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. Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) are a group of 15 magnificent islands and over 30 large cliffs, rocks and skerries, 70 kilometres off the southern coast of Iceland.. This was probably due to lack of natural harbor or good landing place for boats. Like the whole Eyjafjörður area, the Coop... Djúpavík used to be one of the busiest villages in Iceland,  but only for a very short period. 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. Located a few miles away from the capital, Hafnarfjörður is the third biggest community land in the country. In 1902 the small waterfall Reykjafoss in the river Varmá, which runs through the town today, a small hydroelectric power unit was built. A country where strange and desolate landscapes lay just outside the colorful capital of Reykjavik. However, if the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activities the Akureyri Folk Museum comes in handy. The population is less than 80 people, and everyone depends on fishing and fish processing. At least in a historical sense. A lively town... 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. 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. 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. And if you look closer those citizens are spread wide and far around the coastline decreasing even further the population of the biggest city, Reykjavik. After the trading post had started to develop, more and more houses were built. Before that time, only a handful of farms had been in the fjord as good land for farming is limited in the lowland. The record being nine different whales in one trip! One of the most powerful and strongest companies in Iceland, Kaupfélag Skagfirðinga (The Skagafjörður Cooperative Society) is located in Sauðárkrókur. 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. 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. Wild, windswept and caked with icecaps from south to Arctic north, Iceland is a land of steaming volcanos and enchanting fishing towns, rugged canyons and colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and buzzing vodka bars. Even new enterprises from... Garðabær is one of the most affluent towns in Iceland and has quite often had the highest income per Family compared to other municipals. A tiny community struggling to provide basic... Reykjanesbær or Keflavík town is the main home town of the International Airport in Iceland and is also part of the Reykjanes Peninsula drive. Rate: Nominate. Throughout the centuries, very few harbours or piers have been built on the South coastline in Iceland. The town has awe-inspiring hiking trails, truly yummy restaurants (including chefs from a Michelin star restaurants) and a quiet calm which is a rare find these days. 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. It was a typical rural agricultural area. 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. It tells the tales of Akureyri, from its first settlers and its development in the 19th century but will also take you back to the Viking age telling gruesome stories of rebels and outlaws. The first settlement was in the late 19th century and developed around a small trading post. Must See: the swimming pool, a must dip-in! Although a small village, Djúpivogur has been around for a long time. The village became a certified trading post at the end of the 19th century. Rate: Nominate. You can stand right at the base of the falls or hike to the top through a staircase. At that time, most of the people in Iceland lived on farms, and agriculture was the primary source of food and income. The Biggest Cities in Iceland. It is the perfect place to hang out and re-energize, to find peace and still have plenty to do! A place where volcanically active hot spots and enormous glaciers can be found side by side. She loves educating others about her findings or her home country, Iceland. Isafjordur is undoubtedly the capital of the Westfjords. 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. There are massive glaciers lying in this country which you can explore by sitting through various best cities in Iceland.When visitors initially visit Iceland it is a bit difficult due to the large language gap as most of the speakers prefer Irish as their first language. The whole area is more like an agricultural and farming land. Iceland: Major Localities. Photo from Westman Islands Flightseeing Tour | South Coast Departure. Like Blönduós the village is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. 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. })(); Iceland Travel 2021 © - All Rights Reserved - Skógarhlíð 12 - 105 Reykjavík, Iceland, Blue Lagoon Transfer with Comfort admission, Click for more information on Iceland Travel and COVID-19. Even in 1935, the town didn’t count more than 20 houses, and most of the inhabitants had their income from agricultural related activities. Fáskrúðsfjörður or Búðir as the village's name was before people gave it the same as the fjord, is no exception. Please note that we charge for tours in Euros (EUR). } It might surprise many people that visit Iceland and travel around the country, how many towns and villages have a kind of short history. The fjord has limited reference to the Sagas from the early settlement. An old village that developed late Tags: Europe Cities, iceland, map. A town with a natural harbor and rich fishing grounds The only oldness has to do with the company itself and its recipes which are traditional Icelandic grandma style. For those looking to stretch their legs. Iceland: Major Localities with population statistics, maps, charts, weather and web information. Reykjavik has to be on the list. It really helps with imagining the small-town feel and the welcoming spirit of the locals. Something that is very evident when you visit! Blönduós, which means the mouth of the river Blanda, is one of the busiest tourist stops in Iceland. 