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, the first dock was built in the first decade of the 20th century. And it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century a that the village made a harbor; probably by politicians who wanted to strengthen the economic base of the small community. And finally, the community was ready to take advantage of the nearby fishing grounds.
Although fishing was promising at one point, the fishing quota probably stopped further development
In the sixties and the seventies Breiðdalsvík had a reasonably good base for developing its economy based on fishing and fish processing, with one trawler and a few fishing boats. But like so many small villages in Iceland, it did not survive the fishing quota law imposed by the Icelandic government at the end of the 20th century. In the late eighties and the nineties, the population declined, and the town lost most of its economic base.
Breiðdalsvík is also surrounded by good farming land
Parallel with the fishing industry agriculture and service related to agriculture was always strong in Breiðdalsvík as good farming land surrounds the village. The beautiful valley west of the village, framed by high mountains, has the same name and is the largest lowland area in the East Fjords.
The tiny village is turning to tourism and service
In recent years, Breiðdalsvík has been in defense, but more and more residents have moved over to tourism for their livelihood. The village is part of a municipal embracing the surrounding agricultural communities. With a population of only 170 people, the village struggles to offer the minimum service to its inhabitants. It has a primary school, a secondary school, a library and excellent sports facilities, including a swimming pool.
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 Breiðdalsvík region.