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 fishing grounds played a role in this development, it was also due to a good harbor conditions. Raufarhöfn had been a well-known trading place from the early 19th century and offered necessary service to its residents and other small villages on the Melrakkaslétta plain. But then everything ended in the sixties when the Herring stock disappeared more or less due to overfishing.
A small village in decline
Since then the small village of Raufarhöfn has never really recovered. During the second decade of the 20th century and the upswing years some of the necessary infrastructures developed. A school was built in 1939, a church in 1927 and later a community center. Today the municipal struggles to provide all the basic service expected of a town or a village. The church was designed by Iceland's most prominent architect, Guðjón Samúelsson and built in 1927. If you choose to visit Melrakkaslétta and the north-east part of Iceland Raufarhöfn offers a camping site and accommodation.
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 Raufarhöfn region.