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. The towns and villages in Iceland make travel around the whole country comfortable and enjoyable. Even though the communities on the south shore had access to fertile fishing grounds, bringing the catch to town was always a problem. It was a woman, Þuríður sundafyllir, not a man or a famous Viking, that settled in Bolungarvík around one thousand years ago. According to Wikipedia. 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. Where dark winters are offset by the summers midnight sun. But it wasn’t until a few farmers purchased a docked vessel in the... For visitors, Þorlákshöfn is a good place to stop. Contrary to most small villages on the coastline in Iceland, Flateyri started as a trading post, not as a fishing farm. This is truly a rare find in Iceland which is widely known as the tree-less country. A trading place Danish-Icelandic Monopoly LungA is also a fantastic music festival beautifully intertwined with exhibitions and performances. For example, four localities … The store post soon developed into fishing and fish processing parallel to the commercial activity. Total number of cities: 30. Grindavík has many large and small fishing vessels and is one of the most important fishing harbors in Iceland. You can hike in the area, explore fantastic natural wonders or simply drive from one attraction to another. 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. The distance from... Grenivík is a tiny village on the east coast of Eyjafjörður, named after the bay in front of the town. 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. Vik is the second largest and one of the best towns in Iceland (particularly, on the south coast) and is a great spot to stop when driving around the countries ring road. They have a packed calendar with concerts, musicals, seminars, exhibitions, children’s shows, etc. Although its first buildings were built around a trading post and commercial activities for a local Coop society, it was also related to agriculture. It was one of three principal places of trading in the North East... Þingeyri is a small village, located on the southern side of the fjord Dýrafjörður or Animal Fjord. The town of Hvolsvöllur has a bit of a unique history compared to all other towns and villages in Iceland. For many reasons, this village has quite a different history than most towns and villages. The largest cities in Iceland are shown at the top of the page. The stores and trading were also the reasons for the village's origin. It is easy to lose track of time watching them sail these glorious seas. So the small village has a profound historical reference. Sandgerði started its fishing venture with motorboats 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. Processing plants were built, and people invested in houses and companies. Þórshöfns origin can be traced to trading Find out more here. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. 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. They will not disappoint! Template:Largest cities of Iceland. This especially means the beautiful and colorful timber house which gives Stykkisholmur its fairy-tale-like vision we enjoy so much today. Icelandic Food and Drinks You Need to Try. The power was utilized to operate a wool factory. To talk about a list of Icelandic cities might be a bit of an overstatement. However, it wasn’t until the late sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century that Akranes started to... Akureyri is the largest town in Iceland outside the Reykjavík and the Capital City area. Reykjavik has to be on the list. The small village is placed in a wonderful surroundings with spectacular landscape. It is located right down by the harbor, a great place to stop when making your way to one of the many whale watching tours offered from Akureyri. Try and name all of the biggest cities in the country of Iceland! 1 on our list of the most interesting towns and village in Iceland. The town of Neskaupstaður is the easternmost town in Iceland, located in a small fjord, Norðfjörður. Just note that they only start filling up around midnight. Almost like a suburb. Hotel Egilsen also offers annual writer residencies that are highly popular, perhaps not surprisingly when you visit the abode. 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. There are many reasons to stop at the pleasant village Hvammstangi in the Northern Region in Iceland. For centuries, the farm Reykhólar was considered one of the most valuable estates in the country. If they are active volcanoes, biggest glaciers or even hot springs, Iceland has everything for everyone. Stykkisholmur is to many the Danish town of Iceland. During summer Icelanders drink to celebrate the midnight sun and in winter to deal with the darkness. Emstrur sf. } Aside from the Northern Lights, Midnight Sun, and never-ending list of waterfalls, Iceland is also home to so many regions that are special in their own rite. It is also neighbor to many natural wonders like Jökulsárlón, Fjaðrárgljúfur, and Lakagígar. Hellissandur is thus considered to be one of the first fishing villages in Iceland. Nominated. The towns origin can not be traced back to farms or settlements that developed from trading and fishing centuries back. Here, you’ll find a few tasty restaurants like Berg, which serves the best Arctic char in the south of Iceland and make sure to finish off with some Icelandic skyr for a sweet treat. The prerequisite that made it possible for ships of all sizes to sail into a calm, natural harbour in the bottom of the fjord. 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. 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. If you travel the Ring Road, you will come to Akureyri while in the Northern Region. 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. The village has two other unusual and exciting angles in its history. Geography Quiz / 50 Largest Icelandic Cities Random Geography Quiz Can you name the 50 Largest Icelandic Cities? 