Towns and villages in Iceland

There are 63 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...
  • Eyrarbakki is a tiny village in the Southern Region in Iceland
    One of the main factors preventing growth in recent centuries for most of the towns and villages on the south shore in Iceland was the difficulty of building a harbour or even a small dock on the sandy shoreline. Even though the communities on the south shore had access to fertile fishing grounds, bringing the catch to town was always a problem.  Notwithstanding this fact attempts were made to build a harbour and in the 16th century as Eyrarbakki imported goods from Denmark as it was a location for one of the stores in the notorious Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly.  The stores and trading were also the reasons for the village's origin. Eyrarbakki was once the largest and busiest town in...
  • Fáskrúðsfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Most of the towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland owe their existence mainly to one or two prerequisites:  rich fishing grounds and trading posts.  Most of the small communities developed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  Fáskrúðsfjörður or Búðir as the village's name was before people gave it the same as the fjord, is no exception.  The village has two other unusual and exciting angles in its history. The French connection In the nineteenth and twentieth century fishermen and entrepreneurs in the fishing and fish processing industry in Europe had noticed the enormously rich and lucrative fishing grounds around Iceland. This was even before most Icelanders...
  • Flateyri is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Contrary to most small villages on the coastline in Iceland, Flateyri started as a trading post, not as a fishing farm.  At the end of the 18th century, the store at the nearby village of Þingeyri started an annex in Önundarfjörður. The store post soon developed into fishing and fish processing parallel to the commercial activity.  On the second half of the 19th-century shark catching was lucrative and entrepreneurs at Flateyri participated in that venture.  Later a Norwegian investor settled in the small village and started a relatively large whaling operation.   So there were more ventures than just pure cod catching to sustain the next meal in the 19th century.  Even new enterprises from...
  • Garðabær is a town in where the President of Iceland resides, at Bessastaðir
    Garðabær is one of the most affluent towns in Iceland and has quite often had the highest income per Family compared to other municipals.  Population in 2016 was 14.717, so it is also one of the larger municipalities in Iceland. Like its neighboring town Kópavogur, it has grown from a small village in the fifties to a relatively large town in recent years compared to other communities in Iceland.  Both towns have gained an advantage from its location near Reykjavik,  the capital of Iceland. A small village acquired a new role Interestingly Garðabær has been around, in a sense,  since Iceland´s first settlement in the 9th century. Ath that time Vífill, a slave of Ingólfur Arnarson Iceland’...
  • The church at Garður village
    Garður village by on the tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula is a wonderful place to visit if you plan to travel to Iceland.  Located right by the International airport access is easy.  On the town's website, Garður makes the claim that the area and land where the village is today is mentioned in the Icelandic book of settlements. Aparently Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler in Iceland, gave his cousin, Steinunni gömlu, an area "south by the sea".  Similar to its neighbors and other municipals in Reykjanes Peninsula, Garður developed from a cluster of fishing farms to a fishing village beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The distance from...
  • Grenivík is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Grenivík is a tiny village on the east coast of Eyjafjörður, named after the bay in front of the town.  Although the bay and nearby places are mentioned in the Book of Settlement, the village has only been around for a few decades.  It is probably the newest and youngest village in Iceland.  Even in 1935, the town didn’t count more than 20 houses, and most of the inhabitants had their income from agricultural related activities. This was probably due to lack of natural harbor or good landing place for boats. A small but clever community In the middle of the 20th century, the first fishing vessels arrived at Grenivík, and fish processing began. A few years later a better harbor was built,...
  • Grindavík is a town in the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland
    As a municipal, Grindavík located at Reykjanes Peninsula is one of the most interesting towns on the Icelandic coastline.  Interesting from the point of view of being a typical Icelandic fishing town and it is one of few towns in Iceland which survived the fishing quota system, created by the Icelandic government in 1990. A quota system that hit many fishing towns hard.   In recent decades, the fishing industry in Grindavík has grown and thrived in sharp contrast to most former fishing towns along the coastline.  One of the most active fishing towns in Iceland Grindavík has many large and small fishing vessels and is one of the most important fishing harbors in Iceland.  The harbor is one...
