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.   

  • Akranes is a town in the Western Region in Iceland
    Although the Book of Settlements, in the Icelandic Sagas, mentions the name Akranes, understandably the town didn’t exist until centuries later.  Like most towns and villages by the seashore of Iceland, Akranes traces its origin to rich fishing grounds right out by the shore. For centuries, the bay of Faxi, or Faxaflói, was a primary source of provision for inhabitants in Iceland. Akranes is an old fishing town On the other hand, Akranes is probably one of the oldest towns in Iceland. Even at the end of the middle ages, a cluster of fishing farms formed a tiny fishing village. However, it wasn’t until the late sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century that Akranes started to...
  • A walk up the stairs to the church that towers over the center is a must.
    Akureyri is the largest town in Iceland outside the Reykjavík and the Capital City area.  Akureyri is also one of the few places around the coastline that formed a cluster of houses as early as the 17th century that developed into a town. If you travel the Ring Road, you will come to Akureyri while in the Northern Region.  Akureyri is located near some of the most spectacular natural wonders in Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and Námaskarð, to name a few. In a historical sense, the town is a product of the Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly when merchants from Denmark got permission to trade in the Eyjafjörður region. The trading began in the first decade of the 17th century...
  • Bakkafjörður is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Icedland
    The tiny village of Bakkafjörður is probably the smallest, most remote and most isolated village in Iceland.Both regarding activity and geography.  It is more or less a cluster of houses with a small harbour.  The population is less than 80 people, and everyone depends on fishing and fish processing.   As part of the Langanesbyggð municipality after merging with Þórshöfn in 2006, most of the service provided to the residents is in Þórshöfn approximately 40 kilometres north of the village. Almost the only service provided to the residents of the village locally is a primary and secondary school where currently there are less than 20 pupils. Most of the boats in Bakkafjörður are a small...
  • Bíldudalur is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Amazingly, in the second half of the 18th century, this tiny village was the home and center of operation for Iceland’s most prominent entrepreneur, Ólafur Thorlacius. Soon after the notorious Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly was abolished; Ólafur purchased all its assets and expanded his operation beyond anything comparable in Iceland at that time. Ólafur exported fish to Spain in his vessels from Bíldudalur and owned decked vessels when most people only had rowing boats. Quite interestingly, Ólafur found opportunities in a remote place that most people connected with hardship and difficulties, to build one of the largest operations of its time, and accumulate wealth.  In his lifetime, he...
  • Blönduós is a village in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Blönduós village is one of the towns by the Ring Road in the Northern Region in Iceland with a population of 865 in 2016. The town has always been a service center and a popular pit stop for those traveling from the south to the north in Iceland. Also for those on a road trip traveling the Ring Road and looking for great thing to see in the Icelandic nature.  The village is placed near the Vatnsnes Peninsula and is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki on the east side of Vatnsnes and many interesting natural wonders like Kálfhamarsvík and Kolugljúfur. Blönduós, which means the mouth of the river Blanda, is one of the busiest tourist stops in Iceland. For...
  • Bolungarvík is a small town in the West Fjords in Iceland
    The mention of Bolungarvík in the Icelandic Book of Settlement is both interesting and unusual.  It was a woman, Þuríður sundafyllir, not a man or a famous Viking, that settled in Bolungarvík around one thousand years ago.  From that time up to the second half of the nineteenth century, most of the inhabitants lived on farms in the two valleys so beautifully placed in between the three mountains that are characteristic for Bolungarvík.  Bolungarvík is one of the older fishing stations in Iceland Fishing has always been important because of the short distance to rich fishing grounds.  For centuries, Bolungarvík was one of the largest fishing station in Iceland, with houses scattered...
  • Borgarfjörður eystri is a tiny village in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Although a tiny village, Borgarfjörður Eystri has one significant advantage, it is placed in a beautiful landscape surrounded by stunning mountains.  It is one of a few remaining small municipality in Iceland that has not merged with any other municipality, which has been a major trend in recent years.  One reason is probably the distance and isolation from other towns and villages. For anyone travelling the Ring Road it takes approximately three hours to drive to the village and back from Egissstaðir and the road is quite challenging. The village is worth visiting and the landscape striking. Although isolated the village was a trading place In the late 19th century a small trading place...