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. During the warmer months, trips run day and night, including whale watching in the midnight sun. 100 Largest Cities in Iceland. Reyðarfjörður is a town that we can categorise and an entirely modern small town with all the modern service people require. It is a relatively new community that developed in the middle of last century. It is more like several other towns and villages around the coastline, a product of modern times. In some areas in Iceland, two almost identical villages developed although the distance between them is just a few kilometers. The tiny village of Bakkafjörður is probably the smallest, most remote and most isolated village in Iceland.Both regarding activity and geography. Hólmavík is not an old 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. An entrepreneur in trading built the first house in the late twenties and started his business and opened a store. Even historically nothing can point to a valid reason why the two villages aren't jut one village. 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. Tel - +354 8632139. Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. 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. 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. If you travel the Ring Road, you will come to Akureyri while in the Northern Region. Furthermore from the town of Stykkisholmur, you can easily take a ferry up to the Westfjords, with a car and all. Iceland, officially known as the Republic of Iceland, is an island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean just outside the Arctic Circle and ironically has a warm temperate climate. 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. Up until that time, the area only consisted of farms. There is an abundance of excellent restaurants and bars which is well sought by locals and travelers. The town of Sauðárkrókur is the center town for the west part of the Northern Region. ©Copyright 2020 Emstrur sf. 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. Last updated: May 9, 2014. In recent decades, the fishing industry in Grindavík has grown and thrived in sharp contrast to most former fishing towns along the coastline. Home to the largest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull National Park is so vast that it encompasses around 14 percent of the country. Unlike most towns and villages around the coast in Iceland, Súðavík was always more of an agricultural area. Contact us It inhabits about ⅔ of the population and each neighborhood or borough has its own charm and history. Reykjavík, the capital and the largest city in Iceland. Its singing waterfalls, gloomy mountains, creative art scene, delicious beer, rainbow street and rich history make this fishing paradise a must-visit. 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. Surrounding it are moss-covered lava fields and beautiful landscapes of untouched Icelandic beauty. 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. event : event, } Sandgerði began to develop as a fishing village in the second half of the nineteenth century when motorboats took over the rowing boats. Akureyri is an Easter paradise with its skiing slopes in the world-class. Walking around Stykkisholmur is a photogenic experience and gives you a fantastic insight into life in a fishing village in Iceland. In the first decades of... Tálknafjörður is a relatively new village in historical terms. It is also a logical stop if you are visiting the magnificent Kálfhamarsvík basalt column bay. Kirkjubæjarklaustur got its name from Monasteries... Kópavogur is the largest town in Iceland and comes second in size only to the capital Reykjavik. The Library of Water is another surprise favorite, where artist Roni Horn has created dazzling visuals serving as a museum to water in the old library of the town. Húsavík is Nr. Like other places around the coastline, the people of Höfn also started to take advantage of the fishing grounds nearby. 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. Grundarfjörður is a beautiful old fishing town That’s when the forever fun bars and pubs on Laugavegur street come in. It is more or less a cluster of houses with a small harbour. Originally it was a farm called Nes and mentioned in the book of settlement. 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. Here is a list of some of the smaller towns. 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. Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki on the east side of Vatnsnes and many interesting natural wonders like Kálfhamarsvík and Kolugljúfur. This quiz asks you to name the 100 largest cities in Iceland. 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. So for centuries, the area was mainly a typical... 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. A few years later a better harbor was built,... As a municipal, Grindavík located at Reykjanes Peninsula is one of the most interesting towns on the Icelandic coastline. 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. GDP fell 6.8% in 2009, and unemployment peaked at 9.4% in February 2009. Many attempts were made but never developed into a permanent economic base. Street: Hafnarstræti (same as in Akureyri, means harbor street, so very popular in Iceland). } In the center of the Saga Njala and... Ísafjörður is the center town of the West Fjords in Iceland. It is famous for the Danish influence in the 19th century which is still very visible today. Also for those on a road trip traveling the Ring Road and looking for great thing to see in the Icelandic nature. The views from the slopes are even more idyllic reaching far and wide over the Eyjafjordur fjord that Akureyri resides in. Although the bay and nearby places are mentioned in the Book of Settlement, the village has only been around for a few decades. 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. 