  • Grundarfjörður is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    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...
  • Part of the town center is charming and filled with beautiful houses
    Hafnarfjörður consists mostly of residential areas and two relatively large industrial areas in addition to the crucial harbor.  This third largest town in Iceland has thus more characteristics of a town rather than just a suburb from Reykjavík.  The population is 28.189 in 2016 acording to offical numbers.  Hafnafjörður like Kópavogur and other towns in the larger capital city area has gained considerably from its neighbor Reykjavík.  One could argue that Reykjavík municipal lacked significantly in urban planning and land development for years with the consequences that both businesses and people floated to the neighboring towns.  Hafnafjörður is an attractive town with a significant...
  • Hella is a village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    Hella is a small village located by the river Ytri-Rangá on the Ring Road in the Southern Region in Iceland, approximately 100 kilometers east of Reykjavík. It is one of a handful of towns or villages in Iceland that are inland and traces its origin to trading and agriculture and has nothing to do with fishing and fish processing. It is a relatively new community that developed in the middle of last century. A product of a local Coop Society An entrepreneur in trading built the first house in the late twenties and started his business and opened a store. About a decade later a local Coop Society purchased his store and took over his commercial activity. The coop community quickly...
  • The Church at Ingjaldshóll stands between the two villages.
    Rif and Hellissandur are two small villages that are only three kilometers apart.  By any definition, they are the same village and the same municipality although they have to kinds of different identities, at least in the minds of the residents. Both trace their origins to rich fishing grounds in Breiðafjörður and good natural landing spots for small boats in the past.  In the first years of the seventeenth century, there were more than 60 fisherman huts in Hellissandur.  Hellissandur is thus considered to be one of the first fishing villages in Iceland.  At that time, most of the people in Iceland lived on farms, and agriculture was the primary source of food and income.  After a smallpox...
  • Höfn is a town in the Southern Region in Iceland
    Höfn is a relatively new town in a historical sense.  The towns origin can not be traced back to farms or settlements that developed from trading and fishing centuries back.  It is more like several other towns and villages around the coastline, a product of modern times. The first houses that were built in Höfn where trading post in the late 19th-century. After the trading post had started to develop, more and more houses were built.  Like other places around the coastline, the people of Höfn also started to take advantage of the fishing grounds nearby. So fishing and fish processing also became a permanent base of livelihood. A fishing town with important connection to farming Early on...
  • Hofsós is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Iceland and has one of the nicest swimming pools in Iceland
    The tiny village Hofsós in the Northern Region in Iceland was a rather busy trading post in the 17th  and 18th century, but despite the merchant activities, this small village did not develop into a larger village or a town in the 20th century.  Located at the wesern side of the large Tröllaskagi (Troll Peninsula) Hofsós had all the historical prerequisites to become a large town.  It was a trading post for the Danish Trade Monopoly, it was not far away from the fishing grounds, it was central in the region, and it had a relatively good landing spot for boats.  Somehow in the late 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, most of the activity in the region moved to...
  • Hólmavík is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Hólmavík is a small village located in Steingrímsfjörður on the east coastline of the West Fjords. For those who are interested in traveling the Strandir, which is a common name for the east coast of the West Fjords, it is quite convenient to start the trip at Hólmavík and begin the trip to places like Norðurfjörður or Ingólfsfjörður early in the morning.  The road on Strandir is one of few that you must travel back and forth, but not a ring road, as the main Ring Road and the circle you can travel around the West Fjords. An old village that developed late Hólmavík is not an old village. The first settlement was in the late 19th century and developed around a small trading post. In the...
  • The Church in Húsavík is a timber building, built in 1906 and consecrate in 1907.
