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 relatively large area. In 1787, it was certified as an official trading post by Iceland’s rulers, the Danish King, and Danish authorities.
A town with a French Connection
At the turn of the 18th-century French fishing, boats started to fish in Icelandic waters, in the springtime and summer. They came in such numbers that it was considered necessary to set up some service for the fishermen by France. They built a hospital and a church in Grundarfjörður, and some officials stayed through the winter. In the decades after this French “invasion” started, suspiciously dark colored babies started to pop up in the general population. More like the French than Nordic. Today, one can even see some possible descendants. People that nevertheless trace their family tree a long way down the Nordic family tree. But, they don’t look Nordic at all. Probably a good improvement to the genes that had marinated in hardship and hunger for two to three centuries.
Grundarfjörður has a good position in the fishing industry
Despite this history, Grundarfjörður didn’t begin to develop as a town until in the early 19th century, and a real village hadn’t formed until the forties. Therefore, the town and all the houses are fairly new, and most of them built in the sixties and the seventies.
Today the town of Grundarfjörður, a population of little less than 900 people, has a solid economic base in the fishing industry. Other industries are growing, like tourism and service connected to tourism. The town offers a variety of accommodation, hotel, and guesthouse. A considerable portion of the population also works in schools and healthcare. Like most municipals around the country, Grundarfjörður offers good quality service to its residents. The town has good preschools, primary and elementary schools. It also has a high school for all the communities on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and a library. There is a sports center, a swimming pool, and a community center. Grundarfjörður also offers excellent social service to those in need and pays attention to the young and the elderly.
If you are going to visit the West Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Grundarfjörður region.