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 processing. Throughout the centuries, Nes and Neskaupstaður have always had rich fishing grounds nearby and has been fortunate to take sensible decisions in both technical and marketing developments after Icelanders discovered the value of their resources in the 18th and 19th century. The town's fishing industry started to develop in the late 19th century from Faeroe Island and Norse entrepreneurs and continued to grow up until the government imposed the quota regulated fishing at the end of the 20th century. In the period between the 19th century and the fishing quota the people in Neskaupstaður, both entrepreneurs, and socially driven coop companies have preserved and developed the economy. In the beginning, of the 20th-century motorboats, in the forties side trawlers and fishing boats, in the seventies large stern trawlers. Concurrently the people and community built ambitious projects in fish processing. And today Neskaupstaður is one of the few towns in Iceland that has not only survived the fishing quota law imposed in the nineties but enhanced and developed its economy.
Changes in the road and communication
In 1949, a mountain road opened through the Oddskarð mountain pass approximately 700 meters above sea level. The road is steep and still the main means to access the town in a vehicle. This is about to change in 2017 when an eight-kilometer tunnel from Eskifjörður opens. The tunnel is yet one more advantage that will enhance the municipal of Fjarðarbyggð and the Eastern Region, both economically and as a great place to live.
The town is a typical modern day fishing town
Neskaupstaður has always been a good town to live in. In the past, it was labeled the Red town because it was a stronghold of the socialist party for decades. Today it is a good place to live in with a strong economy and home of one of Iceland's strongest fishing companies, Síldarvinnslan. The town offers excellent service to its residents. A good preschool, elementary and middle school. A sports center and a swimming pool. A library and a community center with recreational activity from soccer to skiing.
If you are going to visit the Eastern Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Neskaupstaður region.