      Húsavík town, part of the Norðurþing munipalicity with a population of 2.815 in 2016, is a beautiful fishing town in the Northern Region in Iceland.  Húsavík is Nr. 1 on our list of the most interesting towns and village in Iceland.  It is located near the most beautiful and most interesting tourist attractions and natural wonders in Iceland.  Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, the home of many natural wonders and breathtaking places. Places like Dettifoss waterfall, Hólmatungur, Ásbyrgi and Mývatn to name a few.  Historically it is also a place of great importance.  One could argue that Húsavík (the bay of houses) is the first place inhabited by people in Iceland.  The second Viking Explorer, who...
  • The old church is located by the Camp Site and is in care of the National Museum
    There are many reasons to stop at the pleasant village Hvammstangi in the Northern Region in Iceland.  Located at the Vatnsnes Peninsula, it is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki on the east side of Vatnsnes and many interesting seal colonies north of the village on the west side of Vatnsnes. The village became a certified trading post at the end of the 19th century.  At that time, no one lived there. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that people started to build houses and move to the area around the trading post that a community began to form.  Before the trading certification was issued,  the surrounding area consisted only of farms...
  • Hveragerði is a small town in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    The town of Hveragerði is different and like no other town in Iceland. Hot springs and hot water coming from the ground is the origin and the premise of the town's existence. For this reason, the livelihood of the residents is also different. It is a town of greenhouses, health spa and flowers. It is a town of warmth. Geothermal Wonderland One could argue that the first five decades of the 20th century were a kind of a laboratory for utilization of energy in Hveragerði. In 1902 the small waterfall Reykjafoss in the river Varmá, which runs through the town today, a small hydroelectric power unit was built. The power was utilized to operate a wool factory. In the years following this...
  • Hvolsvöllur is a village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    The town of Hvolsvöllur has a bit of a unique history compared to all other towns and villages in Iceland.  It is an inland village and the only town in the country that neither stands by sea or a river. The town also traces its origin almost entirely to agriculture, when most towns and villages originate as trading posts or as a place for fishing by the shore.  Although its first buildings were built around a trading post and commercial activities for a local Coop society, it was also related to agriculture. Hvolsvöllur is also one of the most recent towns in Iceland mostly built in the fifties to the nineties. So it is a very recent settlement. In the center of the Saga Njala and...
  • Ísafjörður is the largest and a center town in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Ísafjörður is the center town of the West Fjords in Iceland. It is also the largest town in the Westfjords, with a 2016 population of 3.623 people. Like many of the towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland, Ísafjörður was mentioned in the Book of Settlement; that, of course, is huge in Iceland. However, from the time of early settlement until the 16th century, there wasn’t much activity in the area, at least not in any historical sense. It wasn't until the second half of the 16th century when merchants started trading that Ísafjörður became the largest trading post in the Westfjords. Ísafjörður is a significant part of Iceland's history The town maintained this status during and...
  • Kirkjubærjarklaustur is a tiny village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
      The small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Klaustur (The Monastery), has only recently advanced from a cluster of houses to a level of the village, or a hamlet. At least in a historical sense. It is one of the smallest villages in Iceland with permanent residents all year round. For many reasons, this village has quite a different history than most towns and villages.  It is not located on the shore, but inland, and has no access to the sea or fishing grounds. The village has one of the best climates in Iceland and fertile farms as neighbours. It is also neighbor to many natural wonders like Jökulsárlón, Fjaðrárgljúfur, and Lakagígar. Kirkjubæjarklaustur got its name from Monasteries...
  •  The Kópavogur Church is a well-known landmark in Iceland
    Kópavogur is the largest town in Iceland and comes second in size only to the capital Reykjavik. Inhabitants / population are 34.140 in 2016 according to 2016 official numbers. In recent decades, Kópavogur has developed from a small village in the fifties to a large municipality today.  If you are planing to drive the Reykjanes Peninsula it might be a good idea to find accommodation in Kópavogur.  Like all the towns and villages around Reykjavik in the capital region, it has gained an advantage from its neighbor.  In the last two to three decades, Kópavogur launched some serious land development projects that were mostly commercial and residential. Some would say that Kópavogur took an...
