Dalvik from the sea. It is not among the most beautiful by a long shot but the town has its moments. PIC William Wallace

Dalvik from the sea. It is not among the most beautiful by a long shot but the town has its moments. PIC William Wallace

D ocally the small town of Dalvik, population two thousand, is famous for two things. Being the site of one of the better ski and winter sport area in the country and secondly for holding what has become one of Iceland´s most celebrated festivals: The Great Fish Day. Otherwise there is not much to do or see in town.

Sitting roughly 30 minutes away from Akureyri, the capital of the North, Dalvik is also the base of the ferry sailing to the only two inhabited islands, Hrisey island and Grimsey island, found off the North coast of Iceland. Both of which are rather enjoyable to visit and the latter one the only spot in Iceland where you are actually standing on the famed Arctic Circle.

In wintertime Dalvik is rather sleepy as is the case with most towns and villages in this country with a notable exception when skiing is good in Boggvistada mountain nearby. This is one of the nicer ski areas of Iceland but the problem here is the very stiff competition from what is arguably the best ski area in Hafnarfjall towering over Akureyri.

For cultural experiences you do have a choice of visiting a small and unremarkable history museum. Byggdasafn Hvoll is decent if you are into the history of this place but otherwise of little interest. The second one is a bit out of town but well worth a stop for bird enthusiasts. The Birdland exhibition is a pretty good showcase of birds in the North of Iceland. This latter one open only in summertime. A nice guesthouse is also here if you want to take your time here.

There is almost no need to mention the swimming pool here. These are found in almost every town and village in the country and team Total Iceland implores you to take advantage of this. Nothing beats waking up and taking a swim or enjoy a relaxing swim after a day of travel.

It is also possible to take to the sea here and either fish or go whale watching. Tour operators offer daily tours in summertime. Although it must be said, if the sea tempts you, it is most memorable to visit the nearby Hrisey island.

As for other means of getting a bed for the night there is one actual hotel in town. Fosshotel Dalvik is fairly nice and Dalvik Hostel a good option for budget travelers as well as a couple of inns in town. For a more varied selection a number of farms offer accommodation of some kind all around Dalvik (search hotels and inns here below). For those with tents or caravans the camping area in Dalvik is both big and nice and most services on offer. Take note this is usually only open in summertime.

The major highlight of Dalvik is the aforementioned weekend festival Great Fish Day. Held yearly in August this is effectively where dozens of local producers of fish products come together and offer free samples to anyone. Samples is perhaps not a good word for you actually get a whole meal in many spots. The festival enjoys immense popularity among locals and over this weekend the population of Dalvik explodes. Up to 20 thousand people visit and it goes without saying that such numbers are tough on a small town. Expect long lines of people, traffic jams galore and overall chaos. Nevertheless, the festival is still worth it and the last years planners have been expanding the festival which now includes a music concert as well as a small fireworks show at the end.

When to visit? This is far North which means weather can be more unpredictable. Take note of the video above taken in early August. One can easily see snow capped mountains all around. We recommend July or August. [/reveal]