INFO

Fjallabyggð Municipality

The municipality of Fjallabyggð came into being as an administrative unit when the community of Ólafsfjörður community and the municipality of Siglufjörður were merged in 2006. The population of Fjallabyggð is over 2,000. The construction of the Héðinsfjörður tunnel, which links the two regional centres, has made the Tröllaskagi peninsula an ideal travel destination with plenty to offer. The distance between Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður is just 15 km.
The population centres of Fjallabyggð maintain a flourishing cultural activity and are known for their dynamic and vibrant extracurricular activities. There are interesting galleries and artist studios to be visited in Fjallabyggð. Every summer, there is a host of different performances and events taking place, including music, poetry, history, creative projects, the traditional Herring Festival and sports, to name but a few.
There are many interesting sights and activities for tourists and for those who are interested in outdoor activities in Fjallabyggð. During the winter, Fjallabyggð is an excellent place for skiing and a dream-come-true for those who like the outdoors. You can try out slalom skiing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, or drive around on a snowmobile or do some jig fishing on Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn.

Diverse natural environment – Hiking trails and mountain climbing
Fjallabyggð is an area of spectacular natural beauty. The mountains and the fjords are awe-inspiring and the opportunities for outdoors activities and recreation are almost inexhaustible. Travellers who visit Fjallabyggð will not be disappointed. The closeness to nature is always within reach, whether you wish to go on a hike, play golf, try ocean swimming, go skiing, surfing or angling on the lakes, rivers or the ocean.

The main attractions are angling on Ólafsfjörður Lake and Ólafsfjörður River, the variety of lively birdlife at ‘Leirurnar’ in Siglufjörður and the many hiking trails in mountains and valleys. The nearly untouched and peaceful nature of Héðinsfjörður heightens the attraction for visitors to the area. In Iceland, different locations and parts of - nature have almost countless words and place-names. For instance, there are around 1300 place and nature names registered in Héðinsfjörður and Siglufjörður.

There are many interesting trails in Fjallabyggð which have been demarcated and plotted in recent years. These trails are of varying lengths and difficulty, so that everybody should be able to find something to their liking. Maps and descriptions of these trails and hiking routes are to be found on Fjallabyggð’s website.

The snow-avalanche barriers in Siglufjörður and at Hornbrekka in Ólafsfjörður have received acclaim for their good design. The barriers are well-suited to the surroundings and there are very popular hiking trails along them.

The Afforestation Park (Skógræktin) in Siglufjörður is a real natural treasure, both in the winter and the summer season. People can walk along the trails and there are benches to sit down close to a waterfall deep inside the afforestation park. The afforestation park is located in Skarðsdalur Valley and the same road leads up to the skiing area.

One of the main features of Fjallabyggð is the abundant year-round bird life.
Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn is listed in the Nature Conservation Register by virtue of its peculiarity as a nature wonder. The lake features a layer of fresh water on top of the salt water which acts like a greenhouse pane of glass above the lower water layers. The physical properties of the lake mean that many different species of fish are caught there. It is popular to walk or bike around the lake, a distance of around 13 km.

The main attractions are angling on Ólafsfjörður Lake and Ólafsfjörður River, the variety of lively birdlife at ‘Leirurnar’ in Siglufjörður and the many hiking trails in mountains and valleys. The nearly untouched and peaceful nature of Héðinsfjörður heightens the attraction for visitors to the area. In Iceland, different locations and parts of - nature have almost countless words and place-names. For instance, there are around 1300 place and nature names registered in Héðinsfjörður and Siglufjörður.

The midnight sun and the Northern Lights

As the northernmost populated part of Iceland, Fjallabyggð is the perfect location to enjoy the midnight sun in the summer and see the Northern Lights in the winter. There is no better place to see the magnificent Northern Lights than here in Héðinsfjörður. The air is clean and there is no light pollution to spoil the magnificent view of the Lights. When the weather conditions are right, you can see the Northern Lights and the stars during bright winter nights. This provides a unique opportunity for photographers to take photos of this true wonder of the world.

Swimming – Sports
There are two sports centres in Fjallabyggð.
The town of Ólafsfjörður has a 25-metre outdoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, a swimming pool with slide, a wade pool with mushroom waterfalls, a sitz bath and a gym.
The town of Siglufjörður has a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a sauna, an outdoor hot tub and a gym.

There are two nine-hole golf courses in Fjallabyggð – one in Siglufjörður and the other in Ólafsfjörður.
The fjord in Ólafsfjörður is increasing popular among those interested in sea-surfing and sea-swimming, which the area is very well suited for.
There are two ski areas in Fjallabyggð, the Skarðsdalur ski area in Siglufjörður and the Tindaöxl ski area in Ólafsfjörður. The ski area in Skarðsdalur is arguably one of the country’s best ski areas and the ski hills in Ólafsfjörður are some of the best slalom ski trails. In Ólafsfjörður, there is a cross-country ski trail with lights along the trail and which is accessible to skiers during the summer season. Mountain skiing is becoming an ever more popular leisure sport. Few places boast better conditions for this sport than in Fjallabyggð and Tröllaskagi.