  • Álafosskvosin is an interesting place to visit with small shops and restaurants
    Mosfellsbær is a community in Iceland located east of Reykjavík with a population of 9.481 in 2016.  When visitors drive from Reykjavík towards the West region or Thingvellir, they drive through Mosfellsbær.  Like many of the towns around the Capital Reykjavík, it is tightly connected to the city.  Almost like a suburb.  Unlike many suburbs, Mosfellsbær has a lot to offer visitors and Icelanders alike. It is a culturally rich community. It was the home to Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1955, and also the home of Sundlaugin (The swimming pool) Sigur Rós´s studio.  Halldórs Laxness house is now a museum located in the Mosfellsdalur valley and hard to miss...
  • Neskaupstaður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    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...
  • The village of Ólafsfjörður is placed in a small fjord with steep mountains
    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...
  • Ólafsvík is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    Ólafsvík is first mentioned in the Book of Settlement, in the Icelandic Sagas, when Ólafur Belgur, or Belly, as he was apparently nicknamed, settled there around 900.  Early on, the area became compact with fishing huts, as the fishing grounds right out from the shore were plentiful. At one point in the 17th and 18th centuries, commercial vessels sailed between Ólafsvík and Denmark, and the village was one of the larger trading ports in Iceland.  Ólafsvík became a certified trading place, authorized by the Danish King and Danish authorities, in 1687.  So, this beautiful town has been around for many centuries, playing an important role in the history of Iceland. Ólafsvík is an old fishing...
  • Patreksfjörður is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Patreksfjörður is a place mentioned in The Book of Settlements.  It is an ancient place and has been around since the 9th century but didn't grow into a village until the late 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century.  Because of the fishing grounds nearby, the fishing farms developed into a trading point when foreign and local entrepreneurs became interested in the fish and the fish products. It is common in small towns and villages around Iceland to trace their beginning and existence to rich fishing grounds right by the shore.  Other factors that mattered in their growth are the development of boats and vessels throughout history and also laws and regulations that define "who...
  • The church was designed by Iceland's most prominent architect, Guðjón Samúelsson and built in 1927
    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...
  • Reykhólar is a tiny village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Although almost hidden and rarely mentioned anywhere today, Reykhólar has quite a unique place in Iceland’s history.  For centuries, the farm Reykhólar was considered one of the most valuable estates in the country. Not only because it was an excellent farmland, but also because it owned hundreds of islands in the large fjord, Breiðafjörður, islands that added huge value to the farm.  Accordingly many chiefs and wealthy families lived at Reykhólar and owned the farm throughout Iceland’s history, some of them even with a bigger ego than the estate itself.  The small village is placed in a wonderful surroundings with spectacular landscape. A tiny community struggling to provide basic...
  • Reykjanesbær is the center town in the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland
    Reykjanesbær or Keflavík town is the main home town of the International Airport in Iceland and is also part of the Reykjanes Peninsula drive.  Originally, Keflavik was a typical fishing farm and a fishing town from early on throughout the first half of the twentieth century.  The town had a small harbor and a fish processing plant that was the livelihood of the residents. During World War II, the United States Army built a naval base for Iceland’s defense and to secure the northern Atlantic route.   The Army also built an airfield, which later became Iceland’s international airport. The military base was in operation until September 2006.  During that time, thousands of U.S. soldiers lived...
  • Reyðarfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The town of Reyðarfjörður is one of the larger towns in the Eastern Region in Iceland. The town's recent history is one of a kind compared to any other town or village in Iceland. Reyðarfjörður is a town that we can categorise and an entirely modern small town with all the modern service people require. While most towns and villages in Iceland have three main factors as their prerequisite for development; fishing, trading and tourism, Reyðarfjörður also has an Aluminium smelter. An economic foundation that gives the town almost an exceptionally strong economic base and prosperity. In addition to the smelter, the recent tunnel between Reyðarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður has helped the...
