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 with an important export harbor
Soon enough Icelandic entrepreneurs in trading learned about the profit in fishing and fish exporting and overall economic activity in Eskifjörður was thriving in the last decades of the 19th century. The Harbor became one of the busiest exporting harbors in Iceland. So at that time, Eskifjörður had a lot to offer for a country that had suffered from epidemics, hunger and eruptions for decades and centuries and was more or less depended on agriculture as a means of survival. And people all over the East Fjords and the southern part of Iceland started to settle in the town.
Like many coastal villages, the motorboats made a difference
As fishing activity was already an important base for the town's economy early in the 20th century, the town was quick to adjust to technical development and motorboats arrived in 1905. This was a great premise for the growth of Eskifjörður and the town flourished until the third decade when most things fell apart as the catch declined and prices in foreign markets dropped. In the fifties and the sixties, most of the economic activity are connected to fishing and fish processing which is still the primary source of livelihood. In those years, most of the town’s infrastructure were built, including government and municipal service and buildings. Among those projects, a house for the District Magistrate, a doctor and health service, schools and a new harbor. The town also has a nice camping site with good facilities and an exceptional swimming pool for those who are traveling in Iceland.
Eskifjörður is a growing town with excellent economy
Today Eskifjörður is a thriving town with a strong economy. The village is part of the municipal Fjarðarbyggð embracing five attractive towns and six beautiful fjords. The Municipal offers overall good service for residents and has a healthy economy based on fishing, service, tourism, commerce, and agriculture. Although the much-disputed aluminum smelter has contributed substantially to the development of the economy, the merging of the towns into a single municipal was a smart move.
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 Eskifjörður region.