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Village Profile: Fjallabyggd – A Skier’s Dream

Fjallabyggd (“Mountain Settlement”) is a skier’s dream. Its slopes are perfect for slaloming and there are also tracks for telemark skiing. Winter sport enthusiasts can also go ice skating, rent snowmobiles and try ice fishing.

Fjallabyggd (pop. 2,200) is a municipality in northeast Iceland uniting the towns Ólafsfjördur and Siglufjördur. The distance between the towns dropped to 15 kilometers from up to 234 kilometers with the opening of a new tunnel in 2010.

In summer, Fjallabyggd turns into a paradise for hikers. There are a variety of hiking paths in the majestic landscape. Tourists are also drawn to the black-sand beaches and the peaceful Ólafsfjardarvatn Lake.

Hobby fishers can choose from a range of locations. Apart from rod fishing in the lake, they can fish in the rivers Ólafsfjardará and Hólsá, try their luck with sea angling on Hédinsfjördur fjord or simply toss their baited hook off the pier.

Midnight cruises, some of which cross the Arctic Circle, are available and they can be combined with hiking trips. Fjallabyggd has activities for everyone; it also has two nine-hole golf courses and two thermal swimming pools.

Siglufjördur prides itself of its award-winning museum Síldarminjasafnid, which documents the “silver of the sea” era, herring fishing and processing in Iceland. The natural history museum in Ólafsfjördur displays different species of stuffed birds.

Accommodation and tourist services:

- Brimnes Hotel and Cabins (Bylgjubyggd 2, 625 Ólafsfjördur, Tel: +354 466-2400, [email protected], www.brimnes.is). - Siglufjördur Tourist Service (Tel: +345 467-2293, [email protected], www.siglo-travel.is). - Hvanneyri Guesthouse (Adalgata 10, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-1506 and +354 864-1850, [email protected], www.hvanneyri.com). - Raudka Guesthouse, Siglufjördur (opens in spring or summer). - Burstabrekka Guesthouse, Ólafsfjördur (opens in spring or summer).

Shops/restaurants:

- Gas Station Sölvar (Tjarnargata, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-1415). - Bío Café - Restaurant (Aðalgata 30, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-1111). - Höllin ehf (Hafnargata 16, 625 Ólafsfjördur, Tel: +354 466- 4000). - Olísskálinn gas station and fast food outlet (Bylgjubyggd 2, 625 Ólafsfjördur, Tel: +354 466-2272). - Pizza 67 (Adalgata 32, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-2323).

Attractions/places of interest:

- Garún Art Gallery (Adalgata 7, 625 Ólafsfjördur). - Hófý Ceramic Gallery (Túngata 15, 625 Ólafsfjördur). - Frida.is Art Gallery (Túngata 40a, 580 Siglufjörður, Tel +354 467-1173, [email protected], www.frida.is). - Sigló Art Gallery (Sudurgata 6, 580 Siglufjördur). - The Bergthór Mortens Art Gallery (The Tynes House, 580 Siglufjördur).

Events/exhibitions:

- Síldarminjasafnid – The Icelandic Herring Era Museum (Snorragata 15, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-1604, [email protected], www.herring.siglo.is). - Þjódlagasetur Sr. Bjarna Thorsteinssonar – The Rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson Folk Music Centre (Nordurgata 1, 580 Siglufjördur, Tel: +354 467-2300, [email protected], www.siglo.is/setur). - Museum of Natural History (Adalgata 14, 625 Ólafsfjördur, Tel: +354 466-2651). - Folk Music Festival in Siglufjördur, July 2 to 6. - Culture festival “Berry Days” in Ólafsfjördur, August 15 to 17.

For further information visit www.fjallabyggd.is or call +354 464-9200 (Ólafsfjördur) and +354 464-9100 (Siglufjördur).

Click on the picture for a larger map.

Quotes about Siglufjördur from the recently released Bradt Iceland Guide by Andrew Evans:

“This is the kind of town where nobody locks their doors, where everyone knows each other, but where outsiders are as welcome as the sun.”

“A most remarkable trek crosses the eastern mountains at the Hestskard Pass and down into the untouched Hédinsfjördur or “heathen’s fjord”. Free of roads, traffic, people and towns, this may very well be the most pristine fjord in the whole country.”

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