  • Borganes is a town in the Western Region in Iceland
    The town of Borgarnes, population slightly less than 2000 people, is probably one of the busiest tourist towns in Iceland, at least when Icelanders are traveling in their country.  The reason is likely to be a bridge that was built over Borgarfjörður in the early eighties.  At that point, the main highway, the ring road, was moved from outside the town, through the middle of the town.  Somehow someone figured out soon after, that people coming from Reykjavik became terribly hungry after passing the new bridge.  This is still true, and time has reviled the same fact about people coming into the town of Borgarnes from the north, before crossing the bridge.  The answer to this urge for food...
  • Breiðdalsvík is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Breiðdalsvík (Broad Valley Bay) is a tiny village in the East Region on the Ring Road with the same name as the bay where it stands. Like many small communities in Iceland, Breiðdalsvík traces its origin to trading in the 19th and 20th century.  Although by the seashore, the bay is shallow and loaded with large rocks and small islands. This made it difficult for boats to navigate to shore throughout the centuries; probably one of the reasons why a dock or a functional wharf didn't develop until quite late and fishing was not a premise in the villages development. It started with a house for trading Although the first house, a building for trading, was built at the end of the 19th century...
  • Búðardalur is a small village in the Western Region in Iceland
    Although the area around Búðardalur is rich in historical terms, the village is fairly new and very small. It is part of the Westfjords drive Road Trip and located at the enterance of the Westfjord Peninsula. The whole area is more like an agricultural and farming land. The whole region Dalir is bursting with places where dramatic events took place many centuries ago, and one can read about in the Icelandic Sagas. Laxdæla and Eiríkssaga are among the best known Sagas from this area. Búðardalur is a small service village The tiny village Búðardalur, with a population of less than 300, is located by one of the two main roads leading to the West Fjords.  The first house was built here at the...
  • Dalvík is a small town in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Visiting the neat small town of Dalvík is a joy.  Placed in a beautiful landscape on the west side of the deep fjord Eyjafjörður, it is like most towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland, a fishing town that developed from rich fishing grounds in the first decades of the 20th century. Up until that time, the area only consisted of farms. It was a typical rural agricultural area. The first houses were built in the first decade as fishing and fish processing started to develop when a few farmers purchased motorboats.  Consequently, trading did not appear before this development was under way and the first stores opened in the twenties.  Like the whole Eyjafjörður area, the Coop...
  • Djúpavík is a tiny deserted village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Djúpavík used to be one of the busiest villages in Iceland,  but only for a very short period. Located at the Reykjarjförður on the east coast of the Westfjords, it was never an ideal site for a village or a town, but it was worth the try.  The story goes back to 1917 when an entrepreneur named Elís Stefánsson decided to build a herring factory in Djúpavík. The timing was, of course, all wrong with the Great War raging in Europe, followed by economic depression. The whole enterprise went bust in 1919. Though Elias's creditors tried to take over the business, it really was one dead duck and abandoned during the 1920s. Big things in a small setup This failure didn't prevent the resettlement...
  • Djúpivogur is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Although a small village, Djúpivogur has been around for a long time. This village in the southernmost part of the Eastern Region is one of the oldest villages in Iceland.  As early as late 16th century the Djúpivogur became an important a trading place for a large area in the Eastern Region as well as the south-east part of Iceland.  Before the Danish Trading Monopoly was established in 1602 German traders sailed to Iceland and set up a trading post at Dúpivogur.  The Danish Trading Monopoly organised its trading in the south-east region from Djúpivogur, and so did some of the companies successors. The trading place Djúpivogur turned village One of the trading firms that became a kind of...
  • Egilsstaðir is a small town and the center of the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Although Egilsstaðir barely existed as a village or a town in 1944 when the first private home was built, today it is the largest town in the East Region in Iceland. This is probably typical for the slow and late urbanisation in Iceland.  Egillsstaðir is one of a handful of towns and villages in Iceland that is inland, with no connection to the sea or the shoreline. It is a town that is a product of modern times tracing its existence to the location at a crossroad and development in the service sector and tourism.  This is what makes Egilsstaðir unique in the towns and villages flora in Iceland. Egilsstaðir is a center town in the East Region and a town impossible to miss when traveling the...
  • Eskifjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The town of Eskifjörður has been around for a long time, and the towns origin can be traced to trading and fishing, like most of the towns and villages in Iceland. In the late 18th century the Danish trading company Örum & Wulff built a house and started trading, after the notorious Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly ended.  And Eskifjörður became a certified trading post at the end of the 19th century. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Norse entrepreneurs started herring fishing in Iceland with their center of operation in Eskifjörður. A venture that became a support for a successful period for the small village in a country that largely depended on agriculture. A lively town...

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