the fifties to the nineties. So it is a very recent settlement. In the center of the Saga Njala and...
  • Ísafjörður is the largest and a center town in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Ísafjörður is the center town of the West Fjords in Iceland. It is also the largest town in the Westfjords, with a 2016 population of 3.623 people. Like many of the towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland, Ísafjörður was mentioned in the Book of Settlement; that, of course, is huge in Iceland. However, from the time of early settlement until the 16th century, there wasn’t much activity in the area, at least not in any historical sense. It wasn't until the second half of the 16th century when merchants started trading that Ísafjörður became the largest trading post in the Westfjords. Ísafjörður is a significant part of Iceland's history The town maintained this status during and...
  • Kirkjubærjarklaustur is a tiny village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    The small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Klaustur (The Monastery), has only recently advanced from a cluster of houses to a level of the village, or a hamlet. At least in a historical sense. It is one of the smallest villages in Iceland with permanent residents all year round. For many reasons, this village has quite a different history than most towns and villages.  It is not located on the shore, but inland, and has no access to the sea or fishing grounds. The village has one of the best climates in Iceland and fertile farms as neighbours. Kirkjubæjarklaustur got its name from Monasteries in Iceland's early history  The farm was a Monastery as early as the ninth century, according to...
  •  The Kópavogur Church is a well-known landmark in Iceland
    Kópavogur is the largest town in Iceland and comes second in size only to the capital Reykjavik. Inhabitants / population are 34.140 in 2016 according to 2016 official numbers. In recent decades, Kópavogur has developed from a small village in the fifties to a large municipality today.  If you are planing to drive the Reykjanes Peninsula it might be a good idea to find accommodation in Kópavogur.  Like all the towns and villages around Reykjavik in the capital region, it has gained an advantage from its neighbor.  In the last two to three decades, Kópavogur launched some serious land development projects that were mostly commercial and residential. Some would say that Kópavogur took an...
  • Álafosskvosin is an interesting place to visit with small shops and restaurants
    Mosfellsbær is a community in Iceland located east of Reykjavík with a population of 9.481 in 2016.  When visitors drive from Reykjavík towards the West region or Thingvellir, they drive through Mosfellsbær.  Like many of the towns around the Capital Reykjavík, it is tightly connected to the city.  Almost like a suburb.  Unlike many suburbs, Mosfellsbær has a lot to offer visitors and Icelanders alike. It is a culturally rich community. It was the home to Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1955, and also the home of Sundlaugin (The swimming pool) Sigur Rós´s studio.  Halldórs Laxness house is now a museum located in the Mosfellsdalur valley and hard to miss...
  • Neskaupstaður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The town of Neskaupstaður is the easternmost town in Iceland, located in a small fjord, Norðfjörður.  Originally it was a farm called Nes and mentioned in the book of settlement.  Settled by a Viking named Egill the Red in the 9th century.  Geographically Norðfjörður is conveniently protected by all-embracing high mountains.  Throughout history, this made communication difficult, and the village didn’t have any transportation or connection with other parts of the country until 1949, except by sea. Surviving the fishing quota system imposed by the government Neskaupstaður is one of few towns in Iceland where life and the town’s economy still depend almost thoroughly on fishing and fish...
  • The village of Ólafsfjörður is placed in a small fjord with steep mountains
    The village Ólafsfjörður is more or less a fishing village today.  Like many towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland, the community came into existence at the end of the 19th century and developed mainly in the first half of the 20th century.  Like its sister town, Siglufjörður in the Fjallabyggð Municipal, the fjord where the village is located has a history of isolation and lack of communication throughout the centuries.  It is placed in a small fjord with steep mountains. Unlike Siglufjörður though, the lowland in a valley south of the shore is considerably larger, which made a much better room for agriculture and farming.  So for centuries, the area was mainly a typical...
  • Ólafsvík is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    Ólafsvík is first mentioned in the Book of Settlement, in the Icelandic Sagas, when Ólafur Belgur, or Belly, as he was apparently nicknamed, settled there around 900.  Early on, the area became compact with fishing huts, as the fishing grounds right out from the shore were plentiful. At one point in the 17th and 18th centuries, commercial vessels sailed between Ólafsvík and Denmark, and the village was one of the larger trading ports in Iceland.  Ólafsvík became a certified trading place, authorized by the Danish King and Danish authorities, in 1687.  So, this beautiful town has been around for many centuries, playing an important role in the history of Iceland. Ólafsvík is an old fishing...
  • Patreksfjörður is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Patreksfjörður is a place mentioned in The Book of Settlements.  It is an ancient place and has been around since the 9th century but didn't grow into a village until the late 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century.  Because of the fishing grounds nearby, the fishing farms developed into a trading point when foreign and local entrepreneurs became interested in the fish and the fish products. It is common in small towns and villages around Iceland to trace their beginning and existence to rich fishing grounds right by the shore.  Other factors that mattered in their growth are the development of boats and vessels throughout history and also laws and regulations that define "who...
  • The church was designed by Iceland's most prominent architect, Guðjón Samúelsson and built in 1927
    It is hard to imagine when you come to this tiny village on the edge of becoming deserted, that it was once one of the largest export harbors in Iceland. Labeled as the northernmost village in Iceland, Raufarhöfn is also one of the smallest and most isolated villages in the country.  In the forties and the fifties when the Herring frenzy dominated Iceland’s economic life Raufarhöfn became one of the main centers for salting and processing herring. Processing plants were built, and people invested in houses and companies.  Hundreds rushed to Raufarhöfn because there was a lot of work and good salary. Hope and further development disappeared with the Herring Although the distance to the...
  • Reykhólar is a tiny village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Although almost hidden and rarely mentioned anywhere today, Reykhólar has quite a unique place in Iceland’s history.  For centuries, the farm Reykhólar was considered one of the most valuable estates in the country. Not only because it was an excellent farmland, but also because it owned hundreds of islands in the large fjord, Breiðafjörður, islands that added huge value to the farm.  Accordingly many chiefs and wealthy families lived at Reykhólar and owned the farm throughout Iceland’s history, some of them even with a bigger ego than the estate itself.  The small village is placed in a wonderful surroundings with spectacular landscape. A tiny community struggling to provide basic...
  • Reykjanesbær is the center town in the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland
    Reykjanesbær or Keflavík town is the main home town of the International Airport in Iceland and is also part of the Reykjanes Peninsula drive.  Originally, Keflavik was a typical fishing farm and a fishing town from early on throughout the first half of the twentieth century.  The town had a small harbor and a fish processing plant that was the livelihood of the residents. During World War II, the United States Army built a naval base for Iceland’s defense and to secure the northern Atlantic route.   The Army also built an airfield, which later became Iceland’s international airport. The military base was in operation until September 2006.  During that time, thousands of U.S. soldiers lived...
  • Reyðarfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The town of Reyðarfjörður is one of the larger towns in the Eastern Region in Iceland. The town's recent history is one of a kind compared to any other town or village in Iceland. Reyðarfjörður is a town that we can categorise and an entirely modern small town with all the modern service people require. While most towns and villages in Iceland have three main factors as their prerequisite for development; fishing, trading and tourism, Reyðarfjörður also has an Aluminium smelter. An economic foundation that gives the town almost an exceptionally strong economic base and prosperity. In addition to the smelter, the recent tunnel between Reyðarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður has helped the...

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