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 agricultural area.
Fishing and fish processing developed late
It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that fishing developed in Ólafsfjörður. Similar to many towns and villages around Iceland this started with the introduction of docked vessels and mostly with motorboats. The change from rowing boats made it much easier to sail farther out from the fjord to the open sea and opened the path for Ólafsfjörður to become a fishing village.
One of the first communities to use geothermal heating
Today the village is a typical Icelandic fishing village, and the economy and livelihood of the residents mostly depend on fisheries and fish processing. Most of the houses are single family houses built in the fifties up until the seventies in the last century. The houses are heated with geothermal heating from a geothermal plant that was built in 1940, so Ólafsfjörður has been a green village for decades.
A fishing village in a growing municipal
The village and the Fjallabyggð municipal offers a good service to its residents. It has always put emphasize on good schools and education from preschool to secondary schools. Today the Fjallabyggð Municipal also offers a pre-college education. Ólafsfjörður has excellent sports facilities and a lovely swimming pool. The camping site is right outside the swimming pool with excellent facilities and access to electricity.
If you are going to visit the Northern Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Ólafsfjörður region.