  • The oldes house in Sandgerði town in Iceland
    Like, many small towns and villages by the coastline in Iceland, Sandgerði owes its existences to rich fishing grounds just off the coast.  Most of those towns are fairly new, in a historical sense, and rarely trace their history farther back than to the late nineteenth century.  Up until that time, Iceland was mostly an agricultural society, and towns like Sandgerði consisted of a cluster of fishing farms that formed a fishing post by the seaside. Sandgerði started its fishing venture with motorboats Sandgerði began to develop as a fishing village in the second half of the nineteenth century when motorboats took over the rowing boats.  At that time, a new breed of Icelandic entrepreneurs...
  • Sauðárkrókkur is a small town in the Northern Region in Iceland
    The town of Sauðárkrókur is the center town for the west part of the Northern Region. It is a town that has quite a remarkable status in Iceland.  One of the most powerful and strongest companies in Iceland, Kaupfélag Skagfirðinga (The Skagafjörður Cooperative Society) is located in Sauðárkrókur.  The company stretches its economic and political influence to many corners in the Icelandic society.  The town has a unique and remarkable history and status among towns and villages.  It has continually fought any setback and difficulties throughout the last one and a half century to become a town with the most diverse economy of all the smaller towns and villages in Iceland.   Today Sauðárkrókur...
  • Selfoss is a large town and center of the Southern Region in Iceland
    In the last decade of the nineteenth century,  Iceland as a small country took on an enormous task in transportation, building a suspension bridge over the river Ölfusá. The bridge and the service around the bridge mark the beginning of the town of Selfoss; today the biggest inland community in Iceland, located on the Ring Road about 50 kilometers east of Reykjavík.  The old bridge collapsed when two vehicles attempted to drive over at the same time in 1945, and a new bridge was built.   For anyone traveling in Iceland on the Ring Road, it is almost inevitable that they will visit Selfoss as it is a drive-through place on the Ring Road and thus a very busy tourist town regarding shopping...
  • Grótta and the lighthouse are important places for outdoor activity in the whole Capital Region
    Seltjarnarnes is a small town or a suburb west of Reykjavík that barely has an identity although a seperate municipality of 4.415 residents in 2016. It is so closely connected to Reykjavík, geologically, historically and culturally, that it´s a wonder that the two municipals did not merge a long time ago.  Seltjarnarnes mainly consists of one relatively large residential area, a tiny industrial area, and a windy 9-hole golf course.   The community is quite affluent, and most of the residential area consists of large single-family houses.  In recent years, a former industrial or fishing industry area has been developed for condominiums and apartment houses. So there is a bit more variety in...
  • Seyðisfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    Anyone who visits Seyðisfjörður is captured by the beauty of the town as well as the landscape. It is a place of exceptional charm and surprisingly the only town or village around the coastline in Iceland that is located at the bottom of the fjord.  One reason might be the depth of the sea in the fjord. The prerequisite that made it possible for ships of all sizes to sail into a calm, natural harbour in the bottom of the fjord.  If you are planning a trip to Iceland and travel on the Ring Road in Iceland, you should not skip visiting Seyðisfjörður.  The town has many photo opportunities, and also the landscape in the fjord. Seyðisfjörður has a different premise in its history The drive...
  • At Siglufjörður town there are still signs from the old docks visable in the town center
    Geographically the town of Siglufjörður is an isolated place.  It is a narrow fjord surrounded by steep mountains. The first road built to connect Siglufjörður to the main road was in 1940 when the Siglufjörður mountain pass opened.  But all this has changed dramatically in recent years with a new tunnel from Ólafsfjörður village from the east side, a new hotel, modern restaurants, and large projects aimed at attracting tourism to this beautiful old fishing town. A place to have in mind if you are looking for a place to stay or a place to visit when planing a vacation in Iceland.  Although mentioned in the Book of Settlement, settled by Þormóður Rammi, Siglufjörður is seldom mentioned up...
