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The village of Sudavik across the beautiful Alftarfjordur fjord. Hard to imagine this beautiful setting as being the setting of one of the most horrific tragedies in Icelandic history in January 1995. PIC meironike

T he village of Sudavik, or Súðavík in the local dialect, has a special place in the hearts of many Icelanders. The reason being that this place is the scene of one of three very tragic events in recent Icelandic history.

An avalanche wrecked the town and killed 14 people one horrible night in January 1995 at the very same time as raging storms across the island made any rescue attempts damn near impossible.  Still today, it is very possible to imagine this horrific event because although a chunk of the town has been rebuilt one can still see the tracks of the massive avalanche going straight through town and a sizable void where houses once stood . Although not the first horrible tragedy because of avalanches in the country this event especially energized the government to start building special structures to protect vulnerable towns all over Iceland.

Actually, there are two Sudavik villages here. The older settlement lies a few minute walk away from the newer part of town. The older part is dramatically more interesting.

Sudavik, in the remote Westfjords area of the country, is only a short trip away from the “capital” of the Westfjords, Isafjordur town, and whilst the Alftarfjordur fjord in which Sudavik lies is very nice there is little here to tempt visitors. That does not keep the locals from trying and you would be hard pressed to find as many options available to you here in any other small village of less than 200 people.

Hiking is a given here in this beautiful fjord but limited to summertime. The coast is very nice and should you really want to show off you take a swim in the deep fjord. A tour company, Ogurferdir, offers various trips around here as well as kayaking.

Apart from such adventures you can go sea fishing or just sailing with Iceland Sea Angling. There is even a museum here dedicated to the Icelandic fox. Melrakkasetrið also offers fine local delicacies and you should not miss trying their famous cakes. Also in town is a small but nice playpark for the kids.

Last but not least. Sudavik is not a bad spot to stay before or after you venture into what is one of the last vast wilderness area in the whole of Europe. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is just across the Isafloa bay and only accessible on boats or on foot.

Should you require accommodation or food there are amazingly also a few options here in Sudavik. Admittedly those are mostly only available in the summer months. Those include a camping area and two very nice guesthouses. Blomsturvellir is one and the other is Swanfjord a tiny distance from the village. You can also rent a regular summer cabin in the fjord or in the village itself.

For food the aforementioned Melrakkasetur (Arctic Fox Centre) is a nice stop for light lunches. Also in Samkomuhusid, Community Center, there is a small restaurant specializing in slow food. For faster food and perhaps some wine or beer head to Jon Indiafari at Grundarstraeti road. There also is a small supermarket.

De Facto Hardly a stone in the whole valley does not have a story to tell which seems amazing for such a peaceful fjord. Do ask the older locals or the tour guide about the many stories connected to this place.

Getting here Twenty minutes away from Isafjordur town by car. Driving here from the capital Reykjavik will take you at least five to sex hours and that speed is not recommended

Our humble opinion Make the effort to come here if you visit the Westfjord area at all and spend a little time. Alas, the village is not special enough to make a special journey.

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