Museums, centres and studios
The Herring Era Museum
The Herring Era Museum is one of the largest marine memorabilia and industrial history museums in Iceland. Three different buildings take us through the historic herring fishing times of earlier decades and describe how herring, known as “the “silver of the ocean”, is processed. The Róaldsbrakki building is a Norwegian herring processing house dating back to 1907. Every Saturday in July, there is a salting show where the salt-curing of herring is performed. This show is included in the entrance ticket to the museums. The Grána building contains a museum detailing the history of the fish- rendering industry, once referred to as the first-large scale industry in Iceland. The boat-house contains boats, large and small, which are moored at the piers. The Herring Era Museum was the winner of the 2000 Icelandic Museum Award (the first year this accolade was awarded), the 2004 European Museum Award, and the Micheletti Award, which named the museum the best new innovative museum in the world of contemporary history, industry and science in Europe that year. Further information can be found at www.sild.is.

The Reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson Folk Music Centre

The Reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson Folk Music Centre was opened in the summer of 2006. The Folk Music Centre is located in a building called ‘Maddömu-húsið’ (meaning ‘the Madam House’), where the Reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson (1861-1938), composer and collector of folk music, lived at the end of the 19th century. The role of the Folk Museum Centre is to preserve and raise awareness of Icelandic folk music and folk dances by means of recordings, exhibitions, performances and the annual folk music festival in Siglufjörður. The Reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson’s career as a collector of folk music is recounted to visitors of the museum, including an account of his sources and of those who assisted him with his collecting from various places in Iceland. Further information can be found at www.folkmusik.is.

The Icelandic Poetry Centre
The Centre provides an opportunity for visitors to get acquainted with trends and movements in Icelandic poetry from the settlement era to the present day. Visitors are also able to study noteworthy books and objects and various other items connected with Icelandic poetry. The Centre has a library containing a large number of poetry books and other books related to poetry and poetic composition. Further information can be found at http://ljodasetur.123.is.

The Fjallabyggð Municipal Art Museum
The Museum houses around 130 paintings and sculptures by artists such as Kjarval, Erró, Þorvaldur Skúlason, Nína Tryggvadóttir and Alfred Flóki, as well as artworks by foreign artists, the most well-known being Salvador Dali. Further information can be found at www.listasafn.fjallabyggd.is.

The Ólafsfjörður Museum of Natural History
The Ólafsfjörður Museum of Natural History is primarily a bird collection of more than 100 species of birds. The Museum possesses most of the bird species to be found in Iceland, as well as a collection of birds’ eggs, a small plant collection, foxes in their dens, a billy goat, crabs, rare fish from Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn, a polar bear that was shot and killed in the Grímsey Island Strait, and many other items.

Music and festivals
There are numerous festivals held in Fjallabyggð each summer. One of them is the Fisherman’s Day festival at the end of May/beginning of June. The Blue North Music Festival is held at the end of June in Ólafsfjörður and the Folk Music Festival is held on the first weekend in July in Siglufjörður. ‘Reitir’ is an international cooperative project by creative artists performed by the Alþýduhús (‘Folk House’) in Siglufjörður in the beginning of July. The Síldarævintýrið (‘Herring Festival’) is held in Siglufjörður over the Bank Holiday Weekend (on the first weekend in August) and is the most travelled weekend in Iceland. Later in the month, there is the Berjadagar (‘Berry-Picking Days’) Music Festival – a traditional music festival – in Ólafsfjörður. In September and October, the Haustglæður (‘Indian Summer’) poetry festival is held by the Poetry Centre of Iceland and the youth association Glói.


The Ólafsfjörður Camping site
The camping cite in Ólafsfjörður is next to the Sports Centre. There you will find a small pond abounding in bird life. Younger children enjoy catching the small sand lance swimming around in the pond.

Camping site – Information centres.  In Ólafsfjörður, the Information Centre is located in the Public Library in Ólafsvegur 4

The Siglufjörður Camping site

The camping site in Siglufjörður is located in the town centre by the square and the marina. All services, recreational facilities and museums are within a 5-10 minutes’ walk. South of the snow-avalanche barrier (called Stóri boli, meaning ‘Big Bull’), there is a special area for those looking for peace and quiet. The golf course, the horse stables and the bird nesting grounds are only a short distance away. Approximately 10 minutes away is the downtown area, where there is a building with access to showers and washing machines for tourists and others.
The Information Centre in Siglufjörður is run during the opening hours of the Public Library, which is situated in the Town Hall. 





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