  • Skagaströnd is a village in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Although at some distance from the main traffic and Ring Road Skagaströnd is a village worth visiting.  It is also a logical stop if you are visiting the magnificent Kálfhamarsvík basalt column bay.  It is also a great place to visit if you intend to take the loop from the ring road and travel to Sauðárkrókur and Siglufjörður. Like Blönduós the village 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.  Somewhere in the cliffs, on top of the Prophetess Mountain that towers over the village Skagaströnd, is an enormous treasure chest loaded with valuables. What is more...
  • Stokkseyri is a tiny village in the Southern Region in Iceland
    In some areas in Iceland, two almost identical villages developed although the distance between them is just a few kilometers.  Sometimes this is a puzzle as nothing can explain why. This is the case with the two towns of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki on the south shore and can also be applied to two other villages in the Southern Region Hella and Hvolsvöllur.  Even historically nothing can point to a valid reason why the two villages aren't jut one village. The same question of unfavorable natural conditions for a harbor Although people in the South Region took advantages of rich fishing grounds outside the shore throughout the centuries, bringing the catch to shore was always difficult...
  • Stöðvarfjörður is a small town in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The origin of the villages Stöðvarfjörður is traced back to the end of the 19th century when a merchant opened a store and built a home for himself and his family.  Before that time, only a handful of farms had been in the fjord as good land for farming is limited in the lowland.  As the activity of the store developed, people started to move to Stöðvarfjörður to build houses and homes around the shop and trading activity and new opportunities developed. Due to lack of natural conditions for a harbour fishing industry did not develop to the same extent as in some other villages in the Eastern Region. Many attempts were made but never developed into a permanent economic base.  After a small...
  • Stykkishólmur is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the Western Region in Iceland
    It might surprise many people that visit Iceland and travel around the country, how many towns and villages have a kind of short history.  Although the settlement in Iceland started around 870, most of the towns and villages began to develop around the middle of the 19th century, and some even at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the more interesting towns with a much longer history is Stykkishólmur. A town with a natural harbor and rich fishing grounds We can probably trace the Origin of Stykkishólmur to one important thing, a natural harbor.  Because of these excellent conditions Stykkishólmur became an important trading post early in Iceland’s history. Contrary to many other...
  • Súðavík is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Unlike most towns and villages around the coast in Iceland, Súðavík was always more of an agricultural area.  Throughout the centuries until the late 19th century the area consisted mostly of farms and in the middle of that century it had 21 farms, and small estates and no cluster of houses were visible.  But then again, land for agriculture is limited in the West Fjords, and fishing grounds were rich in many other places where fishing towns developed.  But the village Súðavík, like many other towns and villages around the shoreline in Iceland, started to form a village when Norwegian entrepreneurs started a whaling venture and built a whaling station around 1890. The tragedy of the 1995...
  • Suðureyrir is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    The tiny village of Súgandarfjörður is located in a narrow fjord surrounded by steep mountains.  Suðureyri is a relatively new village as it didn’t exist as a village at the beginning of the 20th century, and is thus new in historical terms.   Before that time, the inhabitable area in Súgandafjörður consisted of a few agricultural farms with access to good fishing grounds, scattered throughout the lowland of the fjord. The fjord has limited reference to the Sagas from the early settlement. Up until the last decade of the 19th century, the fjord was almost isolated during the wintertime and the only access by sea or walking trails to neighboring farms and villages. In the first decades of...
  • Tálknafjörður is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Tálknafjörður is a relatively new village in historical terms.  There is limited history before the town started to grow in the 20th century.  It is a typical tiny village that came to exist and developed because of easily accessible fishing grounds right outside the coast and good natural conditions for a harbor.  In the late forties, a harbor was built and paved the way for a fish processing plant that was constructed in the fifties. So from early on everything evolved around fish and fishing.  Most of the residents worked in the fishing industry and had their livelihood from service related to that industry. Tálknafjörður is still a separate municipal Today most of the residents still...
