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Fjallabyggð 

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 around 2.015.
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 17 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, herring, sailing and sports, to name but a few.   

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. 

There are many interesting sights and activities for tourists and for those who are interested in outdoor activities in Fjallabyggð.

In Fjallabyggð you can explore the mountains and fjords and enjoy extensive walking trails. It’s the perfect place for hill walking and mountaineering. There are a lot of trails suitable for all levels of fitness and experience just waiting to be discovered. Come and enjoy the unspoiled splendor of Fjallabyggð, its many valleys—especially the beautiful Héðinsfjörður.

The region is blessed with two wonderful ski areas. Skarðsdalur in Siglufjörður is considered one of Iceland’s best ski resorts. What could be better than skiing down an Icelandic valley overlooking a glistening fjord and the surrounding snow-capped mountain.

For thrill seekers and lovers of speed, the ski area Tindaöxl in Ólafsfjörður has a great slalom ski trail and there’s also a cross country ski trail that is fully lit, meaning it’s always ready when you are.

With minimal levels of light pollution and the pure, clear, northern Icelandic air, Fjallabyggð is an ideal vantage point from which to experience the magical enigma of the northern lights. Seeing this colorful lightshow sweep across the sky amidst the fjords, mountains and valleys is truly a sight to behold.

In addition to the many fjords and the Atlantic Ocean, the landscape is also blessed with the natural wonder of Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn. Listed in the Conservation Register, this unusual lake has freshwater on the surface and salt water underneath. This combination creates ideal conditions for diverse aquatic life, meaning the lake is the perfect place for those who love to fish. Jigging lines and angling opportunities can be found in both Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn and in neighboring Ólafsfjörður river.

For those who love to swim, Ólafsfjörður fjord enjoys growing popularity for sea-surfing and ocean swimming. The community’s outdoor geothermal swimming pools are also a popular pastime, with Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður each having swimming pools, complete with hot tubs, and there’s also a water slide at the pool in Ólafsfjörður for the young at heart.

There are two nine-hole golf courses in Fjallabyggð – one in Siglufjörður and the other in Ólafsfjörður.

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 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 many of poetry books and other books related to poetry and poetic composition. Further information can be found at http://ljodasetur.123.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.