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. A village on an Icelandic standard would be a place with less than 300 people. Ragnheiður is into country living, traveling, Icelandic horses, the Icelandic naming system, plants and all things having to do with food and beer. Ólafur exported fish to Spain in his vessels from Bíldudalur and owned decked vessels when most people only had rowing boats. The Danish Trading Monopoly organised its trading in the south-east region from Djúpivogur, and so did some of the companies successors. Home → Europe → Iceland. Many recognize Stykkisholmur as the place A Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed but Ben Stiller lived a few months in the town whilst shooting the film. Use our photos free with two conditions 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. This site uses cookies. Whilst others enjoy a soak in the local swimming pool, a kayaking season on the Arctic waters or maybe even a hike further into the fjords for some wildlife action. Even at the end of the middle ages, a cluster of fishing farms formed a tiny fishing village. Mánatún 17, 105 Reykjavík The population of the regions of Iceland according to official estimates. 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. 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. 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. The first road built to connect Siglufjörður to the main road was in 1940 when the Siglufjörður mountain pass opened. We currently have data on 63 cities in Iceland. 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. 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. During World War II, the United States Army built a naval base for Iceland’s defense and to secure the northern Atlantic route. Not only is it difficult because of the sand beaches, but also because of the enormous forces of nature that meet on the shoreline. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Norse entrepreneurs started herring fishing in Iceland with their center of operation in Eskifjörður. Biggest Cities in Iceland. 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... 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. The town has many photo opportunities, and also the landscape in the fjord. Regions. Early on, the area became compact with fishing huts, as the fishing grounds right out from the shore were plentiful. In the 17th and 18th century the fjord was a place of trading and merchants came here from Europe. Historically it is also a place of great importance. It is one of the smallest villages in Iceland with permanent residents all year round. Profile Quizzes Subscribed Subscribe? One of the oldest buildings in Iceland is at Þingeyri, an old warehouse built in 1734. Reykjavik Iceland’s capital and largest city, which is home to fewer than 200,000 people, has a captivating color and charm. The largest of the islands, Heimaey, has a population of roughly 4,100 and is the only inhabited island of the entire archipelago. The population is 28.189 in 2016 acording to offical numbers. Because of these excellent conditions Stykkishólmur became an important trading post early in Iceland’s history. Terms and Conditions Akureyri is the largest town in Iceland outside the Reykjavík and the Capital City area. The mention of Bolungarvík in the Icelandic Book of Settlement is both interesting and unusual. Iceland: The largest cities in 2016 (in thousand inhabitants) The tiny village of Súgandarfjörður is located in a narrow fjord surrounded by steep mountains. Divided into four separately managed territories, the park’s most frequently visited section is the southern territory of Skaftafell where trails lead you past blue-tinted glacial tongues and waterfalls. In 2019, 93.86 percent of Iceland's total population lived in urban areas and cities. Perhaps after a long drive from the south Kjarnaskogur forest your place. The village is worth visiting and the landscape striking. 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. Like many of the towns around the Capital Reykjavík, it is tightly connected to the city. Here, we take a look at 15 of the top spots that every traveler to this Scandinavian island should have on the menu (along with the uber-fresh fish of course!). A small but clever community The French connection It is placed in a small fjord with steep mountains. The military base was in operation until September 2006. 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. I’m putting it first, not because it is the best nor is it the least favorite. Some of these clusters of fishing farms also had trading posts where they traded stockfish for commodities. However, once in the town you’ll find outstanding restaurants with eccentric yet extremely tasty courses. Stykkisholmur yet another town in Icelandic with a flair for the artistic but wood-work is a specialty of the locals. Located at the Vatnsnes Peninsula, it is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. Somehow someone figured out soon after, that people coming from Reykjavik became terribly hungry after passing the new bridge. There are 107 cities in Iceland. Hafnarfjörður. The village is placed near the Vatnsnes Peninsula and is a neighbor to some stunning natural wonders. 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. Although almost hidden and rarely mentioned anywhere today, Reykhólar has quite a unique place in Iceland’s history. 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. In the late forties, a harbor was built and paved the way for a fish processing plant that was constructed in the fifties. The town had a small harbor and a fish processing plant that was the livelihood of the residents. The company stretches its economic and political influence to many corners in the Icelandic society. It is an important city for trade of goods through the arctic circle. But even so Icelanders will still talk about Akureyri, Hafnarfjordur, Selfoss and other bigger towns as cities. Interestingly Garðabær has been around, in a sense,  since Iceland´s first settlement in the 9th century. And fishing... Þórshöfn is a small village in the Northeast region in Iceland, remote and far away from most places. Other more populated areas and poor communication this was probably due to the top of the Region... Are visiting the neat small town with all the historical prerequisites to become a large village, Borgarfjörður has! Offer visitors and Icelanders alike specialty iceland biggest cities the 19th century which is very... To operate a wool factory people which together make the town you ’ re looking for Iceland facts, really! 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