  • It is almost impossible to separate the town Vestmannaeyjar, and the clusters of islands Icelanders call Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands.  It is a small town on a tiny island south of Iceland placed on a rock in the middle of harsh forces of the Atlantic Ocean with an active volcano underneath. Most of the islands are steep rocks with difficult access.  It is one of the most exciting locations in the country and scores high on any indicator you would usually use to measure and compare anything of interest. Be it historical, geological, as a natural wonder, a spectacular view or otherwise.  It is possibly one of a kind on planet earth and a place you do not want to miss if you visit...
  • Vík is a tiny village in the Sourhern Region in Iceland
    Throughout the centuries, very few harbours or piers have been built on the South coastline in Iceland. Not only is it difficult because of the sand beaches, but also because of the enormous forces of nature that meet on the shoreline. On the one hand, we have the Atlantic ocean hammering its waves on the coast century after century and on the other hand, the rivers and eruptions moving sand, ash, stones and rocks from the land to the ocean.  It is an endless game of giving and taking that modifies and changes the coast from one century to another. This has made the task of building a harbour to take advantage of the fishing gourds much harder than in other places in Iceland. Vík is...
  • Street view at Vogar is a village.
    Although Iceland was an agricultural society throughout history, some areas around the coastline were fishing communities that consisted of fishing farms and fishing posts. This reason was mostly due to a short distance to large and generous fishing grounds and lack of fertile land.  Some of these clusters of fishing farms also had trading posts where they traded stockfish for commodities.   The town of Vogar on the Reykjanes peninsula located between Reykjavík and the International airport in Keflavík is such a place. A fishing village  Even though the town's land area is quite large, it doesn’t have many economic advantages in an agricultural sense since the land consists mostly of lava...
  • Vopnafjörður is a small village in the Eastern Region in Iceland
    The small village of Vopnafjörður is in the Eastern region and like its neighbours was quite isolated and remote for centuries.  Mostly due to the distance from other more populated areas and poor communication. The name Vopnafjörður means the fjord of weapons and comes from the first settler Eyvindur Weapon, a Viking that settled here in the 9th century.  One of the Icelandic Sagas bears the name of the area, Vopnfirðingasaga. So the small village has a profound historical reference. A trading place Danish-Icelandic Monopoly In the 17th and 18th century the fjord was a place of trading and merchants came here from Europe.  It was one of three principal places of trading in the North East...
  • Þingeyri is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland
    Þingeyri is a small village, located on the southern side of the fjord Dýrafjörður or Animal Fjord. It is one of the few small towns or villages in The West Fjords that doesn’t have a high, almost threatening mountain right above the village. On the contrary, the area around the village is wide, compared to many other communities. Although the village was an old trading place for the trading companies that had permission from the Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly, it didn’t start to develop as a community until the late nineteenth century. One of the oldest buildings in Iceland is at Þingeyri, an old warehouse built in 1734.  But it wasn’t until a few farmers purchased a docked vessel in the...
  • Þorlákshöfn is a tiny village in the Southern Region in Iceland
    For visitors, Þorlákshöfn is a good place to stop.  The village offers most of the necessary facilities and service visitors look for when finding an overnight place to stay or a place to rest.  Þorlákshöfn has a great swimming pool, a good camp site, a convenient store and excellent accommodations.  It is a young village with a short history. Throughout history, the question of a good harbour for the long south shore in Iceland has always been pressing. Although merchant vessels in the 16th up to the 19th-century didn't need a dock as they anchored near the coast in the nearby village Eyrarbakki, they needed some protection from the unpredictable forces of the Atlantic Ocean. And fishing...
  • Þórshöfn is a small village in the Northern Region in Iceland
    Þórshöfn is a small village in the Northeast region in Iceland, remote and far away from most places. Although Þórshöfn was never a large village, it reached its peak in the seventies, when around 500 people lived in the village. Since then, there has been a decline in the population and today less than 400 people live in the village. Historically Þórshöfn is a village that developed from trading, not fishing and fish processing like most villages around the coast in Iceland. On the other hand, the main economic base and livelihood of the residents today is more or less related to the fish industry. Þórshöfns origin can be traced to trading Trading by German merchants was documented as...